Friday, September 30, 2011

Brandi Carlile is coming to Spokane next week!!!!!!

Oh, wait. I just saw her at the festival. But really, can a person ever get enough of her voice?
Wow, they are playing the worst version of "Turpentine" that I have ever heard. I don't know who that is, but it sure as hell isn't Brandi Carlile or she is all strung out on drugs. Nah...even all strung out and drunk...there is just no way.
Having a bad day already. The urge to run off to a coffee shop is overwhelming...anything to get away from here.

Here, with the memories.

Here, where my rights are not the same as those of people who have a place to live.

Here, where I cannot really relax.

Yes, I am being negative, but I don't feel like I can breathe here.

I dreamt that you were speaking to me again, that things made sense. I didn't even care why, was just happy that things were better. I guess dreams wouldn't mean anything if they were stuff that actually happened.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

I need to find a space of some sort where I can have my art stuff laid out and work on art...a place where I can have everything laid out and ready to work and not have to spend a lot of time putting it all away and getting it all back out again. The space does not have to be large, although it should be well lit. Ideally it would be fairly warm in the winter because cramped fingers don't draw well.

I don't want it to be where I live because:
  • The energy here is one of anxiety. Anxiety kills creativity. I need to be able to relax in this space
  • I cannot lay stuff out and have it ready to use here, because my living quarters get inspected once a week and often more than that.
  • Also....oil paints, turpentine....I could cover the floor and walls with plastic or canvas or drop clothes to protect a space, but then, I would fail the inspection.
  • Also, my small children do not realize that I have these supplies, and I'd rather they don't figure that out.
  • I need to feel safe in the space, the art supplies need to be safe, and my work (in progress and finished) needs to be safe as well.
  • The Arts Alliance building will work for my clay/pottery, but as it is, there is not room there to store a small box of clay. I have to bring it in, work, pack it all up again and leave with it. This is time consuming. I am willing to do it for pottery because I have so few other options, but I am totally unwilling to do it for drawing, painting, etc.

Footnote: The hike was great. Meditating out in the woods did wonders for my right brain, and I came down from the trail feeling renewed and relaxed....full of all kinds of new ideas to implement (clay). And then I came home and the reality of my circumstances slapped me in the face.....and now I just feel tired...defeated...and I want to move. I have no idea where I could possibly move to, I can afford nothing.
Theft by any other word...is still theft.

Confiscate = theft

Keeping (something that you know belongs to someone else when they have stated a desire to have it back)= theft

Finders Keepers (when you know full well who lost the item)= theft

Holding for you (when you are available so that the item can be returned)= theft

Borrowing (without having asked first and without ever returning the thing!)= theft

People have a lot of fancy words for theft and a lot of justifications for it, and even cops steal, and they get away with it. Some theft is apparently legal. But, it is still theft. In my mind, if you know that something which is in your possession belongs to someone and they want it back or would like it back if they knew you had it, that's stealing, and that's wrong.

The one exception to this is when the item would be intended as an instrument of violence against another person in the near future. Not potentially an instrument of violence (i.e., it is not OK to take my baseball bat, when I have no plans of harming someone with it) but imminently and I have shown intention to use the object in that way.

Or

The item belongs to a child who is either not picking it up or is misusing it and the item is being put on time-out by the parent. Unless that item is terribly dangerous or the child has violent tendencies and the item is such that it could be used in that way, the item should be returned as soon as practically possible. And, there should be some kind of plan for returning the object to its owner from the moment it is taken into custody by the parent. If the item is dangerous, etc, it should be sold and the money given back to the child.

I was thinking yesterday about one of my favorite teachers...the one I had for 8th grade. The man was very nice, but he confiscated my sizable Garbage Pail Kids card collection and my charm necklace...both of which I had spent a LOT of time accumulating, trading up for, etc. Both were collections that meant a lot to me. He said that they were toys, and it was not allowed to bring toys to school, so he took them and he never gave them back. Those charm necklaces are really expensive now, and none of them hold a candle to the quality of the collection that I had amassed. Now...it is just stuff......and stuff doesn't matter that much...but that isn't the point. In order to get along with other people on this planet, we need to be able to trust one another, and stealing stuff erodes that trust. Stuff can be replaced, but broken trust is very difficult to repair.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Current reading material:

Godless for God's Sake- Nontheism in Contemporary Quakerism

Voluntary Simplicity-toward a way of life that is outwardly simple, inwardly rich by Duane Elgin

An Omnivore's Dilemma Michael Pollan

The Gentle Art of Verbal Self Defense

Animals in Translation by Temple Grandin

The Blank Slate- the modern denial of human nature by Steven Pinker

Replenishing the Earth by Wangari Maathai, one of my heroes...she just died. :-(

And I just got some more books today, but they're still in the truck. Some counselor, psychologist, whatever, either died or went into a different field and sent all their books to the thrift store. Most of them were pretty dry and uninteresting....but not all of them, and there were other interesting books as well.

Also a friend gifted me with a scythe! I can't believe this! The shape is different than the one I used to use, but since I have used one before, it shouldn't be that hard to get used to.

And...what else. I don't know....think I am going to carve out time for a hike tomorrow afternoon.
To give you up is to give up the dream. The dream that somewhere, there are good men in the world. Men who are gentle and kind, who listen, who don't like to harm things. Men who don't rape or shout or shove. Men who can be trusted, whom one can sleep next to without fear or anxiety. Men for whom lovemaking is something two people do together, not that which one person does to another. No matter what happened to me, I always believed that they were out there, somewhere. If I was patient, if I made the right choices, if I was more selective. Despite ample evidence to the contrary, I believed in this dream. That there were men who would never want to hurt, who didn't have to exercise self control against hurting because they didn't ever want to hurt another living creature to begin with.

When things were bad, I carried my mind away to a world in which these things could be true, and left my body wherever it was. Because no matter what they did to me, there was one thing they couldn't do, and that was to make me stay. In time, I forgot how to stay, could not stay. I flew in my mind to that safe place.

And now I think that maybe it wasn't an accident that when I found that elusive creature, that mythical man....he and I were separated by an impassable gulf. If it were otherwise, maybe the dream would have to have died, again. I might have been disillusioned, again. Maybe part of the appeal was not having to find out whether I was wrong or not, being able to sustain the idea that yes, good men do exist.

I had never really stopped to consider whether, when I found him, such a man would find me worthy.
Just read an article on the Paleolithic diet, which managed to make it sound a LOT more appealing that the guy on wrongplanet.net who first introduced us (non-Paleo aspies) to the concept. I haven't done further research as yet this morning, because I want a chance to consider the initial impressions and questions that the article brought to mind before I delve into details.

First of all, I want to know how accurate it is to think that this diet resembles that of Paleolithic times. I am immediately skeptical on this point and demand further proof, preferably based on anthropological research and archeological findings.

Secondly...why Paleolithic? There are so-called primitive tribes today who eat a simple, straightforward diet with minimal processing. Isn't it a little insulting to overlook them?

I am concerned by the emphasis on bacon and lard in the article. Uh, folks.....sorry to break this to you, but Paleolithic hogs resembled nothing like the ones we have now. They probably carried very little fat. We're talking javelinas...not the slow, obese eating machines fattened on GMO grains, raised on CAFO farms that get little to no exercise. For a snapshot of what I am talking about:

Here is a picture of a wild turkey. These birds can fly. Notice the lean, athletic body shape. This is undeniably a bird.


Now, a picture of the Broad Breasted White Turkey, which cannot fly and whose breast muscles are so large that it cannot reproduce without the use of artificial insemination.



All of the turkey breeds of today descend from the wild turkey, and were not developed until white men landed in the Americas. In a span of a few hundred years, we've managed to ruin the turkey to the point where it cannot mate, fly, etc. One cannot eat storebought turkey and say that this is what our ancestors were eating 300 years ago. It is not the same bird or the same meat.

