improperlyhuman: (not queer)
I forgot. When I was called back into the doctor's office yesterday, the admitting person asked me if an interpreter were coming. I said, "I speak English," but she was talking about an interpreter for hearing impairment. Somehow she had misinterpreted the auditory processing deficit in my records as a hearing impairment. I said that I could hear fine and she told someone at the front desk to send away whatever interpreter showed up.

Fatigue so bad today that I couldn't lift. I could have forced myself but I feared dropping the weights. Normally I feel better in the evenings but not so much today.

I was at the bus stop (was it yesterday? fatigue has killed my memory) thinking about talking to someone and using a bit of AAVE when it occurred to me that I am no longer so uncomfortable with AAVE. I used to have a small complex about it because my family made a big deal about the way I spoke. Of course this isn't going to have any huge effect on the way I speak because my speaking patterns are quite set at this point.

I went to fill out the enrollment form and found out that the summer session of my certificate course is full. I won't be able to start until fall. That's probably a good thing considering my current state of health.

I have been able to concentrate a bit more this week. I have been doing some light reading, reading about the Enneagram. I prefer to focus on the Enneagram at this point because it's easier for me to understand than Myers Briggs and seems more helpful. I can't really relate to the other INTJs on the forum. Actually I guess I don't much relate to the other type 5s either...

Anyways, I have been learning about the Instinctual Subtypes, and I think mine is Social (so). According to Chestnut, the type 5 so is characterized by relating to people through intellectual values/ideals and disinterest/disengagement with "ordinary" people and aspects of life. Those are the aspects that at least vaguely resemble my personality, anyhow.  

Yes, I'm willing to date a vegan only, and I'd only be willing to date someone who is also a feminist and an anarchist as well if I thought that I stood any chance of finding someone with that holy trinity of values. And I feel that relating to non-vegans, non-anarchists, and non-radical feminists is difficult and undesirable. That seems to be how Type 5 so manifests in me.

Of course that exclusivity creates social difficulties, but I don't think it's wrong, not in the case of my ideals anyway. These aren't just ideas, they're material practices related to the prevention of suffering. Extremely important no matter how one looks at it, and they don't totally prevent social connection.

I'm sure, however, that even the vegans and anarchists and radical feminists who feel the same way generally relate to people better than I do. There are vegans dating non-vegans, and I have trouble imagining how they (the former) can stand it. Maybe it's that emotional connection that keeps on coming up in the books. I'm not sure that I want such a thing if it attaches me to people whose political differences are going to frustrate me. Chestnut also advises Type 5s to remind ourselves of the benefits of emotional connection, even if we don't believe there are any, lol. I'm like, how are we going to remind ourselves then?

I keep looking into this emotional intimacy thing, and I never see anything positive about it. I don't and never have had a problem communicating my emotions when necessary and beneficial. I just don't view sharing emotions as a type of intimacy. It can be a useful act when there is a problem in a relationship (albeit not as efficient as simply telling the other party what one wants her to do), and a pleasant thing to share when one is happy, but that's pretty much all it is to me.

I'm sitting here trying to think of what else it could be. A few times in my life, I've had pleasant experiences sharing things I liked because the other party was also enthusiastic about them. Of course that rarely happened, and isn't likely to happen very often because of the nature of my interests. My most common interests are the ones I'm least passionate about. Now if I find a vegan girlfriend, would sharing veganism constitue emotional intimacy? I don't think so. It's mostly about my own damned feelings of relief and...I dunno, I wanna say safety but that doesn't seem to make sense. I guess safety from exposure to speciesism in an intimate relationship.

Anyways maybe the Instinctual Subtype system isn't terribly useful. I'm just checking it out right now.

improperlyhuman: (Default)
I've been having trouble with my deadlift for the past three or four weeks. I was working on my form this evening when I suddenly lost muscle memory and just couldn't physically figure out how to lift the weight off the floor. It was strange, particularly since the deadlift is (was?) my favorite lift.

Squats are going great though! 115 lbs. today.

The amount of fat in my diet has always been quite low, but I've become concerned that it's too low. I bought some olive oil and use a little to roast my potatoes and broccoli.

I was looking through craigslist for entertainment when I came across the post of an incarcerated womon who wants a penpal. Maybe I'll be her penpal. Could be interesting. I would, however, prefer to keep my address a secret. There's a website to sign up on. I'll check it out tomorrow.

Is there a difference between loneliness and boredom? I feel boredom, I feel lust, I feel a need for physical contact. But I wouldn't call any of those things loneliness. I don't think I feel lonely, but I think of loneliness as something rather specific.

