improperlyhuman: icon says: Radical Feminism: Females First. Always. (females first)
Yet another song I listen to again and again without being able to figure out all the lyrics.

I heard a splash out behind the apartment building yesterday afternoon and wondered where the water had come from. Until I recognized the sound as tires on dirt and gravel.

I don't fall asleep til the wee hours of the morning now. The heat is playing a big role. Spring here is like summer.

I was so tired yesterday, I couldn't collect myself to go grocery shopping (and hadn't finalized this month's menu anyhow). I lay back down but couldn't sleep. I blew through a lot of time putting a marker pen, the one I used for Arabic script, to a use for which it was not intended. Good times.

I had to get some food from the local market because I felt that I couldn't stomach what I had left in the house. I found french bread on sale for a dollar and put some homemade lentil sloppy joe in it.

I also bought a cereal called Nutty Nuggets, kind of a Grape Nuts ripoff. OMG. Most filling thing I've ever eaten. I could have gone the whole day without eating again. I had a couple bowls this morning and was fine until evening with nothing but some coconut candy and a protein bar. I didn't even really feel hungry this evening. And no migraine!

You see, it's the carbs that make me feel full. So I'm back to eating potatoes and brown rice and yams this month.

But I took the bus back home and saw myself kicking this man in the head because he wouldn't stop talking.

The heat. I'm hesitant to leave the windows open because of the insects that keep getting in. A couple days ago, I looked over at the pile of novels sitting up against the wall beneath the window and beheld atop them a creature straight out of National Geographic. I toppled and nearly broke my laptop bolting up out of the chair in mindless horror.

Insects are just so wrong.

And this one was even wronger than usual. She appeared to be a type of cockroach, but of a size so unholy, I would never have expected to find her outside of wilderness or laboratory. At least two, maybe three inches long. And what was she doing coming in through the second floor window?!

The worst thing about insects is seeing them run because running means panic, and their panic infects me. I see them panic and I panic. I don't know why. Given the size, the creature's speed was of course unsurpassed, and watching her bolt across the carpet inspired a new level of horror.

Patiently I devised a way to capture her for return to the outside world, abandoning first a glass candle holder (lest I accidentally crush one of her spindly limbs), then a small aluminum trash can, finally setting a box in her path along a wall.

I've somewhat made my peace with the spiders patrolling the ceilings. It helps that they aren't large or evil-looking. At the moment, a mosquito is sharing the bedroom with me and eating me alive. The bites add to my inability to fall asleep. The breathing exercises help to relax me, but they aren't putting me to sleep so well.
improperlyhuman: (Default)
I was carrying three bags and one backpack full of groceries. I was tired. To get to the public transportation center faster, I cut across an empty, overgrown lot, when, lo and behold, I find that the asshole city had put up a gate blocking the way.

I crawled under it.

I can't see any reason for this gate besides making shit more complicated for people who are on foot, which makes no sense given that those are the very people most likely to be going to take the bus.

The center is already a pain to get to, blocked on two of it's four sides by a wall and a field so overgrown and uneven you'd risk a turned ankle crossing it. I've found that the way cities are set up tends to favor motorists. I hate it.

The taxi ride cost way more than I'd expected based on a longer trip someone at the company had quoted me. He'd said that trip would cost something like sixty to seventy-five dollars. At around twenty fewer miles, my trip cost ninety-one! So I used up all my scrip and had no choice but to take the bus home.

The taxi ride had taken longer than anticipated, and I finally got down to shopping too late to catch the afternoon bus. The evening bus never showed up, so I ended up stranded. With a migraine. And low blood sugar. I had $313. $65 of that had to go to a cab. So my financial situation is becoming crucial.

This morning, I called the agency through which I'd hoped to get a telecommuting job. They only recruit for phone-based jobs. Perfect! The person to whom I spoke did direct me to a job board they run, and there are some good leads there. I didn't get the chance to go through them much though, because random fatigue hit again. So I hit the sleeping bag for a nap, stayed too long, then low blood sugar hit again. Such is my life.

I'm not eating much, yet I hardly ever feel very hungry. It's as if my body is compensating for restricted calories by restricting my energy instead of burning fat.

Yeah, I find it generally good to be small. I save money by shopping in the kids' clothing sections, I save money on laundry because more of my clothes fit into a single load. But you know what I like about it the most? Thom let me sit on her lap. I miss that. Maybe again someday.

improperlyhuman: (Default)
When I first called the housing authority about this apartment, I was told that my share of rent would be zero. Today I received a letter from the housing authority indicating that my share of rent is twenty-eight dollars. More money I don't have.

There's no work available through my usual avenue, probably because of the time of year. I signed up with another freelancing website, a much classier one that won't require me to search for and bid on jobs. I'm also planning to set up a professional website and seek my own customers.

I kept thinking about that neuropsych assessment I had in Berkeley. I know that I probably contributed a bit to that schizoid misdiagnosis by lying. On the first of the two I spent taking the Wechsler, the administrator paused and asked me how I was doing. I had a moderately severe migraine and was fatigued. My blood sugar was also probably low. But I said that I felt fine!

There's a small amount of wiggle room in which that lie wasn't totally voluntary. I of course wasn't thinking straight—this suddenly seems absurd to say given that I scored so highly—or quickly. I automatically say "fine" when people ask me how I'm doing because I know they probably don't really care and are simply following social convention. That habit may have come into play during the assessment.

I remember the gears of my tired brain grinding for a bit before tardily coming up with the possibility that the administrator wanted a more accurate and specific answer. I remember struggling to figure out whether I should say something more about how I felt, struggling to gear up the internal mechanisms necessary to produce speech. But she continued before I could do anything more.

I sort of got carried away by the flow of her interaction and couldn't manage to interrupt her. Something similar happened during my SSI hearing. After I told the judge (who was pushy) that I lived in a van and had oatmeal for breakfast, she asked two questions in a row, something like: "How do you eat oatmeal? Do you have cooking facilities?"