Generally speaking, this is the way I try to look at food as well. The corn eaten by the Native Americans 400 years ago (and currently in the Southwest)is not at all comparable to the high sugar GMO stuff we have today. If an animal or plant variety cannot survive, mate and reproduce itself successfully, something is wrong and that species has been overbred. In both the plant and the animal world, breeders have unfortunately done a lot of well meaning (and not well meaning at all) damage.

Proportions: it is not enough to know exactly what people ate in the times when we imagine they were healthier....we also need to know something about proportion. In my opinion, fats and sugars were probably used sparingly (but not as sparingly as salt!). Meat consumption.....probably varied depending on where one lived, but for climates in which other foods grow, meat was probably not eaten in the quantities in which our culture consumes it (also see above for my rant on modern breeding and feeding of meat).

In my mind, fat, sweeteners, and even fruit should be used in the proportions in which they occur in nature....incidentally, in other words.

I am totally on board with tossing refined carbohydrates, liquid cooking oils, etc out the window. Whole grains only.....and legumes and nuts and seeds and vegetables.

I don't know why diet fascinates me as much as it does. Probably I would have liked anthropology.... I am forever interested in what people eat and why and particularly in diet restrictions. :-P

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The situation currently being handled with one of my sons triggers me...brings it all back. I don't want to be triggered, to be reminded. But more than that, I don't want to fail him as I was failed.

But it leaves me feeling so vulnerable and...and....like I'd just like a safe, warm place to curl up in for a while.
I feel so alone. And I need to be held....not in a sexual way (although sex is great under the right circumstances)....but just....in a...hey, this too shall pass, kind of way.

That said, I am thoroughly enjoying the solitary life...and this is said without sarcasm or bitterness of any sort. Quiet and lack of conflict suits me well. Oh there are things that I miss....having someone to talk to, to cook for, to care for, to hold at night....but all in all...this is actually very nice in its own way.

On the bright side: I found a nice, paint spattered pair of black Carhartt overalls for only $2.50 at the thrift store today! They're just the thing to wear apple/fruit picking! Thrift stores rock!
Just talked to a friend who knows a lot more about farming than I do, and my previous plans will not work for a number of reasons...without some substantial alterations.

Back to the drawing board (literally)!

Monday, September 26, 2011

My son in a different part of the same European weeping beech tree.

This is a Stewartia pseudocamelia, my favorite tree. I am still deciding what species of tree I want my post-organ-donation remains to be buried under when my body fails me (should be a while) but Stewartia is right up at the top of the list! There is something so sensual about this tree. It's lean, angular, muscular, smooth...it looks like it should be warm, like a human limb, but when you touch it, it's cold and firm. This is my favorite tree in the entire arboretum....even the beech I climbed in the previous photo come second to this one. :-)

I went to the arboretum some time ago and had a great time there...it's abotu time to go again now that the leaves will be turning.

I want another tattoo. Or maybe two more.

Which isn't to say that I'll actually get them. But a rainbow infinity symbol (neurodiversity symbol) would be nice.

Ahhhh.....Turpentine....Brandi has the voice of an angel. :-)

On second thought...how about getting bumper stickers instead...that would be cheaper, temporary, more responsible, and I could still take a full tub bath no matter how big the bumper sticker happens to be.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Observation: I do not typically realize how incredibly complicated and intricate my life is until I attempt to explain it to an outside party.
I had such a good time at Quarterly...am going to really miss the company of all my Friends. :-)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

From a neurodiversity blog: It is never okay

Kyriolexy, I love you for having written this. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I have felt damaged for having been abused. I have felt not-good-enough. I was afraid to tell my fiance for fear he would regard me as damaged, when telling him was exactly what I should have done. I still feel like I am less worthy than women who have not been abused, molested or raped. I wonder if this is why the nice guys, the men I fall hard for, often don't want me. Undeniably, I feel envious of women who have grown to and through adulthood with that sort of trauma....and enraged when they discount or point the finger at women who have. Society seems ever ready to condone or forgive the abusers while telling me to "just get over it".

And I cannot pretend that doesn't hurt....but change begins here...at home, with me. Thank you....so much.

The Empathy Quotient Test

Here is the link for an Empathy Quotient test

I think the test sucks, and I haven't even finished it yet. Some sample questions:
  • I try to keep up with the current trends and fashions. Sooo....if we are not good little groupies, this counts against us in the empathy department? How does being a non-conformist equate to lack of empathy?
  • I try to solve my own problems rather than discussing them with others. Wanting to solve one's own problems or to at least give it a try before seeking outside help is a male trait. Is the implication here that males are less empathetic, or that help seeking is related to empathy? Several of my kids don't like to seek help because they're anxious about being a pain to other people. How can that be construed as a lack of empathy?
  • I am at my best first thing in the morning. This is a stupid question. Is someone tries to claim that being a morning person or not has an effect on our ability to feel empathy, I'll scream. :-/ I repeat, stooooopid question.
  • Friendships and relationships are just too difficult, so I tend not to bother with them. Difficult? Perhaps this question should be reworded to: "Friendships and relationships are often so painful that at times, the risk seems higher than the potential reward".
  • In a conversation, I tend to focus on my own thoughts rather than on what my listener might be thinking. This, folks, is a trick question! Here is the way I am reading it: "In a conversation I tend to focus on my own thoughts rather than what my thoughts are about what I think the listener might be thinking". I don't try to read the listener's mind much if at all. I try very hard to read their facial expressions (not that it does me much good), but the bottom line is that one must ask for feedback in a conversation and then listen carefully to what they tell you. Trying to think about what they might be thinking is just.....messy and likely to end badly...very badly.
  • When I was a child, I enjoyed cutting up worms to see what would happen The only relevant question I have encountered so far.
  • I like to do things on the spur of the moment. What bearing does spontaneity have on empathy?
  • I am good at predicting how someone will feel. I am not, and I know it, so I try to err on the side of caution.
  • I enjoy being the centre of attention at any social gathering. Wait...let me guess....being an extraverted attention hog = superior empathy? What about all the folks who may be feeling bored or left out?
  • When I talk to people, I tend to talk about their experiences rather than my own. This one could be relevant. I like to hear about the experiences of others, or I wouldn't like to read biographies and books by Oliver Sacks and Temple Grandin as much as I do. The way other people think and experience things fascinates me. However....how can I talk about their experiences? I can only listen and ask pertinent questions. At the same time, it is not well to be nosy and intrusive. My upbringing was not one in which anyone walked up to someone else and asked how they were feeling. It simply was not done. We talked about achievements and politics and the status of other people....not about how anyone was feeling. So to me, asking how someone feels seems like a very personal question, one I would not ask of someone unless I felt quite close to them.
  • I get upset if I see people suffering on news programmes. Yes...but. My response is likely to be one of avoiding television entirely, of anger about the situation which caused suffering, or of changing the channel. An onlooked might not intuit that I was upset.
  • Friends usually talk to me about their problems as they say that I am very understanding. Close friends often do talk to me about their problems...sometimes in much richer detail than I would have asked for... I don't mind listening if it makes them feel better, but I do sometimes feel as though I should be helping them to find a solution. For some reason, people end up telling me all sorts of stuff. It could be because I have a fairly open mind, because I don't know how to hang up the phone graciously, or because what they are saying is genuinely interesting to me. It's all about perception, and when people talk, one learns about their perceptions. The world is a giant walking, talking laboratory.
  • I often start new hobbies but quickly become bored with them and move on to something else. This could be an attention deficit issue....and should not be confused with empathy.
  • I like to be very organized in day-to-day life and often make lists of the chores I have to do. Oh, I see. Now those of us who are a little OCD or anal retentive lack empathy? You guys need to write a better test, one that focuses *only* on empathy and doesn't get muddled up with other disorders.
  • I can tell if someone is masking their true emotion. Oddly enough, yes. This is a prime reason why I hate eye contact. The world is full of eyes saying one things while everything else about the person says another. It is very awkward and uncomfortable, and I do not know how to deal with it. When someone claims they having a great day but their eyes say "pain", what can you do? Probably if they are lying, they don't want to talk about it. Awkward...very awkward.
"Your score: 22 0 - 32 = low (most people with Asperger Syndrome or high-functioning autism score about 20) 33 - 52 = average (most women score about 47 and most men score about 42) 53 - 63 is above average 64 - 80 is very high 80 is maximum " See, folks...this is not really an empathy quotient test. This is a fast and dirty test for people on the autism spectrum. So many of the questions are slanted towards spectrumites and have absolutely nothing to do with empathy. Questions such as: "I prefer animals to humans.", "I find it difficult to explain to others things that I understand easily, when they don't understand it the first time" (how is a difficulty with articulating our thoughts a lack of empathy?). "I don't tend to find social situations confusing." ========================================================== I think that we either need to be very, very clear about what empathy means (reading minds and faces????) as opposed to what society thinks it means (caring whether someone gets hurt). People on the spectrum are getting a bad rap. We're losing custody of our children, marriage counselors caution our spouses to leave us based on our so called lack of empathy, and I could go on for a long time on this topic...but the bottom line is this: When Joe Schmoe hears that autistics lack empathy, his conclusion is that persons with autism are cold, heartless bastards who feel nothing for anyone but themselves, and that is simply not true. Make a better test. Make one that can detect a lack of empathy in an otherwise neurotypical person. Divorce "lack of empathy" from "autism spectrum" when designing and writing these tests.....because the test as is stands resembles one which purports to detect likelihood of running people down and biting them, when what it really is, is a test to find out whether one is a dog or a cat. Many dogs do not bite, and some cats do bite. This test is a sham and needs to be discarded. Edited to add: Here is a better and more intelligently, concisely written critique of the test: http://www.shiftjournal.com/2011/08/30/a-critique-of-the-empathy-quotient-eq-test-introduction-and-part-1/
Autism and Empathy