Finally mailed my signature off to voc rehab today.

There's gonna be a circus in town this weekend and I wanted to protest it but I don't have any vegans to protest with me! And I'm not sure non-animals will be exploited there anyhow. I just saw animals on the poster.

improperlyhuman: (Default)
Yet another vet benefit. A bunch of restaurants were giving out free meals for Veteran's Day yesterday. I wanted so badly to go the pizzeria because I knew that they have vegan pizza, but the pies they were giving out to vets weren't vegan :( The vet pies didn't even really have any veggies on them, so trying to veganize them by removing the flesh and bovine rape products would have yielded an empty pie. No goddamn veggies, that's SAD right there. Then I found out that the crust offered had chicken ova in it. Game over.

I probably could have gotten something vegan from Olive Garden, but I wasn't in the mood for pasta. That wet, glutinous texture—maybe I'll never be in the mood for pasta again.

I decided to go to Sizzler for dinner (for anyone who isn't familiar, it is a sit-down restaurant with a very SAD-oriented menu, specializing in huge slabs of flesh). I took a refreshing ride down to the south part of town (the ghetto part of town, which alarmed me a bit when I remembered it because it was after dark). I needed the exercise because I'd eaten too many bags of chickpea chips for lunch.

The vet special was slaughtered cow, slaughtered chicken, or slaughtered shrimp with one side dish and a drink. I'd hoped to get a plate full of veggies, but I could see that that wasn't in the cards. I asked if I could have just a side dish and the staff made a biggish deal about it. First, the person at the register went to ask someone if I could have just a side dish. Then she came back and said they couldn't give me that because she needed to ring up the whole meal. I asked her whether she couldn't ring up the whole meal and just leave the flesh off of the plate, and she said yes. Duh. Why's it such a big deal to give out /less/ food? That would save them time, effort, and money.

The person at the cash register gave me a weird look and asked me whether I'd already eaten. I said that I didn't eat meat. Finally, she gave me silverware and the receipt (which had errors on it), and I chose a table. My waitress came over shortly, cleared up the errors in short order (see what I did there), and my food was out shortly. I'd ordered the baked potato with chives (having overcome the urge to order fries). I don't usually have a drink other than water when I eat out, but I went with the raspberry tea (with the small hope that it would be unsweetened) since it came with the meal. The waitress also offered me the choice of cheese-something or a dinner roll; I chose the latter.

Of course the tea was too sweet (and there was waaayyyy too much of it). I took ten or less sips. I finished off my potato and dinner roll (hoping that it was vegan but knowing that it probably wasn't. The sheer number of foods to which people add unnecessary animal products is amazing.). After a bit of walking around the place half-blind (without my glasses, I mean), I found and used the bathroom, then left. On my way back to the shelter, I bought a delicious pumpkin pecan muffin ($2.99), which is made by a local vegan bakery. Vegan and gluten-free. Joy. The topping was a bit too sweet, though. I also paid two bucks for a jar of organic (and oil-free!) pizza sauce and $0.85 for some bulk spinach (the two of which will be added to some Afghan bread) for today's lunch and dinner (wannabe pizza).

Ok, I just had lunch. As I'd feared, the pizza sauce was too sweet.

Few anti-civ books are available in this library system. Day before yesterday, I finished reading /After Civilization: Humanity's Next Great Adventure/. The book was too poetic for my taste. The most important thing I got from it was the idea that civilization doesn't have to end altogether, that Earth could handle a few of us being wasteful, pollutive, and resource-greedy, just not a lot of us. Connected to that is the idea that made the greatest effect upon me: that simply individually abandoning civilization is a helpful act. I have been focusing on how attached people are to civilization, and forgetting that many of them are also fed up with (not to mention literally sick of and dying from) a lot of it. Rather than trying to persuade them (which I never do anyhow, but should be prepared to do) with broad political arguments, ecological arguments, or arguments about the Asian wage slaves who make our cheap crap, what about appealing to concerns closer to home?

As I thought about how our individually abandoning civilization could affect any significant change, I thought about all the people who are fed up with working for others. Could that eventually drive them to walk away from civ? The more jobs that are abandoned, the less able civ is to continue, existing, as it does, on the backs of workers.

The author spends a lot of the book discussing more modern tribal forms (in fact, that's the "next great adventure" to which the author suggests we escape), such as the circus. These created tribes (which contrast with tribes into which members are born, ethnic tribes) will remove whole groups of people from civilization at once. This tribal formation is another way in which the individual abandonment can snowball into a greater effect.

