Monday, November 16, 2015


I was stopped by security loading the car at the old place. It's like 10pm, no one else is around. I have absolutely no idea why I'm being questioned.

"We were called about a person in a suspicious head covering loitering in the parking lot," he explains, takes one good look at me and just bursts into uncontrollable laughter.

Are. You. Serious? It's a pikachu hat with floppy ears and dangling Poke balls! Who found this scary? I cannot even imagine how ancient this human must have been.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Pets Are Messier Than Children

Took a little nap on the couch, which is impressive when you are being climbed all over by a small human with pointy elbows and knees. Maybe 20 minutes tops.

Woke up to find a cat disaster spanning 3 rooms. In which Intruder "the fluffy one" Willmington pooped, got it stuck in her butt fur, drug her ass ALL the way down the hallway, then finally got it off in the living room. So that is how I've spent my morning.

And all I could think about while on my hands and knees like Cinderella with a scrub brush was about how when I was pregnant everyone balked, "Oh, what are you gonna do about all the diapers? Babies are gross." Like, have you owned a pet?! Something else's bodily functions was already a part of my daily life years before having a kid.

I've cleaned up way more dog, cat, bird, hamster, turtle, and snake excrement than I have human. The contest isn't even close.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Hello, Hank

Pardon me a moment while I geek out about being noticed by senpai™. Last week I was psyched when Hank Green (Sci Show, Crash Course, Vlog Bros, Project for Awesome, VidCon, etc.) followed me on tumblr.

I don't really get excited about celebrities, internet or otherwise, but Hank and the people he works with do a lot of wonderful things and so it's very cool exception.

Anyway, so he followed me last week and I thought that was the bee's knees but also figured his dash was probably very full and he would rarely ever be looking at my posts. Let alone my original content.

Then I got to my computer today to find a post I'd made last night on the brink of sleep had gotten over 600 notes in under an hour. Now, it's well known the posts I make while falling asleep are always my most popular but not that popular.

Turns out Hank reblogged it. Also it's indirectly about poop.
*Laughs into the sunset forever and ever.*

Friday, October 2, 2015

My Writing Cliche

Someone remarked that I write a lot of my characters as mothers. Like writing mothers was my thing. I was confused by this because, surely not? Of all the characters I've written I could only think of a few off the top of my head.

But this seemed to be a widely held notion, so, being very confused and having nothing else to do with 20 minutes of my afternoon aside from have a migraine, I decided to grab a pencil and see if maybe *I* was wrong. The stats are thus:

Of 17 female characters written...

4 were mothers or had the desire to become such
13 were not mothers and had no desire to become such
1 was gay
4 were bisexual
9 were asexual, sex-repulsed, prude, or chaste

Turns out writing asexuals (or women who are otherwise chaste) is more my thing. An equally unexpected result, honestly.

Some further stats for curiosity's sake:

Of 17 female characters written...

10 were physically strong
7 were physically weak
13 had above average intellect
4 had average or below intellect
4 were married or in long term relationships
13 were not married or in long term relationships
6 wanted to conquer the world
11 did not want to conquer the world
2 of the 6 who wanted to conquer the world succeeded
9 were leaders
8 were followers
7 were WOC
7 were not WOC
5 had disabilities that impacted their lives significantly
12 did not have disabilities

So my thing is to write intellectually and physically superior women who have no interest in motherhood or men and positive life goals. LOL. Welp, the more you know.

Brussel, Bro Russel

While drunkenly discussing the origin of the name Brussel Sprouts (sometimes seen as Brussel’s Sprouts), I suggested maybe the guy who discovered them was named Brussel. “Bro Russel,” I further explain, trying to stifle my own laughter. “The brother of Russel.” I don’t know why I find this so hilarious, but I’m shaking with laughter and no one else is laughing.

I go on to declare my next born son shall be named Brussel, because he'll technically be a bro Russel (though his brother's name would be Jude not Russel). To which Aaron disagrees, "Only if you had twins. Then you could name one Russel and the other one Brussel. That's the only way he can be Bro Russel."

