improperlyhuman: (Default)
I  prefer to post before midnight.

I tried to have a small snack instead of a whole meal before bedtime (bought some rice crackers today). I couldn't sleep, so I guess it didn't work, and here I am awake and about to eat more.

To cycle further, I need a more comfortable saddle for my bike. I went to a cycle shop today and had something measured...something called sit-width I think. I sat on like some little vinyl miniseat that was attached to a piece of wood. Once I'd sat long enough to leave indentations in the seat, the shop owner had me get up, then measured the distance between the indentations. He said I need a seat between 155 and 168 mm.

Today I finished reading A Field Guide to Earthlings. A lot of the book painted an ugly picture (the part about gender role indoctrination of children was particularly heartbreaking), but it ended on a particularly dismal (albeit realistic) note. Basically the author said there is no way to win at NT games. That includes the "dating game." I feel at peace after reading this book. Too bad I waited so long to buy it. But would I have  understood it so well if I hadn't first racked up half a lifetime of confusing and frustrating experiences?

The book helped me a lot (assuming the author is correct). I now understand what people are saying when they talk about the "deeper meaning" of experiences or ask what a word "means" to individual people (not the literal meaning/definition, it turns out). I had a flashback to an online conversation in which a guy asked what his childhood experiences "meant" and I asked him why he thought they should "mean" anything in particular. The flashback made me feel kind of embarrassed.

I also think I now understand what people mean when they talk about having their feelings and experiences "invalidated." Their reality is so completely constructed by what other people think that having their feelings and experiences misunderstood, disbelieved, or unknown seems akin to the feelings and experiences never having existed at all. lol. It's kind of sad, actually.

The author "validated" my experience/suspicion that therapy generally doesn't work because therapists treat their patients like NTs. He suggested some other types of therapy (including personality typology!). "You may have been given misleading and confusing information about your emotions..." Spot on, goddamned therapist trying to tell me how I felt and suggesting seemingly random motivations.

Not gonna waste my time and energy asking a general audience for advice anymore either. Their "advice" usually has nothing to do with me. I think I also got the 411 on all the "change your thinking" pop psych advice (applies to CBT as well, I think). If a huge portion of one's reality is clogged up with socially constructed bullshit, then coming to understand that the social constructions aren't "real" (something of which I tend to be implicitly aware, if I'm encumbered by a given social construction at all) may very well eliminate the related negative emotions. On the other hand, someone who is genuinely socially isolated or who has some other concrete problem can't just think it away. And if one is used to acting, the act happy -> feel happy thing is probably more likely to work.

Anyways, the author also said to know oneself, be oneself, and trust oneself. That's what I'm doing, and it seems to be working. I care about what people think less. How could I care, knowing that people's thinking processes are so warped? ha

I didn't want the book to end. It was like finally having a constructive and satisfying conversation.

I think I won't be able to sleep again tonight. And I feel uncomfortably full.
improperlyhuman: screenshot of Apocalypse from X-Men: The Animated Series (apocalypse)
Been in a badish mood. After making subtly nasty remarks to me for a month or two, some creepy, irritable lesbian randomly decided that I'm not a lesbian. Then some annoying weirdo...I don't even know, maybe English isn't his native language or he has a communication problem. Time to get off the Internet. Trying to like human beings is self-cruelty. Why did I ever try to do this??

The irritation du jour is people making up random little traits that they then decide are human traits (which of course they can't back up). Especially when they say that human beings are "hard-wired" to do something. You just know someone has swallowed too much pop science when they use this phrase. It isn't even a good metaphor; there is generally more than one way to wire a circuit to produce the same functionality, so the "wiring" isn't exactly responsible for the behavior.

On top of dealing with those people, I've also become worried that I'll scare people away by seeming mean. Teasing people is one of the easier, more automatic ways I interact.

So today I decided to look for something, anything in town I could do involving other people. Lo and behold, free bridge lessons downtown. So that's gonna be my Thursday nights until I move away from here. I'm committing myself to it in words here because I tend to drift away from all things social, even if they aren't unpleasant.

This gets worse before it gets better? Or is the "worse" actually just my feelings of frustration and overwhelmedness at how much it seems I need to work on?

Somehow I ended up watching Youtube clips from the movie What's Eating Gilbert Grape? And I looked at slim, teenaged Leonardo DiCaprio and I thought, "I want slim thighs." And then I felt bad. I've been eating like a horse since I re-started exercising  and I'm concerned that I'll just get bulky again. I don't want to be bulky and I don't want chubby thighs.

I hate my goddamned parents. I know that the way my body is is partially their fault. When I was a baby, I refused to drink cow's milk, so they gave me orange juice. I bet that's why I'm hypoglycemic, at least in part. And the hypoglycemia forces me to eat a whole nother meal each day to avoid waking up with night sweats. Then they proceeded to feed me junk throughout my childhood, very few vegetables or fruit. 18 years of stress surely didn't help. I tried to lose weight in grammar school, received no support, had no idea what I was doing, tried to live on 700 calories per day, and no one even noticed until I was too weak to stand up for a month. I was allowed to leave the house for school and band functions only, so I never got exercise. I tried to do things right in junior high, but my dad wouldn't get me the gym membership I asked for. I tried to get them to buy healthier foods; that failed. My dad would buy one or two separate microwaveable junk food meals for me; goddess knows why. Idiot. And my mom did no parenting whatsoever at that point.

Anyways. There is a fitness center two blocks from here. Now that I have some money, perhaps I'll go there and get a consultation. I don't know how much I need to eat when I exercise regularly, so maybe I could get help with that.

Or maybe I'll have thighs like this forever and I should just get used to it. I mean but the endurance athletes are slim, so why couldn't I be? I just need to put enough miles on the bike.
improperlyhuman: (Default)
I'm trying to improve my sleep hygiene, but it seems that both the depth and duration of my sleep are worse than ever (or the same but previously unnoticed). I don't understand what is keeping me awake; I certainly have been feeling tired, and I haven't had much on my mind at bedtime.

Once again I feel more tired the second day after a weightlifting workout than the day after. At least I don't feel as tired as I have been feeling
; that tells me that pursuing light workouts is helpful. I really want some caffeine, but I'm concerned that it will disturb my sleep tonight. Anyways, I'm too tired to get up, shower, and get dressed, and, after having put off laundry for so long, I doubt that I have anything dry to wear anyhow.

I think it finally fully hit me today that everything social I've been doing or considering doing is but the means to an end that I can never reach. The most important thing in the world to me is social harmony, healthy societies. I won't ever be a part of one, so I'll basically need to spend the rest of my life being distracted from that need. How depressing. I've begun to wonder whether some of activities I do by myself are just ways to distract myself from this huge hole in my life. Reading romance novels, maybe.

I have shown evidence of this priority before. All the times I posted about ambivalence about looking for a girlfriend, I sub-consciously knew that I was trying to satisfy this broad social instinct with a one-on-one relationship.

I've sought small, cheap replacements for social satisfaction in online forums, but the online world merely reflects fleshspace in its social fragmentation and dysfunction. I found myself confused by the juxtaposition of the urge to participate and the frustration and disgust participation occasioned me. Today I figured out the disgust: Online forums don't necessarily operate as groups so much as they operate as information cannons that fire unwanted personal details at me. I read the threads for high-level ideas, not to hear about strangers marriages (yuck).

I never much cared for friends because the small group social environment, even moreso than the one-on-one relationship, is not nearly as important to me as the societal social environment. And groups of friends can't really replace a healthy society. I had the least interest in friends when I was younger, when I still had a (false) sense of social unity. I felt and feel drawn to anarchists, vegan, and feminists because those ideologies encompass the values I would like to see more or less reflected in society. I wouldn't care nearly as much if society weren't misogynistic, brutally violent, and opposed to freedom. Of course, those ideologies wouldn't exist if that were the case.