I answered the second question by telling her that I had a camping stove. However, in the space of time it took me to see that her questions were connected, and she assumed that I cooked the oatmeal on the camping stove (I actually at it uncooked, just like I do now with oat bran), I couldn't get my act together fast enough to correct her, and was carried away by her bulldozing on with the questioning. I'm sure that cooking made me seem more able than I was. My difficulty with conversation actually made me less likely to be approved for SSI. That whole invisible disabilities thing again.

So I lied about feeling ok during the neuropsych assessment. In later sessions of the especially, I know that I had an unusually flat affect due to how badly I was feeling, but my not letting on about how badly I was feeling probably contributed to the administrator (especially the second one) concluding that the flat affect was part of whatever disorder I was dealing with. Of course, her having somehow heard me say things I didn't say and the mis-administration of tests contributed far more to my misdiagnosis, but I guess I had a small role.

A large part of the reason I said that felt fine was pure nerdery: I enjoyed the IQ testing so much that I didn't want to stop. That my poor condition might adversely affect my score did not occur to me.

I'm tired. Is this even consistent? I know that I didn't want to stop the testing, but several paragraphs above, I mention that I tend to thoughtlessly answer "fine" when questioned about how I'm doing. Those two don't seem to jibe. Was the response deliberate or wasn't it? It was largely deliberate, but, after I saw my mistake, my inability to take charge of the conversation and correct it was not deliberate.
improperlyhuman: (Default)
Instead of going to bed last night, I decided to try eating some more. That vegan pizza got rid of my migraine almost completely!

No workouts today because my inner thighs are too sore.

Not having any pictures on my profiles lit a small fire under my bottom, so I wanted to take some pics, but my hair was a mess. I worked up my whatever to call one of the local barbers and ask her if she could cut kinky hair. She said yes!

At first I was like eh... because she has an accent. Auditory disability and barber shops are bad enough, but auditory disability and foreign accents are a match made in Hell. But I went in and got a nice skin fade. It was a small, quiet shop (no blasting music), just one chair, I think, which is good because I didn't want to be somewhere where other people were waiting and/or getting haircuts. I'm trying stay kinda on the downlow in this town. Also: a female barber! I didn't even think about that part. Super convenient, less than a five-minute walk from my apartment. 

So I took some selfies with the Android, but this computer won't mount it. My other laptop mounted it automatically, but I guess that computer can't be revived. RIP Lubuntu.

My buckwheat hulls arrived today! They aren't at all too hard. Just lying on the bag feels good, so I'm confident they'll make a great pillow. I just need to get and keep them in my pillowcase without spilling them everywhere.

Hmm just noticed that I have LED error codes on my laptop. Maybe reseating the processor will revive it.
improperlyhuman: (Default)
My new Internet service provider completely skipped my installation appointment today, so I still don't have reliable Internet access. The next available appointment wasn't until Friday, which is grocery shopping day, so I had to settle for next Monday, nearly a week from now! The shitty customer service I've so far received bodes poorly.

I found a way out of town, but it goes in the wrong direction, and I didn't have time to explore it because I had to be home in time for the installation appointment that never happened. I'll have to lug my bike up a flight of steps to get to the path.

I am depressed.

My neighbor has visitors all the damned time, and I can hear nearly everything they are doing from my living room, including yelling at grandkids, singing to the dog, booming up the steps, and talking while the T.V. is playing. I tried to escape by moving into the kitchen and could hear from there as well (and I can't get a good wi-fi signal in there)!

The landlord stopped by with some Borax and some sort of natural flea treatment (in case the Borax doesn't work) and asked me whether everything else was ok. Of course I couldn't remember to mention the neighbor's noise because I can never think during a damned conversation! He asked me how I was doing and I stood there staring at him like a moron because I didn't recognize that he'd asked me a question. Actually, I didn't stare, I looked back and forth between his gut and his face because I couldn't look at his face the whole time. Weirdo, that's me.

And what good would that have done anyhow?? I don't know that they are terribly loud; it seems that the walls are just thin.

I have to get out of here ASAP. I just moved in and I already have trouble sleeping at night and getting up in the morning.

I did have time to explore the single bike path in town. Bordered by the road and a rusting, barbed wire fence, it is nothing but an unmarked strip of concrete featuring raised cracks every three or four feet. I doubt that it's even half a mile long.

I called the GI Bill hotline and found out that I'm not eligible for any more educational benefits.

The veteran's service officer who payed my deposit still hasn't gotten back to me about helping me with furniture, which I would like to take care of ASAP so that I can pick up the furniture and get my stuff out of storage on the same day and not have to pay for two different moving trucks on two different days! I couldn't bear being on the phone this afternoon, so I tried to e-mail her before the end of business hours...and that's when the wi-fi went out.

And I couldn't save the e-mail as a draft. So I saved it as a "File," not knowing what that entailed, so that I could reboot the computer (after which the wi-fi inexplicably worked again, but it was already after 5 pm at that point). Then I had to remove all the formatting from the e-mail, which had been saved as an HTML file. What sense it makes to save an e-mail as HTML, I've no idea.

Some idiot used the word "mankind" to refer to all humans. AGAIN. That is irritating even under good circumstances, but I just couldn't deal today. Piece of shit, I hope you die, you and mankind. I don't even care if that sounds horrible; I have no more patience. It's 2016, anyone who isn't aware of a reason for not referring to females as "mankind" is a moron, and the people who do it anyhow are trash.

I'm going to call the housing facilitator tomorrow and ask him to continue searching for housing.

My main laptop won't boot lol!

Taking my bike out the back door is the most inconvenient thing ever because the lock is messed up and we have to keep a stick wedged against the door to keep people out. So I have to take it in and out of the front door without getting crap on the carpets.