I laugh until I'm crying at this, mostly because I've gotten Aaron to oblige my ridiculousness. It was only half a glass of wine, I'm just a light weight who'd forgotten to eat lunch.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Inappropriate Love Letter

In high school , my BFF and I used to hang out at this local cafe called Bradey's in Kent near the university. On Fridays they'd have open mic poetry night and we'd all write poetry right at the table to recite. These days it's a Starbucks, but to us it'll always be Bradey's.

One time an older gentleman approached our table and left me an envelope. He must have been at least 30. I was 16. It was a love letter waxing poetic about the gentleness of my smile and my youthful beauty and how in a prefect world he could tell me these things face tho face and it'd be okay, but since it wasn't the letter would have to do. Throughout he called me nothing but Dearest.

After giving me the envelope he paid his bill and left. We never saw the man again. Which is probably for the best, honestly, because it was wildly inappropriate. I definitely did not look "older" than my age. But for the longest time thereafter my BFF jokingly referred to me as Dearest. It was an inside joke that I nearly forgot about until this shirt arrived from her yesterday and I'm not even sure she herself remembered before sending it.

I wonder what ever became of that man?

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Joining the X-Files

Dreamt I got the weekend off, but for whatever reason Aaron didn't. So Emil took me to his family's cabin in the mountains. Then we immediately had a misadventure.

While collecting fire wood, we found a body in the river. I realize the guy is still alive but trapped, so Emil frees him. No sooner than he does, the stranger tries to kill us, so we run back to the cabin with him chasing us.

Once inside I pull out what is possibly the world's oldest functioning gun from an old WW2 crate and shoot the guy dead. Emil then, without question or hesitation, dissects the body in the basin tub so that we can hide it. 

When an old woman unexpectedly shows up having heard a commotion, we explain away the blood we had yet a chance to clean up as a canning accident. "We were making our own tomato paste, you see." She buys it.

We spend the weekend drinking away the fact we killed a man. By Monday people think we had an affair when really we were just closer because we almost died and then expertly concealed a murder together. Quite a bonding experience.

Later, because of these events, I go on to join the fbi working on the X-Files. ??? Emil becomes a mountain hermit and my greatest source of intel. ???

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Big One

I wish the news would stop saying that the Pacific Northwest is going to have The Big One™ any day now, as if the entire state of California will be sloughed off into the sea tomorrow by an earthquake so great we can’t even measure it. The messages I’ve been getting from worried people are out of hand (which to clarify is not their fault, it’s the freaking media instigating panic for views).

First of all The Big One™ just means 8.0 or so. Which, let’s be clear, is a really big earthquake and nothing to laugh at but there are fault lines capable of much more powerful earthquakes. It would be bad, it would be less bad than Fukushima.

Furthermore scientists suspect ‘any day now’ will actually be 'sometime within the next 30 years.’ There’s no way to really know until right before it starts, so there’s no use living in constant fear of it. Be prepared, urge your loved ones to be prepared, but don’t dwell on it like you/they may not wake up tomorrow. People have survived much worse natural disasters.

Also? California isn’t going to fall into the ocean like America got butterfingers and couldn’t hold onto it anymore. Eventually the movement of the plates will probably slide the entirety of the west coast northwards, but it won’t simply cease to exist because of a single earthquake. Climate change stands a better chance of drowning the west coast (and wiping out Florida entirely), actually – so maybe less listening to the media and more investing in clean energy?

Lastly, just to be clear, where I live is nowhere near the epicenter of this quake. I do not live on the fault line. We’d probably feel it, if it was really big, but it wouldn’t be catastrophic here. So while I am absolutely terrified of earthquakes, I do not feel compelled to flee the state under the cloak of night tonight. I am in far more danger from wild fires exacerbated by the exceptional drought we’re experiencing. So… maybe also conserve water? Don’t buy bottled from California (Aquafina, Dasani, Arrowhead, Niagra)? Please?

