Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015

Where did you begin 2014?
At home!

What was your status by Valentine's Day?

Were you in school (anytime this year)?

Did you have to go to the hospital?

Did you have any encounters with the police?

Where did you go on vacation?
Los Angeles, sorta.

What did you purchase that was over $500?
Neelix's health (vet bills).

Did you know anybody who got married?
I don't believe so.

Did you know anybody who passed away?
Jim. Daphne.

Did you move anywhere?

What sporting events did you attend?

What concerts/shows did you go to?
Saw Doug play at the Red Lion.

Where do you live now?

What's the one thing you thought you would never do but did in 2014?

Eat chicken livers? I mean, I suppose that.

What has/have been your favorite moment(s)?
Eileen moving to Sacramento.
Play dates at the Play Place.
Jude's 2nd Birthday.
Thanksgiving at Josh's.
Jude learning his ABC's.
Building Lego with Aaron.

What's something you learned about yourself?

Sometimes the least expected is what happens.

Any new additions to your family?

What was your best month?

What music will you remember 2014 by?
Anything, Hedley.

Made new friends?
Not this year.

Favorite Night[s] out?

The night we went to The Americana and caught the water show.

Any regrets?

What do you want to accomplish in 2015?
Get this baby talking!

What would you change about 2014?

Other than home, where did you spend most of your time?

Los Angeles.

Have any life changes in 2014?
A couple deaths in the family. :(

Change your hairstyle?

Does longer count?

Get a new job?
 Still Pro Mom.

Do you have a New Year's resolution?
Something realistic, like 'get out more.'

Did anything embarrassing?

What was/were your favorite purchase[s]?
My Star Trek ring.
Jude's flip-board.
Comic Books.
Fleece pants.
Imaginext for Jude.

Get married or divorced?

Did you get sick this year?
As ever.

Start a new hobby?
Does narrating my life through song count?

Are you happy to see 2014 go?
It's been a year.

Drank Starbucks in 2014?

What are you wishing for in 2015?
Seeing my family would be great.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Double Autism

It was time for the MMR booster, anti-vaxx was just taking off, another parent aware of my condition asks my mother if she'll risk it.

There are a hundred appropriate responses to this my mother could have chosen. Should she explain that vaccines don't cause Autism? That the person responsible for this 'study' has already lost his medical license? Should just slap them? Should she remind them that Autism is a fate indefinitely better than death, particularly death from Measles? My mom turns to them and says, somehow with a straight face, "What's it gonna do, give her Double Autism?"

Of all the ways my mother could have responded, this is probably my favorite. The other parent had no idea how to react other than to take a good hard look at what they had just asked. Because really.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

I'm not an RPG character.

The other night Aaron was having trouble falling asleep so he started listening to music on his phone.

Earlier I had been playing Bravely Default. When it was time for bed, rather than turn off the 3DS I had just put it in sleep mode (to collect SPs).

Barely able to hear the music, but able to tell that is what was happening, I was jolted back to consciousness because I thought the DS had turned back on and was blaring RPG music in the middle of the night and I was ruining everything. So I start rolling and flopping around trying to solve the problem and Aaron is just like, "...?"

I mumble, "Is there music???"
I flail around ineffectually some more before realizing the 3DS is still in sleep mode.
He says, "Sorry, I didn't realize it was that loud."
At which point he turns it down and I, relieved it wasn't my fault, apparently declare, "I'm not an RPG character."

Which I guess meant to imply that I don't have background music? So none of this was my fault? I don't know precisely because I don't even remember saying it.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Bravely Default

For Christmas, Aaron got me Bravely Default, which is great because I've been wanting to play it since it came out. So far it's been enjoyable. The art is reminiscent of Tactics, which I adored. The music, while not up to the immersion standard found in the Final Fantasy title (yet) is still wonderful, granted this is not a Final Fantasy title. The story has been fabulous, yet very Final Fantasy-esque (harmonious crystals and impending darkness, etc.) which seems a little strange given how mindful they were to set the titles apart. Not that it's a bad thing.

I won't go into too much detail pertaining to the story because A: spoilers, and B: I'm stilling playing it. While it has many Final Fantasy elements despite not part of the franchise, it also has a lot of JRPG elements similar to Tales games and Silver Star Story which isn't a bad thing. It may take you by surprise though. There is also a story-related mini-game that has a lot of potential.

What's really unique about the game is the combat system. It's based on a job system a la original Final Fantasy, Tactics, FFXIV, and so on. You obtain new jobs by defeating bosses and gaining their job Asterisk. Each job has its own unique skills, attributes, and costumes. During combat you have all the basic options: attack, magic, items, skills, escape, etc., but you can also either Brave or Default. This is where things get creative.

You can Brave to get more turns at once or you can Default to defend (taking less damage) and then Brave later without going into the negative. If you Brave without Defaulting, you have to wait however many turns you Braved for afterward. So depending on what/who you are fighting you may want to incur the wait penalty and Brave right away or you may want to Default to avoid a big incoming attack and then Brave later. Really depends on preference and situation!