Damn, I'm sleepy all of a sudden.

I just changed floors because the trashy homeless (as contrasted with us non-trashy homeless) have made the library's top floor their own little space. It seems that security doesn't often venture that far up the stairs, and the trashy homeless have whole conversations and play music loudly up there.

When I left, someone was snoring.

Hope this blog post continues to be coherent.

I also recently finished reading /Acting White: The History of A Slur/. Poorly composed, badly in need of an editor, and too long, this book also had just one or two impressive ideas (modern non-fiction is rarely edifying). Although the author traces the origin of the "acting white" accusation back to /Uncle Tom's Cabin/, he also marks the rise of the Black Panther Party and its promotion of racial pride as a major turning point, the point at which racial group membership became a more important identity than individual identity. It has always puzzled me why ADOAS seem to value racial group membership so much, so this explanation was very interesting to me.

improperlyhuman: (Default)
According to my housing authority tech's answering machine message, she's out for the whole week! That means that I wasted my energy biking out through the rain to drop off that paperwork yesterday. It also means that getting into that apartment will take a couple of days longer than it could have taken.

Someone or someones rounded up the cats last week to be fixed and/or sold, according to some of the shelter clients. Little Jumper here, who, unbeknownst to us until recently, was apparently born in a fenced off area on the shelter grounds, is the only kitten left. Jumper is the name some of the clients chose. I don't know the significance. He likes climbing the bikes. Meanwhile, a new adult cat, color of white and gray, has recently shown up on the patio.

Last night's homeless dinner was a falafel hummus wrap ($4.69) with salt and pepper kettle chips (99¢) and a square of Fair Trade dark chocolate (50¢) dipped in peanut butter for dessert.

I'm low on food stamps and hardly give a shit anymore so for lunch I blew some cash on a soyrizo and potato burrito. I also had a raw truffle, superfood flavor. The food was expensive and I can't recommend buying it, but supporting vegan restaurants is helpful to us vegans (so we have somewhere to eat out) and the animals that are spared when non-vegans choose such establishments over those that serve up rape, slavery, and murder.

Speaking of slavery, here is a link with information about slavery in the cocoa industry and how to find slavery-free chocolate.

I was just going to post that information in a news sub-forum when I stopped to read some of the other news threads. As usual, some posters were shooting snarky little jabs at each other instead of discussing the issues respectfully, but I wanted to read the on-topic discussion, so I suffered through the bullshit. It's uncomfortable to read, disheartening, depressing when people get nasty with each other in the middle of an otherwise interesting and important discussion like that. It made me feel a bit down, but still I read, asking myself why I didn't just click away.

It reminded me of watching porn. Sometimes, I would be watching something that seemed good (by "good" I mean both exciting and not sick and disturbing), and then BAM. Someone would slap someone else or use a slur or something. I'd freeze with my hand down my pants, dying inside a little more. If the abuse continued, my choice was easy: click away. But it if stopped after that first episode, I asked myself: Do you want to keep watching and risk seeing something like that again? CAN you actually keep watching after that? You want that orgasm bad, and you can't get one on your own, but do you want it badly enough to put yourself through this? The lesser of two evils type of shit is what it was.

I can now say with absolute certainty that no orgasms is the lesser of those two evils. In comparison, no orgasms isn't even bad enough to be called "evil." Well. I am in full recovery from my old porn habit now, but the damage has been done. I see the effects of it from time to time. I occasionally have thoughts that are totally and obviously uncharacteristic. In passing I see people I'm not the slightest bit interested in or attracted to and mechanically have disturbing, sexually morbid (that's the best way I can describe it) thoughts that have nothing to do with what I'm interested in sexually, but match up quite nicely with things I have seen in porn. Worst thing I've ever done to myself is consume porn.


improperlyhuman: (Default)
I'm here in the deathly silent halls of the UC health sciences library looking up whatever information I can find on auditory processing deficits. The overview chapter of the first volume of the Handbook of (Central) Auditory Processing Disorder names experimental "ablation of the auditory cortex in cats" as a classic study linking advances in auditory neuroscience to "(C)APD."

I didn't know what "ablation" meant, and I wish I still didn't. I can't really describe how sickening it is to have my day interrupted with images of people destroying cats' brains just to see what will happen like some impulsive, irresponsible child taking a clock apart just to see what's inside. The thought that the information I'm seeking was bought at such a price has put me off the research project. Small irony that the author stresses the importance of a scientific outlook in clinical auditory practice, yet falls back on the typically speciesist, anti-scientific distinction between humans and "animals." But this is par for the course with speciesists.