The natural disaster we’re actually having RIGHT NOW is more important than one that might happen by 2045.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Why I Am Compelled to Write

I have never met my grandmother. She died at a mere 26 years of age leaving behind 3 children too young to really remember her. Shortly before her unexpected death she had begun keeping a journal. It was small, written in pencil, her handwriting looked a lot like mine. Her entries were glimpses into her day-to-day thoughts. However, pencil doesn't stand up well to the passage of time.

By the time my mother and her siblings were old enough to really understand the journal entries, to get a glimpse of who their mother had been, much of the writing had faded and been smudged. Those parts of her would never be recovered. Entire pages were illegible. Despite how much she must have written, no one could read it. Had she been happy? Sad? Frustrated? My grandfather was a handful back then, I can only imagine her opinions about him sometimes.

From other people's memories of her I knew she was a kind, forgiving woman who never held a grudge. I knew she was beautiful and a stay at home mom. That she was the love of my grandfather's life, and he'd never remarry because of that. But that's honestly about it. Usually people's stories of her were centered around them, as is to be expected.

I read the journal in my 20's, wondering if I would outlive her, much as I'm sure my mother had wondered in her 20's. The more pages I couldn't decipher, the more I worried that if I were to die there' would be little to remember who I had been. I've long been content with the fact that life is finite, that I too would someday die. The thought, however, that I may put others in the same position my mother and uncles had been in though? That sat like a heavy stone in my stomach.

I refused to be reduced to anecdotal stories told from other people's perspectives. I wanted people to be able to look back and read about my life through my own words. Even if they were frivolous at times. I wrote my first blog post just days after finishing my grandmother's journal. Though it was written elsewhere, many moons ago, you can find that post here. I was 22. I made sure to transfer it over, whenever I moved to a new host for my writing, regardless of how well it was written or whether or not I had said anything embarrassing or worthwhile.

Because your life isn't all about exciting adventures or coming off as perfect/accomplished. Sometimes it's about family dinners on Sunday, waiting in line, having the flu, and losing socks in the wash; and embarrassment is a big part of life. The sooner you realize these things and truly accept them, the happier you'll be. All of this is why I write, to be remembered on my own terms. Should anything happen to me, I'd love for my son to one day read all of this and get to know me as I had been.

Heavy Content

I know my funny writing has been missed lately and I'm sorry there isn't more of it being churned out for your viewing pleasure. I just want to assure you it's not a sign of the end times or anything. I simply don't have a lot of time to write, so when I do it has been about more important topics I need to get off my chest. Because as much as I enjoy knowing you guys like reading my stuff -- writing, first and foremost, is therapeutic to me.

I promise I still laugh and smile and do hyper-embarrassing nonsense daily and that stuff will return when I find myself with more time to write about it. In the meanwhile, if reading my more personal, deeper stuff isn't your cup of tea, check out my tumblr. Lots of tomfoolery gets channeled into it because of its ease of use (read: quickness). I'm pretty sure I've mentioned it before, though perhaps not. All work and no play make Inari a something-something.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Dreaming About Mansions

Dreamt that Sean bought an enormous mansion and we all lived in it, each with our own wing. For some reason Tyson and I had to share a bathroom though. All was fine until he started stealing my eyeliner.

I confronted him about it and he tried to deny it, despite looking like Jack freaking Sparrow. He insisted that he was born with it (trademark Maybelline). I wasn't even really mad about the eyeliner except people didn't believe me that he was wearing any.

So I had to conduct a sting operation to catch him in the act. There were donuts and tactical turtlenecks and everything. Unfortunately I woke up before the final Tarantinoesque showdown. What a weird dream.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

I'm A Sexuality Ninja

When I was 15 my best friend came up to me at school and said, "I have something crazy to tell you! Come over after school?" I'll admit I was a little excited about gossip so rich it couldn't be repeated on school grounds.

That afternoon when classes let out, I walked the few miles from the school to her house. When I arrived and she treated me to a soda, her giddiness to share this information was so intense it was practically another entity in the room. "You'll never guess what (name redacted) told me in homeroom!" she began, eyes gleaming with secret knowledge.

