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Dear Person That Keeps Texting Me, 

I’m writing to you here, because I know what you do with men that won’t stop bothering you, which you are. You deprive them of all contact. However, one of my many flaws is that I tend to always want to have the last word, so here it is. 

1. I never led you on that I’d be that friend that goes out constantly. I “go out” in the traditional sense maybe a few times a year. I don’t have the money to do it often, and even if I did, I have much more worthwhile ways to blow my money that last longer and don’t cause me social anxiety like being around you does. You just sit there. 

1a. You lost all contact privileges or hope to speak to me again when you sent me a text threatening, and I quote: “To show up and pull me out [of my] house” and my girlfriend too. I don’t take that as a joke. You’d know that if you listened to half of what I said about why I cut off contact with obnoxious people in the past. You do not use words like “pull” or “force” in reference to taking me out of my home. It may seem a small linguistic thing to most, but to me it says one thing: “You are something for me to control and I can make you do what I want you to by force if necessary.” Needless to say, I don’t care for that. It’s made me legitimately scared you’ll somehow get my new address and show up here. 

2. You didn’t help your case by sending me baiting, passive aggressive texts to me about “finding a picture of me in my costume on the internet on reddit” and to “Text him if I want to hang out or if you hate me and never want to hang out ever” That’s creepy. Creepy as fuck. And I checked, it’s not true. So it’s playing on most sensible human’s fears of having their picture posted on the internet without their permission. You’re using fear tactics and guilt. That smacks of what I mentioned in 1a. You honestly believe you have the right to try and manipulate and force me to do what you want me to do. 

3. The very fact I feel somewhat guilty about this is something that disgusts me: As a female, I’m told I should be nice to boys and not to hurt their feelings. That I’m the bitch that lead them on, it’s all my fault if their feelings are hurt. Well, guess what, you’re a 30+ goddamn year old man. Your itty bitty feelings are not my problem. They never should have been my problem. Maybe I should have responded a long time ago with something “mean.” I think, “maybe this is on me in part.” And then I remember you’re a 30+ year old man that’s been married before (divorced) with two kids. You should know better. 

4. You’ve repeatedly made it obvious you don’t listen to what I say. I tell you I want at least a week’s notice for plans, you keep texting me about “hanging out” tomorrow. Or tonight.

4a. And you keep mentioning drinking. Constantly. That’s a massive red flag to me, and to any female raised in the “always watch your drink” days of our society. You want me inebriated. You don’t want me, you want to feed me alcohol to see what I’ll do. I’m not your fucking toy. Further, it makes me wonder why you want me incapacitated so I can’t leave, because I’m a decent fucking human being and I don’t drink and drive. Ever. And you want to meet at your home. I’m not comfortable with that, for all the fucking reasons I just listed. 

4b. Further on the I’m not your toy– your frequent texts of commands to “amuse you” show a lot about how you view me and women in general. 

5. You started down this road when you showed you had no sense of boundaries by texting me in the middle of a flash flood warning and severe thunderstorm to “come watch your kids” because your “sump pump blew out.” this tells me two things: I’m a potential babysitter and you have no regard for my personal safety or your kids’. I don’t even know where you live. 

5a. I don’t care if you apologized later, the fact you did it in the first place tells me a whole lot. This also refers back to 4: You don’t listen to what I say. I told you, multiple times, I hate kids. I hate kids. In plain English, I have told you “I loathe children.” I won’t even learn yours’ names, because that is how little I fucking care. And you blatantly ignore it. 

6. You used me as a resource for your dating woes to the point it was pathetic, and further illustrated your lack of boundaries. I’m not a stereotypical woman. The fact you seem to believe me to be a resource to “Solve the mystery of what women think” proves you believe me to be so on some level. This refers back to 4 as well: You don’t listen to what I say. I’m a stereotype. I’m a woman. Ergo, I do what women do. I’ve told you, repeatedly, that isn’t the case. I’ve also demonstrated it in my actions. You’ve blatantly ignored that. 