My VA social worker drove me to see my last-chance apartment today. She made such a good impression on the landlord, it occurred to me after the meeting that I probably would have gotten the other apartment if I'd brought her along. I wanted that apartment much more than this one, so that thought really brought me down.

And I was already "down" with anxiety to the point of migraine (or was that caused by the sunlight?), struggling to keep it together in the car with her. Regardless of the reasons for my anxiety, I can see explicitly that it is abnormal because of the self-harming urges alone.

I filled out an application while I was there. It was a mess of student loan debt, long-ago, barely remembered, unbecomingly short-term employment, and my measly $8,000 yearly income. Not a good profile at all. But the owner says that he wants to help vets, and my housing authority rep says that 100% of my rent would be covered. That's something.

I didn't see any bike lanes on the side of the highway. There was a sufficiently wide shoulder, but I don't know if bikes are allowed on it, nor do I know whom to ask. Highway patrol, I guess. I'm in for some loudish rides, given the traffic :(

To help get my mind off of the application-process anxiety, I treated myself to two slices of vegan pizza and one blueberry-frosted vegan donut dipped in black coffee (for my migraine) at lunch, but I paid more money I don't have instead of using food stamps. The headache went away for a bit, but I think I reactivated it by squinting about in the library. I got to the co-op earlier than usual this morning and they had already run out of vegan breakfast burritos! One of the employees helped me out by offering to heat up a regular vegan burrito for me, so that was brunch.
improperlyhuman: Burgendy text on black background: "Promoting Commodified Sex Positive Is Not Sex Positive" (pic#8372521)
So I was over in another town looking for housing when I decided to call the housing authority to make sure that my porting request had been received (I haven't heard anything since I faxed it). My housing rep had not yet sent it out, had, in fact, been intending to ask me about it. She said that she'd have to send it to the housing authority I originally got the voucher from (the town I was last in while living in my van), then someone from there would send it on to my new county. Of course all that will take forever.

So she gave me the choice to send the voucher out or keep it in my current county so that I could continue looking and perhaps find housing sooner. I couldn't decide and said that I would call her back at the end of the day, which I did about half an hour ago. I decided to keep the voucher in my current county because there is one more place for me to look at.

I've known about this place for weeks, but I gave up on it because I feared that it was too isolated. It is twenty miles from the nearest town (according to the city employee I finally got on the phone today), and I couldn't find any information about whether there were any bike paths out of town. There is a little shuttle that goes in and out of town, but I do not want to be totally dependent on a mode of transportation that requires me to deal with the noise and discomfort of being in close quarters with strangers, and I am very attached to being able to bike out of town like I did before the fire. I'd called the city offices many times and ended up in some sort of infinite loop in the automated phone system (This time, I entered the recreation department's extension before I was prompted to do so). I'd wanted to simply go out there and see for myself, but coordinating multiple buses and an appointment with the owner/not being able to bike out there overwhelmed me.

Well, I got my VA social worker on the phone this morning and we chose a time for her to drive me out there (not as simple as it used to be because I have to take a one-hour bus ride to meet her). Then I texted the owner and he said that the unit is still available (I'm not surprised; it's kind of in the middle of nowhere). I was SUPER DUPER anxious about seeming like a flake because I told him that I was no longer interested just a couple of days ago. I mean I was seriously kind of losing it on the bus after I texted him. Even after he texted me back that he'd show me the place, I got in some discreet head punches outside the library here.

I don't know what to do about my anxiety. I tell myself that the things I worry about aren't big deals, but that doesn't end the anxious feelings and it doesn't end the urge to talk aloud and/or self-harm. How do you treat mental health issues when you no longer trust shrinks???

Mostly I worry about what other people will think of me. It's interesting that I got diagnosed with GAD rather than social anxiety. Very interesting indeed. But I guess it makes sense in a way because I don't really care about what other people think of me because of embarrassment or fear of judgment, I care because people being angry, impatient, or irritated with me feels horrible, I don't know how to deal with those feelings, and they last forever.

Maybe I will rethink having a shrink. A really old lady won't be as incompetent as those other shrinks, I suspect. I do think that I can do things for myself, but sometimes it's good to just check back in with the world of people. A reality check of sorts.

I was involved in a bike crash late this morning on the way to the bus stop. I was turning; she was passing. She didn't even stop, just looked back and threw up her hands as I lay there on the ground. Goddamn university town; too many students around is one of the reasons why I don't want to live in one. I wasn't hurt.