"What?" I asked, my curiosity piqued. A new crush? A new rival? Did a teacher say something racist again? Did her dad have a new girlfriend? Did she get caught smoking in the bathroom?

"She's bisexual!" my best friend exclaimed, followed immediately by fake gagging, "Like she likes dudes and chicks! YUCK!"

I already knew (name redacted) was bisexual because I was too. I shifted uncomfortably. "Wow, how weiiiiiiiiird," I exaggerated. She had no idea. No one had any idea. Best to keep it that way. And that was the day I decided not to come out. That one reaction from someone I considered my closest friend. This is why I have never made any real public declaration.

There are probably people reading this right now going, "Wait, what?!" but I'm an adult living with supportive people in a safe space and none of those small town attitudes matter to me anymore. I'm going to marry a man, which is probably why some of you will accept this information without incident, but what if I weren't? If that would bother you, we probably shouldn't be friends.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

The Most Disappointing Human Interaction

It's common for a woman to have at least a dozen stories about male friends she has lost due to not wanting a romantic relationship with them. Usually, though, these friendships were at least somewhat young. Nothing but ruined potential. Rarely do they involve a friendship spanning longer than a few months. It is really disappointing to think you're making a new friend only to find out they had an ulterior motive. Why can't people (usually dudes) just accept a relationship as platonic?

Back in the early 2000's, I basically confessed all my feels to this boy who was kind of awkward and long distance but easily my best friend at the time. We had all the same interests and hobbies and got along well. After years of friendship we'd never had a single argument. Every now and then our interactions were even a little flirty. It seemed logical that we would make a great couple.

So imagine my surprise when he not only didn't reciprocate my feelings at all but actually sorta... rebuked them. I was super bummed but remained his friend, talking daily and hanging out. I got over it pretty quickly, because our friendship was ultimately more important to me than anything else, and everything went back to the way it had always been.

Then several years later he confessed to having a huge crush on me. Um, what? Unfortunately by then I had shut out all those feelings for so long that it was SUPER weird because our relationship, for me, had become so sibling-like. I had been lead to believe that it would never be anything but platonic. It was like being asked out by my brother. So I had to tell him that while I loved him a lot, I didn't love him that way and very likely never could. Of course, even though it went without saying, I made sure he knew that I would love to maintain the relationship we'd always had.

Even though I was far more gentle with his feelings than he had been with mine originally, he wasn't as gracious about it as I was. We stayed friends for about a year, though he talked to me way less frequently. Then out of the blue he vanished. Moved, changed all his screen names and email, etc. Not a word to me about it beforehand and no contact afterward. It's honestly the single strangest, disappointing interaction with another human being I've ever had. And coming from my background, that's saying a lot.

Like just... wow.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Autistic Adults Were Autistic Children | Autistic Children Grow Into Autistic Adults

There is this strange global disconnect between Autistic children and Autistic adults. As if children with Autism never grow up or perhaps outgrow their Autism, and adults with Autism developed it later in life. But no, man. That is not how it works.

You don't come down with a case of Autism like one might come down with a cold, likewise you do not cure a case of Autism either like one might get over a cold.

Autistic adults were formerly Autistic children. Autistic children will grow into Autistic adults. This is how it works. This is how it has always worked. It doesn't "come on" out of no where. It doesn't "go away" as you get older. You're either born Autistic or you aren't.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Long Hair

My grandfather put a lot of importance on hair, its length, its care -- its spiritual significance. Even though his career dictated that his hair must be kept short. As a child my hair grew long and free. None of the other kids had a problem with it. Teachers at school questioned my mother when my braid passed the small of my back but she stood up for me. It was harmless.

When lice was going around the school and I contracted it from my younger sibling, the school nurse advised us that we would have to cut my hair. That I could not be properly treated as I was, even though she wasn't going to be the one to treat me. It would take too long, according to them. My mother sat with me patiently, working the product into my scalp and combing through my hair strand by strand for hours. I was lice free faster than most other children on campus despite having three times as much hair. I did not cut my hair for medical reasons.

