Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I got a call to come and model yesterday! Short notice (about an hour and a half!), but one of my selling points is that I'm always willing to fill in on a last minute basis if another model cannot or does not make it. Apparently there is an issue with art models being unreliable and not showing up, so I have made a point of always being there early when I'm scheduled and being a dependable substitute as well. :-) I didn't realize it, (miscommunication!!!) but the drawing classes did not even start until last night, so for the past several weeks I'd been expecting to be called to model and then felt let down when the calls didn't come through....from now on I will be keeping in contact with the guy who runs the classes rather than the administrator, because he's the one who has a better handle on what's going on. And the really great news is that he wants me to come back next week! Yes!

Of interest: I haven't noticed as much of a difference in terms of not feeling dissociated after modeling. My partner (can I call him that? Not sure....) and I have been working on the dissociation issues together and while there have been flashes of intense in-my-body sensations, I would have to say that the progress has been gradual. I don't find myself feeling completely dissociated at all anymore. The last time was during a PTSD moment. I used to be dissociated most of the time, which is sort of hard to imagine now.... So, this is very good. It takes a bit of the zing out of modeling,but there is still the general satisfaction related to the job and art...and of course the pay is always quite good and very welcome.

And--->have decided to quit mourning the wool/silk crochet lace scarf that got stolen from my house. Going to spin some more silk-wool blend and make a new one. At some point, will do the same with the Prismacolor pencils...and the Turkish drop spindle.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Feeling happier...and more creative. I have more or less given up on all of the modeling jobs though...if I want income, clearly I am going to have to make more hats or other things, or possibly work for my friend on her farm. If one of the modeling jobs comes through, great, if not......

And....as part of that...I need to find an old fashioned iron, the kind that you put on a wood stove to heat up.

I looked at one of my old sketchbooks today, from 2009/early 2010. It went from really cool ideas to pain, to scattered ideas...to nothing. It just dropped off to nothing. Well. I'm back now. Time to get back to doing the things that made me myself. I need to get strong enough inside to be able to bear up better under stress.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

And...once again, I am unable to attend the FLGBTQC gathering. :-( If I couldn't manage to get to Quarterly, I sure as heck can't get to Philadelphia.
Someone tell me why I cannot find the simplest weedy plants, merely because I want specific plants?

The day before yesterday, I needed yarrow, a very ubiquitous plant...and I could not find it anywhere. Well, actually, half of the problem was that I couldn't find any with seed heads, and the leaves are difficult to distinguish from other apiaceae plants such as Queen Anne's lace and various lomatium species. Some of it may have been yarrow, but all of the seed heads were something else and none of the leaves were unequivocally yarrow so I played it safe, because it was going to be used as an herb. And arnica- forget it! I didn't expect to find arnica that day anyway, it's not as easy to find as yarrow. Yesterday I needed mullein. Mullein can be seen by roadsides, in fields, everywhere. It's that plant with the very soft, pale gray green leaves arranged in a ground hugging rosette, which sends up a tall flower spike in its second year, sort of phallic looking with little yellow flowers. I couldn't find that either. Maybe this is because it's getting late in the fall....I need to pick a bunch of it when I find some, it's good used as a tea to relieve sinus congestion from colds.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I love this song...even though it always makes me feel like crying.

I am so cold.

I have lost so much weight (no longer sure how much, can't afford the health club any longer) and with so little fat on my bones, am cold nearly all the time. I have been trying to eat all sorts of things to put a little bit of weight back on (not a lot, just enough so that the jeans I have will continue to fit, and those range in size from 1-3...): a pint of ice cream, serious ice cream, every other day, fatty cheeses, meat, sausage....I haven't resorted to bacon yet, but perhaps that would be a good idea. How to put on weight without cholesterol?

I need to learn how to knit socks with my handspun wool yarn. And sweaters. Nice, thick socks....mmmmmmm......

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Playing in my head: Again Today, by Brandi Carlile. My headphones are broken, so cannot listen to it in real time.

My not-friend has a doppel-ganger running (bicycling, actually) around town. Disconcerting!

And...my heart is jumping, making me cough. :-P

Monday, October 22, 2012

Understand: I am very pro-neurodiversity and I oppose the idea of an autism "cure" 100%. On that note....

It drives me a little nuts to see children and teens who are clearly on the spectrum who are not receiving services, learning the tools they will need in order to get by in a world which is still dominated by people who are either normal or claim to be. These kids are frequently home schooled and while I don't oppose home schooling, for a kid on the spectrum, it's often another strike against them, another barrier to their long term success, unless the parents are taking pains to expose them to opportunities in which they will learn how to mix with other people and yes, to be able to cope with the nastiness that their peers will dish out. It isn't as though people suddenly quit playing head games once they turn eighteen.... Finally, these homeschooled kids who aren't getting any kind of help to learn how to interact with mainstream society, who are being sheltered both for better and for worse, from that society, are usually undiagnosed.