I got my weekend pass signed yesterday and had planned to spend the weekend away from the shelter, but the new vet case manager met up with me in the hall this afternoon and said that she didn't "think" that the shelter's vet program allowed for weekend passes (unlike the non-vet program). Ok. Whatever. Was looking forward to a full night's worth of sleep...

Another person told me to smile today. I'm over it. I'll smile when idiots give me a reason to smile.

Goddamned cops sitting on horses and slave-drivers selling horse-drawn carriage rides in the historic district. People are sickening. I can't even really call them speciesists; maybe they're ok with treating everyone that way (everyone meaning "all animals," of course).

One of the reasons why I'm hesitant to trying living on womyn's land is that, if I have to be cooped up with a bunch of strange womyn, I want them all to be ethical vegans. One of the residents up in Oregon told me that she used to be a vegan, but her body couldn't deal with soy. Why do people speak such obvious nonsense? Surely she isn't misinformed enough to believe that soy is a requirement of the vegan diet? She's middle-aged womon!

People can't be stupid forever. Can they?
improperlyhuman: icon says: Radical Feminism: Females First. Always. (females first)
The fundamental difficulty of convincing people to become vegans (or to do anything that is not subject to an objective standard of wrong and right) is a difference in interests. A person can fully understand and find sound every pro ethical vegan argument that exists, but, lacking an interest in preventing casual exploitation, abuse, and killing, will not become a vegan or endorse veganism.

Giving people this interest or divesting them of their competing interests (such as their enjoyment of the products of said exploitation, abuse, and killing) seems something that no ethical argument can ever achieve.

In recent months, I have been a bit troubled by this ideological weakness and thinking of a way to formulate veganism without philosophy (or with less). I prefer to strip away as many abstractions as possible; to formulate all of my political commitments in the raw terms of suffering and harm rather than the fuzzy, cerebral, and subjective terms of morals, ethics, and, perhaps worst of all, the statist concept of rights.

This is what my pared-down veganism is: Animals (humans included, of course) have lives and they want to live their lives the way they see fit. I have no compelling reason to prevent them from doing so, nor do I have any interest in preventing them from doing so.

The first part seems impervious to argument: not only are humans predisposed to assuming that an animal would prefer to live, and live freely, simply by virtue of the experience of being animals themselves, but animal behavior, the fight for life, makes the fact clear. Although domesticated animals may serenely or at least timidly go to their deaths, their exception is explained by their having been bred to docility for generations.

The second portion is far more subjective: though I consider myself to have neither reason nor interest, others obviously do not feel that way about themselves. And there's really nothing I can say to make them feel that way. As trifling as the taste of beef or the look of fur may seem, I can offer no reason for that being absolutely wrong. I can argue that the creation of those products cause harm, but there is no argument that can force anyone to take an interest in that or any other kind of harm.

I guess I've come around to saying that objective rightness or wrongness do not exist—which is trite and obvious. I could've sworn I had a point beyond that...oh well.

Anyways, this city is crap. There's no water machine, so I've had to drink tap water (which does, however, taste better than the tap water in my old town). I keep giving myself thirst headaches.

I got the idea for this blog post from this evening's post from Gary Francione's ethical veganism blog. The post was an interview in which he used the phrase (as he often does) "morally matter" in reference to nonhuman animals. On the face of it, at least, it is a rather meaningless phrase. That's the kind of rhetoric I prefer to steer clear of. It's too easy for people to counter with their own abstract-to-the-point-of-meaningless phrases.

Anyone with half a brain can come up with a philosophy that supports animal exploitation and abuse, then promote it with abstract concepts they've cooked up. In fact, people already have: the concepts of human superiority and intelligence-based hierarchy (which is actually just species-based hierarchy).

Of course the concept of comparing the intelligence of different species is nonsense. Maybe I'll go into that next time.
improperlyhuman: (dark Mulder)
With my voc rehab counselor's ok, I applied to the National Telecommuting Institute over the weekend, and promptly received an e-mail directing me to schedule a phone interview early this morning. The employee would not schedule me because the company's training software only supports Windows 7, 8, and 8.1. Being cool, I of course rock Linux, and I daren't attempt to run their software via virtualization. I e-mailed my counselor about borrowing a computer.

I've been tired during the day lately, so I decided to try adding some more iron to my diet. It is an interesting puzzle, trying to add nutrients without adding calories. I'm getting tired of dieting. Literally, I guess.

The cold has arrived. I need pants.

There will be some sort of lamb festival in town next month. I want to protest it, but not alone. I thought about trying to link up with a vegan group next town over, but the only contact info I can find is a Facebook profile, and I am absolutely LOATHE to join Facebook. Maybe I'll join up with a fake name. Woe unto me that it comes to this.