When I started high school I was pressured by my peers to cut my hair. Suddenly, even with them, it was an issue. My friends would tell me at least once a week how much better I would look with shorter hair. A style more in trend at the time, shoulder length or shorter was all the rage. They didn’t get why I would sacrifice their view of beauty for an idea they couldn’t fathom. Sure, I was pretty, but I could be prettier. Why wouldn’t I want that? I did not cut my hair for fashion.

In my junior year I was told that the boy I liked would not date me because I had so much hair. It was just too long. I was told that he would date me after I got a hair cut and only then. His loss, not mine. I did not cut my hair for a boy.

In my senior year I met a little girl with Alopecia. I overheard her speaking to her mother about how all she wanted was to look like other girls at school and not be teased for her baldness – which she had no control over. I had an abundance and she had nothing. The next day I cut my hair and donated it to Locks of Love. An organization that creates quality wigs for children with Alopecia and Cancer who cannot otherwise afford them. I cut my hair for charity.

Even though it was for a good cause, I disliked the sudden shortness of my hair. I felt as if part of me was gone. Though I did not regret my decision, I wanted to grow it out again immediately. I heard nothing but boisterous compliments from my peers. That boy I had liked asked me out. I told him I knew puddles with more depth. He didn’t get it. I had to explain that I was turning him down.

No one understood why I didn’t maintain my new hair style. Why I would let it grow out again. It was completely beyond their comprehension that hair could possibly be anything other than a fashion statement. I tried to explain, every now and then, but the idea was so outrageous to them they couldn’t grasp it. “But you looked great with short hair!” is all I’d get back.

I’ve cut my hair several times since then, usually for reasons (loss, new start, etc.), and always donated it. Every single time I go through the same experience. "You should keep it this length, you look so much better with short hair!" Hair can be fashionable, there's nothing wrong with that, but that isn't its sole purpose. Not to me. Not to many people. It is more than an accessory.

I will cut my hair when it is significant to do so. While I appreciate the thought behind the compliments, please don't be shocked when I go against all reason (in your mind) and grow it out again.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Thinking With Portals

By: Chell
Portal is one of my favorite game series and there is a reason for that. It's deceivingly intricate. The mechanics, the characters, the setting, the history and the way it's all sort of left open to interpretation is just flawlessly executed. On the surface it seems like a fun to play game with light subject matter but it's actually very dark if you're paying any attention at all. Warning: spoilers -- obviously.

You start out a nameless test subject (Chell) that has been stripped of all person-hood (mute and suffering from amnesia). She awakes from stasis and after briefly confusion and aimlessness, is forced to complete test after test against her will. After realizing that it's this forever, until death, or trying to escape, Chell follows obscure clues and directions left behind by some other survivor. Evidenced by many 'nests' of hoarded food and supplies, they probably lived the remainder of their days crawling through the walls, on the run. Just how many subjects had been tested before her?

Eventually Chell manages to find and defeat the evil AI overmind (GLaDOS) that killed everyone in the facility with neurotoxin, who knows how long ago exactly, on Take Your Daughter to Work Day. How nefarious and curious. Why though? Is it just a case of an AI doing what an AI will inevitably do? Find humans meaningless? Is there more to this story than a lab rat wanting to be free? If you pay close attention, yeah, probably. Though the protagonist herself is in the dark.

As you play, you discover that Aperture Science was in direct competition with Black Mesa and, through no fault of its own, could not compete. Genius proprietor Cave Johnson slowly descends into madness the longer he tries to one-up his competition. To the point where he goes from working with the world's elite for the scientific advancement of mankind, Olympic athletes and astronauts, to basically conning homeless people into taking part in his experiments which get crazier and more desperate as years pass. Finally Apreture is bankrupt and, morally, so is Johnson. His ever loyal assistant Caroline remains by his side, and is in all likelihood the only one to do so.