7. You’re my former supervisor. That adds a whole other level of creepy to all of this. 

8. I don’t have to fucking justify to you, or anyone, why I don’t want to talk to you. I don’t owe you any explanation. My high school self, before all this stupid bullshit and work and college, and a fuckwit ex boyfriend or two, would have laughed at you and said “Fine, bitch, cry into your pillow.” You know what? She’s making a fucking comeback. She gave no fucks. She was a royal cunt at times, but she stood her ground and didn’t give a fuck what people she upset if she was doing something she knew was right. 

9. I’m deleting your text so I’m not tempted to respond, because the sooner you learn you can’t manipulate and order around your friends, female or not, the better. 

Have a nice day, and a very merry go fuck yourself from me to you. 

 

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I’m pissed off. I’ve had a shitty, SHITTY couple of fucking weeks, and nothing seems to be getting better– in fact, more things keep going wrong. So I’m going to rant about a few things that are bothering me. Feel free to skip this post, because it really just is a bunch of angry snarling.  Ready? 1. I don’t care about your fucking kids.  Do not send me pictures of them, do not talk about them at great length, do not expect me to coo over them. I don’t fucking care. Your fuck trophy, as it were, is not of any interest to me, nor is the idiotic craft of the day they did at camp, nor anything else. Children are about as smart as dogs up until they’re ten, and even after that, the dog is better behaved. Do not try to fucking guilt me into doing anything using them. If someone snatched them off the street in front of me, I’d call the police, but that’s all I’d do. Do not expect me to watch them. Do not say I’ll change my mind when they’re my own. I’m not having them. Period. End of discussion. Yours are not going to convince me otherwise. Why do I bring this up? Because people keep sending me pictures of their larvae, or larvae they enjoy being around, and expecting me to find it as enthralling and adorable as they do. They’re not. And they get all fucking weirded out when I have nothing to say, because what do you say about to a misshapen little creature that can’t figure out the complexities of a sliding glass door. There has been ONE person that has a kid that respects this limit of mine. She sent me ONE picture, and that’s when the kid was born. And that was the end of it. Follow her example. 2. Do your own fucking job, and do not expect me to do your job.  I love helping out. I do. I’m happy to do it. But not when it impacts my work. I should not be doing the lion’s share of your job while you’re off chatting and fucking around. Further, do not expect me to be happy if you change what I’m doing every five fucking minutes and I can never finish anything. And do not expect me to accomplish anything if you will not let me. 3. If someone commits suicide, there’s a reason for it.  I never said it was a good reason, but there’s a reason. Depression is an evil disease. And chances are, if someone killed themselves and you “can’t imagine why they would do that/what could be so awful/what they were thinking,” chances are you’ve never been depressed. I’m not even going to bother going into the way it twists and distorts the world, but let it be said something that is not necessarily a good choice seems the only solution at times. Anyway, if you have no experience with suicide/depression, here’s what the proper thing to do in that situation is: SHUT YOUR WHORE MOUTH. Don’t fucking go on, especially to anyone that knows anything about mental illness, about how much it “hurts” you that they offed themselves. Don’t go on about how they should have “reached out.” Chances are, if you had no idea there was anything wrong, you were part of the problem. Or, at the very least, you were not of any help. So, shut the fuck up. In addition, the proper response to someone dying via suicide that you supposedly care about is not to pat yourselves on the back about how sorry you are and how much you were a great family/friend/whatever and you can’t fathom why they would want to leave you. It’s also not to fucking complain about making the trip to the funeral, it’s not to gossip about who’s having a baby. Oh, and it’s also not to share the life plan that YOU had for the deceased, and lament that now you’ll never see that plan completed. The proper response is to mourn, you self-centered twats. TL;DR: If you didn’t know, you’re part of the problem, kindly fuck off. 4. I can’t have male friends.  I can’t. Want to know why? Because they, apparently, all think I’m supposed to be their fucking girlfriend without the sex. Or with it! Most of them think that if I REALLY got to know them, I’d want to fuck them instead! That I would explain, “Oh ho ho! Silly me, I don’t love my girlfriend! Please, stick your cock in my mouth and I’ll make you a sandwich after clad only in a maid outfit! Tee hee!” Let me explain something to you men, the few of you that are reading this: I am bisexual, but that does not mean you have a chance. I am not going to be your frat buddy that you send nonstop jokes about tits back and forth with. I am happy to provide a female perspective for you, but I am also not the end all and be all of what womanhood is. I’m actually a very poor example, given how gender fucked I am. If I laugh at your jokes, I am not flirting with you. If I talk to you, I am not flirting with you. If I text you, I am not flirting with you. If I message you, I am not flirting with you. If I am nice to you, I do not have feelings for you. You have no chance, none at all. AT. ALL. FUCKING. STOP. Now, this all sounds extremely arrogant. I know it does. But over the past five years of my life, I’ve discovered I’m not allowed to talk to men without them saying things that make me very uncomfortable. Such as that “They have feelings for me, and just want to be honest.” Or, “they were thinking about, in an alternate universe, how good we’d be together.” Or feel the need to ask me to rate their attractiveness. Or make inappropriate comments/ask questions repeatedly that I have declined to answer about my sex life, body, and person in general. I fully admit this could just be a symptom of where I am in the Midwest. I sincerely hope it is. I will stop fucking talking to you, and I will not tell you why. I’m an asshole, I know, and that’s a classic “girl” move. I know this. But I don’t feel like explaining to you every fucking thing you’re doing wrong. Chances are, by the time you’ve gotten to that point, it’s a long list. I want to have male friends. Badly. For me to rage quit, you have to have pissed me off in quite an extraordinary way. And furthermore, if you’re not smart enough to know that you shouldn’t say those things to people, I don’t think you’re going to comprehend what I’m going to tell you to begin with. Protip: If a person changes a subject, DROP IT. Further, when I am welcoming comments and critiques on my body, I will ask for them, or be dressed as a literal whore. And now, I feel somewhat better, or at least less like punching a fucking wall. Thanks for reading.