The standard definition of autism says that we do not feel empathy or that our empathy is impaired to a noticeable degree.

I will here link to a couple of interesting a relevant links:

http://www.journeyswithautism.com/category/empathy/

http://www.minddisorders.com/A-Br/Autism.html

http://autismblogsdirectory.blogspot.com/2011/09/simon-baron-cohen-replies-to-rachel.html

================================================
I don't have the training (yet) to write a good research paper on this topic....as stated before, I have been a Botany major until recently, not a psych major (yet). But what I have found in the hard sciences is that even a seemingly sound conclusion or study can be very, very flawed, because frequently, the researchers are seeking to reinforce conclusions that have already been drawn, and the methods are such that the results are predisposed to agree with what the researcher wants to find. In other words, people with an agenda are unlikely to want to deal with the conflict which might ensue should they be forced to seriously consider that thay might have been working under erroneous conclusions.

I posit the following on this subject:

Autistics have difficulty reading expressions and body language, and thereby ferreting out whether another person is upset. This is not the same as not caring that the person is upset.

Autistics, when they do realize that the person is upset, may not comprehend why and furthermore, may not know how to ask why. I am still frequently baffled by why people are upset about things which to me, do not seem worthy of expending energy upon.

Autistics generally have difficulty with expressing empathy. Now, stop and think about this from the perspective of an autistic person. We get upset quite a lot. The world is full of upsetting stimuli and disagreeable situations, and very little empathy is shown towards us as we attempt to cope with this. Even when we need help or sympathy, we don't know how to ask for it. We may be aching inside for it, but long experience has taught us that the response, if we can get one, is unlikely to be helpful or soothing. We soothe ourselves, because our demand for calming, for being soothed, can be fairly constant. If we don't comfort and soothe ourselves, it is unlikely to get taken care of, and then we will have a meltdown, and that is always exhausting and traumatic. The stimming and self calming behaviors become second nature to us. Frankly, there are times when I wonder why normal people cannot calm themselves in this way as well. Also, it seems selfish to ask for help, and very, very embarrassing, a sign of weakness, and of opening oneself up to hurt. To show weakness is to be vulnerable. So in all honesty, pointing out to a person that they are currently in a state of weakness and vulnerability which they cannot cope with themselves somehow....seems pretty awkward and even rude.

Also, there are no set rules for comforting people who in pain. People in pain are frequently dangerous, like wounded animals. They may lean into you and want a hug (problematic for those of us who do not like to be touched by strangers, without warning, or at all) or they may just as easily lash out verbally or physically. People with autism tend not to be well liked, unfortunately. We are used to being bullied and hurt and people cannot be trusted to be nice. If someone is in the throes of an emotional event, it may be best to let them calm down before approaching them.

Children and people who have been abused sometimes have an abnormal, dysfunctional response to the pains of other even when we feel sorry inwardly. Pain triggers us, and our response then becomes one of trying to makes ourselves feel better...not all that helpful for the person who is in pain.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Temple Grandin says that she (and by implication, other autistics as well) does not have a sub-conscious. I agree with her.

Other people say that autistics lack empathy. I do not agree with this.

More on both these subjects later as I am hurrying around packing for Quarterly.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The simple and unpleasant truth is that we are brought up believing lies. We're fed dreams from childhood.

And I can totally understand why you're not interested, and certainly everyone has the right to choose their own friends...but do you have to treat me like I have a contagious disease?
No. That doesn't add up. It was nice to think that maybe it was someone else's fault....but it's not. It's me. I'm not good enough. I have Asperger's syndrome and I'm socially awkward and...maybe not ugly, but not exactly pretty either and I have all sorts of problems.

And....maybe it is just kind of scary to talk to someone like that.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Just used up two large bundles of kale:

Kale chips:

Pull the stem off of the leaf, and tear the leaf into large pieces and deposit it into a bowl. Repeat for all. Then squeeze half a lemon over the kale, and sprinkle sea salt over it. Turn the kale over, squeezing it to distribute the lemon juice and salt. At this point, I added a couple of tablespoons of my fresh pesto sauce. Other people sometimes add nutritional yeast and olive oil. Squeeze and turn and mix until evenly distributed, turn oven to 250 degrees F, spread in a single layer on baking pans, and bake for 4-5 hours or until dry and crispy. Edited to add: this is way too hot and if they were in for 5 hours, they would burn. Use a dehydrator or turn the oven on warm. I will revise when I have the details correct. Store in ziploc bags or other airtight containers. One could also use parmesan cheese if desired....

Massaged kale salad

As above, except you tear it into smaller pieces and you don't add nutritional yeast. Massage and knead and rub and scrunch it up for 4-5 minutes until it turns a healthy vibrant green color and has taken on a softer texture. Apparently the standard way to make this involves massaging the flesh of an avocado into the salad after the leaves are properly tender....but alas, I had no avocado, so...I used more of my pesto sauce. It is good, but I think I would like to try the avocado in it next time.
Found the phone. At last. The mysterious strand of rectangular beads- agates.

And I just realized something: when I went on meds, it wasn't because I was depressed. I was because I could not pass my college algebra class or the Chem 111 (a 5 credit class!) and had even been having trouble with the memorization aspects of General Botany (was disappointed with the B I got, despite having been out for a month during that semester due to major surgery). I was having trouble with focusing, with my short term memory and with juggling a full course load of hard sciences, parenting 6 kids, commuting daily, and living with a bipolar boyfriend who usually woke me up by screaming at me for no particular reason.

The doctor said that having trouble focusing was a symptom of depression, so he put me on an anti-depressant. I was wanting to be evaluated for ADD, but that did not happen, and I did not stand up for myself.