So now what am I gonna do with myself? One would think I'd at least be happy to live near the water again. NOPE. It's cold near the water. To cold to go for an angry walk outside. All my movies are on the laptop that won't boot. Maybe I'll try reading a book in the bedroom. With the door closed. I feel like destroying something, honestly.
improperlyhuman: (Default)
My mom called me again. One of her brief check-in calls. I haven't had the energy to tell her to stop calling me up until now. So I told her. I said that I was not comfortable talking to her. She asked if she'd done anything wrong, and I said "not recently." I did not, however, say what she'd done. But she apologized and said that she never wanted to hurt any of her kids.

I don't know what's the use of an apology from someone who doesn't even know what the grievance is. Before I could ask her what the hell she was apologizing for, she simply said that she would stop calling. Then she said that she wouldn't really stop calling because she'd still make brief calls to give me news about my sister and nephew (with whom she is living). By that time (a matter of seconds), I had forgotten what I'd wanted to say about the apology. Auditory processing deficit at work.

I know that I should attempt to actually have a discussion with her about her horrible parenting for closure and repairing what little relationship we have left, but it's a painful thing to talk about, and a small part of me is afraid that she won't really understand or listen, and that she doesn't give a shit anymore because she's tired of my distant behavior.

An even smaller part of me wonders what the point is. I'm almost thirty-six and she's...I dunno, a zillion years old, and this is an old issue that can never be fixed. Dysfunctional childhoods can never be fixed. Oh well. Maybe I will speak up next time.

I walked around town a bit today and finally got to see the gorgeous view. I also had the presence of mind to work on not feeling anxious. And I finally got the bedroom window closed! Hallelujah.

Split pea stew for lunch today. I also tried some vegan jerky. It was a bit tough to chew. I don't have a teapot yet, and the stew is taking up my only pot, so I made tea by setting a mug full of water directly on the range. I used my glove as a pot holder and with the hot mug accidentally melted a small hole through the base of the pinky.

improperlyhuman: truck tipping over on the highway (tipping truck)
Without my eyeglasses, I've narrowly avoided some nasty spills while cycling at night because of my inability to survey the terrain immediately ahead.

Soooooo upset as of this afternoon. The barber didn't give me the haircut I asked for, and I didn't even notice until I was at least a mile away from the barbershop because I didn't wear my glasses! I never wear my glasses anymore; the frames feel strange on my face and looking through the lenses is awkward and irritating if not painful.

Immediately after the haircut was done, the barber handed me the mirror like barbers always do (actually, she did that twice: once after the main haircut was done and again after she'd lined up the hair around my neck) and I looked at my hair the best I could, which is not very well because I can't make out any details at the back of my head without corrective lenses. So I Ieft it to fate like I always do and said that it looked fine.

I've had off haircuts before, but this time was worse somehow. I'd made sure to use proper barber lingo to get the exact haircut I wanted, and that apparently didn't work. I'd used the exact same words with the barber's colleague a few weeks ago, and the haircut he gave me was almost perfect. Her work looks totally different. I asked for a skin fade, and there's no uncovered skin on my scalp, dammit. That's how I know she messed up: I ran my hand over the back of my scalp while I was stopped at a red light and felt all the hair back there. My hair doesn't even feel faded; it feels the same length just about all over my head. It's the easy, basic cut I used to give myself with my cheap department store clippers, and I blew eighteen dollars on it.

Eighteen dollars and all the anxiety it cost me to go to the barber shop at all. Barber shops always have music playing, I swear, at the same volume at which people are talking. So I was just beginning to relax in the chair when another barber started talking to me, and back up went the anxiety. When I have difficulty differentiating voices from background noise, it seems to me that the voice is fading in and out, and the background noise (which isn't exactly in the background if it's at the same volume, is it?) fades out and in. And that's what it sounded like. Of course I had to ask him to repeat himself. 

I don't wanna do this anymore :( Going to the barbershop is one of the things I let my anxiety talk me out of, and I think I'm gonna go back to that, at least for a while, once I get housed. I can't really do that now because I don't have clippers with me, and I really need my own space because I have to set up mirrors to be able to see the back of my head, and I need to be able to get hair all over the floor without having to clean it up immediately. Oh! And I always cut my hair naked so that the hair doesn't get into my clothes because it itches like crazy.

Both times I've seen her, the barber seemed to act extra nice towards me, which I found confusing and unsettling. It's in the way she spoke to me and leaned forward to shake my hand. It wasn't an I-like-you extra nice but a you-seem-troubled sort of extra nice. Maybe that's just her, who knows.

Ever since I got diagnosed with an auditory processing deficit, I've just gotten worse and worse. I worry about it more than I ever did. Before that diagnosis, I had a vague awareness that awkward shit could happen, but, not being able to pin it down, I was more likely to go through with the possibly awkward situation anyhow. Now, my perspective is that something awkward is very likely to happen, which is more acutely stressful. I can't do anything about it but avoid situations in which I have to listen.

My eyesight seems to have stopped improving. :(
I've probably allowed my ocular muscles to atrophy for too many decades.
And I just thought of something a couple of days ago! I'll need to rent a truck to move my stuff from storage and into my new apartment, and I'll have to wear glasses in order to drive safely and legally. I'll probably end up with a migraine.

And if the apartment doesn't pass inspection, I may be homeless long-term again because my voucher expires in less than one month. I've neither the time nor the energy (or more exactly, the wakefulness) to find another unit. My old complex has been renovated, and the rent has been jacked up another four hundred dollars! Crazy. The apartments there aren't worth that even with renovations.

Well. If the apartment does pass inspection, I'll have a month-to-month lease, which frees me to move into one of the complexes out in the country much sooner. I put my name on the waiting list a while ago, and the list covers like four different complexes in different rural towns, all with nice country roads (not deadly highways) and dedicated bike routes. But. I'll have to have neighbors again. I think the voucher rules require me to renounce current housing before they will even begin processing a new apartment, so I'll have to juggle dates to make sure that I'm not homeless in between, or long-term in the case that the new apartment doesn't work out. I'm really over the housing thing in general, and the voucher rules in particular are just ridiculous.