Friends, girlfriends, acquaintances, therapists, co-workers, activity partners, none of them can give me what I want the most. They aren't big enough to create a society in which people can live without fear of other society members. They can't provide freedom. They can't make sure everyone is treated fairly and properly integrated into the group and has enough to eat. They can't keep anyone from polluting the air, soil, and water. They can't make it safe to trust random people. The most they can be is an island in a hostile sea. That's not good enough for me. I feel entitled to more.

So that's it. I think something that's a bit of salt in the wound is the knowledge that some people actually expect society to improve. It won't, not significantly, not fundamentally.

I have said this before: switching my focus to smaller, more contained, more manageable aspects of my life (such as my "career") is a relief. That kind of stuff has a solution, more importantly, a solution I can manage more or less by myself. The sense of hopelessness about the global social situation comes from the knowledge that solving it requires so many people with so many differing and conflicting wants, needs, and perspectives to work together (this is part of the reason why I consider tribes the ideal human social structure). But improperlyhuman (and VoR) can improve my job situation. That's no big deal.

I wonder if the shrink will believe me if I tell her that this is my core problem. I fear that she won't. First we will have a conversation about her believing what I say about my motivations, and then I'll see if that seems to make her any more receptive.

All I can do is save up, move away, and donate my time to the causes. Horrible feeling of powerlessness.

I think all this became clear to me because I have thinking about the Social Instinct, the Instincts (social, sexual, and self-preservation) being a sort of typology often used in connection with the Enneagram to understand and describe personality.

Next time, I would like to post about perspectives I can take to make this less miserable, but I usually forget about such posting agendas I set for myself.
improperlyhuman: (Default)
now my ankles and feet are beginning to hurt more. they only hurt when I like bend my ankles. it's a strange numb burning sensation. the shrink saw the swelling too, so I know that I'm not imagining it. my feet and ankles look gross; like the tortured feet and ankles of an obese person

i watched Rob Zombies Halloween reboot last night. the first hour was sad. little 10-year-old Michael wanted so badly to leave that sanitarium. the shrink said that he wanted to help Michael, but keeping him locked up seemed to make worsen his condition.

i don't know if rehabilitation of such people is possible, but it sure ain't gonna happen while they're locked in a madhouse.

I'm sick of eating tofu! I don't want any more goddamned protein! I've become what other dieters have been talking about: that person who gets ravenously hungry after eating a high-carb, low protein meal and thereby struggles to stick to a diet! I've made myself into that person!

I used to be able to feel full and satisfied with a couple of bowls of cereal, but now I feel crazy hungry afterwards even if my stomach feels full! Yes, I can actually feel full and hungry at the same time! It's really warped.

all for these goddamned gainz
 speaking of which, I haven't been able to exercise for like 3 days now. even after I had my customary 2 peanut toffee buzz clif bars (and some green tea), i still didn't really have the energy to lift. i made it through most of the warm-up and gave up, partially because I sort of knew that exercising less would help me to feel better.

not exercising feels bad :(

these past couple of nights, i've been able to keep the windows open without an insect infestation

i'm seeing the rheumatologist again tomorrow. i hope so bad he can give me some answers!

i finished The Haunting of Hill House yesterday.  or maybe it was the day before. pretty sure it was yesterday. awful, dull book. waste of my time. i read until the very end looking for some action.

time for bed

improperlyhuman: (Default)
I really, really dislike people who can't or won't observe and deal with reality. They are disturbing.
improperlyhuman: (Default)
The same outcome. I'm psychologically tired. There doesn't seem to ever be any payoff for me. I guess I'm just about past the point of hating people, though. It's like hating sharks for swimming. My expectations are too low and I'm too tired to hate. Just another disappointment, another evening feeling down.

I have a neurology appointment tomorrow.

I finally got down to working on my editorial services contract this evening. I was close to finishing. Then the laptop died. Permanently, apparently. I couldn't power it back up. So I'll have to re-write everything I guess.

I called my rep at the housing authority today. I'll have to have given the landlord notice before I can be issued a new housing voucher, which I'll need to secure a new apartment. That isn't as bad as I'd feared (I was afraid that I'd have to have vacated the apartment before being issued a new voucher), but it may be difficult to find a landlord who's willing to wait the thirty days for me to move in.

The rep said that the housing market is bad right now. If I weren't so attached to this area (and relatively safe here), I'd consider up and leaving for something really far off. I still haven't ruled out the Santa Cruz area. Just up north of Sacramento is supposedly cheap, peaceful, and rural, but I'm not sure if I'd be treated well there.
improperlyhuman: truck tipping over on the highway (tipping truck)
I was hoping to get a bit of food from the local grocery store to hold me over until Monday, but food stamps weren't available on my card today. Again. I checked my benefits online, and they're definitely supposed to be available today, just like the social services department phone rep said. So I have like nothing to eat for breakfast as of tomorrow.

I did spinning this morning. I tried to watch some episodes of French In Action to pass the time (spinning is boring), but I can't understand the dialogue with the spinning bike whirring. I guess I'm going to go back to reading e-books while spinning. The e-books are on the Windows desktop VOR got me, which I have stacked up on my old Windows XP machine and my older trumpet case so that the monitor is roughly at eye level in front of the bike.

I don't really get why people make such a fuss over other people experiencing natural disasters, especially when the latter are in places that periodically have natural disasters. That's just nature doing her thing. Animals die in nature: it's always happened, and it will always happen. The world is too crowded anyhow.

How much are those donations gonna help? They won't save those thousands and thousands of people. The money can't fix their destroyed island. They'll be on the brink of starvation again in a couple of weeks, yet the people homeless in the streets have a much greater chance of survival and are right here suffering in front of our eyes every day. I would prefer to send money to people who are being wronged.

I care MUCH more about animals being harmed and killed at the hands of people or their machinations. I don't view nature being nature as a problem, even when nature is violent and destructive. I sometimes think about how unpleasant it must be to drown in a tsunami, be crushed in an earthquake, or starve to death in a famine, but I...I guess those things don't give me a sense of wrongness

Considering all the heinous ways people suffer and die at the hands of other people, I think dying a natural death is somewhat fortunate. Nature doesn't toy with people before killing them, doesn't take pleasure in harming them, doesn't deliberately prolong their suffering. It is one of the most merciful killers. Of Nature's killing we could literally say, "it's nothing personal." Maybe other people see dying as dying no matter what the cause. Because I'm very aware and resentful of people controlling and endangering my life, my being murdered would seem a thousand times worse than dying because of a natural disaster.

I dunno, groups of animals being purged from the Earth every now and then just seems like part of life. It seems pointless for outsiders to fight it. People are already contributing to overpopulation by medically enabling otherwise non-viable humans to continue to live, and struggling against the effects of tsunamis and shit seems like yet another contribution.
improperlyhuman: (Default)
The wind rattles the doors and windows so hard at times that it sounds like someone is knocking or trying to break in. The rattling bedroom window woke me up in the middle of the night.

Still, I managed to get myself up and ready for grocery shopping reasonably early. I even ended up less stressed out after I found a closer and more convenient grocery store that carries my staples (bulk oat bran and organic produce). Then I called the EBT hotline to make sure that food stamps were available.

Fifty cents available balance. The day, my mood, it all came crashing down. Because I had my food stamps case transferred to the county where I was staying while in the shelter, the day on which funds are available also changed. Of course, no one had told me this. After a zillion years on the phone, I found out that my case still hasn't been transferred back to this county, and food stamps won't be available for another six days.

SIX DAYS. It sounded like forever, especially in comparison to the two days I'd planned for the last time I went to the grocery store. I had no food besides spices, tea, and a couple of bowls worth of brown rice. I had to spend more money that I could ill-afford to spend. I thought about the local food bank, and past experiences with food banks: their junk food, expired food, and white rice, which makes my blood sugar crash. After hanging up, I held my head in my hands and rested my head against the bedroom wall as tears and pressure built up behind my eyes. In the back of my mind, that one bad thing after another had happened since I'd moved in seemed almost comedic (albeit not comedic enough to improve my mood).