I haven't played my instruments in forever. Stupid as it sounds, I feel like I'm losing my identity as a musician. Now who am I? Just a hermit wannabe programmer with OCD and diet-induced fatigue.

I wonder how my eldest younger sister is doing. Last time I saw her, she was morbidly obese. I hope she's done or is doing something about it, otherwise she's on her way to diabetes, just like our parents. My mom, I'm just waiting for her to die or fall seriously ill, have been for years. She just won't take care of herself. But beetus ain't gettin' ME, I'll tell you that No, ma'am.
improperlyhuman: (Default)
What is compassion? It is a feeling, a psychological phenomenon. In and of itself, it has no effect whatsoever on the material world. It doesn't prevent physical harm of any kind.

I'm kind of tired of the "veganism is about compassion" message. I thought ethical veganism was about preventing an avoiding abuse and exploitation of animals. Warm fuzzy feelings towards animals are not necessary. In fact, a person could hate animals, and still be a great ethical vegan, because success as an ethical vegan is predicated on actions, not feelings. Compassion might lead to those actions, but it might not. It's obvious that there are people who have a thoughtlessly schizophrenic relationship to non-human animals, so, crazy as it may sound, it's not at all outside the realm of possibility that someone could feel compassion towards animals and not act on it. What definitely leads to those actions is will, power, and commitment. No compassion required.

I also dislike the "veganism is about non-violence" message. It's too vague. Veganism may be "about" non-violence in the offensive sense, but I think that defensive violence is perfectly consistent with ethical veganism. You see someone being abused, you step in and use physical force to stop the abuser. That's ethical veganism in action. Putting down threats to safety is ethical veganism in action. The reality is that there are violent people in the world, and more violence is the only thing that will stop them. They will not be compassioned out of their violent ways.

I am in general sick of all the movements that are about having kind feelings and thoughts, or all the people inside the movements who think they should be largely about kind feelings and thoughts. People who want to achieve something in the material world better get together a movement that is based on action, on direct manipulation of material variables.
improperlyhuman: screenshot of Apocalypse from X-Men: The Animated Series (apocalypse)
I went to San Francisco for my central auditory processing testing today! My bike's in the shop getting a brake job, so I had to walk to the bus station :(

I always case out vegan eats when I have an upcoming trip deep into the bay area. I arrived two hours early and had lunch, a beet and seitan burger with squash-cashew cheese and sauerkraut (which I didn't know came in purple!) and a side salad from the HellaVeganEats truck that was parked at the farmer's market. At first I was disappointed that the meal hadn't come with fries, then I found that it  was satisfying enough on its own. Wish I had gotten the full serving of sauerkraut and cheese instead of light. It was kind of expensive, but I wanted to support a vegan establishment.

I thought about getting the burrito instead, but there were no beans in it?! That's a damned wrap, not a burrito. And what's with everyone putting sweet potatoes in every thing now? It's like there's always some "it" food that people find a way to integrate into a million different dishes (or treat like the ultimate health food), up until the next one comes out. Chia is "in" right now; before that it was acai. Then they take the "it" food and mess up perfectly good traditional dishes with it, even going so far as to remove fundamental ingredients. Like a "burrito" with roasted sweet potato, but no beans.

After that, I wandered up and down the street for a bit, trying to figure out which way to go and sweating from the extra walking. I found the university and was half an hour early for my appointment. I was surprised to find a security desk just inside the door (the clinics had their own entrance, separate the school, apparently) and that I needed a visitor's badge. The school was very bright and new-looking; first school I've ever been in that had escalators.

The receptionist was out to lunch, so my arriving early did me no good. When she finally arrived a few minutes before my appointment time, I found out that I only had to fill out basic info and a one-page questionnaire about how much sounds bothered me. The doctor came out for me shortly, and we went back into the testing room. She looked into my ears and told me that I had a ball of wax that would begin pressing against my ear drum soon, and that I needed to use drops to soften it. My first thought was, "oh no, will that make sounds louder?" I actually thought about not removing the wax for a second. The incompetent nincompoops at my primary clinic apparently hadn't faxed my records, so she then stuck some foam earbug-like things in my ears and administered a hearing test. Immediately after that, we went straight through the CAPD testing. She offered me breaks, but I declined.

These are the tests I took, roughly in order:

The audiologist played successively louder tones and told me to indicate when the volume became overwhelming.  She repeated this in each ear, with several different tones. Only the first one ever became overwhelming. I think there was a miscommunication on that test.