The library is blocking I bet it's because there's a picture of a topless womon on the main page. I have messages that I'm looking forward to reading, and I can't even load the website. I'll probably have to wait until the webmistresses change the main page.

I can't trust even Firefox anymore. Pocket, which is some type of add-on that can upload information to some cloud or other, is now built in to Firefox and enabled by default! I want to get off the Internet, but work is tying me to it. I want to find a way to work with paper, at least to the extent that I needn't rely on shady Internet services...but what about the trees?!

Such are the problems caused by civilization. So much time wasted with other people's bullshit to find housing and make a living. I could be living in a nice (and free!) airy hut and picking fruit off the trees for sustenance, but no, I get this.
improperlyhuman: (dark Mulder)
I think that I have figured out the reason, the whole reason (or all the reasons), why I dislike looking people in the eye. Easier listening is not the only factor. Viewing eye contact as an act of intimacy (which I do not wish to share with most) is not the only factor. The final piece of the puzzle is my having come to hate some forms of nonverbal communication. And so I don't want to participate in nonverbal communication. And so I don't want to see any special "looks" or anything that mean something that I can't interpret, struggle to interpret, or am unsure whether I should even be interpreting at all.

It's kind of difficult to explain why I hate it. Something is off and I don't know what it is. I think that I can read facial expressions and the neuropsych testing results suggest that I can (although I was only tested on the basic expressions), but it seems to take a lot of effort, or maybe looking at people while listening and trying to integrate the two is what takes a lot of effort.

When I figure out what people are saying, I kind of feel ok about looking at them. I look up at them after they stop talking. Or in between complete thoughts. Or rather, what I think are complete thoughts; sometimes I'm wrong and the other party keeps talking, at which point I want to look down again. If I do look down, I worry that the other person will get weirded out by my lack of eye contact, of which I will, at that point, have been guilty twice. If I don't look down, I worry that I won't catch what she's saying.

I'm going to try to give myself a break by looking away whenever I feel like it. It's ok if people get weirded out, I will tell myself. Better to weird them out than tire yourself out by trying to appear normal, set up unrealistic expectations in others, and subject yourself to this anxiety (thereby disinclining yourself to interact in the future). I will tell myself this, will know it intellectually, but I won't feel it's ok, won't know it emotionally. But I will just do it anyways, like I do now when I decide to do something anxiety-provoking.

Right now I'm doing a patchwork kind of thing of looking away sometimes and not other times that I want to. I'm particularly anxious about making a bad impression on people (such as the landlord of this apartment I'm waiting on) from whom I need something important. I don't want to be homeless anymore.

I've thought of some great things about this new apartment. Businesses are below me, so I won't have to worry about bothering downstairs neighbors with the sound of my weights clanking. Maybe I won't even have to worry about louder noise than that, and I'll be able to begin practicing my instruments again! I'll only have one neighbor, and I don't think here apartment is immediately adjacent to mine. I smiled.

Meals are looking ugly these days. Chips and candy-bar-like sweets.
improperlyhuman: screenshot of Apocalypse from X-Men: The Animated Series (apocalypse)
Auditory processing deficits are categorized as learning disabilities, so I looked into the Learning disabled  of America or whatever-it's-called organization. The yearly membership fee is fifty-five bucks! There's gonna be a lot of LD people who can't afford that; I sure can't, not at the moment, anyhow. Let the professionals who are making a living off of us pay dues; we should be able to join for free or at least less.

I don't even feel right thinking of myself as learning disabled because I didn't really have any problems in school until my last year or two of university, and I still graduated with a B average.

No appropriate meetup groups. I don't want to go anyhow. I considered starting a meetup group for a moment, but how would a processing deficit meetup group work? Where could we meet that would be quiet enough?! Only someone's house, and no one is likely to feel comfortable with that. I can't even do group discussions my damned self. It would be a disaster, lol.

Then I remembered that dealing with random people is unlikely to be rewarding, so I gave up. I wonder what it is other people have that allows them to stomach meeting person after incompatible person to meet someone(s) who is/are compatible. I've barely done any of that and I'm already exhausted and demoralized, and I would be even if listening wasn't such a chore.

I got a call back from the Volunteers of America and found out that they can't help me with the deposit for an apartment because I was never activated as a Reservist.
improperlyhuman: truck tipping over on the highway (tipping truck)
I was on the veteran's crisis chat a couple of months ago. I wasn't in crisis but I was upset about something. I ended up mentioning that I only socially interact online (in text) and that that resulted in a lot of misunderstandings. The counselor told me something that I have noticed people say (post, actually) several times before: that online conversation easily lends itself to misunderstandings.

When I came across idea before, I casually thought to myself, what are they talking about? If anything, it's easier. Since the crisis chat counselor told me that, however, I have been thinking about it more deeply. Why do people think online communication is easily misunderstood? I asked myself.

I see now that I was probably just thinking of myself when I thought that text-based communication is easier. Though it isn't easy for me to do so, I can imagine how text-based communication could be more difficult than a face-to-face talk (or even a phone conversation) for people who are not like me. I see body language, facial expressions, and tones of voice as largely extraneous information that gets in the way of the "real" communication, which is verbal communication. Other people probably see that stuff as integral, or even the most important part.  

So without those non-verbal elements on which to base interpretations of what people are really saying...they just invent interpretations? I don't know. The Trouble-With-Text hypothesis doesn't really answer why people think I've said things that I haven't said at all. I think the Desperately-Trying-to-Relate-Things-to-Their-Overly-Narrow-Life-Experience hypothesis probably provides the answer in most, if not all, of such cases.

Just across the street from the shelter, someone asked me if I had any cocaine. Yesterday, someone offered to sell me some "trees." I don't even know what that is.

I have all the food out of my locker now. Last night, someone stole the pomegranate fig bar I'd been saving for my late-night low blood sugar remedy. The night before that, the bag my food was in was ripped open. So now I'm planning to go get one of those metal lunchboxes so that I can lock my food up at night and not have to get up at 6:40 AM to prevent my food from being thrown away during the 7 AM purge. I will lock it up with my bike.