If you put the 3DS into sleep mode with the game running rather than turning it off, you can also gain 1 SP every 8 hours this way for a maximum of 3. You can expend SP to immediately have your turn in combat. Whenever you want. This has the potential to be game changing if used correctly, it is, however, not necessary at all. So if you'd rather just turn your 3DS off, you won't feel entitled to leave it on.

The game makes use of the internet in fun ways. You can call upon friends for help during battles, you can fight people you've passed on the street gaining Nemesis, you can borrow friends' skills, you can gain villagers. Entirely optional, of course. The game seems to have a lot of neat, optional content. Which is also nice. You can partake, or not, and it's totally fine either way.

I have to say though that, as per usual, Square's English voice cast is... bad. However that is easily remedied by going into the settings and either turning the voices volume all the way down or setting it to Japanese with English subtitles just so that not everyone sounds like a emotionless 8 year old boy who had been raised by robots except for the women who sound like sexy 5 year old girls (???) who were otherwise also raised by robots.

You'll want to mess with these settings regardless because by default all the volumes are set to 8, which means they are all competing for your attention. All the time. It's not really problematic until there is a cutscene and you can barely make out what anyone is saying. I found turning the music to 5 and leaving the voices at 8 was a workable solution. Except then I could tell just how horrible the English voice acting was and had to go back in to make the previously mentioned changes.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Penguin Bombs

Aaron surprised me after Christmas Eve dinner with a finely wrapped box of Lego. We built them together after feasting on Chinese food as per Jewish tradition. Look at my little bomber penguins. They are the coolest. Look at them!

I have no idea what is going on with my formatting right now but I'm too excited to go to sleep so that I can wake up and open gifts with the family tomorrow. So... Enjoy none pizza left beef?None blog left pictures? idk.

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

My Favorite Things (Foods)

1. Popcorn
Preferably with just butter. Sometimes kettlecorn style. Rarely with caramel. Even more rarely with cheese. I love popcorn. It is the perfect snack and I will eat an entire bag of it all by myself in a single sitting. No regrets!

2. Potatoes
I don't care how you cook them, they're going to be fucking delicious and I'm going to eat more than a single serving.

3. Waffles
Fancy pancakes with syrup dimples. You can't go wrong. It's the perfect breakfast food. It's the perfect anytime food. Dinner time? Make a waffle sandwich. I feel compelled to type YOLO.

4. Bean & Cheese Burritos
Pockets of molten bean and melty cheese. I ate these things everyday for years and would do it again because they're awesome.

5. Pirogi
Potato pockets with stuff inside. Pirogi were the staple of my diet back when I lived on my own and there's a reason for that.

6. Pot Stickers
Pockets of meat and vegetables (you're probably noticing a trend with me and pocket foods). Serve with a side of sugar snap peas and yum.

7. Ravioli
Pockets of cheese and meat or vegetables (another pocket food, huge shocker) drown in some savory sauce. Mmm...

8. Pizza
I love pizza. I don't want to meet the person who is like, "I hate pizza."

9. Peanut Butter & Jam Sandwiches
I never outgrew this classic elementary school packed lunch staple. I enjoy them enough to make on a regular basis, even now that I'm a full fledged adult human with my own pb&j eating offspring.

10. Soup
I really like soup. Pretty much any soup, stew, or bisque. There's just something soothing about a nice hot bowl of soup. Especially potato soup.

Honorable Mention: Rainbow Sprinkles
I know, you're thinking, "That isn't a food really..." but they are. You can put them on any dessert and it's instantly better. Ice cream, pie, cake, cupcakes, pudding, mousse, donuts, candy bars, whatever. You can just grab a spoon and eat them on their own. They're delicious and I won't be told otherwise.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Favorite Things: Movies!

1. The Fifth Element
Everything about this movie is fantastic. I've seen it countless times and it somehow never gets boring. Easily everyone involved's best role.

2. Labyrinth
I used to dream about running away to the Goblin City. My go-to movie for all nostalgic needs.

3. Star Wars
My love for Star Wars is not unknown.

4. Interview With The Vampire
Strangely, this movie reminds me most of childhood. I was a creepy little girl.

5. Forrest Gump
One of the last movies I watched with my little sister before we were separated. We finally found each other again, but this movie still holds a special place in my heart.

6. Dead Poet's Society
My favorite Robin William's movie. Just watch it.

7. Kill Bill
The way this story was told blew my mind when it first came out. It's rare a plot keeps me guessing and Kill Bill managed to do that.

8. The Matrix
Go noob, see the truth, save the world. I like when the hero spends the entire first movie derping around confused.

9. 12 Monkeys
Yes, okay.

10. Silence of The Lambs
My grandpa took me to see this movie in theaters because I really, really wanted to see it. I was eight. Did not regret that choice!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

My Favorite Things (Beverages)

1. Irish Breakfast Tea
I take it with 2-3 sugar cubes and a bit of cream. If you disliek tea, you may like this as it presents more like a mild coffee.

2. Sumatra Wholebean Coffee
Prepared with 4 cubes of sugar, generous cream, and a dash of cinnamon.

3. Trader Joe's Spicy Chai Latte Mix
Follow the directions on the tin, savor. Delicious, warm pick-me-up you don't have to wait for!

4. Good Earth Original Sweet & Spicy
Boil water, steep tea. That's it, it's great all by itself. If you dislike tea, you'll probably like this tea.