Through gameplay and after the closing credits, it's easily concluded that during these earlier years Johnson and Caroline had a relationship deeper than business and, in all likelihood, had a child together. This child is adopted out to another scientist at the facility (evidenced by all of commentary about Chell being an orphan/adopted) for whatever reason, possibly against Caroline's wishes -- as you soon discover during this time period she is also forcibly uploaded into the system to become GLaDOS, a program/entity meant to oversee operations at the facility. That Caroline is Chell's mother is common conjecture at this point.

What seems less considered is why GLaDOS went rogue in the first place. Many seem to think that, as an AI, simply having her humanity removed did something that left her irrevocably evil and that's why she killed everyone. However, I doubt her motives were so shallow. Nothing about this series is that simple.

All seems to be going relatively well, after some tweaking to weed out problem behavior (probably because Caroline did not want to be there), until Take Your Daughter to Work Day. If you paid close attention to the dioramas set up by the children on that day, you'll notice that one of them is none other than Chell's. Meaning Chell was a child at the facility at the time of the neurotoxin event and in all likelihood grew up trapped within the facility. If you read her project, it also implies that Chell had no idea Johnson may've been her father and probably thought that her mother had died in labor, since there's no mention of a maternal figure at all.

Is it possible that GLaDOS went berserk after seeing her daughter again? A daughter she may not have wanted to give up in the first place? Were there other plans for Chell that GLaDOS, as overseer of the facility, became aware of and decided perpetual stasis was a more merciful fate? A way for them to be together at last, perhaps? Until tampering and/or system decay lead GLaDOS to forget all about being Caroline, about her daughter.

Upon rediscovering Caroline, GLaDOS appears regretful, and not only saves Chell from imminent demise at the hands of another, but also spares her when she has the opportunity to kill her herself. Which is allegedly all GLaDOS has ever wanted since meeting her. GLaDOS claims to delete Caroline, but during the credits sings about Caroline being there with her. There is no reason for GLaDOS to let Chell walk away. She says killing her is hard, but she had her surrounded and completely at her mercy when she says that. Perhaps she did not mean physically hard but rather emotionally so. Which is supported by the opera sung by the turrets as Chell ascends to the surface -- filled with flowery lyrics of endearment and love in Latin.

Once Caroline is reintegrated, are the continued jabs an attempt to encourage Chell to leave when she has the chance? It seems that, after this event, GLaDOS wants Chell to be free of all of this. That she is being driven away. Realizing that if Chell stayed, her programming -- to make humans test until they can't anymore, would trump any familial instincts that remained. Furthermore, if Chell knew, would she stay? If she had any inkling would leaving be harder? GLaDOS can't take that chance, and, right until the end maintains the charade that Caroline has been deleted and that Chell is loathed: nothing but a thorn in her proverbial side. But it's all a rather obvious ruse to the player, who is privvy (if they've been paying attention) to more information than Chell.

So instead of just a story about a Science Facility murdered by an evil AI that then proceeds to go through all of the humans in stasis to force them into testing for its amusement until they cannot test anymore... evil for evil's sake, you have something much cooler. A man being slowly destroyed by his work, descending into a desperate madness so dark that he kills the woman he loves (for science!) and can't bare to raise their child (or at least cannot raise her and use her for experiments, so he has to choose one or the other and he, of course, chooses science) so she's given to a fellow scientist. But despite best efforts Caroline's maternal instinct isn't easy to wipe clean and discovering the truth leads her to believe that Chell is better off dead -- and anyone else in the facility deserves to die for their part in all of this. Who knows what Johnson had planned for Chell, given what he had planned for Caroline.