It rained yesterday and I made the mistake of staying at the shelter the whole day. The constant noise was disturbing. I also missed my case management appointment :( I was so frustrated with myself. I know that I need to write down spoken information, but I was so eager to get away from talking to the case manager that I didn't stop to do that.

I've discovered that I can stay asleep more easily if I go to bed a couple of hours or so before lights out (10 PM), but I still wake up in the middle of the night and can't fall back asleep until an hour or two before lights on at 6 AM. The night guard walks through the dorm singing out "Good Morning, ladies!" at lights on. Sooooooo annoying. Isn't turning the lights on enough to wake us up?

My bunkmate keeps putting her clothes on the chair I use to get on and off my bunk, and I keep asking her to take them off. So she takes the clothes off the seat of the chair and leaves the clothes hanging off the back of the chair.

The womyn's case manager has been saying that the place is a mess and looks we're in our own studios every single meeting, but my bunkmate still has her clothes lying around. And leaves her shit on top of my locker. And has a plastic Gatorade bottle that's been sitting on the floor for ages. She seems to have trouble with English. I wonder if it has occurred to her that the case manager is talking about her.
improperlyhuman: (Default)
Finally got a bit of sleep last night.

For today's shelter drama, we had another last minute bathroom closure. I took a shower anyways. Disorganized morons.

I asked...someone. The lady who gives meetings in the womyn's dorm and does some type of case management stuff. I don't even know who is who at this shelter. Anyways, I asked her about keeping my food around given that I'm hypoglycemic. She told me to keep it in my backpack and not in the dorm, and, being eager to get the hell out of there, I said ok and left right away. I didn't bother to ask her what the hell she meant, given that I keep my backpack in my locker in the dorm while I'm asleep at night. Whatever. Back to hiding shit in my locker.

I was going to check out a whole new rural area that's been having some very cheap apartments popping up on craigslist. Due to ambiguous directions from Mapquest (starting off with a street that was apparently non-existent), I got lost and missed the bus this morning. It wasn't until about two minutes before the bus was scheduled to leave, and I'd found myself in an unexpected area, that I figured I'd probably been traveling in the wrong direction.

On my way back to the train station, I blew out my back tire. The two hundred bucks I earned least week is gone. So much money I drop on bike maintenance. Too tired to seek work for days now. I am heartened, however, by what the vet case manager told me yesterday: there is an organization that can help me with the deposit for an apartment, and I'm in the cue for a temporary apartment, which I'll be able to stay in until I find a place to use my housing voucher for.

In think very positively about finding a girlfriend these days, surely not because it's any more likely to happen than before (it isn't, except maybe for my attitude), but, I guess, because I've gotten into the habit of thinking about it to help me sleep/manage stress, and because my instincts are taking control from the ruminations of my conscious mind. Yay, I guess?

I looked up meetups for auditory stuff and haven't found anything so far.

One of the residents seemed irritated with me for not coming to her to get some housing information she looked up for me. I didn't even know she had this information. She apparently told me at the end of the last dorm meeting, but all I heard were garbled words, and then I forgot about it. Well, I don't want any assistance that comes with irritation, and I told her that I could get the information myself anyhow, so I haven't gone to her at all.

Today's homeless lunch/dinner consisted of a can of organic white beans ($1) that I bought yesterday evening, (poorly made) tabbouli ($1.99), bananas (3 for a dollar), green onions ($0.79) in lieu of green vegetables, and a chia seed bar ($0.59).

Dividing my monthly allotment of food stamps by 31 (days), I have just over six dollars and twenty-nine cents to spend per day. The actual amount is less than that because I buy bulk oat bran, peanut butter, and applesauce for breakfast. The co-op was out of pumpkin pie spice, so I remembered that I can get it for cheaper (one dollar per...container) at this huge discount department store over in the next town.

I use situations like this as an opportunity to get exercise. I've been trying to consistently cycle in the highest gear so that I'll keep (and increase) my leg muscles, but the bike has a serious problem getting into the highest gear, and today it kept slipping out of that gear.
improperlyhuman: (Default)
I didn't get the apartment. :(

I guess it's about time to give up. I want to die. I haven't slept in ages. I wanted to hang on and try to find housing in that county a bit longer, but I'm just making myself miserable by staying in this shelter longer. I dropped over thirty dollars on ear defenders, the exact same kind I had before (but about twelve dollars more expensive). They're uncomfortable to sleep in, and I can still hear my bunkmate snoring. But she's getting a bit of her own medicine now because my mattress springs make a bizarre dinging sound when I toss and turn (due to being kept awake by her snoring).

One of the other clients is probably a lesbian. She introduced herself to me, but I've no idea what her name is because poor auditory memory. I think she tried the eye contact thing with me this morning. I don't know what is going on.

I tried to follow the shelter rules and not keep food in the dorm. I set it on the little counter we have for food. It was gone when I got back. That was at least two days worth of breakfasts, including several days worth of pumpkin pie spice, which is like twenty-four dollars per pound. I don't know whether I'm angrier with this disorganized mess of a shelter or myself. I suspected that this would happen. This is the second time this has happened, in fact.

I don't really get enough food stamps to feed myself every day.

Someone exploded in the bathroom or something. There was faeces and blood all over the walls of two of our three bathroom stalls.

It's gotten cold so I went to Goodwill to get some warm clothes. I only had one pair of pants. The barber shop is right there so I went in. My barber wasn't there, so some guy cut my hair. He didn't cut it the way I wanted it cut. Too tired to get really upset about it.

I came here to give blood today. While I was waiting to be called in, one of the workers tried to convince me to donate bone marrow. I said that I didn't want anyone cutting into my bones. He said that being a bone marrow donor requires a commitment because you have to go in and give the marrow when they call you.