5. Pineapple Soda
It's hard to find, but if I see it, I buy a bottle.

6. Thai Tea (with Boba)
One of the few cold teas I enjoy. So, so tasty. Also fun to drink.

7. Hot Cocoa
A classic. I used to drink hot cocoa year round. Just that cheap instant 'add water' kind.

8. Pina Coladas
Excellent destressor, tastes like relaxation.

9. Earl Grey Tea
I prepare mine with a tablespoon of honey. Tastes as good as it smells. If you dislike tea, you'll probably dislike Earl Grey tea, too.

10. Pink Lemonade
Always refreshing. Love it, especially on hot days.

I'll just take a moment at the end here to specify that brand doesn't particularly matter with any of these with the exception of Trader Joe's Spicy Chai Latte mix, and Good Earth's Original Sweet & Spicy tea.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

My Favorite Things (Books)

1. Watership Down, Richard Adams

2. A Song of Ice and Fire, George R.R. Martin

3. The Lord of The Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien

4. White Fang, Jack London

5. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott

6. The Last Unicorn, Peter S. Beagle

7. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell

8. Les Miserables, Victor Hugo

9. Gone With The Wind, Margaret Mitchell

10. Parasite Eve, Hideki Sena

I'll stop the list there because I could list books forever, really.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

My Favorite Things (Products)

I get a lot of asks about my favorite products. Things I use basically all the time because they're so great I can't help myself. The list isn't really that long.

1. Lush, Honey I Washed The Kids
This is a soap. It lathers richly, cleans and moisturizes your flesh, and smells delectable. Warm and sweet. I've yet to find any other product that smells this good. Unfortunately there does not exist a matching perfume.

2. Auric Blends, Honey Almond
This is a roll-on oil perfume. It applies evenly, lasts a long while, and smells fantastic. It's my solution to there not being a Honey I Washed The Kids scent on the market. A warm, subtle, sweet scent.

3. LypSyl, LypRadiance Honey Rose
This is a lip balm. A lip balm that actually works. It lasts a while and leaves my lips softer for having applied it even once it's worn off. Despite the name, it does not taste of honey or smell of roses. The scent it does have is very light, and is somewhat citrus-y. It has a barely any tint and just a hint of sparkle, which is great because it's a balm not a gloss!

4. Neutrogena Original Formula Bar Soap
This, obviously, is a soap. It's for your face, though I suppose you could use it anywhere if you really wanted. It is however balanced for cleaning faces and removing make-up, which is does wonderfully. It has a scent but I can't really describe it. I find it pleasant, for whatever reason. It leaves my face feeling clean but not dried out.

5. Aveeno Active Naturals, Ultra Calming Moisturizer
This is an oil free facial lotion, so it won't clog pores. It also contains feverfew which is excellent for those of us with sensitive skin. It leaves my skin moisturized but not shiny looking or slimy feeling, which, you know, is ideal.

6. Lush, Charity Pot
This is an all-over lotion. A little goes a long way, so don't slather it on! It has a light, semi-sweet scent and works wonders for dry skin, even if you've neglected it for a while and it's really dry. And hey, proceeds go to charity! What I love about Lush, as a company is that if you bring your empty contains back to them, they'll give you a discount towards your next purchase. Incentive to recycle (not that you should need one)!

7. Pantene Pro-V Classic Shampoo & Conditioner
These, clearly, are a shampoo and conditioner. I get a lot of questions regarding my hair care (suppose it comes with having such long hair?) and people are often surprised to find out I don't use expensive salon products. Just regular ol' basic drug-store quality stuff. I like the scent though and honestly, having used expensive salon products in the past extensively, have to say -- it does the job.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Thankvember: Favorite Things

So starting November I'm going to write a series of blogs about my favorite things, aka: mundane shit I'm thankful for, all month long. I can't say for certain how many of these posts I'll put out, but I'll do my best to write as many as I can think of because I don't think we take the time to really consider all the good little things in life and be thankful for them.

What are some of your favorite things?

Friday, September 12, 2014

My First Nightmare

I've been a lucid dreamer for about as long as I can remember. I always have very long, complicated dreams that are more like movies than dreams. If I don't like the way things are headed I consciously make the decision to change it. This is just how it's always been. The few times I've had no control over the sequence of events I've just woken myself up. Last night I not only had a dream take me by surprise, but I also apparently had absolutely no control over it. Bad things never happen to me in my dreams. Until last night.

I had my first ever nightmare. So what's my nightmare scenario?

I dreamt that Aaron and I were getting ready for some sort of weekend vacation. Eileen was going to watch Jude for us, she had already come and picked him up. When we got to our hotel we decided to cruise around to find a grocery store to pick up some essentials. While out I started experiencing abdominal pains. Assuming appendicitis we rush to the local hospital.

Upon arrival it not only turns out that I am pregnant but that I am also labor. I'd gotten pregnant without symptoms again only instead of making it 7 months before showing at all or having any signs of pregnancy (like last time) I made it the entire 9 months. To make it worse as the doctor is examining me he says, "Alright, they're moving down it's time to push!" and I'm just like, "THEY?!" The doctor responds by flipping the monitor around so that I can see it, I'm having twins.