Things confirmed as canon:
  • Chell is an orphan, adopted by a scientist at Aperture Science.
  • Chell was a child during The Event and completed a potato battery diorama.
  • Aperture Science and Black Mesa are contemporaries and were in direct competition.
  • Black Mesa's success is, at least in part, due to stealing technology from Aperture Science.
  • Black Mesa is therefor partially responsible for the events at Aperture Science.
  • Cave Johnson is a genius who is driven mad by his inability to succeed.
  • In an effort to stay afloat his experiments become more dangerous and farfetched.
  • Caroline is Johnson's assistant. Their relationship is a close one.
  • Caroline stays by Johnson's side even as his company falls apart.
  • Caroline becomes GLaDOS. This happens against her will.
  • In order to control GLaDOS, they have to delete core aspects of Caroline's personality.
  • They still cannot control GLaDOS.
  • During Take Your Daughter to Work Day, GLaDOS locks down the facility and murders all of the people inside.
  • Caroline and Chell are said to be very much alike. Both described as overly tenacious.
  • Once Caroline is restored, GLaDOS' demeanor and attitude toward Chell change.
  • When Chell's life is endangered by someone/thing else, GLaDOS saves her.
  • When put at her mercy, GLaDOS doesn't kill Chell despite claiming that has been all she's wanted since their first encounter.
  • GLaDOS claims to have deleted Caroline, but evidence suggests otherwise.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

What is Being Autistic Like?

Recently someone asked what being Autistic is like. It is different for everyone, so please bear that in mind. My experience will not be everyone’s experience. Also, I swear a lot as a coping mechanism, so I apologize for that ahead of time.

For me it’s like… I wake up in the morning and everything is so bright that the sun may as well be in the fucking room with me. Incandescent light sources are no better, each like its own tiny star shining right in my eyes.

Next are the colors, I’m actually lucky here, because I can’t see all of them. They are so, so vibrant. Beautiful, but they make it difficult to focus. What should I look at? I don’t know, it’s like a god damned Van Gogh painting all the time.

Next are the sounds. I’m actually somewhat shielded from these now, having lost most of my hearing in 2007. That said, it used to be like waking up in the subway. The TV, people talking at you, dogs barking, and so forth were like listening to music through headphones but the only volume setting is MAX.

My clothes, plush baby fleece and soft vintage cotton, feel like sand against my skin. Each time I move it’s like that awful feeling when a cat licks you with it’s tiny barbed tongue. The pressure of my blanket, which I ironically cannot sleep without, feels like the weight of a whole other person laid on top of me. Many people also have sensitivities to taste and smell. I am not one of them.

It’s so easy to become overwhelmed if you aren’t really, really careful.

My perception of time is awful. It makes food preparation a nightmare. I have to set timers for everything or it gets burnt or forgotten about. One minute? May as well be an hour. I won’t know the difference. I wear a watch and am surrounded by clocks but Dyscalculia means I can never trust I noted the time correctly. Autism does not immediately mean you’re a math/number prodigy, which seems to be the biggest misconception out there.

Next, do I have something to do today that requires I follow instructions? Following directions intended for people who think and process everything differently than you do can be challenging. There are multiple ways to interpret most instructions, multiple solutions to every problem. I may take longer to reach the same conclusion simply because I took the long route to it rather than the most direct, because the more complicated way of doing it was more interesting to me. A lot of NT people get hung up on the how, rather than the fact that the ideal result was reached.
When setting out to complete a task I must always ask myself: Do I have the time to complete this thing in a single sitting? Being unable to finish something  is one of my biggest meltdown/shutdown triggers and to avoid that, I’d rather just put that thing off than risk be interrupted doing it. So some days I don’t get much accomplished.

Do I have to work with others? Are people demanding of my time or attention? This is difficult to deal with persistently. I need to maintain a lot of personal discipline and outside influences take away from that. Imagine that you are studying for a very important exam and there is someone in the room talking about the weather while you’re trying to read. This is what everyday conversations can be like for me.

This is a primary reason I’m so fond of text-based communication. I can partake when I’m capable of it. It comes off as really cavalier and robotic, but it’s just a way to deal with being overwhelmed from the moment I wake up in the morning by literally every.little.fucking.thing.

To cope with all of the above, I may at random intervals sway, vocalize, or lose myself to a task that seems trivial to the outside observer (listening to a song on repeat, scrolling tumblr, stringing beads, etc.) and not want to do anything else. My disinterest in outside tasks isn’t because I don’t want to partake but because I recognize I’m about to reach BS critical mass and need to take a fucking step back before I’m really miserable.