And look where that has gotten me. :-/
When all else fails, edit and add to the other blog......
Cannot sleep. I laid down, thought of you...of you hiding your face from me...and I got back up again.

I could cry, could wish, could try to sort it out....but the house needs to be cleaned, and the others are only a waste of time. I don't think that I am ugly....but honestly, if I am, there isn't a whole lot that I can do about that, either...and the house still needs to be cleaned.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Also- finally priced the pottery on display at Common Knowledge Teahouse.

And....I want some Derwent Inktense pencils. It is only fair to use some of the supplies I have already...but that is the next art expenditure on the horizon. :-)
Well this is a bit unnerving.

I was already a little deficient in the short term memory area, unless it involved visual data. I was already a little ADD.

Going off of Cymbalta cold turkey has exacerbated both of these areas to a rather alarming degree.

And then we have the interesting little aspect of a pretty foggy, blurry spring and summer that I remember very little of anyway. I have no idea what I did with all that time. Apparently I survived, and that is good (I think). I get snapshots into all this when I try to find something, which in itself has been an adventure. Things are not categorized by type, or...not very much. I find very interesting stuff, like:

A clear plastic bag full of plyed handpsun wool yarn in bright colors. If I recall correctly, I was making the yarn for a knit hat in a Nordic pattern, because I got interested in knitting and wanted to refine my skill in that area. The thing is, it was in a drawer full of papers and....

Watercolor paper! Yes! I have some!

and old sketchbooks, ranging in time from last fall to my teen years. OK, let's not look at those just yet.

All the supplies to carve one or two linocut blocks. Um....that looks expensive. How did I afford that?

Henna natural hair dye. Huh. OK, whatever.....

A strand of beautiful rectangular beads in a stone I do not recognize. They're smoky and semi-transparent and have dark tracing lines running through them. I have no idea what these are, and as I make all of my own jewelry, I like to know what the stones are. They also look a little expensive. I don't wanna know.... Did I just spend money on whatever caught my eye?! Jesus Christ.....

Beads similar to what I wanted....red Tiger's Eye, not jasper....but I cannot afford to buy either one, and the necklace being repaired can be deconstructed and fixed again when I can afford more jasper.

And where did the large, flat, square labradorite pendant go???

Broken mouthpiece for my plastic alto recorder. Huh. Trash.

Lots of small pretty things such as seashells and polished stones....random beads and orphaned earrings...an exacto knife with a new blade. Hmmmmm. A spool of sturdy, heavy thread in sage green. Another forgotten purchase. Old photographs, valentines from early childhood (such a fool, I couldn't wait to grow up, thinking I would get "real" valentines then), several tins of Stockmar beeswax crayons (how many of these do I have, anyway?).

Meanwhile, I have lost my cellphone, the hand-pieced, hand-quilted quilt that I made after Daniel Haugen died...took at least 12 years to make it...(I suspect I left it at my ex's house and he's either thrown it away, sold it, or given it to a thrift store).....(ah, Daniel...you were a better person than I. You always knew the right things to say and do. If only you were still here, you'd know what I could do, where to put my feet without tripping on a landmine...I wish I had just a speck of your social finesse)....my chicken field guide (please don't laugh!) and the Sandhill Preservation catalog....and my underwear seems to have just vanished, apparently following the scent of the missing socks.

Hmmm. Life is interesting indeed. I had the cell phone just yesterday. It cannot have gone very far!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Why am I doing this? I take myself in hand.....look hard into the mirror in my mind, tell myself....it isn't going to happen. Relationships are for other people. Accept it.

God, why can't I accept that?

And on that note------> bed.
An INTP page Excerpt: "Sometimes, they have a problem reconciling the exciting visions of their internal worlds with the actuality of their external circumstances." Ouch!!!! Painfully accurate..except....the idea of pairing up with any kind of an E is unappealing. :-/
Am beginning to realize that I'm sort of a spontaneous, impulsive, risk taking, dreamy, forge your own trail kind of person.

This is somewhat of a surprise for some reason.

But I suppose it shouldn't be. In the world of MBTI, the INTP's always talked about how the J's of the world squelch our creativity and come to solid, set-in-concrete answers rather abruptly, and how irksome that is. We also discussed the pro's and con's of pairing up with other INTP's (for the record, I have begun to wonder whether INFP would be a more accurate type for me, particularly of late...except....so much about this mess is sort of classic "INTP tripped up by those damned feelings again". At any rate...). If I recall correctly, the con's included: one of the INTP's will have to assume responsibility for typical J type tasks such as organization, bills, budgeting, scheduling, etc. The INTP that gets stuck with this onerous (to an INTP!) task will grow to resent having to play the J in the relationship.

At some point, I should have had a wake up call here. This has happened to me in at least two of my relationships where the other party was a P type. Yes, yes...J's are responsible and a little restrictive at times...but they've got the structure, man. And an INTP without structure....(wince).

I think back to Daniel Haugen (driving past Wrenco Loop does that to me)- that guy was charming and fun and sensitive, affectionate, caring, thoughtful and kind...and he was zany and a dreamer with his head in the clouds. When I was 18 and he was 36, I had had very little exposure to the outside world....but already I had a tighter grip on reality than he did. I loved him dearly, but oh my, oh dear.....in time I would have grown to resent being the structure, the backbone, while he got to do all of the dreaming, particularly since I was still a kid.

I would have broken myself in half trying to make it work...but I'm not sure it would have.

It's not that the world doesn't need dreamers.....but. (hmmmm. I lost wherever I was trying to go with this)......well....maybe there's a place in the world for those J types, too. ;-)
This week: I need to call White's Outdoors and see why I do not have my boots yet, some 3 months after I sent them in. The Asics that I've been wearing offer very little protection for my feet while splitting wood, should the maul somehow land on my foot or ankle. Three months.... it's about time.

Also: price the work that is on display at Common Knowledge, start work on a commissioned drawing, glaze the fish sculpture. Find a new doctor. Harvest and dry the herbs in the garden for winter. Pick whatever is left of the other produce (neighbors picked most of it already...yes, for themselves...and no, I am not very happy about that). I don't mind sharing, but they picked every effing thing that was ripe and a lot that was not. I cannot believe it.

Anyway...also I want to try making kale chips tonight and dig up my gluten free scones recipe. I haven't made them since January.....but at some point, one has to reclaim life, a little bit at a time. Besides which, mine are better than the ones I've been paying $3 apiece for. That is my job for this week: to suck it up and make the scones without falling apart....to uncoil my tendrils and probe back into the art community....to try and live again, a little bit at a time.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

"When I finally understood what was going on, I said: Let's do like animals: wait, sleep, and don't despair. If you observe animals-I was born in the countryside- when they are wounded they don't make a fuss. They go into a corner and they sleep and they wait to heal. Sleep, wait, and don't think and don't despair. It will change."

From Invisible by Hugues De Montalembert....a book about an artist who was attacked by thieves who threw paint thinner into his eyes, blinding him almost instantly. But, it still sounds like good advice to me.

Friday, September 16, 2011

and I miss you beyond words....

and I shouldn't write these things, because i know that they just stack up higher and higher against me, as proof that I am unsafe and horrible because I still feel the same way.

Try to understand though. How can I say that, when I don't understand it myself? Before I fell for you, my gender was always a cross to bear, an inescapable millstone around my neck. I don't know how or why or what (and mostly how, because...well,it just doesn't make any sense), but something about you. For the first time in my life, I felt that it was not only safe to be female, it was nice. And also it was OK to just be myself, but being a woman felt natural and good for a change. All those years...decades...of feeling vulnerable and defensive and afraid...and it just fell away. I felt so safe when I was near you.