I can't even remember what I did after that, but I somehow pulled myself together. I got down to the work with which I'd been procrastinating, and, on my break, I got myself to the grocery store and picked up a bag of food. I got in and out without spending too much or worrying too much about how much I was spending. Although I didn't feel like working at all, having work helped a bit because work means more money and less reason to worry about money. The thought of losing my clients sobered me up a bit, and I soon got into the groove of editing once I'd started. I bought a chocolate bar to help myself feel better. I think I ate too much chocolate because I feel nauseous now.

So I'm doing ok this evening and working on staying hydrated. I also need to focus on finding and ordering the self-care and household items I need (a natural pillow, a computer desk, mouthwash, and a new flosser; I haven't flossed properly in days), getting some clothes, and re-establishing my former sleep schedule. I also need to stop spending so much time online, which I've been doing to distract myself.

I usually completely ignore the online "friend zone" discussions, dismissing them as entitled men complaining about uninterested womyn refusing to fuck them. Having been on OkCupid recently, however, I've re-noticed the profiles in which womyn say that they need to be friends before pursuing a more intimate relationship. I wonder if some of the "friend zone" situations involve guys not understanding, ignoring, or being unaware of this need. 

Me, I don't think I can do the friends first thing. I don't even really want friends, and my attraction tends to be more immediate than that. If I tried to be friends first, I would try to stuff down my attraction in order to avoid serious disappointment in case the other person decided that we weren't compatible after all that friendship. That, the waiting, and the wondering would be very uncomfortable.
improperlyhuman: truck tipping over on the highway (tipping truck)
The stupid overpriced pizza joint ruined my dinner last night. I was sooo looking forward to pizza (like I always am) and decided to treat myself despite the ridiculous price. I need to remember to ask what's on the pizza before ordering. They don't have a regular menu, just whatever the overly creative employees feel like making each day.

Last night, the vegan pie had chili beans on it in place of pizza sauce. And a few random pieces of pineapple. It made no culinary sense whatsoever. Someone needs to clue them in that some toppings don't taste good with other toppings. I go there for pizza, not experiments, and I'm sure that most of their other customers are the same in that respect.

Today's shelter drama: we have a new resident. She scoots along at a snail's pace with her walker. As soon as I saw her, I knew that she should not have been admitted to the regular womyn's dorm. Yesterday, I saw her sleeping with her pants half off, as if she hadn't been able to remove them.

She proved me right this morning. After she got out of bed and inched towards the bathroom, pushing a garbage can containing goddess knows what, one of the womyn in her bunk area noticed a soiled diaper propped up between her bed and the floor. A diaper soiled with solid human waste. People said that she ought to be in the medical dorm.

It makes me sad and hopeless that people can't stand each other or even just get irritated with one another for neutral personality differences. I was reading through some of the messages on the copyediting email list (which can be frustrating even when I'm in a good mood), and I just couldn't take it today. I want the other list members to focus on copyediting and stop cracking obscure, off-beat jokes. I of course don't think there is anything wrong with their cracking obscure, off-beat jokes; it just irritates me. I can't even say why it irritates me.

Sometimes they skirt the list rules and start in on personal political opinions. They may be great people, but if they ever came up to me with those jokes and shit, I would roll my eyes and walk away to prevent myself from puking up a major organ in disgust. Or maybe that's just the way I feel when I'm reading online.

People can be so random with their likes and dislikes. That randomness keeps them from being able to tolerate other people. It seems like such a small thing to keep people apart. Maybe that's why it makes me sad. If random things keep people apart, how do they ever form any non-familial relationships? That must be hella random too, right? But if people get together for random reasons, what makes their relationships special? What's the point?

My attitude towards relationships is not conducive to forming relationships. It's not conducive to sanity, either. I've been trying to change it, but that's not easy. I think what other people do is go with the flow and not analyze everything so much. But analyzing things is what I do. That's how I roll. I don't wanna be one of those people living unexamined lives. The horror.

But maybe those likes and dislikes only seem random. Maybe they are actually a predictable part of the emotional aspect of each person's personality, and only seem random to strangers. Or people who don't pay much attention to emotions. 
improperlyhuman: (dark Mulder)
Yesterday, I checked out a book entitled Instructions for Your Discontent: How Bad Times Can Make Life Better (which, as far as I can tell, didn't include much about making life better). I am discontent, still in grief over my last apartment and my former town amongst other things, so I thought the book might be helpful.

The section on romantic love includes a list of traits that promote "love infertility", and the list includes "no sense of humor." There's also an example of this: an exchange between the author and a client who has tried many things to find a suitable guy but has failed. The author begins laughing at her and talks have a sense of humor about the situation. The client says that the situation isn't funny.

No sense of humor. I have noticed people saying this about people who are not amused by what the first group of people think the second should find humor in. Disturbingly, what they think should be humorous is often some kind of personal problem. There is some kind of ideology having to do with the supposed desirability of being able to laugh at one's problems. Notable is that the supposed humor deficit is rarely, if ever, phrased as a lack of humor; it is referred to as no sense of humor, as if failing to find the humor in one situation reflects on one's humor in a global fashion. Perhaps "no sense of humor" is just idiomatic...but.

Overall, the book was not very helpful. The author believes that prolonged periods of datelessness (that includes a measly three months without a date!) should be ended by randomly dating potentially incompatible people. Any date, just get a date! More fundamentally, the author takes the (not uncommon, it seems) view that dating is fun. Or, at least, that dating should be fun, and, if it isn't, the fault lies with the unsuccessful dater who is somehow raining on her own parade. This perspective, or rather, the advice it begets (to date casually and often) is of no use to those of us who have low social energy.

I find that self-help books are rarely relevant to me. Aside from being shallow and apparently targeted to the middle class, they seem to include assumptions about social orientation that do not apply to me, and there is a lot of advice about low self-esteem, prioritizing one's needs, and other issues that I've never had a problem with. Of course I don't expect to profit from every self-help book out there, not even half of them. But I am careful to grab only the ones that seem relevant, and still they hardly ever are relevant. They cover the topic(s) I want to read about, but the solutions are unrealistic for me (random dating? not gonna happen) and the diagnosis of the underlying problem is totally wrong.

What is irritating is that nearly all of them are written in the same voice. That's another thing (besides the general dumbing down) I dislike about modern books: few authors have a unique writing voice anymore. All these low-content mainstream books read like someone's blog or something, and they repeat the same shit over and over again. Too many people get published. Not everyone can write. Save the trees.

So. As usual, I have to figure things out for myself. I have a problem with feeling disconnected to people, not in a schizoid way, but in a so-many-people-would-do-me-harm-if-they-could-it-has-destroyed-my-sense-of-belonging way. Actually, I don't even know what the "schizoid way" is (and I bet the shrinks don't either), I just know that I'm not mentally ill for feeling no sense of connection to the thoughtless, dull-witted, violent, xenophobic, misogynistic, racist, pro-capitalist, speciesist, ecologically destructive/irresponsible subset of humans.

Without my sense of connection to all, I have no sense of connection to some. And I need a sense of connection to some to have a girlfriend, so I have to figure out how to get it back; I have to figure out how to appreciate people as isolated individuals instead of examples of that entire humanity I used to be so naive about.

I want to pretend to be mute. I don't want to be expected to talk so much. It won't work; I'll have to talk to run my errands. Damn it. I've been thinking about getting some T-shirts printed with messages that discourage people from talking to me.

I didn't want to leave the library for lunch, so no homeless lunch today. I (sneakily) had a banana with peanut butter in the bathroom to maintain my blood sugar level.
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: (Default)
I lost another bike lock today. I was suddenly very tired after lunch (and the plastic container my curry came in half melted in the co-op microwave), and the problem with my highest bike gear had finally come to a head. I had to take the wheels into the shop because I couldn't deal with the noises and strange behavior and because I don't want to take the chance that it's not in tip-top shape for tomorrow.

I must have lost the lock somewhere along that little adventure. I don't even have the energy to go look for it, and it'll probably be gone by the time I go back. I'll just have to buy another. More money this fire is costing me.