Babies are precious miracles and blessings and all of that but you should have a whole 9 months to anticipate and prepare for their arrival! Having a month or less is scary enough for one baby, but two?! Dear goodness, no thanks.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

A Christmas Mystery

I have the best conversations with my grandfather, "Papa" as I've always called him. He is one of the few humans I make an exception for to talk to on the phone. I talked to him a few days ago and he tells me that my Christmas gift has arrived. He buys all of my gifts at least 5 months in advance. He was telling me about how excited he was about the gift he'd chosen for me for my birthday, in April, last year before Thanksgiving. It was already in his hands.

My grandfather says to me, "I want to send you your Christmas gift. It's so weird."

I chuckle and ask, "Weird?" He has fantastic taste, knows me well enough that I've never been disappointed in a gift he's given me. Not that I am ever disappointed in any gift given to me by anyone. I love gift giving. The mere thought of someone spending time trying to select something just for me fills me with farm fuzzies. It's also why I love sending gifts to others, hoping that they'll feel that way to. Considered.

My grandfather says, "I showed it to Doc. She was horrified. She said, 'Oh, Papa! You can't send that to the Duchess!'"

I laugh. He laughs.

He says, "I told her, 'Sure I can, she's going to love it!' You're going to love it. It's right up your alley."

Normally he sends me expensive, meaningful jewelry. Striking the perfect balance between sentimental value and actual monetary value. He could send me river stones from his back yard and I'd love them.

I laugh again and make the same promise I do every year, "You can send it, but I won't open it until Christmas anyway."

He knows this. He once sent me my Christmas gift in June and I took a picture of it atop my night stand everyday, unwrapped, until December 25th. We wrap up the rest of our conversation and I call my mother. I always call my mother after I get off the phone with my grandfather. She talks longer (3 hours longer on average) than he does, so it just makes sense to talk to them in this order.

I joke about how weird Papa says my gift this year is.

She replies, "Oh it is weird! More creepy than weird actually."

I relay the story of what happened when he showed it to my aunt. We laugh together.

"What is he sending me?" I joke, "Body parts?"

She laughs.

I continue fake guessing, "A mummy?"

She says, "Well, you're getting warmer!"

"What!" We're both laughing again, but she doesn't want to spoil it so she says no more. We continue our conversation well into the night. It's 12:00am by the time we hang up, her time. It's only 9:00pm my time.

And thus is born: the mystery of what my grandfather will be giving me for Christmas this year.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Accidental Social Experiment: Reactions to Domestic Abuse

It's well established around here that I am a gamer and sometimes my blogs have to do with people I know primarily through the internet as part of a group of people working together toward similar goals in a video game, aka: a guild. Normally these are stand-up people.

In fact I have encountered worse behavior offline more frequently than I've encountered it online and I think that's a testimony to the quality of friendships you can form long distance. Money, appearance, and social standing have little affect on these sorts of friendships, which makes the internet a fabulous place to make new friends.

You may find yourself at this point wondering, "What the hell does this have to do with domestic abuse?" I'll get to that in a minute. I just wanted to preface this entry with the fact that by-and-large I believe the Internet to be a positive influence in the lives of those who use it responsibly and though it can certainly also be a negative experience from time-to-time that that is not the norm.

I also feel obliged to state that I'm not even wholly sure into which class this example ultimately falls as while I have never met the offender 'in real life' she dated an offline friend and so they have known her in real life -- though he too had met her online first.

This woman is a piece of work. My opinion of her has never been high (she mistreated several other people I know before I even met her) but I've been nothing but pleasant regardless because people change (usually for the better, not the worse). Other than the fact that she compulsively lures men into relationships under false pretenses then breaks up with them once she has gotten what she wants (sex, money, validation, kicks, whatever); she vindictively lies for other reasons too, ones that have effected me in surprisingly unexpected ways.

Most recently (most recently being the launch of Guild Wars 2, so this is a somewhat old story) she co-founded a guild with my fiance and several of our real life friends. She decided, for whatever reason, that she wanted to rid the guild of my fiance. Rather than asking him to go, which is the real kicker: had she at any point simply asked him he would have voluntarily stepped down -- she felt the need to first remove any obstacles that would object to ousting him. It was easy enough. We're busy hardworking adults, when it was politely suggested that we step down due to our considerable time constraints, we did. She approached us as if she were doing us a favor and her request wasn't entirely self-serving (it was). With us out of the way she could have just kicked him out no problem, but no, this is not what she did either.

Instead she went around to the remaining officers who didn't know him offline trying to ruin his reputation; at first sharing information that was told to her years ago in confidence and when that did not illicit the negative reaction she had hoped (because why would it?), she resorted to lies. Not harmless lies such as, "He stole loot," or something concerning the video game we were all playing but lies about real life. To be brief, she told people he was abusing me. Which is completely untrue, let me make that abundantly clear. While I was no longer in a position of power I was still part of the guild at this time and you know what shocked me most?

Not the way in which people regarded my fiance thereafter, because they treated him the same as they always had -- but the way in which they treated me.