I'd never really thought much about it before, but I thought they just extracted the marrow whenever you came in, then kept it on ice or whatever like they do with blood. But they just get your biological info and then call when they've found a match, so one never knows when the procedure is coming. A procedure that takes 5-7 days to recover from. And would probably leave a terrible scar on me. My legs are all scarred up and scabbed up from walking through prickly bushes when I was in Oregon.

They wouldn't draw my blood because I said that I won't be at my current address for at least 8 weeks. Ehh. Well, I got a free T-shirt.

I tried to keep a journal while I was in Oregon, but I gave up after a few days. For the first day, I wrote:

Caretaker was waiting for me at bus stop. Road had no bike lane or
shoulder. Tried Stand2Pee and remembered to hold legs straight
mid-stream. Peed all over my legs and strained so hard to keep a
straight stream that I literally shat myself! Took an outdoor shower
even though the water was cold and it was evening. Finally had
delicious rice noodles, nutritional yeast, and tamari! Was warm at 9
PM, but later at night was colder—too cold for my sleeping bag. Too
lazy to get up for liner. Was awake all night but got some sleep
next morning. Pitched tent on a slight incline and didn't even care.
I like that rough camping.

While I was in Oregon, I observed the caretaker have some epically long conversations, conversations that I knew I wasn't capable of withstanding. I thought about how fundamental is talking (including casual chatter) to normie socializing. And I thought about having no idea how to socially integrate myself in a way that is accommodating to my auditory issues. Then I had the idea to try to socialize with deaf people. Now I think that is maybe not a very good idea. Maybe if I found some other people with auditory processing disorders...I may as well take advantage of the big city social scene while I'm here.

I went to the Afghan market today. I got this humongous fresh Afghan bread for just two dollars, and a can of tahini hummus for 99 cents. The hummus was too sour for my taste. The low-gluten component of my diet has fallen by the wayside.

I like the little markets because they skirt the food stamp rules (and having surprising, cheap, and delicious vegan finds sometimes. and atmosphere). A couple of days ago, I wasn't able to buy a little $1.50 container of hot brown rice to go with my can of lentils because of the stupid food stamp rule that prohibits hot food purchases. Why *hot* food?? We can buy ready-made food that is chilled or at room temp, but not hot??
improperlyhuman: (dark Mulder)
I have to have my income and related information recertified each year to keep my housing voucher. I found out that my yearly recertification was due the last weekday before I left for Oregon. My appointment was on the sixth of September, so I missed it.

Because my recertification is so late, my housing rep asked me to drop off the paperwork while we are in the process of rescheduling the face-to-face appointment. I asked if I could fax it, but she said the housing authority prefers that I bring it in because of the sensitive information in the documents. So I hopped on the bus to turn it in.

The town in which the housing authority lies is in a neighboring county. I HATE this town. There are SO many streets, so many neighborhoods, that look exactly alike. The town is surrounded by ugly hills with dead brown grass on them. The VA guy assigned to help me find housing has offered my apartments in this town several times despite the fact that I've told him that I don't want to live here. Maybe I'm not the only person who has trouble listening.

On my way from the housing authority, the driver of the local bus had the radio on, and not quietly. I asked him to turn it off because the noise bothered me. He replied that it didn't bother any of the other passengers. I didn't tell him that I have auditory sensitivity because I had no proof on me. This town is actually in the county that granted me disabled transportation status, but there is nothing on my card indication the nature of my disability is.

After I got off the bus, I called the transportation department and asked if his refusal was acceptable behavior. Apparently, someone is sending random buses out with radios playing in them, and the drivers are unable to turn them off (but can turn them down). This didn't used to be the case. Why didn't the driver just tell me that he couldn't turn the radio off? The supervisor kept repeating that the bus service is PUBLIC transportation. What I couldn't think of while we were on the phone is this: if whoever runs the buses is randomly putting on the music, what does the public have to do with that? The other passengers didn't have any control over the radio. Did the community vote to have music on the buses? I call bullshit.

I was very upset and on the verge of tears as we pulled into the bus station. Then I saw my intercity bus leaving. So I was stranded too! I knew that if I didn't get home before curfew, I'd lose my shelter bed and end up on the streets. What a great day. I was also starving despite having eaten a whole pizza for lunch. A pizza whose crust was vegan, according to an employee, but the email response I got from the corporate office indicated that only the gluten-free crust is vegan. The gluten-free crust costs an extra two dollars.

So I was gonna have to wait for the next bus and then bike ten miles in the wind when I remembered the train. So I'm here at the train station. The trait is forty-five minutes late because of a malfunctioning drawbridge. I have plenty of time to make it back to the shelter before curfew, but no time to work. I got a new editing contract today, and I have a short deadline. Tomorrow is the vet meeting and my vet case management, so that's more time wasted instead of working.

I thought that the bus driver's tone of voice was rather stern, and I was especially upset after I found out that he couldn't turn off the radio because his choice to tell me otherwise suggested that he intended to do something other than inform or placate. I shed a few tears sitting there at the hot, empty bus stop. Then I remembered that I supposedly can't really trust my ability to discern tone of voice. That at least made me smile a bit. Maybe the same disability that was aggravated was the thing that prevented a satisfying conversation with management and the same thing that caused me to misread the driver's tone. Lolz what a predicament. I went and had a burrito after that.

I tried calling my sister to ask for a ride, but of course she couldn't help me. If she hadn't been stuck in traffic a zillion miles away, something else would have been the problem. You can't ever rely on poor people, lemme tell ya.

There's never going to be any substantial accommodation of my auditory sensitivity anywhere. This is going to be an issue my whole damned life. Even as a kid I was nearly driven insane because my dad had so many kids and they made such a racket. So I have to just stay the hell away from everything.
improperlyhuman: (Default)
Finally! A good-looking fade. I knew that my scalp looked good; all I needed to show the world was to get faded up right. They cut everybody's hair up in there, like real barbers should. All them foolz who only know how to cut certain types of hair need to go back to barbering school.