I can't figure out how to get my pictures off of this new Android Obamaphone.

While I was lying awake last night listening to the snoring shelter residents (we have a new one who has the bunk right across from me. which I thought was for veterans. I was told that female veterans had a separate area in the shelter. We don't.), I decided on a feminist activism plan. One that requires no social interaction. A flyer campaign.

Maybe now I have some idea of what people mean by "the meaning of life." Maybe they don't necessarily believe that there is some universal meaning; maybe they just want a reason to go on living despite all the bullshit. I guess my flyer campaign is going to be my reason. I will do it for posterity. It seems there is not much more I can do for myself. Or my contemporaries. Housed or not, I am so psychologically tired. The catcalling is draining me. What can I do? I'm powerless to stop it.

I have an appointment to see the apartment I found yesterday. I'll have to bike ten miles to get there. My VA social worker won't give me a ride because she's off on Fridays. I wonder, is she getting a four-day-a-week paycheck?

Another man in the dorm this morning. This one gave us about fifteen minutes notice that the entire bathroom would be shut down for construction "about a day." So I got of bed and rushed in there to take a shower. The shower head wouldn't work, and as I was about to go behind the curtain to the other shower area, someone who sounded rather upset said "please don't come in." I don't even know what that was about. History of sexual trauma? Extreme modesty?

I didn't want to bother her but I needed a shower, dammit, especially since I thought that I'd be able to go see the apartment this afternoon. But she had the only working shower head, so I had to wait anyhow. She took forever and even started to get dressed in the shower instead of the dressing area! It was past shower closing time once I finally got under the water and someone came in and gave me a stern warning. How many times can I say it: this shelter is bullshit.

On top of the aforementioned bullshit, I found out at lunch duty yesterday that staff gets more food than the residents. What the hell?

Shit. I keep forgetting to call Legal Aid about getting remunerated for asbestos damage to my stuff.

In her book about feminism, which is intended to represent "black women," bell hooks says that (female) feminists should put forth the effort to explain to men how feminism will benefit them. She also wrote that poor minority men do not benefit from abusing and raping womyn. Wonder why the hell they do it, then?! What a stupid thing to print.

Why can't people get it through their heads that men engage in misogynistic abuse because they enjoy it? Why else would they do something that *no one* is forcing or even encouraging them to do, something for which they could face prison time?

It drives me batty when people say that "society" makes men violent. It's a huge obfuscation of culpability. Society is a huge faceless abstraction, placing the blame on which has no practical use.

Society is made up of individual people. Who among these individual people is encouraging, coercing, or forcing men to be violent? Surely not everyone, because womyn aren't quite stupid enough to engineer their own abuse on a societal scale. Children aren't doing it.

Are men making other men violent? What about all the men who assault, rape, and murder when no one but their victims are around? Who's forcing or encouraging them to commit those acts? Why would men choose to associate with men who tell them to act against their inclinations, to risk imprisonment in some cases?

People cling to such obvious nonsense, my goodness. I guess they're faring better with their nonsense than I am with reality.

I read part of a book on the Enneagram in Oregon. I read about my type, type 5. The defining characteristic of type 5 is non-attachment. That at least seemed spot on, and it seemed to get to the core of what I hate about people: they are too attached to shit. Too attached to their culture, their religion, their upbringing, their shitty friends/relatives/lovers, their unrealistic beliefs, their delicate egos. Anything and everything. But that level of attachment is "normal," isn't it? Maybe that has something to do with those shrinks telling me that I'm a schizoid: I don't get attached enough to put up with bullshit, and that's abnormal.

Only when I think of the group of people on whom normal psychology is based do I see how truly bullshitty psychology is. These are people who've managed to stay relatively sane and happy living in one of the most violent, racist societies that ever existed: the United States. What kind of person comes out of that sane? A clueless person? A callous person? A very privileged person? Maybe a resilient person. Or maybe a person who lives in a fantasy.

I'm not attached to my family because they're dysfunctional and provincial. I'm not attached to U.S. culture because it's violent and destructive; I'm not attached to ADOAS subculture because it doesn't suit my personality. I'm not attached to people in general because I've rarely enjoyed myself with them and continually find them to be ugly in nature. I'm not attached to religion because it's just a bunch of lies, myths, and attempts to control. I'm not attached to sex because I'm not attached to people. I'm not attached to my career because I'm not attached to capitalism, money, or material things. Now that I can read again, I'm much less attached to computers, although they are on my list of favorite things.

In fact, I deliberately cultivate non-attachment because I'm anti-civ. Gotta walk the walk, gotta be ready for the apocalypse. And so much material shit is toxic, unnecessary, and produced through exploitation that remaining unattached to it is rather easy.

The thing to which I'm the most attached is the truth. The truth loosens all other attachments. All that other stuff people get attached to requires a lot of lying (especially to oneself), ignorance, and closing one's eyes to things. I can't do it. I'm also attached to knowledge, but that's secondary to my attachment to truth. Definitely attached to music, which attaches me to my instruments somewhat.

I bet I'll have another kitchen duty waiting for me on the chore list when I get back to the shelter. Then I'll have the night to try to convince someone to take it so that I can make my appointment tomorrow. I don't even know these people's names. I don't know whom I should complain to about the less than 24-hours notice for chores. I'm tempted to say nothing and just take the write-up. I don't have a lot of respect for this program. Obviously.

Now it's time to figure out what's for dinner. Maybe I'll blow some more money on vegan pizza. The homeless food challenge is to feel full without getting fat or too malnourished. Some malnourishment is unavoidable.

I got an automated call about eligibility for student loan forgiveness persuant to something Congress passed. I was told to stay on the line to speak to a rep, but I hung up. Forgive them or not, I can't and won't pay them, and I don't want to talk to anyone about it. Maybe I'll look up that act Congress supposedly passed. An automated phone call as a notice seems shady.
improperlyhuman: screenshot of Apocalypse from X-Men: The Animated Series (apocalypse)
The latest "it" food seems to be Kombucha. Kale has kinda died off, I see sweet potatoes here and there in stuff they shouldn't be in, quinoa has become kinda mainstream, and chia seeds are still going strong.

I went back to the vegan joint for lunch today. Disappointment. The fries were cold and chewy, like they had been cooked the night before (I ordered shortly after the place opened). The burger was ok but nothing to rave about, not worth all the calories that were undoubtedly in it (their burgers are made of sunflower seeds). This place also makes sweet potato paninis.

The VA has broken the law. They're supposed to call homeless vets back within 24 hours of initial contact. I'm so out of my mind that I completely forgot to call any of the resources I was given last night.

I found out today that I can take a six-month lease with my voucher. If I want to port out of state, however, the VA that is local to the area to which I port must administer the same housing program and have available vouchers. That's on top of the requirement that the local housing authority accept me. I couldn't decide whether or not it was too early to contact Portland VA about that.

When I told the housing coordinator that I was interested in renting month-to-month, he told me that he had a place available in "the hood." Lol. I asked him if the place was physically dangerous and he said yes.

Let's see if I can gather the energy for this. Building on that post about continually being treated wrong, at this point I'm fairly sure that I do not want emotional intimacy. I'd never had a clear idea of what emotional intimacy even meant until that traumatic neuropsychological assessment. The proto-shrink told me that the term referred to talking about emotions. To this day, I think there is probably more to it than that, but perhaps the "more" is implicit stuff that people who instinctively grok emotional intimacy know but would struggle to verbalize.

I've never liked talking about my emotions. It can be ok when I'm not terribly upset and the conversation is primarily a factual account ("I felt sad. I felt angry."), but I have an ineffably intense dislike of conversations in which people try to make me feel better or want to try to "connect" emotionally. I don't even fully understand what "emotional connection" is, probably a Feeler thing, but I damned sure know that I don't like it.

I'm not sure I can really say why I don't like it. As good as I am at explaining things (on this blog, anyhow), and as devoted as I am to doing the same, this is maybe the one thing that is just. plain. WRONG. I can't think of any thing else that gives me such an automatic, low-level sense of wrongness.