There was one....I don't remember how old she was but it was frighteningly close to eighteen...brilliant girl. She'd memorized all of Shakespeare....I'm not kidding. She was a sweet, intelligent, multi-talented girl with incredible potential. She has very limited social skills. Conversing with her (and keep in mind that this is coming from a fellow aspie) was fairly problematic, because there wasn't a lot of give and take in the conversations. She was interesting. I like her. Her social skills are very, very rudimentary and do not allow the rest of her abilities to shine. It's like being confronted with myself at her age....painful.

Unless her parents are wealthy and leave her with a trust fund or something, she's screwed for adulthood as things stand now. Her mother did not want to have her evaluated for an autism spectrum disorder, because of labels, etc, not understanding what positive effect it would have, and so on. I was finally able to convince her that her daughter is going to need that label, and last I heard, she was being evaluated, yay! Without that label, people can legally discriminate against her. It isn't as though not having the label is going to protect her from being obviously different.

And today, I met another one. She's in her mid teens, obviously on the spectrum, obviously not getting any help. People who do not know any better are going to assume she's of low intelligence...due to the inaction of a well meaning parent somewhere. That's beyond sad. It pisses me off.

I need work.

And...to plant my garlic. I am thoroughly pissed off about the loss of my garden tools. The guy who took them returned and took a bunch of other stuff, mostly not mine but probably not his either....and it looked like he was planning on taking the propane tanks! They are empty, but....dream on, man. No fucking way. I need to catch this guy, sick of this.

And--> he said he knew my ex, says that my ex "seems a little retarded". WTF?! He might be my ex, but that's not OK, and it isn't true. Ex or not, the guy is fairly brilliant, particularly in comparison to this loser. There is enough vestigial loyalty left for me to bristle at this... I did not spend 8 years and bear 3 children with a guy who was a "little bit retarded". Grrrr. Not having sense enough to stop there, the next time he saw me, with the guy I'm seeing, he started in on him. Anyone with sense would see that if it's not OK to insult my ex, it sure as hell isn't going to be OK to insult someone I'm with and obviously enjoying being with. What. a. dolt.

I would loooooove to catch this jerk on camera, sneaking around and thieving from me.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Bored and angsty. I am having a terrible time distinguishing between "introverted man who likes quiet and space", "avoidant man" and "Busy/stressed/tired/preoccupied man" behavior. At any rate....in town burning time while my oldest at-home son works. Youngest son, who is with me today, is usually awfully hyperactive and talkative, but today he's a little more subdued, in the wake of an allergic reaction to cats. The laundry is tumbling wastefully in a current of hot air..wastefully because I should line dry it, but it got kind of mildewy outside, so I want to be sure that it dries really well, to kill any mildew spores. Also the weather has been a bit damp for successful large scale line drying.

So....I had to take it out somewhere....yes. Not being in a mood for good behavior , I went and jumped headfirst into a debate on gay marriage...on the ultra conservative Homesteading Today forum. Oh, the joy of having someone to take it all out on! It gets tiring to make the same arguments every time, so my approach today is, fine: you want to deny marriage to gay people based on your religious beliefs, A-OK, really. Make it equitable, though. Make "marriage" a strictly religious institution, devoid of all governmental regulation, protection, sanction, etc. Everyone who wants civil rights attached to the relationship status can get a civil union. If you want both, then get both....but legal protection needs to be available to everyone regardless of orientation.

Friday, October 19, 2012

All three modeling jobs have flaked out on me so far. One of these still has hope though, so I won't start whining about it yet. I was inquiring about it when the woman in charge of the place and I launched into a discussion of pottery/ceramics. I lamented the lack of a kiln and she mentioned pit firing. I have everything I need to make pit fired ceramics: earth, a shovel, fuel, clay....sawdust would make it even easier but sawdust can't be hard to find. Moreover, because hardly anyone pit fires ceramics anymore, it's a niche in what can be a very competitive market. There are a lot of potters around here...I haven't seen any pit fired pottery though. There's some wood fired pottery (using a wood fired kiln), which would be the next step up from pit fired in terms of away from nature/basic/primitive techniques and towards industrialization. The only hitch I can detect so far is that pit firing pottery is much more successful if you bisque fire the pieces first, and I have no affordable way to do that. So now...I am wondering if it's possible to do the bisque firing in the pit as well.

Monday, October 15, 2012

An interesting paper about anthocyanins in cereals.