No one acted upset with my fiance for allegedly abusing me. I however became suspect of all manner of evil. I was accused of all sorts of things from power mongering (do power-mad tyrants typically voluntarily step down?) to being a puppet of my fiance (what even?)  and rather than offer any support at all to what they believed was an abused woman they shut me down. Never have I been so completely disregarded than when, for a month, a handful of people thought I was in an abusive relationship.

Just... my fucking god. Disgusting. I'm judging you people harshly. I hope when you walk through your living rooms you stub your baby toes on the coffee table. I hope when you microwave burritos that they are hot on the outside but cold on the inside. I hope someone spoils every TV show, movie, and future book you want to see/read. I hope your dogs forever smell like wet dog. I hope every time you open mail that you get paper cuts. I hope you bite your lips every time you eat spicy food. I hope they discontinue your favorite series, cologne, lipstick, whatever worldly pleasure you love most. Just, wow. You people. Wow.

Had it been true, here you have someone who you believe is in dire need of help, someone you just a week ago liked  or had a neutral opinion of, and rather than help her you cast her aside to fend for herself because??? Do you believe by remaining in the relationship she deserves it? Most domestic violence fatalities happen AFTER the woman has successfully ended the abusive relationship. So really, why would you blame a woman for staying out of fear of dying? What the hell is going on in your mind where the victim is ever at fault? What is your damage?! Why would your initial reaction ever be anything other than "is there anything I can do to help you?"

Never have I been so disappointed in a group of human beings.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Listen to Your Elders

The advice to listen to your elders is always sage. People that are older than you have a lot of world experience you do not yet possess simply for having been in the world longer than you. I know as a youth you are wanting to rebel against the establishment and your parents especially because "older doesn't mean smarter!!!" But coming from someone who has been there and remembers it vividly trust me when I tell you that you are both right and woefully wrong about that. Age does not automatically equate to book smarts. You can be middle aged and dumb as a mud fence, but at the same time astoundingly more wise in other areas. Like street smarts, or life smarts.

An older person has the experience to tell them life gets better after high school. That you should not worry so much about fitting in or doing the popular thing. That being able to have one skill you're better at than most of your peers is better than being good at everything but fantastic at nothing. That you should, in fact, always wear sunscreen. That you should separate your colors and your whites -- and that the washer has settings other than Permanent Press. That you can live a long time off of pizza and soda, but you really shouldn't. That if your friends are good to you you should never set them aside, especially not for dates or 'more popular' friends. That if you have a friend that makes you feel inferior for being yourself, they're no friend at all and you'd be better off alone than with them. That if it seems too good to be true, you should approach it with a healthy amount of skepticism. That being on time is important, but if you truly must be late it's okay, don't freak out. That almost anything you dislike about yourself you are free to change, whenever you want but it'll probably take hard work. Amongst many other insights that are difficult to see in the throes of youth before you've actually been there/done that.

So when someone says you should listen to your elders, they don't mean you should obey your elders just for being older (which is what most young people hear when told that), but that you should genuinely listen to them when they are offering advice, because chances are even if they are giving you what seems like bad advice -- it's advice from actual experience, which is more than you have. So you should consider it, even if just briefly. I don't mean harmful advice from, say, a racist uncle or a homophobic cousin or anything like that, but actual advice from someone who means well.

That said, whenever I am given this advice: to listen to my elder's, I immediately recall a situation from when I was a teenager, trying to take this selfsame advice:

When I was about sixteen I was sitting in my friend's kitchen with his grandparents, waiting for him to get home. At some point his grandfather got up and left the table. His wife turns to me, this ancient woman I've always looked up to, and tells me she has the best advice I'll ever receive. I'm thinking to myself, "Whoa, she's about to reveal the secrets of the universe to me." Totally in awe of this magnificent older woman and you know what she said to me then?

"Yogurt has all sorts of uses." She then gestures with the swan-like grace of a matriarch and says, "If you're ever not right in your womanly areas, just dab some down there. When you're through you can eat the rest. It's great for the bones too."

I was just... I had no words. It was not at all the advice I was expecting from this wizened old woman. It was sound advice, but it was just so out of left field I had to struggle not to crack up right then and there at the table with her. I mean, here I thought she was going to bestow upon me the meaning of life, and instead she's just randomly like, "Here's how you cure a yeast infection."

It remains, to this day, one of my absolute favorite conversations.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

See You Around, Jim

"Even the gorgeous royal chariots wear out; and indeed this body too wears out. But the teaching of goodness does not age; and so Goodness makes that known to the good ones."

See you around, Jim.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

House Guests and Belly Dancing

This week our friend Lauren came to stay with us from Florida. It was the first time we got to hang out together face-to-face. We introduced her to real ramen, homemade macaroni and cheese, pho, antique hunting, the wonderment of the State Fair, Magic: The Gathering, The Fifth Element, Moroccan dining, Arkham Horror, good wine, and Denny's. Amongst other things. Merriment was had by all. There are photographs, but for some reason I cannot find any of them right now.

Monday, May 19, 2014

One of Those Days

Yesterday was great. We got up a little early, got ready, and went out for big family breakfast. Afterward we shopped at the Asian market and went back to Eileen's house, where we spent the day. Jude even took a nap there. It was a lot of fun.