But let me try anyhow: I view emotions as being primarily the affair of their owners. My emotions are my own private affair. Only when they become overwhelming would I tentatively ask for some advice about managing them. Not commiseration, not empathy, not handholding, not reassurance that "I'm not alone" (as I've said before, I'd rather be alone in suffering because the alternative is that other people are suffering as well) but something dry like a procedural list: Do this to stop feeling sad. Then do this. If a, proceed to step 7. If b, proceed to 8.

In addition, there is something terribly creepy about people wanting in-depth knowledge of someone else's negative emotions. Why would anyone want to talk about some shit like that? Aren't there enough disturbing things in the world to contemplate?

And the last part is that other people don't really have much of an effect on my pre-existing emotions: they can't make me feel better. They can distract me, but they can't really touch the emotion itself unless they fix whatever is making me upset. I've heard tell that other people can get some sort of emotional fixing via some special incantations, some "soothing" words, but that doesn't work on me.

People trying that "soothing" words stuff on me makes me feel so. much. worse. It is horrible! Indescribably wrong. The absolute worst times I've had in therapy were when the therapist tried that on me. Of course the therapists didn't know how I really felt. They probably thought my tears had something to do with the topic.

But no: All my out-of-control, body-wracking, unable-to-talk crying and upsetness in therapy was a result of the therapist trying to make me feel better with "emotional connection." All of it, every single episode. And I was not even able to tell them what was wrong. I did not have the concept; only the emotional reaction.

So therapy did absolutely nothing for me. The therapists did not reach me because they were interacting with me in the wrong way, and I lacked the self-knowledge or something to put them on track.

I suppose I felt some occasional pressure to do "emotional connection."
I once told astramance that I missed my sister (the one who died of colon cancer), totally unbidden. In fact, it was kind of random. I didn't really want to do it; I only felt that I should try some "emotional connection," for astramance's sake. Obviously I had no idea what I was doing, otherwise I would have tried to do it on her terms rather than my own.

I started crying after I told her. I didn't cry because I missed my sister; in fact, I hardly ever thought (or think) of my sister and wasn't very upset about her death at the time. I cried because even my bumbling attempt at "emotional connection" felt horrible and wrong.

I know this blog post is the sort of thing people read and think, "this person is like this because she is damaged." Well, I am damaged, but not in the way some (such as incompetent shrinks) may think. I don't, for example, consider myself particularly damaged because of my dysfunctional family. I've had this aversion to "emotional connection" for as long as I can remember, and I certainly don't consider it to be the result of psychological damage.

Sometimes I come across hetero dating and relationship articles online, and I notice that the description of the husband or boyfriend is also a description of me. The complaints about the guy not being "emotionally available," too blunt/saying "hurtful" things, disinterested in having conversations about nothing/trifling shit like "sharing" his day: that's all me. The sense I get from those articles is not that the guy has an acceptable personality type that may simply be incompatible with the womon's, but that the behavior is actually just wrong.

I even once or twice came across radical feminist blogs in which the author unmistakably tagged some stereotypically female behavior as good and the corresponding male behavior as odd or undesirable. Both were neutral behaviors. One of them embedded a lecture video that panned over to the students from time to time. The female students were smiling and nodding a bit. The male students sat there expressionless. I would have been one of the expressionless students.

I guess I hold radical feminists or the opinion of that particular radical feminist in too high a regard because that burned a little bit, to read her identifying the opposite of my habitual behavior as particularly female behavior and somehow better. Maybe I was just taken by surprise because I was so into the rest of the blog post. Or maybe seeing someone apparently sensitive to female othering do a bit of her own othering was a bit cognitive dissonancey.

My point with those last three paragraphs is that people (womyn!) are sometimes biased towards their own habitual behavior in terms of their ideas of normality. Disliking emotional talk, not getting anything out of it is not abnormal.

As for damage, one thing I can say for sure has damaged me is lack of intellectual stimulation. And I know that I wasn't able to get that in some situations because other people's "emotional connection" stuff got in the damned way. Maybe we will talk about that next time.
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I finally agreed to accompany my host on his evening walk. We went to a sort of historic/entertainment part of town after most of the stores and things had closed. Nearly EVERYONE there was walking around staring down at their smartphones (including my host). CREEPY AS HELL. It was that damned Pokémon Go.

There was a huge group of like thirty or forty people sitting around at the far end of the theme parkish place. Like, just hanging out in groups, staring at their phones, some talking about Pokémon. I only saw one person who appeared to be playing the game with a child.

It's like the Harry Potter craze all over again for me: I don't really get why so many adults are suddenly so interested in something that's for kids? It's not just for kids; as far as I can tell, the game is rather simple. Childish. I'm sure Harry Potter at least had some depth to it.

I'm never going on that walk again.

I want so badly to be out of here. I found someone subletting an apartment, but I don't think I'll be able to use my housing voucher to rent the place because the rules specify that I must rent from the owner and have some type of lease agreement. I am very frustrated with the Housing Authority because these vouchers are supposed to assist people who are low-income, but the rules do not seem to have been created with low-income people in mind.

Poor people have housing emergencies that don't always allow them the time to find traditional housing before they're out on the streets, and once out on the streets, all the bureaucracy necessary to secure housing, all the travel and paperwork and go-between, becomes harder and harder. Poor people need stop-gaps like sublets and rented rooms to help them get back on their feet. They may lack the resources to keep roofs over their heads during all the time it takes to process paperwork and inspect shit.

The procedures associated with this voucher are consistent with the housing search of someone who is in a secure financial situation.

A comment posted to Dirt's blog some time ago has stuck with me. The topic was something to do with females transitioning or not being happy to be female or something, and someone made a comment to the effect that a reason for transitioning was not being treated in a way that makes one comfortable.

I think that comment has stuck with me all these years because I never get treated in a way that makes me feel comfortable. In maybe the first couple of years after I'd read the comment, thinking about it only brought to mind the standard mistreatment that is misogyny; the common female experience of not being treated in a comfortable way.

In the last few months, however, I have begun to think about unsuitable social treatment in a more personal and specific light; particularly, not being treated in a comfortable way by other womyn. I do dislike fuzzy sex stereotypes, but I can't deny that I've noticed certain patterns in female behavior, and I've begun to wonder whether expectations that I fit those patterns is the cause of certain social issues I've had.

I was particularly motivated to post about this because of a brief conversation I had with my host last night. He asked me why I hadn't been trying to date, and I said that I didn't feel like I could be myself around people. He told me that I was "fine." I said that I was fine to him, but womyn are different, and he agreed.

It's all very fuzzy and hard to put my finger on at this point, but something that comes to mind at the moment is the sort of language I use and have used with guys. For example, my host and I cuss at each other, tell each other to shut up and go to hell, all without hurt feelings. Even when I'm alone, when I do something silly I call myself stupid and dumbass. It's only an acknowledgement that I've messed up; I don't actually think poorly of myself.

Anyways. I somehow know not to talk to womyn that way because most would get upset. One might say that this is a familiarity thing, but I don't think it is or would be with most womyn.

I have tried to tone it down when I talk to people I don't know, but I think words I used such as "hate" and saying that a town "sucked" or something were still too harsh because those womyn told me I was negative and didn't want to talk anymore.

Another pattern that seems to be emerging is a difference in the level of emotional babysitting that's expected. Not necessarily a male/female difference, but a me/other womyn difference.

When I was in Paris with astramance, for example, she became noticeably upset after we couldn't find a vegan place to eat because she was worried about me not having a good time (I think). And forever-surprised iconoclass was surprised that she was so concerned about me.

I dislike it when people are overly concerned about me; it makes me anxious. I don't consider myself to need that sort of solicitousness because I speak up when I don't like what's happening, and I expect other people to do the same when they aren't happy. And I think that has caused some problems at some point because those other people were expecting me to have a higher level of concern about them.