And for things to turn like this, it's just cruel. I'm not blaming you...I don't think it's your fault. But god, no. Please, wound me with anyone else, and I'll expect it, I can take it...but please, not with him. my heart was as open as a child's. Please, find another way to hurt me, instead.
I did not get the job. It was only for two days a week, stocking shelves. I have almost five years of experience....and I could have filled in for most of the other positions if people called in sick.

I cannot even get a job as a boxgirl.

It is so hard not to see this as another form of rejection, not to fall into the I'm-not-good-enough mind trap. I honestly do not think there could be an employee who could do that job better than me (not bragging, I'm just...saying. It's true).

But I'm not smiley and I'm not pretty and I am not good at self promotion...all things which help immensely in a job interview. God, it hurts. I feel like I'm such a failure, like I'm not good for anything, like I'm a waste of space and oxygen. It hurts...it hurts.
At a new (to me) coffee shop. The coffee is fantastic....decaf only these days.... They have a nice gluten free selection of baked goods (such a relief compared to the tempting offerings at most other places!) and the work of another potter that I haven't encountered before. They are also selling some coconut sap crystals, low glycemic alternative sweetener. I think of you immediately and wonder if you've tried these and what they taste like.

I use so little maple syrup and honey and even less sucanat....that I can't really justify buying any other sweetener anyway. Our gallon of honey will be long crystallized before I use it up, unless of course, I make applesauce when the apple harvest comes up (soon!! Hooray!). I loooooove homemade applesauce, thick and pink with pectin and apple skins, still tart because it's not all sugared up.....with a little bit of oatmeal or granola for breakfast.

Heh...I think my appetite is returning. :-)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sometimes I feel that my existence causes you pain. That all I do is to cause stress and anxiety and trouble. I don't want to do that. Sometimes I hate myself for being a thing that you dread.
I can't get drunk. No money, just coming off of cymbalta cold turkey, no way to get home, hangovers suck (and HOW they would suck in combination with the cymbalta withdrawal side effects!) and besides, I have to act like a responsible human being. Oh bother.

I don't know how the job interview went yet....I am no good at all at talking myself up. I do however, have a distinct advantage is versatility and being able to sub for multiple other workers if and when they call in sick. It will only be 2 days a week if I do get it, which at this point, is just as well.

The salmon are spawning, although not in the creek next to our house, yet. They are still energetic, zipping around quickly in the shallow water. They're so beautiful.

I still don't know what to do about long term goals and plans. If I got that degree, I would still want to farm on a small scale. It probably costs about the same, possibly a lot more to get the degree as it would to get the orchard started, but they don't have financial aid programs for struggling wanna be farmers. The truth of the matter is that I would probably be both more passionate and in a better mental state overall about farming, than if I had the MSW degree, assuming that I got a job I really liked. I don't like being slapped in the face everyday with the proof that other people don't like folks like me, that we have to pretend to be like the people who discriminate against us and make our lives more difficult than they have to be. That may sound like victim-speak, but I don't mean it that way. What I mean is, there are people who believe that I am fundamentally flawed and that my only (marginal) hope is to trot through life pretending to be normal, that who I am is not good enough, inherently not good enough. I don't want to surround myself with that. If we were talking about a Camphill Village, that'd be an entirely different matter.

And since I can't get drunk, I guess I'll go draw or something....
Screw it all. I want to get drunk. Really drunk.

And on that note....off to the job interview......
I love you.

I don't care what anyone says or if they think I'm messed up. I know what I feel and where my heart is and the rest of the world can go to hell.

Oh, I'll leave you alone if you want....but there is nothing that is going to change this. I will love you until the day I die, and maybe after then.
It’s 2 am and I find myself unable to go back to sleep….thinking about my former client, what his worker said about the Masters in Social Work degree, about my own experiences, and whether this is something that would work out well for me. I find it a little amusing and endearing that two of the people I know and love who have this degree were instantly offended by that guy’s opinion that this is an “easy” degree to get. One finally agreed upon “differently difficult” when I pointed out that it would, in fact, be a whole lot easier than, for example, the Masters in Botany that I had hoped to get (actually, I wanted to go to the doctorate level, but that seems sort of laughable now, so whatever). Suppose I could be na├»ve, but the psych classes I have taken so far have been easy for me compared to the hard sciences. The one tricky thing is that the “hard sciences” (and now it sort of makes me smile because Dr. Barney, huckleberry expert of the world, whom I was very privileged to have the opportunity to talk about plant breeding with, ruffled my feathers a bit when he called botany a “soft science”) are easier in that there are things which are certain and objective. My experience has been that the psych fields attempt to be objective, but in comparison, seem wildly subjective and full of assumptions, value judgments and attempts to make people feel good in various ways (hmmm, that wasn’t very succinct). Which means that there aren’t as many strictly right answers, but also there aren’t things you can rely on to be strictly true either. Given the level of fun that I had in Ethics class, that should make me happy, but when it’s people’s head we’re talking about possibly fucking around with…..then I’m not so happy about coming to decisions in that way. As a whole though? Yes, I do think it would be an easier degree than say, pitching everything I have into the botany major and trying with all my might to pass those chemistry classes. As far as I can tell (could be wrong!) there would not even be a Statistics class (that has got to be wrong…these people should at least understand statistics, surely??? If this is right then something is fucked up).

The time when I worked in that field was both one of my most fulfilling and most frustrating job experiences. I have Asperger’s, and for me, hearing the words, “because this is the way we do things here” or “Because those are the rules”, is wholly unsatisfactory. I want hard answers (see above for difference between hard and soft sciences!) that make sense and in my experience, this field can’t be much relied upon to provide that. I hated the senseless, agency serving paperwork that was almost solely for ensuring that the person continued to provide revenue and that we had done our job, even if we hadn’t. I still remember the day when an autistic client got through to me that she was synesthetic. We’d been spending hours every week trying to get her to speak about appropriate topics and not to talk about nonsense (it infuriates me that they felt the need to be the arbiters of what was and was not nonsense). For me, it was a breakthrough moment. Now I knew why she thought pink was soft and why red was high pitched in tone. Everything she did made so much more sense! I rushed in there excitedly, only to be given a bland agency-like look and was told to mark that she was still not doing well on sticking to appropriate speech. That pissed me off. My client had just become a hundred times more interesting to me than she already was, and all they cared about was trying to cram her into their little brain dead, sheeplike world. After all, if they were to acknowledge that it was not in fact inappropriate for her to talk about her sensory perceptions, then they would have to change her plan……and that couldn’t happen.

Maybe the agency I worked for was particularly bad. However, the mindset behind these plans…..the seeing people as revenue generating problems and disorders rather than wellsprings of potential and interesting differences who need to develop the tools to make it in the cold world of conformity……that really turned me off. I know that not everyone in the field is like that, but at times, I wonder if it is possible for a worker to benefit the client in spite of the bureaucracy paperwork surrounding the case. We don’t ever grow evenly. Sometimes a person will need to spend a lot more time in one area of their life than another and they really, really need to tend to that instead of whatever the flipping paperwork demands. I think about a client with MR who had been raped. It was all she talked about, because she had not received trauma counseling for it or if she had, she wasn’t over it yet, and I felt like if she needed to talk that out and get it off her chest, then that was the issue at hand. It wasn’t anywhere in her plan. At all. I don’t think anything about it had been written in her notebook. I only found out because she told me and when I inquired of my co-workers and overlords, it was confirmed with the opinion that said client was “looking for attention” and “should get over it”. It takes all my willpower not to wish that those women knew what that kind of trauma is like…because nobody should know that…but god, they could at least have some compassion!!! I know….have felt her pain….but it was not in her plan to seek resources to enable her to recover from that trauma. As far as I know, she is still walking wounded and that brings tears to my eyes.