A recording played words in each ear, one by one, and I simply had to repeat them.

A series of static-like sounds played for a bit , and I had to press a button if I heard beeping in the background.

There was a series of tapping noises, and I had to say how many taps I'd heard.

A series of groups of four notes were played one-by-one, and I had to identify whether each of the four was the high tone or the low tone.

A series of unidentifiable sounds played, some single some in VERY closely-spaced pairs (they could have been mistaken for a single sound). I had to say whether I'd heard one sound or two.

Then there was one long set of tests (15 - 20 min.) that got much more difficult. I barreled through it:

One voice seemed to be giving a lecture. I had to ignore this voice, tune in to the other (which played simultaneously) and say the words the second voice directed me to say. Same with the opposite ear.

Another series of quad-note groups. This time, I had to identify the pattern in terms of the notes' durations (long or short).

Then the testing got insane. I heard two different sets of numbers simultaneously, one set per ear. Six numbers total, three spoken one-by-one in each ear, and not slowly, either. I had to recite all six, starting with the three I'd heard in the right ear first, in the order in which they'd been played. I messed up and started with the left ear, not recognizing my error until I had to do the same thing, right ear first. Not sure the doc noticed.

Then two sentences simultaneously, one per ear, which I had to recite, again, beginning with the sentence that I'd heard in the right ear first. And so forth, the other ear.

Those two tests were the most difficult. Of course, I had a migraine building by that time. I can't even remember what the hell we did after that. The audiologist told me that the test was designed to exhaust the testee in order to reveal a breakdown in performance. I think they hit their mark.

She scored the tests while I waited! Then called me into a back room. She said that I'd been tested on speech-in-noise, temporal processing (dunno what that means), and something else I can't remember. I was breaking down at that point. The sounds from the street were beginning to get to me, and the glass in the large window was making distracting noises as well. She said that all of my tests results were in the normal range, although one was low (can't remember which). In fact, I somehow scored 100% on one of them?! The bar for a perfect score must be damned low, 'cause I certainly didn't get them all correct. We'll see when I get the report. I actually get to give feedback on the report before she creates a final draft and mails it to me! Wonderful.

I was surprised at how long she talked with me. She recognized that I might still have processing problems despite my scores, and informed me that there are some available treatment options, mainly software-based, but that they were expensive, and that she wouldn't recommend them given the combination of the price and her inability to guarantee that I would benefit from them based on my current skills. Based on my questionnaire and test scores, she said that I seemed to have misophonia. She said that she could make some recommendations if I began working with VocRehab again, and asked me about my future employment plans and my SSI case. She filled out, signed, and faxed the form I needed to get a captioned phone.

I was quite displeased to hear that the treatment for misophonia is desensitization. She asked me about how hearing sounds made me feel, and which situations moved me to don my ear defenders. She said that it was good that I didn't wear them all of the time, and very, very carefully and sensitively suggested that I begin to try to desensitize myself by removing my ear defenders thirty seconds before I get off the bus, slowly increasing this amount of time as my comfort level increased. She also suggested volunteer work in a quiet environment.

At some point, a truck that was louder than the others rumbled by and I covered my ears and started crying. She left the room and returned with a box of tissues. I can't remember what the hell else she said. The whole appointment lasted two hours and a quarter and I needed to be out of there. She gave me a copy of my cap phone application, I went back down the elevator, returned my badge, and then I had to wait for the security guard to open the metal bar thingee so that I could get out (what?!).

It was getting close to time for me to be worried about missing the last bus home, so I wasted no time walking back the way I came to hit up vegan falafel place before I left. Within minutes of arriving, the guy said something to me that I couldn't make out while standing less than six feet away, and after getting those test results, I was like, 'to hell with everything. I still can't understand people.' Just a tad pricey, especially the little square of baklava I got for two bucks. But hearing the guy who came in asking for flesh told that the restaurant was a 100% vegan establishment? PRICELESS. Tables turned for once.

I don't think the testing is terribly representative of my abilities because it was administered directly into my ears, which makes sounds easier to make out than they are otherwise.