I asked her to hold some stuff for me before I went in to take the GRE. Later on, she told me that she was confused about my asking her that and hadn't wanted to hold it as she was going around the city. I was again surprised because she hadn't said anything about that when I'd asked her. I would have expected her to simply say "no" to my request. And I ask myself, why didn't she say "no"? Was I expected to think of her not wanting to hold my stuff and simply not ask her? I wonder about these things.

Another thing I have been thinking about is my facial expression (or lack thereof). Not a lot of times, but enough times to give me anxiety, people have told me that I "look angry" when I wasn't angry at all. I don't know what this angry look is, and when I became aware of my face on those occasions, I found that my features were situated in a neutral fashion.

The question that has recently popped up into my mind is this: what if my face only looked angry to them because they were expecting me to be bright and smiling? A bright and smiling expression that is not expected of men. A bus driver once told me to smile while I had a neutral facial expression, and the situation was so irritating because I had no reason to smile, yet I felt some sort of pressure to smile.

That was one of the occasions on which I had a particularly strong sense that I was being treated in a way that was totally inconsistent with who I really was (and am). Such occasions have a different flavor than run-of-the-mill misogyny because they are not accompanied by any clear threat or malice or even a clear goal; they're comments tossed off casually, cluelessly, and they give me a strong sense that I'm the only person who can feel their jarring inappropriateness.

But I guess that could have simply been a mild case of sex role coercion. I know I'm not the only female who's been told to smile in an inappropriate fashion.

Perhaps not related, but I've also been noticing that I've been endeavoring to make myself heard by speaking in higher and more varied tones. I have often been asked to speak up, and I've somehow got the idea that talking more loudly in my regular tone of voice sounds too angry or aggressive. Where did I get that idea from?

So I have anxiety about my voice, anxiety about the situation of my face and body, anxiety about saying the "wrong" things and hurting someone's feelings. I think I have the latter two more when I'm around womyn.

I don't know. It's all just reminding me of what a few people have said about being "misgendered." I guess it's just another narrative and maybe I don't need another one because a narrative is not truly a reason or explanation. I just get so tired of being taken by surprise, feeling like I'm on a completely different wavelength, and worrying that people expect things of me that I cannot live up to and don't even clearly understand.

I have an MBTI narrative, a neurodivergent narrative, a political minority narrative, and at least a couple of less extensively explanatory narratives, such as racism/ADOAS (I have also wondered whether my being perceived as angry had something to do with a racist stereotype). Maybe if I sew them all together, I'll have an über-narrative that explains everything.
improperlyhuman: (Default)
This evening I'm very down about my fatigue issue. I accomplished almost nothing today. Not being able to do anything feels terrible!

I ate and ate and was still tired (and lol, hunger pangs have returned now that I'm eating more). At first I couldn't tell if I was having an energy problem or a blood sugar problem. Early in the evening, my vision began to get blurry, and that is a sign of low blood sugar. Well, I ate again and I still felt tired (although the blurriness went away). I'm stuffing myself for no damned reason. It's like the fatigue and low blood sugar feel almost exactly the same now.

Is it lack of sleep? I've been waking up about an hour too early despite going to bed an hour later than I'd normally go to bed, yet I REALLY do not want to nap during the day and wouldn't be able to fall asleep anyhow. Also, lifting seems to get rid of the fatigue. How that even works, I do not know.

I managed to get an appointment for my skin issue. The advice nurse advised me to use soap on my face (terrible advice). I lucked out: my primary care physician didn't have any appointments available, so I'll be seeing a nurse. My social worker is available that day, so I'll have a ride! I'll make sure to put in for a change of primary care physician while I'm at the clinic.

Also, I finally figured out how to get pictures off of my phone! I have a few nice photos that I took when I was unconventionally housed.

My insistence on avoiding the purchase of new electronics bit me in the ass :( I found a still-packaged MP3 player at a local thrift store and snatched it up. Turns out it won't charge! Yesterday was my last chance to return it. I can't clearly remember what I've been doing this past week that made me miss that window of time; probably losing time in a fatigued haze.

I have gotten into a bad habit of reading a certain reddit. It doesn't have terribly great content; I simply like to have something light to skim while I have breakfast. And what can I say: people are just such ugly creatures. I can't really call it petty or trifling, because I consider some of the stuff in this blog trifling but it's not the same sort of thing.

It's like...I don't know what it is. It is behavior that is foreign to me. Like someone posted a screen shot of someone's Facebook wall or something (or Twitter?), and the person had included the "happy" tag. The account owner was presumably a complete stranger, yet someone commented that the tag made the person seem desperate to convince other people of her happiness.

I was sitting there thinking, why would you say such a thing? How does your mind work that you even came up with something like that? There was no reason to believe that that person wasn't happy. All that commenter had to work with was a single screen shot. It's like some sort of random, subtle nastiness.

I think that I learn better from other people's mistakes than my own in certain kinds of situations, and this is one of them. Goddess forbid I ever become such a person.

If ever I doubt my own observations when I'm complaining about what other people are like, this reddit (and the Internet in general) comes to the rescue to remind me that these behaviors are real. Like the obsession with social hierarchy. There was a post about a fat activist in which people were implying that obesity had aged her prematurely. Then some sick womon suggested that other womyn could enjoy a sense of shadenfreude about the fact that they looked better than the fat activist at the same age. ???

Then there was the depressing side discussion about not dating people who were "out of their league." That way of thinking was not new to me, but I still found it disturbing and I almost pity people who hold to it. Someone is going to outright refuse a potential romantic relationship because the other person has a higher-paying job and more education?? And what is the ranking system that allows people to determine that one person is too attractive to date another? What happened to the idea that attractiveness is subjective? So incredibly creepy to be rating people like that at all for the purpose of an intimate relationship.

One person was concerned about dating people higher up in the social hierarchy because they might leave her for someone else with similar social status. She framed the expected abandonment as an effect of social status rather than a character defect. Interesting.

I think that I missed out on a lot of social knowledge as an adolescent. I'm glad. I'm not sure that adolescent iconoclass would have weathered well such toxic bullshit.

I once read a book in which the author mentioned a situation in which a neighbor called him a racial slur. The author said that he had decided to not worry about the neighbor's comment because the neighbor was just a police officer and he himself was on track to complete a PhD. What a guy. Overcoming racism with classism. And the author was in one of those humanities PhD programs! Police officers are way more useful than humanities PhD grads.

So I need something else to read at breakfast. Maybe I should try not reading and concentrate on my meal instead. That seems boring, though. Today I read a few fitness articles, but the poor writing and poor reasoning were unpleasant. No one knows how to write anymore; that's why I like old books. Actually, probably the main problems are that the numerous illiterates have gotten too much of a voice and too many (even the non-illiterate) seek to reach a popular audience, which both necessitates and enables much dumbing down. But I don't want to be reading scholarly stuff over breakfast. Or do I?
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This is the first adult French novel I read, back in 2012 when I was living in my car in Sacramento.  The main character is a scientist who discovers a way to shrink and expand matter: decreasing and increasing inter-atomic distances. I believe the procedure came to be called fleurisation.

The scientist leaves the city and sets up an elaborately secretive and secure home/laboratory out in the middle of nowhere to develop and test his idea. Early in the book, he talks about how ridiculous people are and wanting to be away from them. He refuses to read the work of his colleagues, preferring to keep his ideas pure.

After successfully applying fleurisation to non-human animals, then a desperate little person, and then an army that subsequently uses its size advantage to win battles, the scientist turns to his next challenge: General society.

Terrible idea. We all know how nerds fare in the social realm. They just don't understand people. They expect them to behave according to predictable principles like the physical world does, expect them to have their own nerdy, asocial motivations and introverted temperament. They never take sufficient account of emotional factors. The scientist doesn't release his invention to benefit or harm anyone. He does it out of pure curiosity.

So fleurisation becomes commercially available to the public. It becomes hugely popular, far more popular than the scientist had anticipated, more popular than he thinks is prudent. Huge shifts in the structure of society come about, a society made up of people who expand themselves to float up amongst the clouds and shrink themselves to invisibly hitch free rides on buses.