I can’t work in that field. There is too much pain, it strikes too close to home, and I can’t deal with being surrounded by people who care more about the paycheck than the clients. I never could leave it at work…. If I could help them, it’d be different. But I know what will happen. My hands will be tied again based on societal expectations of “appropriate” and “acceptable” behavior and what can and cannot make money for the agency. Yes, I am that cynical.

I want to work with autistic kids but….in my opinion there is still not enough neurodiversity acceptance going on for me to be able to do it. Maybe I could get that degree and just do art therapy with it? I don’t know…..I just do not ever want to be in that horrible position where I know that I am not helping my client, that what I am being told to do is not working, but I am told to keep doing it because it is in the plan, without any real regard for whether or not the plan is actually helping that person, again. I felt like it was fraud, like we were ripping the government off and using disabled people to do it. One of the more intelligent clients had already realized this. I could only admit my shared disillusionment, but there I was, showing up every day at work, faithfully collecting my paychecks every two weeks. I felt so guilty…knew that I was failing them but was powerless, hands tied, to do much about it. Maybe not all the agencies are like that. Maybe….hmmmm. There has got to be a way…. I think of Camphill. Perhaps the thing to look at is how much choice I would have in who I worked for. A lot of these people are not getting what they need. Speaking honestly, I don’t know that I have been getting what I needed, but there were exceptions, and what a world of difference they have made.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Little miss too-smart-to-use dreamweaver-to-write-a-website can't figure out how to upload an image to one of her favorite discussion boards, the shortskoolbus. Hrmmm. But, she can post it here and link to it from there. Ha.

(Yeah, that's a little embarrassing...just a little bit, ya know?)

Hmmm. I just ran into a former client and his current worker, who suggests that I get an MSW degree as it will give me more options and job security than an art therapy degree.

I have to confess (selfishly?) that it sort of makes me smile inside that when I run into the folks I used to work with, they always seem to miss me. :-)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Started adding detail and revisions to the other blog: http://idahohardtimes.blogspot.com/

As always, comments and suggestions are welcome.
I was feeling good...and then my ex had to go and tell me how hopeless life is for aspies...how love is a dream and a fairy tale. Look at what just happened to you, he says....

I want to bitchslap him, hard!

Asshole! But in any case, I did not need to be thinking about that just now. Am going for a hike. It is my own fault for letting him ramble on and listening to it. God, what a jerk.

Monday, September 12, 2011

I have decided that I don't have a problem with porn....at least not the type that involves consenting adults and is not abusive/demeaning, etc. This is a change, because I used to think that porn was degrading to women by its very nature, that it objectifies us. To be honest, I don't think I'd feel real happy about it if I was with a partner who seemed to prefer porn to the real thing....other women are threatening even when they're on paper! :-P

Anyway...after actually reading a Playboy, I have changed my mind. What on earth is wrong with celebrating the beauty of a nicely put together woman? And---> they look healthy. Most of them weren't as toned as they should be, but at least they weren't emaciated, which is a total contrast to the women's magazines and fashion crapola that gets fed to females. Ladies! Pick up a Playboy and look it over: these girls don't have skinny little asses.....their ribs aren't sticking out...they're curvy. I think we've been fed a line of shit. It is clear to me that we do not have to be rail thin to appeal to most guys. This is liberating!

So, yeah. I looked through the entire mag. Then I put it down and went and looked at my own body in the mirror and...for all this feeling fat that I've been doing, I realized: I am not at all fat. It would be nice to be more toned, to be carrying more muscle and less flab, but there is nothing there to make a guy scream and run, lol......well, maybe most guys.... blush.....there's not much to be done about C section scars, lol.

I mean, my point is that I think women have been suckered into this ideal body image that isn't realistic or even that attractive. Happy faces, nicely rounded boobs, curvy asses.....that's attractive. Being comfortable in the skin you're in, that's a whole lot more appealing than trying to cover it up and obsess over why it isn't good enough.
Found an incredibly cheap piece of land. It is so cheap that even I can almost afford it.

What it probably is not: good for farming.

I could either live on it or clean it up and resell to come up with the money to pay off the loan to buy it and put a down payment on actual farming land. In order to do that, I would have to work very, very hard to get it cleaned up while the other land is still cheap.
arrrgh....advocating for my kids in school should not be this much work!

They're playing a Brandi Carlile CD I haven't heard before...though some of the songs are.....i have to find out what this one is....it's great...playing "Oh Dear" right now. :-)

It makes me sad to see things go extinct....and people don't usually think of domesticated animals and plants as being in that category, so they just fall right between the crops. I once bred a wonderful, very early, very reliable winter squash variety that did well in our area with its short season and cool nights. I shared the seeds, hoping that other people would grow it too....It was nice to look at, had dark orange, sweet flesh that tasted a lot life sweet potatoes...I loved that squash. And I lost it. I don't know how this could have happened, but it's true. Moving and homelessness will do that to you....it makes me sick. And all the people I had shared seed with? None of them saved seed for the next year. They all agreed that it was a wonderful variety....but I think they just sort of figured that they could get more seed from me. :-(

Once something is truly gone like that, you can't ever get it back. It's just gone. And in domesticated crops, plants, trees, poultry and livestock, it happens all the time, unfortunately.

When I get to farm again (not if, when), I am going to grow some of those things. I want to join the SSE even though I have major issues with the way they treated their founder, Kent Whealy.

And if I ever manage to recreate that squash variety I lost....I am saving a lot of seed and stashing some of it in a safety deposit box or something. :-(

Sunday, September 11, 2011

At last...the weight is slowly beginning to come off.

Got a new splitting maul yesterday...think I sort of scared the salesmen, lol. split a few rounds today, but my body is still weak and wrung out, like a limp noodle. Sucks to be weak!

Idea: make wreaths to sell for holidays.

I want to farm. I don't feel like myself living in the nice house with a standard lawn. I need outside dogs that stay outside most of the time....to be able to grow and harvest and weed and collect eggs and milk and prune and split and plan for the next year....the interconnectedness of rural life....I need that.

I have to find a way to get to there.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Tell me

am i wrong for feeling sad

am i wrong for missing you

am i wrong for thinking that if only i'd been able to find the right things to day

the right things to do

the right social posturing

all the right things i never know what to do

that maybe at least things wouldn't have gone so

horribly bitter

so unlike any way i would ever want anything to be with anyone i know

oh this hurts

i was wrong to love you

and i couldn't help it.....you were so...so...

so just the right color

so just the right music

so just like a puzzle piece that was always supposed to be there

and you are so easy to love.

and i was weak.

you were so like dancing with someone who flows like

like....

maybe like those fish when they spawn

they always know where the other one is

they always move in harmony

the lateral lines allow them to do that

you and i have no lateral lines...so i don't know.

i was wrong to hurt

wrong to cry

wrong to wrestle and fight and struggle

to try to understand

to try to fix, to unbreak, to solve the impossible equation

but even impossible equations have a set range of potential answers

to not be able to believe that you hate me

to not be able to not believe it

god, whatever i did, it was fucking wrong!

wrong to let someone in so close

to those ancient wounds

they all tell me wrongwrongwrongwrongwrongwrongwrong.

they are heartless to say that

i would rather be wrong than heartless.

but

i hurt you

and upset you

and scared you

and made you uncomfortable

in spite of never having wanted to do any of those things

i don't know if i am able to do any things right.

:-/
Almost no appetite. And yet somehow, almost no weight loss. Makes no sense.

More randomness:

Realized that the arrhythmia/palpitations are not occurring only during sleep, I simply notice them a LOT more when I'm asleep. NO caffeine today, so will see if that has been playing a role. Doesn't seem to be actually dangerous, just frightening.