I got down to the BART platform and was surprised to see the southbound side empty, and everyone lined up for the eastbound trains. I've never seen people line up for BART; they usually swarm inwards from every angle, some all but pivoting around the entrance frame to come in at ninety degrees. I figured it was a rush-hour-people thing and got in a line. When the train arrived, some people got on, but others just stood there, blocking the damned door. I asked why people were just standing there and no one said anything to me, although one person looked at me. I was so confused, I hesitated and missed my train. The hell? I finally figured out that they were waiting for other train lines, but why line up and block the path onto the trains? None of the subsequent trains that stopped were anywhere near close to being full, so it wasn't like a first-come, first-served arrangement was in order. I left the line. I felt stupid for letting their moronic ritual delay my trip home.
improperlyhuman: (Default)
I dropped some crumbs in my bathroom, and the crumbs attracted ants. I didn't do anything to them. I let them carry the crumbs away. Three days later, they're gone and the floor is cleaner than it was.
improperlyhuman: (Default)
It irritates me a bit when someone responds that she is bisexual after finding out that I'm a lesbian, or tells me that she is a vegetarian after finding out that I'm a vegan. I'm like, why are you telling me this? What the hell does bisexuality have to do with lesbianism? What does vegetarianism have to do with veganism? You're still invested in the oppressor and consuming the products of bovine and poultry rape and reproductive enslavement.

Get back to me when you kick it up a notch.

Lesbianism is a centering of womyn and girls, not a damned sexuality. Ethical veganism is a moral framework, not a damned diet.
improperlyhuman: Burgendy text on black background: "Promoting Commodified Sex Positive Is Not Sex Positive" (pic#8372521)
In the course of discovering all of the inaccurate assumptions about the moral underpinnings of ethical veganism, It has occurred to me that it would appear inconsistent to simultaneously endorse the former and male genocide. For example, some seem to think that to be an ethical vegans is attempt to never kill any living thing, which is of course absurd.

Maybe other people have other goals for themselves as e.v., but this vegan is committed to avoiding and preventing the abuse of every living thing. I do mean every living thing, because, though perhaps bacteria and viruses and plants don't suffer, mucking about with them is an environmental issue that leads to the suffering of creatures that can suffer. To achieve this, it is in some cases necessary to bring harm to some group of living things. It's simply a large-scale version of self-defense, which is avegan (in the vein of amoral). Similar to taking out a pack of wild animals that is menacing one's family or village, or perhaps even more justifiable than that, since the pack of wild animals would not be acting out of malice and wanton destructiveness, as the deadlier sex tends to do.

No ethical vegan would truly want to harm this pack of animals, but survival comes before everything, and extreme circumstances call for extreme measures. I'm of the same mind. Now that men as a group have moved beyond killing, maiming, and psychologically bruising large portions of the population for life to destroying the whole damned planet with their technological "progress," I think that it's acceptable to call a state of emergency.

Obviously, it's a long way from ideal, but what else is there? Asking nicely for men to stop doesn't work. Asking not so nicely doesn't work. Even appealing to their own sense of self-preservation doesn't work; they're going to go down with the rest of us once they poison the planet to death, but the necrophilia working inside of them keeps them at it.

There is of course the objection that they aren't all guilty. Well, not every shark will bite, but no one wants to swim with them either (except some men. necrophilia again). What happens if, say, the heads of the military, the CEOs of the most polluting corporations, and the leaders of various terrorist organizations disappear? Other men will rise up to take their places. It is really critical to understand patriarchy as a system in which not every single man has to directly undertake heinous actions at any one time, or ever, to keep it going or continue to benefit from it. It's basically the original Bro System of mutual support; some are doing, some are supporting and condoning, quietly, even.

To be continued.
improperlyhuman: (Default)
I don't know what it was that motivated me to begin examining accusations of "you don't see me/them/whomever as human" more closely. Me being an ethical vegan, I asked myself, "what is wrong with not seeing you as human? What is the expected outcome or implication of such a perspective?" Is there not a presumption of speciesism on the part of the accuser? Someone who is not a speciesist could be expected to respect anyone she did not view as human; she would not view anyone as "lower" on the Social Hierarchists scale. What would be the harm in not seeing someone as human? Mildly annoying, species-inappropriate behavior? Nothing so horrific as the abuse, torture, and murder that speciesists endorse and perpetrate.

So now it irritates me when people tell me that "I don't see them as human." I'm thinking, this fool sees me as a speciesist. As usual, however, I give morons too much credit. It's usually just empty rhetoric meant to dishonestly turn the tide of the discussion.

Speaking writing typing of discussion, I am trying to very gradually trying to wean myself off of my forums. Maybe that's a stupid thing to do. I heard somewhere that a human being should communicate with other human beings for optimal health. I'm tired of feeling irritated with them, however. There's something missing. It always seems that no one is listening to me (or anyone else, half the time) or understanding or even giving a damn about what I am saying. Less irritation promotes optimal health as well.

I wish that I had a radical feminist forum on which to participate. Not sure that would work, out, though. Some
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