Today? Not so much. First, I woke up in the middle of the night to pee only to realize, oh, hey period. I haven't gotten one in over four months thanks to my IUD, so it was completely unexpected and instead of just getting out of bed, peeing, and going back to bed without actually having to wake up... I had to wake up. I hadn't slept great to begin with, so the waste of time was dually unappreciated.

I woke up tired, more than usual, and we got off to a slow start. There was a tentative plan to go to the park, but as time stretched on it became clearer and clearer that it wouldn't be a possibility. The internet was being shitty and there was no Sesame Street to watch during breakfast. This meant breakfast lasted forever as Jude spent the majority of the time complaining that Sesame Street wasn't on when it should be on.

It certainly didn't help matters at all that he's cutting his last two teeth and there isn't a whole lot to be done for him. Since he has all of his other teeth things like teething rings can't get to the gum where they need to. My tactic has thus far just been to distract him from the discomfort, but he was having a particularly difficult go of it today. Very fussy. Really picky about eating. The only thing he would eat for breakfast was a granola bar.

I wanted to tidy up the house today, but it's kind of important to have my mp3 player for that (for agitation reasons). But lo' and behold, I cannot find it anywhere. It's not where I always keep it. It's not anywhere around where I always keep it, and having checked the entirety of the house, it appears no longer exist.

By now it's lunch time, so I set to getting that ready, get distracted, burn the toast. Start on toast number two and Jude just devolves into endless tears. He's crying in the corner, he's crying in my arms, he's crying with juice, he's crying as he runs around the house and throws himself on the floor. Just, perpetual crying. I finally get lunch put together and get Jude in the high chair only to discover now the internet isn't just shitty, it's out entirely.

Jude has resigned himself to just shed tears silently as whining has not worked in magically getting the internet working again. I put in the Elmo DVD my mom sent him and that ends the tears immediately. Thank goodness. His teeth still hurt though so he won't eat his lunch.

I go to get him a bit of infant Tylenol only to discover the old bottle has finally been used up. So I open the new box but the syringe doesn't quite seem to fit into the hole properly. So I have to use a little elbow grease and as I'm pressing the tip into the hole the entire plug gives way and snaps off. The plug is now inside the bottle even though it is larger than the neck of the bottle. Yes, it has defied physics. I've also cut my finger open because apparently without the built-in-plug, the neck of the bottle is dangerously sharp. Ow.

I extract a dose of Tylenol but Jude doesn't want to take it, I'm bleeding pretty badly so I just let him brood over his lunch while I go clean out my wound. I walk back into the living room from the hallway once I've got the cut cleaned and bandaged and instantly smash all of my toes and the side of my foot at full speed into the chair. Like, oh my god, can I get a break?

It has been over thirty minutes and Jude has eaten a fourth of a piece of toast and has absolutely no inclination to eat anything else on his tray, including the remainder of the toast. I give him a while longer and then take him back into the nursery for nap time. At the absolute very least he slept easily. I decided my best bet for the afternoon would just be to take a nap too. Even if I found my mp3 player I can't do even half of the things I had planned to. Definitely no wet or chemical cleaning.

I lay down and literally no sooner than I do, Jude's up from his nap. I get up, with a sudden terrible headache, and get supper ready. Ibuprofen does literally nothing for my headache. Now after two, not after four. So I resign myself to just be in pain forever today. Jude of course doesn't eat any of his dinner and I spend the majority of the time getting up to retrieve food off of the floor.

It's hotter inside than outside so I open up the balcony only to remember that last time I opened the balcony a planter had been upended so there's dirt everywhere. I sweep it all up and then can't find the freaking dust pan. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Finally hunt down the stupid thing and clean up the dirt. The cat wants to eat the lilies. I poke her gently with the broom, "stop eating the lilies." She still wants to eat the lilies. I poke her again, "stop eating the lilies." She still wants to eat the lilies. This back and forth goes on for a ridiculous amount of time before I just chase her back into the house. Jude gets out and immediate upends another planter.

Then he crawls under the grill. It's adorable but there is a hornet's nest under there. I really wish he wouldn't be under there. He isn't coming when I call him. I'm deathly allergic to hornets, I cannot move the grill or crawl under it to get him out without literally putting my life at risk.

Like, my goodness, half of these problems could have been avoided if the internet hadn't been out. The other half if I could've just found my frelling mp3 player. Ugh.

I feel sometimes when I vent about a bad day that I should just take out all structure and punctuation and make it one big crappy wall of text to suit the mood.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Ideal Wedding

Someone asked me recently what my ideal wedding was and I had to actually stop and think, because I wasn't sure. I know what the dream wedding is supposed to be, but I don't I want that. So I started to really think about it and it got me to looking back on what my ideal wedding was at various points in time, which was pretty funny and kind of embarrassing.

Age 5
I will be on a pony and the pony will match my dress (which I guess means it'll be a white pony). My dress will be a giant upside-down cala lily, but also pearls (whatever that means). All of the girls in attendance will be dressed as ballerinas and do ballet (when they aren't sitting) and all of the boys will be dressed like knights. A T-rex will officiate the wedding and my mom will hold the book and turn the pages in it for him (because T-rex has tiny arms). We'll get married at Rainbow Brite's house.