After my second, much nicer drop spindle got broken, I decided I wasn't going to buy a third. These things are expensive! The model that broke looked like this:



Photo is from the shop's website, A Child's Dream Come True. Turkish spindles are nice because the crossbars come apart, leaving a neat center-pull ball of yarn. One does not have to unwind the yarn and roll it into a ball as with standard spindles, and even better, the yarn can be plied directly from that center pull ball very easily. Its labor saving aspects are significant enough to offset the higher price....and to spoil the user into never using a regular spindle again!

So I was pretty upset when I found out that someone had sat on it, breaking the shaft (OK, that sounds all wrong, my mind is in the gutter, but, whatever) so...what was I saying again? Um. Hmmm. Oh yeah, right. Broken spindle. This is the second time a spindle's been broken this way. This time, the break looked like something I could repair....so I glued, clamped, dried, sanded.....and now...an almost new spindle!. :-)

Meh...there was more, but I'm tired, still getting effects of meds wearing off. Later.
Maybe I was angry all along but the medication masked it with storming oceans of pain.
Wow, I've been prickly lately.....one of the apparent joys of sudden discontinuation of this particular med. What I cannot figure out: why (and whether) this is the cause of the palpitations/arrhythmia, which is beginning to make serious inroads into my sleep allocation. They don't seem to be actually hazardous though...the assertive aggressive bitchiness on the other hand...

I am still upset about the Friend's meeting... I feel totally unsupported, and that's not new...but. I don't know. Maybe it's self pity talking here, but I just sort of feel like I was kicked while I was down, yet again. And I feel like they chose my ex over me. Because he doesn't have any kids (other than his grown singleton)...and this is the meeting that pushed the Overpopulation minute through while I was gone one Sunday (yes, in fact, I do feel that way about it-it was well known that our meeting was not in unity on that thing). He doesn't have an autistic 5yo running around and presenting childcare crises. I do. He hasn't been falling apart in public. I have. And if standing aside and letting him harass me in the meeting house isn't too surprising, being taken aside and urged to allow him to engage with my son is just....taking things too far. I am offended and I am hurt.

Even when this situation gets ironed out....I don't know. I just feel betrayed and I wasn't aware of it until I went to the Moscow Friends meeting and remembered what going to meeting used to be like. Before it was an instrument of manipulation. When I could trust people.

Friends (non-Quaker friends) tell me to start going elsewhere...but as anyone who has been reading this blog knows well by now, changes of heart don't come easily for me. Even if I am not able to go to meeting at this time, I am still a Quaker. Maybe a Bad Quaker.....but still...a Quaker.

Friday, September 09, 2011

If there’s one thing that pisses me off in the autism awareness circles (aside from the whole “curing” debacle), it’s when people who are not themselves on the autism spectrum purport to be experts and authorities on the subject ….such experts that they know even more about the topic than autistics do.

(Yes, I am aware that it’s un-PC to call ourselves autistics, but I simply don’t care. I am not going to fucking write “persons with autism” each and every time. We’re autistic and we’re blunt and to the point and as long as some person doesn’t point to me and say, “Oh look, an autistic!” it really does not matter to me, particularly when the topic is being discussed in an impersonal way. After all, I call you “normal” people Normals and just so you know, it isn’t entirely complimentary. Now, back to your regular program of aspie contrariness.)

Look, folks: I don’t care who you are, unless you are autistic yourself, you will never, ever really comprehend it. It’s sort of like how I will never really understand what it is like to be male, or black, or to have cerebral palsy, or to be president, because it is impossible for me to be these things. It wouldn’t matter if I studied maleness for my entire life and gave speeches until I was blue in the face…..I could not really be an expert on being male. For me to suggest otherwise would just be preposterous.

Similarly, I, as an aspie, cannot claim to know what it is like to be (I hate this term) “Low Functioning” autistic (and from now on, I will be using the standard AS, LFA, and HFA to designate these categories. I would like to clarify right here that there I don’t like the labels and that I personally do not consider any of these types of autism to be “better” than another type. If you can’t understand that, then please go read Amanda Bagg’s blog). Also, a person with LFA or HFA cannot know what it is like for me to be aspie. (We might commiserate and compare notes and discuss our various challenges, but still…....

And see, this is something which the so-called experts do not, as a rule, do. They do not come to us and pick our brains and ask for our input and insight. Oh, hell no. They tell us about how and why we think what we do, which I think is pretty fucked up! That sort of thing has a label: hubris. I mean, if an “expert” wants to go and have a mental pissing match with another so-called expert, that’s their business, I guess. Normal people seem to get off on trying to act impressive and self-important….so whatever, fine…go for it. But to get so arrogant as to write books and papers and have speaking engagements on how we think…..to dictate and announce to the world that you know how we think….I guess it makes money and all, but seriously, you folks are imposters.

We are not a species of flora or fauna which cannot speak for itself. Many of us can speak and more of us can write or type. If you really want to know what an autistic thinks, how they perceive things, don’t read a book written by a normal….especially that nasty female normal who writes about aspies and love…she’s a bitch with a vendetta along with being a poseur….ask an autistic person. Most of us don’t bite. I can’t really claim to be one of them, but I promise that I only bite those whom I know and love…and that I don’t bite hard anyway! ;-) We don’t have a disease, we are not contagious, nor are we ignorant of our own thought processes, because the majority of us are highly introspective folk.

And this is why…I’m not sure that I can support this “autism awareness” thing any longer. It’s too much like Autism Speaks, an organization which will not allow any autistics within its ranks, nor are we allowed to give any kind of input on how we feel about their fantasies of “curing autism”. I think we autistics should have a group and call it “Neurotypicalism Speaks”. We can express our disappointment with the shallowness, deceit, cruelty, materialism, etc. exhibited by Normals and talk about how this is a disease which has to be cured because it is killing society and worse, the environment. No normal should be allowed to protest or to be any part of the organization. We should lobby Congress to cure Neurotypicals and point out that most crimes are committed by nasty neuros, and how hard it is to raise these kids, etc…because we, as children and parents and siblings of normal people, know how damaging these folks can be to people such as ourselves. See how stupid that sounds?

Oh, wait. I strayed from one pet peeve to another. :-/
So, I’m just going to come right out and say it. When you find a person who claims to be an expert on autism, to know how we think, and they are not autistic, THEY ARE A FRAUD. They want your money and your respect. Don’t give them either.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

I keep seeing attractive women and then experiencing the odd sensation of the sudden flare of interest dying down like the flame of a paper match.....because my heart knows what it knows...and I cannot argue with it.

i am, however, thankful to no longer be obsessed, so I can't really complain much. Being alone is OK by me...solitude is precious.
Beginning to wonder if this is some kind of sleep disorder that involves the arrhythmia...because it happened again last night, at approximately the same time of night. Hmm.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

I am sooo tired and sleep deprived right now.

And....I want to live somewhere else. And to farm. Even if I have to lease land from someone else or work in exchange for growing space....I am tired of jumping through hoops and the endless driving and....I don't know. I just tired of it. I don't want to spend another winter there if I can help it.

It seems like I saw an ad somewhere for 7 acres for 16K. Tomorrow's task (after jumping through hoops to indicate submission, blech!): go to the agricultural extension office and try to find info to come up with a workable business plan.

And: the one good thing to come from today's thoroughly useless trip to CDA: I got some masking fluid. I have had some ideas for a watercolor/mixed media technique and now I can try that out.
Woke up with arrhythmia scaring the bejeezus out of me....around 11 PM last night. I am chagrined to admit that it freaked me out badly enough that going to the ER was the chosen course of action. This was partly due to having just read the side effects of discontinuing the particular medication that I have been off of for a week now....the list is pretty sobering, and I wasn't even aware that quitting a med could wreak such havoc.

Long story short, I need to quit caffeine and be nice to myself, and there isn't a whole lot to worry about. Something called PSVT that I still need to look up.

But being sleep deprived and nauseous/dizzy (side effects of med discontinuation) does make me a little crabby.