Of course the beauty of the title (despite the misogynistic reference to all of humanity with the word "man") is the double entendre: fleurisation reveals that people are not only biologically elastic, but also socially and psychologically elastic, as evidenced by their rapid and enthusiastic adoption of a major technological change and subsequent sociological upheaval. An elasticity the scientist did not foresee. What was just an experiment to him becomes a new way of life to everyone else.

Nearly everyone elects to undergo fleurisation. Because their new sizes afford them some sort of immunity to viruses and bacteria, everyone who has not undergone the procedure comes to be seen as a health threat. The government rounds them up and houses them in a camp against their will.

The scientist steadfastly refuses to undergo the procedure, and so, in a lovely twist of irony, ends up imprisoned in the camp birthed by his own misguided social experiment. And there he dies, several years later in his old age, still stubbornly in his unchanged body.

I love this book's plot and totally identify with the scientist (I pretty much always identify with the scientist in science fiction). What I love even more than that beautifully metaphorical title and the contrast between the scientist's disdain towards humanity and decision to experiment socially is the artfulness and fidelity with which the book reflects actual technological shifts in society: what is novel, dangerous, grotesque, and bizarre to the current generation becomes mundane to subsequent generations, no matter how extreme the departure from former conditions.

Yet another interpretation of the elasticity theme is technology itself: it grows, changes, fulfills new wants and needs while its original purposes are abandoned. It outlives its inventors and may bring about their undoing.
improperlyhuman: (Default)
Who the hell started this bullshit practice of adding sugar to everything, and why? I bought some pizza pockets today and they were sweet!

I feel much better today; keeping a journal is good therapy. Got my second wind and did a good amount of work today.

So I was searching for some lifting shoes and I learned the ugly truth: that a lot of our clothing is petroleum-based. I found a pair of lifting shoes that listed synthetic leather as one of the materials. So I looked up synthetic leather and ended up watching a manufacturing video of liquid toxins being mixed in a huge vat. Sooo sick and wrong. The narrator said that furniture upholstery is also made of frankenfabrics. Well, it's definitely vegan.

I don't want any petroleum-based shoes, so I need another solution to my squatting difficulties. I'm going to try squatting with my heels up on a plank of wood. If it's good enough for Arnold, it's good enough for me.

Arnold squatting like a boss

BEEFCAKE!!1!!

It'll also be cheaper. Lifting shoes run for around 100 bucks on the cheap end.

Got my monitor cable today and I still can't get an image on the monitor. Piece of crap.

Something just occurred to me while I was playing atris. Most people socialize (date and make friends) within their own socioeconomic group, right? Once or twice, I've wondered why that is so. Aside from simple proximity/availability, most people probably find it a lot easier to get along with other people from their socioeconomic group.

But me, I've never felt like I got along well with my socioeconomic group. I've always felt anxious talking to poor people because I know that they sometimes get awkward if someone references words or ideas with which they are unfamiliar. I simplify things I say. I don't like doing it because, knowing that I don't like it when people do that to me, I feel like a hypocrite. It's not really a problem now, but it was something I did in my twenties.

I also worried about them talking to me about hobbies and interests. People have gotten awkward when I said that I like to read, when I didn't recognize the popular music they were singing to me.

But my goodness, ADOAS were the absolute worst. No other group of people has been so quick and so forward with their expectations and stereotyping. To this day I am paranoid around them. Of course my dysfunctional family was the worst. I remember they teased me about not being able to dance (ALL ADOAS can dance, apparently) when I was just a small kid, couldn't have been older than 4 or 5, and I cried! Awful bunch of people.

But even complete strangers made it clear that I was expected to be a Christian and listen to rap music.

Something I still don't understand is why ADOAS seem to be just Christians. Why no specific denomination? Baptists? Lutherans? I only ever hear them refer to themselves as Christians. Maybe when a people get their religion handed to them (or was it beaten into them?) from the white man, even the more salient details get lost.

What was my point? Oh yeah, never really felt any sense of belonging to a socioeconomic group. Even if I did feel a sense of belonging, the cultural differences would still exist. Maybe I would have a social life if this were not the case. Maybe in my twenties. I had no definite social preferences and no idea what people were like. In my very early twenties, I hung out with a guy from my Reserve unit who was a Christian and I barely even thought about it. Not today!

I used to just go along with shit back in the day. That's how I got any friends at all. I didn't have any particular interest in the people who (very rarely) approached me, but I just went with the flow and gave out my phone number.

Weak ethnic affiliation is apparently a trait that has been associated with schizoids. But I don't have weak ethnic affiliation because I'm a schizoid. I have weak (or rather, nonexistent) ethnic affiliation because

1. ethnic affiliation is useless to me and tainted by the white man's sociocultural engineering, and

2. ADOAS subculture just doesn't fit with my personality, and has some warped elements to it. That streak of anti-intellectualism probably killed it for me. I heard tell that there were some middle class ADOAS somewhere that were different from us poor, criminal, broken-family, school-dropout ADOAS, and they sounded like they might have had a nicer sub-culture, but I don't have any experience with that.

Actually, I don't even know how to classify the family I grew up in terms of class. We lived in a car and motels during my earliest years, then we moved into a house in the suburbs when I was five or six, but the only reason that came about was because my dad put the house in my nineteen-year-old sister's name (his credit was probably ruined), and the money came from the crimes he and my mom committed.

Then my dad tried for years and years to leave behind his lifetime of crime and become a businessman, but he failed hard. Finally opened a business when I was an adolescent, but never earned much from it. I think he may have owned another business or two before I was born, but he obviously hadn't been able to keep them going. The piece of shit desperately wanted to appear respectable. When I was about fifteen, I asked if I could get a job. He said no because, how would it look for a businessman's daughter to be working?

I'm all over the place with this blog post. The truth is that I probably wouldn't have any strong sense of ethnic affiliation regardless of the group of people I may have been born into. Strong ethnic affiliation is a stupid, provincial, normie thing. Feeling strongly identified with a group of people that one is a part of by mere chance is like so shallow. And to the extent that my weak ethnic affiliation helped to get me misdiagnosed as a schizoid, it is yet another illustration of why I'd be better off with a therapist who has experience with gifted adults.

You're so smart, iconoclass, that's what people have said to me. But do they put two and two together and see that being "smart" is a fundamental part of my personality, that it directly affects my behavior. It's not just something that makes me good at schoolwork. Anyways, I'm not just gifted. I'm 2E! A little bit of heaven and hell to keep me grounded here on earth.

I do think I got a little something from my family. I like to cuss up a storm like my dad. And none of us ever minced words for the sake of feelz. I think that may have gotten me into some miscommunications. Did I use that phrase correctly? I've never used "minced words" before.
improperlyhuman: (Default)
I used to be able to go to bed whenever and wake up whenever I needed to wake up to ensure that I got sufficient sleep. Now I wake up round abouts 6 a.m. no matter when I've gone to bed, so going to bed late leaves me tired all day. I think. I can't think of another reason for my being so tired.

Martha Monthly arrived today and I'm pleased with the way my diapers are standing up to blood stains. Blood stains, think of it! Human biology is so sick.

I read through the first chapter of Robinson Crusoe while sunbathing this afternoon. I kept interrupting myself. After the first sentences, I thought to myself that no female would have even had the opportunity to live Crusoe's seafaring life, to leave home and seek adventure. I asked myself what my life would have been like in seventeenth century England. Nothing fun, that's for damn sure.

I've never much like history, and it occurred to me this afternoon that part of the reason for that is my tendency to imagine and put myself in the place of the oppressed. The slaves, the womyn. I could have been burned at the stake. It is most disturbing. Not to forget the lives that are available in the present, of course. I hear tell that a prepubescent young girl can be married off to a guy three times her age, impregnated before she's physically mature enough to safely give birth, and end up dying in the process. Lovely.