Age 8
We'll probably all be wearing space suits because my wedding takes place on Mars. Because surely by the time I'm an adult we'll have sent people to Mars. Captain Picard will officiate (not Patrick Stewart, but Jean Luc Picard). I'll be marrying Dominic, my best friend from a city we lived in two years ago but haven't seen since. My wedding ring will have a sparrow on it because an pigeon would be too big (okay?). As I walk down the aisle they'll play Hail to the Chief rather than Here Comes the Bride (because I don't know the difference).

Age 10
My wedding will take place at a castle. It will be such a fairy tale wedding that actual fairies will show up. I'll be getting married to Meatloaf. He will write a rock opera about it. My dog will give me away. My grandpa will officiate. My dress will "be like Cindarella's but prettier." My brother isn't allowed to attend. Afterward we will move into the castle as king and queen (I don't think I understood how royalty works).

Age 13
I'll marry an smart musician alongside my best friend who will marry a handsome doctor. She'll wear gold and red and I'll wear silver and blue, and the wedding will be held in a forest. Her dad will walk her down the aisle and my grandpa will walk me down the aisle. My ring will be silver with have a crescent moon on it and her ring will be gold with a sun on it. Afterwards we'll both move to New York with our husbands and join Broadway. I guess it's good that one of us will be marrying a doctor, then.

Age 15
I plan to elope with some unforeseeable future mystery man who likes all the same things I do. My teenage brain is even less great at planning than my child brain because I have absolutely no specifics in mind other than the fact that we're going to run away together. I don't think I understood that after eloping, people usually came back.

Age 18
In the rare chance I decide to get married, it'll be an autumn wedding, so decorations will be minimal as not to distract from those provided by nature. We'll use my grandmother's wedding ring.

Age 20
Whatever my grandfather will pay for. I don't want anything too big or fancy, but my family may want that experience. So if they do, they can by all means have at it. It's my day, but I'm the only person in my biological family under the age of 40 (aside from my brother who eloped), so... there's a little pressure. My dress will be corseted and have dag sleeves; white, embroidered with a few garnets on the trim; probably custom tailored. An outdoor wedding when the weather is cool would be preferred.

Basically still 20. I'd like it small though, if I can get away with it. Just our parents, my grandfather, a few close friends. I'd rather spend the money on something lasting, like a house, than a single day of celebration, tbh.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

What I Was Doing In School (Hint: Not Schoolwork)

A childhood friend just sent me this photo of a picture and story I drew/wrote for her when we were children. Presented otherwise without commentary.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Autism and Emotions

Disclaimer: I use a lot of 'old timey' terms because when I was diagnosed and raised these were the words used. I understand now it's just a Spectrum and you fall somewhere on it like the colors in a rainbow and it's all very lovely.

There is a common misunderstanding that since most Autistic people aren't very good with displaying emotions (without appropriate therapy) that they don't experience as many or experience them as much. That, because they don't smile or scowl as frequently as other people might, that they aren't as frequently happy or angry. Truth is, for most Autistic people the opposite is true. They experience emotion on a level above that of the normal person. Think of the way other animals experience smell or hearing superior to man's -- they're the same exact senses, just more intense.

Theses are the same exact emotions, just more intense.

Sometimes emotions are so intense it's like being in a dark room and then someone turns on a really bright light. Have you ever wondered why something as simple as interrupting an Autistic person's schedule can cause such palpable distress or frustration? It's not that something so minor is such a big deal. They may even know it's not. It's that the distress they feel and perceive, is felt more. So if you have an ounce of fear, they have a whole cup. You just may not be able to see it as readily on their faces or through their actions. How to portray an emotion is, after all, an acquired skill for many HFA people. And let's not forget, if you've been trained to show it you also know how not to show it... so sometimes though it might seem the Autistic person can carry on despite how they are actually feeling, deep down they are feeling it just the same.

We've become experts at compartmentalizing.

This is probably the key to my mastery of my own emotions (secret's out). If we are desperately sad but have a deadline to meet, we'll meet it regardless. We'll package up that sorrow for later and continue on even though deep down we're already weeping. This is a thing that happens everyday for Autistic people. Perhaps it's joy instead of sadness, or anger rather than either, but we'll do our best to get through the day without letting it impact what needs to be done. This is why sometimes you may think an emotional outburst is random or out of the blue -- it's not, it's just been delayed. Hours, days, perhaps weeks, but there is a direct cause.

This has been difficult for me lately.

A combination of hormones and stress have added up so that recently my compartments have gotten a little full. I've been trying slowly but steadily to unload them but it doesn't always go so well when people don't expect you, the Vulcan master of all people, to become an emotional wreck right before their very eyes. Or when, by their perception, they don't understand how or why it is even happening. It isn't something easy to explain. Trying to is cumbersome and clumsy under ideal circumstances, and if in attempting to do so you're bombarded with yet more emotions... a meltdown is inevitable as then not only are you overwhelmed but whomever you're confessing to is undoubtedly irritated. Sometimes our only response is to shut down completely, because it's really way too much to cope with at the time.

It's like trying to add more water to a glass that's already full, with a power hose.