Which brings me to the next subject, the Pacific Northwest Quarterly Meeting. I am a Quaker. A non-theist Quaker, but still....this is the group that I fellowship with. My lack of conviction or certainty in regard to a personal deity doesn't change that this is a source of support, comfort, friendship and meaning in my life. And for the past several months, when I have needed this more than ever.....my ex, who is not only not a Friend but has no real interest in Quakerism, has been attending regularly with the goal of harassing me and alienating me from my support network. At least, that's how I see it.

Don't ask. I tried, fruitlessly. Friends are kind folk who give people the benefit of the doubt. Never mind that the man had been abusive, controlling and toxic to myself and children and that he never came to meeting at all until he ran out of other ways to engage with me. Not. Once. No, that doesn't matter. That is coincidental. And it would be fine if he didn't follow me around like an animal waiting for me to drop dead or start bleeding, despite repeated requests to let me and my son alone.

sigh....it is so hard to write this without feeling and sounding bitter.

I have to protect my son. This is my job and my duty. I feel like I've been pushed out of my Meeting by this man, and everyone stands by, condoning his behavior and asks me what my problem is. Folks, my problem is that this man is hassling me on an almost daily basis, insulting me and begging to go camping with my son, saying that they are "best friends". Sorry, no. A 60 year old man should not be friends with a 16 yo boy. It's (gasp, I had to use that word!) inappropriate....especially when the man has no other close friends and has a controlling and overpowering personality. Oh my. I am becoming a Bad Quaker. :-/

So....I am going to Quarterly. I am printing out the emails where he tells me that I contribute nothing to the Friend's meeting here, that I take and take and give back nothing, that the people there support him and think I am unreasonable. I will have documentation from professionals regarding this man and the effect he has had on my son. I will point out that my son does not want to spend his weekends with this man. Folks, I don't know what else to do. Getting a no-contact order will probably just result in being totally unable to attend meeting. :-/

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Just bartered half an hour of help cleaning up before closing for the local pizza place (organic, high quality, not a fast food type- I have my standards!!!) in exchange for wireless, espresso, and a wonderful greek salad. :-)

Monday, September 05, 2011

Seriously considering the art therapy idea. I was in Moscow over the weekend, visting my sister for my birthday (kind of takes some of the sting out of being another year closer to being over the hill), we went to the Moscow farmer's market and visited several of the small shops there.

Random observations:
  • Their farmer's market is HUGE and so vibrant! I loved it! There was a potter who was making plates with red kokanee salmon...I wanted one so, so badly, but had no cash on hand, alas.
  • There are SO many attractive gay women there. It isn't often that I find myself feeling too feminine for comfort.... They are beautiful.
  • There is a LOT of organic farming going on there, including an organic goat dairy, an organic creamery (cow) and countless organic vegetable farms. Orchards appear to be fewer in number but are present.
  • Also- there are a lot of potters, artists, and artisans, a lot of emphasis on "green" art and socially concious stuff.
  • Folks, if I ever move, add Moscow to my list of potential relocation sites....(before it was coastal only)
  • and, in one of the aforementioned small shops, the owner had an entire (long) wall of paintings, renditions of well known paintings. They were very good. They were done by a death row inmate. The talent going to waste....slated for the executioner's chair, saddens me...which in no way condones whatever crime the guy committed (assuming he wasn't wrongfully convicted!). The father of the shop owner brings art supplies to the inmate. Art therapy for prisoners....not a field I would necessarily be drawn to, but meaningful and noteworthy nonetheless.

I have this idea..that ALL art is therapeutic and cathartic. I don't think that we as a society recognize this sufficiently, and particularly when it come to children. We are inclined to view art as a disposable nicety in our schools, a craft whose value is to please the parents with pretty pictures to affix to the fridge. :-/

I don't think I would have been able to endure the late winter and spring without being able to plunge my hands into the clay and made physical embodiments of my pain, to purge it by giving it a physical presence outside of myself. Art is not only not always "nice" and "pretty", it is also essential to any civilization and to every person, whether we recognize it or not. I think that not being able to express oneself is (looking for the right word here) toxic? Nope, that isn't the right word. Oh well. Will fix later.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

No, it's more like waking up and finding yourself sitting in the aftermath of some kind of natural disaster. I look around at my life, people ask me what I am going to do...and I honestly do not know what to say. I am speechless on this topic.

I know that I have to sign up for some classes somewhere, or I will lose the 6 month grace period on my student loans. But.....where exactly was I headed, degree wise? I'm not sure I even knew what the hell I was doing. Ugh!!!!

I mean...I have more science credits than I will ever need, because I was headed into botany before realizing that math and chemistry weren't just going to be a long uphill climb (I was prepared for and committed to that), they are virtually impossible for me. I have this really nice IQ and I am somehow totally incapable of it. :-/

So I switched into Fine Art. WTF????? Did I have a long term goal there? I mean, seriously??? The Fine Arts classes didn't mesh with the bus schedule. Perhaps I should have moved to Coeur d'Alene. But.....for whatever foolish reason, I didn't.

Psychology: That's the last place I was headed when life blew up in my face, or when I jumped into life's sewage treatment plant, or whatever the hell you want to call it. It was probably my best chance at getting an actual job, because I suddenly remembered this morning what it was that I had in mind: I wanted to do art therapy, preferably with autistic kids. And now I am left wondering whether a psych degree was the correct direction for me to be going in order to attain that goal, and whether that is truly what I want to do. I don't want to work with groups of kids. One or two or three, OK....I am really more of a one-on-one person, so being an art teacher didn't hold much appeal for me. I also don't want to deal with having to encourage my clients to behave in "appropriate" behaviors and interactions, because generally, it meant that I had to tell that I had to tell them to be inauthentic, that who they were wasn't good enough. They had to strive to be half-hearted imitations of "normal", a status quo that I personally hated myself.

So I am asking myself whether having a commercial orchard and farm is a realistic goal. I am not even sure what degree I would need to go into some sort of therapeutic art with troubled or disabled kids or people. Hmmm.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Found it! It was in the truck in the "what-if-I-have-to-stay-in-that-place-which-shall-not-be-named-online" bag.. Which sort of indicates how attached I am to that particular article of clothing....lol
If anyone hears some garbled sounds of frustration off in the distance, it's me looking for my fucking Pink Floyd T shirt.

Now, I have no rational reason why I have to find that T shirt. I have a shirt on. I have about 20 other shirts, way more than I need (and I am gonna get rid of them so I can find the one I want when I want it!!!!!!!).

  • It is larger than my other shirts.
  • It is the *softest* T shirt I have.
  • It's black, and black is my favored color of choice other than a very particular shade of blue.
  • The design on the front is nice, kind of blurred out.
  • And here I run out of rational reasons why it has got to be that shirt and not a different one.

Once, several months ago, I thought someone had wound up with it via the community laundry room. Oh, my. I think I scrutinized each and every person here on a daily basis to see if they were wearing it (blush). Of course, I had simply misplaced it, found it a few weeks later (and was SO happy to have it again).

I wish I could say that this sort of behavior was confined to this shirt...alas, that is not the case. When I get attached to a particular necklace or pair of shoes, or jeans, etc.....I will wear it until it literally falls apart. In fact, I have a blanket that is doing exactly that. And I think that's OK.

The thing is---> I need to get rid of all the other stuff. Ha!

Thursday, September 01, 2011

I feel like I've just awakened from a very long and grueling dream. Was it the medication (because it sure as hell wasn't helping me)? How could I just wake up and feel absolutely fine like this? Did I finally get enough full nights of sleep? Several stress free days?

I don't know, but whatever it was, I'm glad it's over and I hope that it continues like this.

And...look: I am so, so, sorry. I was a pain in the ass, and I am sorry.

And now.....what to do with the rest of my life?