The specific cereal I'm looking at here is purple corn. That link goes to one variety, probably there are several very old, native varieties of purple corn from South America. It is used, among other things, for a purple corn drink.

What I haven't found out yet is whether it will grow reliably up here.

What an ethereally beautiful song... I have a train of thought circulating in my head about this but am not sufficiently awake yet to articulate it competently.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Had a great weekend. I've been trying to clean our place up, both the stuff and trash left behind by former renters and the usual housecleaning inside...but for the amount of time that I spend cleaning and throwing stuff away, it doesn't seem to show a whole lot of improvement. I have this theory though, that the level of cleaning has to reach a certain point before it starts to look considerably better, i.e. when an area is 50% cleaned up it still looks awful even though you are half way through. Inside, I would like not only for the place to look cleaner, but also to have things organized such that like items are all together and an item can be easily located. Anyway....

Went to...I guess it would be called an antique store even though not everything is vintage? A majority of the merchandise was antique and the items had been carefully selected so it wasn't a high end thrift store, therefore it must be an antique store. An awful lot of the stuff was very kitschy, just knickknacks and cutesy stuff. I was about halfway through the place before I found anything that was really appealing, and just as I remembered that this would be a great place to look for wool combs (not cards, combs!), they wanted to close up shop. They had an old, presumably still functional corn sheller, labeled as a corn husker. How on earth they thought that thing would remove husks is beyond me, but at any rate, I want it! It would be really useful for quickly removing the corn kernels from the cobs. If peak oil occurs, corn will not be cheap and readily available and neither will other grains. I don't know what organic corn for livestock costs, but it's easy enough to grow and our climate is such that pasturing poultry or livestock year round isn't possible. There was a lot of very useful stuff there for living off grid or farming. I've also been wondering what people used to make soap, since you must use a non-reactive container which can be heated. They didn't have pyrex or stainless steel, couldn't use iron or plain steel, wood and ceramic vessels aren't feasible for heating the fat/lye mixture....so I'm guessing that they used enamelware. What did people use before enamelware was manufactured?

Random tidbits from the day:

  • Munched on some cereal with wheat in it this morning, got the itchy ear/throat reaction and then I crashed and actually slept for 2 hours in broad daylight. I am usually unable to sleep with lights on unless sick, very exhausted (the kind of exhausted where even thinking about anything at all is next to impossible) or just coming down from a major panic/meltdown. Every time I eat wheat, it's the same: tired, groggy, fatigued for no good reason. People used to call me lazy....maybe it was the wheat.
  • Feeling all creative again and generating pottery ideas. I need to find a kiln, either my own or one which can be used. Also, I should start saving money for the spring ceramics class at college.
  • I listed my truck for sale, but am now reconsidering. If I want to do any farming, a 4WD truck would be very useful to have. Discovering that Gertrude's inability to start is likely due to a very, very corroded battery cable also puts a different spin on things. She needs new battery cables, to have the gas hose leak fixed, her brakes bled...and then would be drivable again.
  • Hmmmm. I'm at the laundromat and the worker here seems displeased that I'm online rather than folding the now dry laundry...ha.

Friday, October 12, 2012

ASMR Aha. Is this why I can get almost high off of sensory stimuli that seem to do almost nothing for other people? I wouldn't describe it as brain tingles though, more like bliss, deep satisfaction, like sex almost, except...without the sex, lol!

The video? I found it deeply relaxing, calming...(remind me to watch it the next time I can't sleep!)...but it can't hold a candle to the ecstasy of bathing my senses in the warmth of my lover's scent. You know that warm, happy afterglow that people get after they make love? That's the closest thing I can compare it to....sort of like being in a hot tub, only a mental + inner warmth sensation. Heaven. :-)

Colors, textures....some sounds....tastes...mmmmmmmmmm! :-)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Existential anxiety is a major theme with many aspies. I don't know if there's ever been a day when I didn't question my place in the world, or what it is I'm supposed to be doing, or what the point of this life was to begin with? It is constant.

And I am beginning to see that part of the difficulty I have with relationships is that I carry these questions right over into the relationship as well. "What is my place in this world?" goes to "What is my place with you?". "Does my life have inherent meaning and worth?" goes to "Do I have inherent meaning and worth to you?".

I don't have any conclusions or solutions about this topic at this point...it is only an observation.

Got several fairly important things done...and now....am crashing. Caffeine? Anxiety? I don't know, but half the point of getting things done early in the day is to be able to enjoy the rest of the day, so this kind of sucks.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

The neuropsych eval is finally done...at least, that's what he claimed, "he" being the colleague of my psychologist who passed away last winter. Between the two of them this has taken about a year. As far as I can tell, the only new thing which has come out of this evaluation has been the ADD dx, but being able to get on top of that for once has made a substantial difference.