It's not so easy to get through books sometimes. I can no longer view them in terms of Something That Happened To Somebody; I can't help but view the adventures of old in terms of Something That Could Only Happen To One of A Privileged Minority, or Something That Could Have Been Much, Much Worse If It'd Happened to A Womon (Crusoe's enslavement, for example). How quaint it seems to be carted off by a kidnapper to a strange country and only be consigned to domestic servitude.

Even when the characters face physical abuse or even murder, it seems infinitely better than having to face rape and forced pregnancy. I would be so happy if all I had to worry about when I went out alone at night was mugging, physical assault, and murder. That would be a large improvement. A sex-neutral victimization would relieve me of being reminded of the ugly reality of brutal, widespread misogyny.

A rock song about indiscriminate violence? Great! Just don't remind me that I lost the sex lottery with rapey lyrics. It is so much to bear that otherwise gratuitous violence is a relief as long as it's equal opportunity.

Fiction isn't really an escape for me, is it? I don't escape from reality by reading; I simply read a fictionalized, white-washed version of it. Entire plots are still infused with patriarchy and white supremacy, from the lack of female characters (except as "love interests" or, more properly, fuck interests) to the sudden, unnecessary racial tagging of non-white characters. The same is true of movies.

A whole book of racially unmarked People Doing Things, then all of a sudden we have A Black Person Doing Things, which is apparently somehow notably different.

I came across this in Needful Things, and I almost didn't finish the book because of it. I didn't want to finish it. I feel like a fool when I willingly expose myself to the white man's racist propaganda. Ok so it isn't meant to be propaganda; it seems like propaganda. After a million fictional works, I'm completely accustomed to an mostly-white cast, no matter how unrealistic this is in comparison to reality. Intentionally or not, the seed was planted in my mind and has flowered to the extent that it seems weird to see otherwise in a movie. The people I see in life would look weird on the screen.

It's ten p.m. so I should try to get some sleep. I just woke myself up with this post.

I've been thinking about working my ass off and trying to afford my own therapist. I don't think I have it in me. I struggle a bit to get sixty dollars worth of work done per day. Paying for my own shrink would cost one to two days worth of work per session.

I'm going to look up the gifted counseling center tomorrow and make a futile phone call to see if they will accept Obamacare.

Bring It

May. 8th, 2016 09:24 am
improperlyhuman: truck tipping over on the highway (tipping truck)

I'm posting in the morning, while my brain is still working.

One of the ugly and eye-opening things I have repeatedly noticed people communicating is dislike, resentment, and even fear of being "judged." Being "judged" is not the same thing as being judged; the former seems to refer only to judgments that the "judged" deem negative. I'm guessing that none of them dislike being judged kind, smart, attractive, interesting, or successful.

Ugly development of the English language: judging now has a negative connotation in the vernacular. Or maybe it's been that way for a while and I haven't noticed.

It doesn't seem to matter whether the "judgment" is reasonable or not. I once inferred (is that the right word?) that someone was a Christian because she had "Christian" listed on her Myspace profile, and she said that this made her feel "judged." What?

And so those who feel "judged" (themselves, or on the behalf of others) will say ridiculous things like "who are you to judge," as if it isn't everyone's inalienable privilege to judge anything and everything as she pleases.

Me, I have no problem with being judged, "negatively" or otherwise. Judgment is a basic mental activity people must undertake to figure out how to live their lives. Bring it, I say. I do, however, have a problem with judgments that are based on a lack of information, false information, and pseudo-judgments that are actually based on feelz. I think there should be more judging in the world. A lot more. Maybe people will stop putting up with so much bullshit if the judge it more. But these judgments need to be justifiable judgments, not just more "I don't like this."

Maybe there needs to be a greater distinction between judgment and mere taste. Disliking (or liking) something is not the same thing as judging it; likes and dislikes are essentially statements about the self, whereas judgment (if done correctly) is much more of a statement about that which is judged (although every thought, judgments included, is to some extent a reflection of the self).

improperlyhuman: (Default)
I'm done with rice. I had brown rice for lunch today (like I usually do), but I waited too long to eat and my blood sugar dropped. I don't want to deal with that anymore. I don't have blood sugar problems with potatoes and fruit, so I'm gonna stick with those.

Another month, another attempt at a raw vegan diet. Only about 50% raw, though; I'm still going to have oat bran and potatoes. I return armed with some new knowledge about the importance of eating fruit that is ripe.

No grocery shopping until food stamps get reinstated, however; as I feared, my case was cancelled. The invoice I sent must not have reached Social Services in time. So pointless to cancel food stamps over an invoice proving that I earned a measly two hundred and forty-five dollars last month! Obviously someone who reports having earned so little still needs food assistance, and there's certainly no reason to suspect that I earned more.

I was looking up some information about the raw vegan diet and came across a couple of bullshit articles. "I don't recommend raw vegan diets because many nutrients can't be absorbed from some raw vegetables." What?! So don't recommend eating those vegetables raw, or recommend getting those nutrients from other vegetables. Not to mention the fact that the bulk of the calories comes from fruit, not vegetables!

Then the article that just couldn't stick to the nutritional science and had to drift off into tangential criticism and empty rhetoric. Why can't people stick to main ideas? Can't they tell the difference between the fundamentals of a thing and the non-fundamentals? Why do they have to go at the people who promote the ideas? Who cares if there is a "cult of personality" (again with their endless hackneyed phrases)? Either it's a valid, workable idea or it isn't. It's all so tiresome.

So I closed the web pages in disgust and tried to read some more of Needful Things. Then a comment on one of the very few threads I follow arrived in my inbox. The thread was started by a twelve-year-old who asked for advice. A particularly mature-seeming twelve-year-old. The commenter talked down to her and went off on a tangent, admonishing her about some crap that she hadn't even said.

That was just too much for me. And this is why I am so utterly depressed this fine evening. This is the way life is going to be until I draw my last breath, isn't it? An endless stream of bullshit. People ignoring what other people say, write, or type and responding to whatever they have swirling around in their own minds.

I feel as if I am trapped in a madhouse.

I forced myself through a few short chapters of my novel. There was a section about the leader of a Baptist congregation refusing to listen to the leader of the local Catholic congregation, both congregations at odds over some matter of religion. It reminded me of times when I'd failed to get through to people and I couldn't go on. I can only do so much to get through to people. I'm not equipped to manage their preconceptions and emotional reactions. But I failed regardless.

The Tower of Babel, that really happened, or perhaps I should say that it continually happens. I say something I think is benign; another person finds it rude. I have little or no way to predict what is rude or inappropriate to that other person because we're strangers—I've no knowledge of the collection of personality traits and life experiences that form the foundation of the other person's idea of proper communication. And yet we are supposed to be neighbors, fellow citizens. The means of fellowship broken at a fundamental level: the level of communication.

Yet again, my next door neighbor interrupted my daily sunbathing/reading routine with a "buenos dias." Before that, one (or more) of his untold number of housemates came up and down the stairs a few times, in and out of the apartment. Each and every time, I stiffened inwardly, anxious and prepared to listen in case someone spoke. Cause if you don't hear when people speak, they sometimes don't say anything about it, don't give you a chance to explain yourself. They just assume that you are being an asshole and carry a grudge against you. So I have anxiety about not hearing people speak.

This has to end. I sit there wondering to myself how to say that I have an auditory processing deficit in Spanish. I sit there considering not coming out onto the balcony anymore.

I cannot take it any longer. I could not take it any longer. I ignored him. I said nothing. I kept my eyes trained on my book.

Maybe it's all me and my anxiety and my auditory issues. That's fine, I ain't mad at them. Maybe it's rude (whose idea of rude, though?!) to interrupt someone who appears to be reading. But this has to end. I'm anxious if I do, anxious if I don't, so I might as well do. End it, that is.

No me gusta hablar. That works, doesn't it? I kind of want to say that high school Spanish came in handy after all, but it's apparently the bit of high school Spanish I know that got them started talking to me in the first damned place.

Now I have to figure out a way to pick myself up for the rest of the day.

On the bright side, I'm handling the anxiety rather well. I never really lose it. I'm quite good at talking myself down. I won't let anyone drive me completely crazy.

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