But. Going to the barber shop is always awkward. My glasses are one of the reasons: I have to take them off so that they don't impede the clippers, but I can't see the finished haircut without putting them back on.

So I sit there with them in my hand, dreading the end of the haircut. Then I have to haul them out from under the barber's cape. I'm often not satisfied that I can see the haircut clearly (especially when the chair is far from the mirror), but as long as my head doesn't look terrible, I rush through and say it looks ok just so that I can escape.

But things were a little different this time. I finally found a...shit, what's it called. The things for carrying eyeglasses around the neck. I finally found eyeglass holders that didn't have a reproductive harm warning on them, and I was wearing them today.

Without thinking about the consequences, I kept the glasses around my neck during the haircut instead of holding them. Fortunately, the barber (who is even cuter in person than she is in her music video (maybe because she was smiling), but I managed not to stare) loosened the cape around my neck before she invited me to look, otherwise I wouldn't have been able to get the glasses up to my face at all. Why does life have to be so awkward?

My hair doesn't look exactly like I imagined it would (maybe I don't have a clear mind's-eye image of the shape of my head), but it's just as short as I wanted (visible scalp).

I think I sat in the chair before the barber was ready for me to sit in the chair. I heard her say something as I walked over, but I couldn't understand the words and it even took me a second to register that she'd said anything. The ears picked up the sound, but the brain took an extra second to recognize it as speech.

By the time she'd repeated herself, I was already sitting down, so she had to sweep around me, spinning me around so that she could get at certain parts of the floor. Jesus Christ.

I don't know if it's just me that's awkward, or if I'm a normal, not-so-awkward person underneath the auditory processing deficit.

The transportation department's automated phone line gave me some faulty info about the bus schedule, so I missed the bus by a couple of minutes. I was over twenty miles from "home." I decided that I'd pass the time and get some exercise by biking part of the way back to the train station. I hadn't gotten very far when I noticed that my right pedal felt very loose. Not long after, it came off. No idea how that happened I wasn't able to screw it back on.

It was lunch time, I was fairly hungry, and all I had was a damned Ciabatta roll that I'd intended to have with the rest of my vegan bac'n back "home." Little by little, that Ciabatta roll disappeared as I waited for the next bus. The bus that only comes by once per hour.

The housing coordinator called while I was waiting. He said that he'd spoken to the landlady, smoothed things over, and that she was willing to rent to me (without my revealing my medical history). Whatevs. I'm not exactly in a rush to get into some one-room hovel where I can't have guests overnight. The nicer studio won't be available until a week after I get back from Oregon anyhow.

Anyways, I was weak with hunger by the time I got home. I just devoured a whole pizza in one sitting. That's after I tried to save money by having a bowl of noodles. Didn't satisfy me! That's what she said :( I think the restaurant is one of those hipster places (all of the menu items were printed in Italian and the pizza toppings were more pretentious than delicious), but they were the only place that offered vegan pizza and delivery.

Gonna have to stop using the soap on my face. It's making my skin worse. If mere soap can cause pimples and broken skin, imagine what that salicylic acid would do to me.

Speaking of reproductive harm warnings, today I noticed that a fast food restaurant had a similar type of warning posted in the window next to the door. Some substance that is produced during browning causes cancer or something.

Day before yesterday was the first time I noticed the reproductive harm warning on the bus! It's no longer a joke: literally everything causes cancer. I mean what the hell alternative to people have to taking the bus?! Driving/polluting? Not going out? What good is a warning if what's being warned about can scarcely be avoided? The only solution is de-industrialization.

I'm just waiting for the moment when cell phones (or rather the electromagnetic radiation that powers them) are found to cause cancer. I know it's coming. Let's see, what would be next? Maybe wi-fi?

I got to the barbershop an hour early, so I went into the thrift store that's in the same shopping center. I got some good boots for hiking and a pair of jeans (in case there's a cold evening or two in Oregon). In the changing room, I finally got to see my body in a full-length mirror (I'm surprised that my host does not have one). Still got a bit of fat to lose.

And I can't see my abs anymore!

I don't want to be involved in awkward shit anymore, and I don't want to be anxious about being involved in awkward shit anymore. Probably some of it is all in my head, but not all of it. I've been trying to figure out ways of moving through the world that don't lead to awkwardness. Isolation is one of those ways.

Because the barber did not seem phased, it occurred to me that begin good with people is part of her job. And I was in a kind of awe for a moment as I considered what it might be like to be good with people, to put them at ease rather than being tied up in one's own unnecessary worrying.

I could never be like that because, even if I didn't have anxiety or end up in weird situations, I like being self-involved more than I like being involved with other people. But I sure could stand to be tied up in my own worrying much less often.
improperlyhuman: (Default)
Worst fatigue ever today. Guess I was wrong about getting better.

astramance used to interrupt stuff I was doing to ask me what I was thinking. I was able to answer her question on only a couple of occasions. Every other time, I immediately forgot what I'd been thinking about. It happened so often that I began to fear that she would think I was lying, keeping my thoughts from her.

I didn't know why my mind suddenly went blank, but I have an idea now: having to suddenly shift into listening mode took so much mental effort that I had to brain dump to pull it off. I now know of a way to improve my ability to respond. I need a signal to prepare me to listen. A touch on the arm, for example.

I also had (and still have) a lot of problems with living with another person, not just with astramance, but also with the roommate I had in college. I felt anxiety and mild dread when I knew that astramance would soon be home from work. The anxiety and dread became resentment. I had time alone every day, but it was never enough, it was never on my terms. I just wasn't ready to see her when she got home.

I became excessively irritable when my roommate came in to chat. I don't know why he put up with me.

The stress of knowing that someone could start talking to me at any moment. Having to be alert. That's part of what makes living with other people so unpleasant. But it's not just talking, it's interacting in general on someone else's schedule. Now I know better than to ever try to live with another person, and to schedule most social interaction well ahead of time.

There's a person who has a blog about having CAPD. She and her husband have begun communicating via iPad while they are together. Together in the same room. That sounds like a dream come true.