If I have been distant lately, this is why. If I have come to you with a complaint you hadn't expected, this is why. Believe me when I say, it's probably not particularly anything you did or didn't do and I really don't want you to fix anything. I like you just the way you are or I wouldn't have you in my life. Understand I just need to unload every now and again. So if I say something like, "I didn't like the way you ended our last email correspondence," don't feel obligated to explain why you ended it how you did, or even offer to make sure to end it better next time, or get mad because you thought you had ended it just fine. I don't want or expect any of that, I just thought, you know, you should know.

That's all.

I'm not making excuses if I've been curt or anything. I'm just explaining why that may have happened because it is a legitimate problem and I am not a perfect being.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Inari Gift Buying Guide

I did some reorganizing with my Amazon Wishlist. Namely, I broke it up into different categories so that if you're looking to gift me something specific, it's a lot easier for you. Bold font = clickable links.

I am easy to buy for, literally anything will make me smile, but if you want some guidance then this guide is for you. Whether you want to get something I need more than want (groceries, house supplies, clothing) or something I want more than need (everything else), this will help you narrow it down.

What to Buy An Inari: Contains things I really, really want at the moment and would totally buy for myself if I had the extra cash.

Art Supplies: Filled with art supplies, from beading to sketching. Feed my creativity.

Books: Books, book and more books. How I adore books. Feed my imagination.

Clothing: Prevent me from looking like a nudist or a bog hermit by making sure I have new clothes on my back.

Groceries: Because I am hungry like the wolf.

House Supplies: Sometimes you want an extra table or a new garbage can just as much as someone else would like a diamond necklace.

Jewelry: Jewelry, obviously. Because I am a dragon.

Toys: Actual toys. You'd probably think this was full of 'adult' toys, like chess boards or telescopes or something, but no. Not really.

Video Games: My favorite hobby.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Unicorn Smiles for Your Ladies

Normally I am of the mind that you don't get what you pay for. I've never had a bad experience buying cheap clothing over big brand names and, in some cases, actually found my cheaper clothes to stand up to time better than clothing worth hundreds of dollars more. This also applies to bras, where I have found cheap bras to be just as supportive, durable, and in most cases even as comfortable as those I paid much more for.

That said, when it comes to comfortable bras you really can't do much better than Victoria's Secret unless you're having them custom fit. Putting on a bra from Victoria's Secret is like receiving a hug from a chinchilla -- the world's softest animal. I have no idea what the hell they make their bras out of, but I suspect it's something like 50% cotton 50% unicorn smiles.

When Victoria's Secret has their annual online sale (which is right now, btw), I almost always treat myself to a new bra, even though these days I really only wear bras if it's cold outside. Because there's a thing guys don't tend to understand: our tits always feel colder than they are when it's chilly out. So even if you can comfortably go outside without a jacket, your boobs will probably be unhappy about it. A bra is like a sweater specifically for your breasts, allowing you to keep them warm without making the rest of you too warm.

Also, despite it being 2014, you may need a little more coverage depending on where you plan to be going. For some reason nipples peeking through your sweater are still largely frowned upon in polite society.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014

Where did you begin 2013?
At Will and Ari's house.

What was your status by Valentine's Day?
Stiiiiill taken.

Were you in school (anytime this year)?

Did you have to go to the hospital?
Just once.

Did you have any encounters with the police?

Where did you go on vacation?
Los Angeles.

What did you purchase that was over $500?

Did you know anybody who got married?
I want to say yes... but I'm pretty sure the answer is no.

Did you know anybody who passed away?

Did you move anywhere? 


What sporting events did you attend?

What concerts/shows did you go to?
I haven't been to a concert since like 2001.

Where do you live now?

What's the one thing you thought you would never do but did in 2013?

Taught a small human how to walk. He made the deadline with just a week to spare.

What has/have been your favorite moment(s)?
Introducing Jude to swimming.
Date nights.
My mother finally getting to come visit.
Having Josh across the courtyard for a bit.
Going to the ocean.
Jude's first birthday!
Jude's first steps.

What's something you learned about yourself?

I'm a fucking super hero.
I really am.

Any new additions to your family?

What was your best month?
September, oddly enough.

What music will you remember 2013 by?
 Uh, definitely the Sesame Street theme song.

Made new friends?
A couple.

Favorite Night[s] out?

Date night.
Movie night at Josh's.
Catching Fire.

Any regrets?

What do you want to accomplish in 2014?
Shape Jude into a better human being.
More muscle would be nice too. I am spindly.

What would you change about 2013?
Nothing I'd change was my place to change.

Other than home, where did you spend most of your time?

Just home.

Have any life changes in 2013?
Not particularly.

Change your hairstyle?


Get a new job?

Do you have a New Year's resolution?
I think I jinxed myself last year.

Did anything embarrassing?

What was/were your favorite purchase[s]?
Jude's Little People farm house. He loves that thing so much.

Get married or divorced?

Did you get sick this year?
I am sick right now. I drug it into the new year.

Start a new hobby?
Nah, I have a ton of hobbies already.

Are you happy to see 2013 go?
I'm excited for 2014, so, in a way.

Drank Starbucks in 2013?

What are you wishing for in 2014?
A day off. :P