There are a few things that I am hyper-interested in. These are commonly referred to as special interests. You probably assume you have these too, maybe you like BSG a whole, whole lot. I promise you though, that you do not like it as much as an Autistic with a BSG special interest does. It’s not the same. I could talk to you about my special interests for literal days without pause, whether you seemed interested or not because I’m so intrigued by it I won’t notice that you aren’t. Even if you tell me as much, I might continue talking about it anyway because it’s hard to fucking stop. Have you heard about this thing? IT’S SO DAMNED COOL. You don’t like it? Well, here are 99 reasons that you should. Cited with sources.

A lot of this probably sounds negative, but it really isn’t. I’m used to it, I’ve been living this way all my entire life and so long as an outsider doesn’t give me shit, I can lead a perfectly happy day-to-day life because I know my boundaries. Any bad experience I’ve had in regards to being Autistic has been because some other person couldn’t grasp that Autism effects more than 6 year old white boys who love trains and math.

Friday, February 27, 2015

R.I.P. Leonard Nimoy

When I was a child, Autism wasn't very common. Before my diagnosis no one in my family had ever even heard the term. I was the only child like me that I knew. Worse than that, I was the only person like me that I knew of. Despite how famously my mother handled the situation, it was very lonely and despite living in a big city I felt extremely isolated.

My entire family was "normal." All of my friends and class mates were normal. Everyone I read about in books or saw on TV  was, more or less, normal. So you can imagine the relief, and my delight, when I saw my first episode of Star Trek as a little girl and realized there was a character who struggled very much in the same ways I did, a character who behaved much in the same ways I did. A successful character, not only accepted by his crew mates but cared for.

Spock was a game changer for me. The lone voice, from a stranger, saying it'd be okay.

At last: a person that I could relate to on a personal level. Something I'd never experienced before. What a reassurance to a young, isolated girl. You can't even imagine. He gave me hope I otherwise probably wouldn't have had. That made a huge difference in my life. For the first time I considered the possibility that people outside of my family could accept me.

I wanted to be an astronaut, to leave the planet and see if there were other people like me out there amongst the stars.

Of course I didn't need to leave the planet to find others like me. They existed right here on Earth. I just didn't know that yet. As the 80's gave way to the 90's Autism diagnoses were on the rise and I was meeting more and more people like myself. More therapies became available to help me cope with my condition. A lot of them focused on making me fit in with my peers, but I never felt pressured to do so because of Spock. Spock never had to conform. He was who he was unapologetically and people accepted him, eventually, regardless of how strange they found him at first. So I didn't conform and it was the best decision I could've made.

I am an undoubtedly happier, healithier person for not having to pretend all the time to be someone I'm not. I would not have considered this a possibility, with all the professional opinions back then, without Star Trek -- without Spock in particular. It was a show with an overarching message of equality and acceptance. Sure there were also lasers, fist fights, and space ships but ultimately those elements took a backseat to ground breaking television (for its time). I know I'm not the only person inspired by the show, or Leonard Nimoy's depiction of Spock, it's inspired countless people of all ages and backgrounds I'm sure.

But I felt compelled this morning to put into words how profoundly this actor and his work had truly made an impact in my life. I felt compelled to explain why the death of Leonard Nimoy, honorary grandfather to many, is felt so personally: because he was a great actor but an even greater person.

When a celebrity touches your life in any significant way their loss is felt regardless of whether or not you ever met. It's okay to feel sad about the death of a person you never truly knew. However he lead a long, full life and he died comfortably, at home, with those who did know him by his side -- can't ask for a much happier ending than that.

Anyway, I'm not certain how coherently this is written, I've been trying to get the words just right since 11:00AM and it's now 8:49PM so I'll just leave you with this quote and offer my condolences to Mr. Nimoy's family, friends, co-workers, and honorary grandchildren everywhere.

"Loss of life is to be mourned, but only if the life was wasted." -Spock