I remember that Thom once tried to warn me to be careful on the drive home from her house. I asked her to repeat what she'd said again and again and again, and I still couldn't grasp all the words. She put her lips up to my ear and repeated it twice, and I still couldn't understand, lol. But she was speaking in a low voice so that my roommate wouldn't hear; that didn't help.

I thought that I'd progressed a lot because I don't talk to myself or ruminate so much anymore, but I'm afraid that I've just replaced some of it. I don't do it hard and I don't do it often, but I punch myself in the head with frustration and embarrassment. I've restrained the urge to punch the wall a few times by reminding myself that it will hurt my knuckles.

I've now wasted half the day being too tired to do anything at all. I had such brain fog that I struggled with my usual computer games. I wanted to change my primary care provider before making another appointment, but I'd have to go in and fill out forms to do that. It finally dawned on me that I could make this last appointment with my current doctor and fill out the forms while I'm there.

Wow. Since I'm too headachy to workout, I thought I'd watch a movie. I looked up a good movie I saw years ago on Netflix, "By Hook or By Crook." I thought it was a lesbian movie with a very handsome lead character, but I found some top lesbian movies list that said it wasn't! So I looked closer and I noticed that the two leads are named Silas and Harry (in real life). I looked up Silas and she has a mustache in her IMDB pics (that she didn't have in the movie).

This has all kind of killed it for me. What an ugly feeling it is to know that I'd been misconstruing the movie all these years. Assuming the characters are even supposed to be men, or trans, or anything but whatever I thought they were. They never really gave any clues in the movie. That's what I liked about it: lesbianism without lesbianism being a big deal.

Or maybe I'm just something to pick up on the clues they gave. But they must have used pronouns in the movie, right? Wouldn't I have noticed if they'd called one another he? Now I want to go check. But I would have to buy or rent the movie to do that.
improperlyhuman: (Default)
I sleep right through the night, no more insomnia, yet I wake up tired. It's only eight p.m. and I've been yawning and inexplicably sleepy for the past hour at least. I start dozing off at the desk after breakfast every morning. I don't get it.

I finished Needful Things and disliked the ending, which I found a bit too unrealistic, too B horror.

Over the past three days, I've been squatting over the toilet to improve elimination. It doesn't seem to be helping much.

Next up on the reading list is Carol by Patricia Highsmith. After a tiresome Amazon search, this was among the handful of lesbian-themed novels that I didn't turn away from in disgust. During the course of said search, I found out that this author also wrote a book entitled The Talented Mr. Ripley. With regard to the movie of the same name, all this time I'd thought that Hollywood had finally developed some imagination. Of course not. Most imaginative movies nowadays are based on previously created works. Modern Hollywood is made up of little more than special effects technicians and stunt doubles.

I think I'm going to have to give up my dreams of being a happy and healthy recluse. They said it's not psychologically healthy to be alone all the time, and I suppose They are right. I want to optimize my mental health. I feel defeated. Only human. The reality, of course, is that I won't do much of anything to this end. I can hardly bear the thought of more miscommunications. How would I approach anyone?

"I don't really like people or talking, but I want to interact with you to preserve my mental health." While not looking her in the eye XD.

I guess talk therapy is the compromise. Fake, one-sided social interaction that costs money. What a world.

I thought of a possible benefit of auditory processing deficit: my comfort with formal language. For example, "during the course of said search" a couple of paragraphs above: I didn't really have to think that up, that's how the words form in mind. Formal English sounds natural to me. It's helpful for my editing specialties.

It has occurred to me that I owe an unusually large portion of my language development
to books. Surely auditory processing deficit would make it difficult to pick up speech. And this is perhaps why I don't talk like my family.

I wonder if my worries, anger, and frustration make me tired despite the sleep I get.

I was hoping that my VA social worker would have some news about VA transportation, but a letter in today's mail indicated that she will be on leave effective tomorrow. My medical appointment is in a week. I can reschedule yet again, I can bite the bullet and deal with 3 buses and a migraine for a whole day, or...that's about it. I guess I can also put up with a slightly less serious migraine and spend $20 to use paratransit.

improperlyhuman: (Default)
Finally. FINALLY. The skin of my face is moisturized. It not only feels moisturized, it looks moisturized. In the one and only local drugstore, I found a little plastic bottle of glycerin. Why had no one told me of this wonder before?!

No matter how scaly and flaky my skin got, I refused, refused for years, to use lotion on it because of the shady ingredients, especially petrolatum. I stuck to natural products, but natural products didn't work well enough, apparently. I stopped using soap on my face, and still it was dry and scaly.

Now, maybe my skin can finally heal. Maybe. I have a looooong way to go to blemishlessness, assuming that's even possible for me.

As of today, I've read sixty-six pages of Needful Things. I haven't read that much fiction in at least a year and a half. It's nice to be able to enjoy a novel again. I'm not sure what's changed. I guess I just forced myself to keep going beyond those first few pages, and then inertia took over. The cover blurb says the book is fast-paced; maybe that's it. Not enough of a chance to get distracted.

The work on my quality control gig dried up this afternoon. I'm hoping that someone uploads some more projects come Monday; if not, I will have made less than five hundred dollars, which doesn't quite pale but maybe blanches in comparison to the more than three thousand I made last time.

The backs of my thighs are always sore. Not really sore; I only notice the soreness when I bend over. I don't think this is supposed to be this way.

Nearly busted a gasket when my neighbor spoke to me and brought my bike upstairs for me. I banged my head against the wall for a bit and then played one of my favorite computer games to calm myself down. Just leave me alone! I don't want to be helped, and I can barely speak Spanish. He would not be doing these kinds of favors for me if I were a guy. This crap just started up a few days ago.

Within the last few days, it has occurred to me that I don't like it when people chat at  me because listening requires alertness, and my alertness is wasted on "hello, how are you, te gusta carne seca?" I don't wanna put forth the effort to listen to unimportant crap.

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