Getting ready to take charge of another chess club...felt intimidated about it because I haven't really played for a couple of years...so I've been going through chess books once again, trying to remember my favorite openings. It helps that of the tattered, falling apart books by Fred Reinfeld, Complete Book of Chess Openings is still intact..well, more or less intact. I remembered my favorite opening as black (Gruenfeld) but not the others...but- aha! in this book is a scrap of paper with my favorite openings listed! Yes! If only I could remember exactly why they were my favorites, i.e. what plan of attack usually followed each opening, all would be well.

Monday, October 08, 2012

I was raised to believe the fairy tale, the idea that a girl grows up, falls in love with a nice guy who loves her, gets married, has kids and lives happily ever after. This was a major component of the blueprint of success for a woman's life in my mind. Any aberration from this was a failure. Except, the fairy tale never happened for me. And for years, I've felt like a failure because of this. I've spent most of my adult life trying to pick up the pieces of this broken fairy tale and patch them together...not very successfully, I might add.

It never occurred to me to ask whether this was something I would have wanted if it hadn't been forcefully imprinted on my young mind. I never asked whether this was a life I could actually enjoy and be happy with. I have frequently questioned whether it's a realistic goal for anyone, having concluded some time ago that it isn't going to work out for me. All the same, I felt worthless because unlike all the barbie dolls with their vacuous banalities....it wasn't happening for me. It wasn't the fairy tale that was a crock of shit....no, it was me...I was the crock of shit.

And consequently, along the way, I've dismissed and bypassed opportunities that might have been fulfilling, that I could have found happiness in....because they weren't part of that magical blueprint. Now I find myself re-assessing all this:

  • Do I want to "grow up" into a housewife? No, I do not. That is not a role that works for me.
  • "Falling in love"? I have to honestly say that for me there appear to be two paths to love. There is the usually disastrous phenomenon of having love fall on my head, unexpected and uninvited, and then taking over my sanity for a rather expensive length of time. Oh, it's not all bad....the intensity is pretty intoxicating....but I generally end up putting all of myself on the line and then picking up the bloody pieces of the train wreck and feeling stupid. The other path would be growing into love, which isn't always exclusive, i.e. the falling in love sort of thing can turn into growing into love. At any rate, the growing into love seems to be much stabler, less fickle and certainly less stressful and more likely to result in a solid friendship if the romance end of things doesn't work out. Asking what is meant by that four letter word is another topic for another day.....and further highlights the difficulty with this aspect of the ideal.
  • The nice guy....who falls in love with me. Um. See above. People have very different ideas of love and it doesn't work as well as advertised for two people to assume that they're talking about the same thing!!
  • Marriage: Ah. This was a particularly troublesome aspect of that plan. I don't like to be owned. I like to think my own thoughts, to be my own person, to have my own ideas and preferences.....being subsumed by a man just doesn't work for me. Sadly, this wasn't always obvious at the outset, because men frequently assume that if I'm wild about them, then of course I don't need a life and identity of my own. Moreover, I am not an easy person to live with. I like my space. I like for things to be where I put them....to be able to read while eating or to have solitude...and at times the need for solitude can be excessive. What I do like is to spend an awful lot of time with the person I'm bonded with....but on my terms, meaning, I want to be able to get away now and then without feeling guilty, so that I can be happy to come back! If I were to live with someone, I would need to work and for my partner to work, to have separate areas of life...and possibly separate spaces as well, even if were something like a studio or different building...without being made to feel guilty about it. There are people who have a business together and are together all day long running that business and then go home, only to get up the next day and spend yet another day together. I couldn't do that...would start to feel suffocated....would begin to lose appreciation for my partner.
  • Having kids....Oh lord. I love my kids...
  • Living happily ever after: why did I buy into the line that all those things had to happen first, exactly in that order, to be happy? Why do we buy into the line that happiness can be attained by achievement, or that someone can give it to you like a present? We have to make and find our own happiness.
Weekend at home. I don't know if I've ever spent an entire weekend at home since moving to this place! Progress in cleaning it up is much slower than I'd like for it to be, but it's amazing how much work can get done if one doesn't spend half or more of the day in town.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Oktoberfest! I somehow managed to land three, yes three, modeling jobs in the space of 15 minutes of talking to the right people last night. I'm very glad....need to get my feet under me financially. Once you start really falling behind, it's very hard to catch up again.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

This is the most useful information I have ever seen about PTSD and emotional trauma.

Monday, October 01, 2012

It is really hard to make a frog/toad hat that doesn't look like that sea monster..frogman? Something like that... :-/