People frustrate me.

Those of you that read this blog, way back in the day when I had the time and energy to post on it regularly, know this. I made a post about how I prefer to not be nasty to people if I have nothing in common with them, I much prefer to simply let us naturally drift apart. This works pretty well for most people.

Emphasis on most.

Kids, if someone hasn’t seen you in a while, the correct way to reconnect with them is thus: You send them a message, or a text saying something to the equivalent of “Hey! I was thinking of you the other day and just wanted to see how you were doing. Hope life’s treating you well!” What’s great about this is they have the option to not respond if they so choose. They also have the option to respond with a goddamn novel about their life up to that point. It’s low pressure and low cost energy wise to both parties.

The incorrect ways to reconnect with someone are many and varied, so let me tell you about the one most frequently used upon me: The Pounce.

I will be out in a store– grocery store, book store, clothing store, doesn’t matter– and someone will notice me. They will not say “Hey! Fancy meeting you here, how are you? Good? I’m good. We should catch up sometime, ciao!” and leave me the fuck alone.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but that’s the polite reaction, is it not? You’re doing something, I’m doing something, neither of us planned this social call, we planned to do other things. By virtue of my being there and you being there, we’re ruining each others’ experience that we initially planned. Right? I thought so.

Instead, what I always fucking get is as follows:

OMG, I HAVEN’T SEEN YOU IN FOREVER. HAVE YOU MISSED ME?” 

I don’t feel comfortable appraising your social worth in front of you. It only leads to you being upset because, invariably, you’re not important enough for your tastes. “Er… hello there. Long time no see. How are you?”

Through out this, I will be steadfastly staying in my spot, paused in what I am doing. I will not turn toward the individual. I want a quick interaction. I give no indication of wanting any further conversation than common courtesy.

I’M SO GOOD, YOU HAVE NO IDEA. ARE YOU GOOD?” 

Yes, I am, thank you for asking. I’m glad you’re doing well too!” I smile, nod, and go back to what I was doing. I thought, and still think, this is the universal sign for “end of conversation.”

Apparently, I am dead wrong.

“SO I’VE BEEN TRYING TO GET IN TOUCH WITH YOU.” 

Oh, here we go.

“OMG I HAVEN’T SEEN YOU IN FOREVER, WE SHOULD GET TOGETHER SOMETIME.” 

At this point, I will have to take a step away, because invariably, they will find the need to intrude into my personal space to force my attention back on them.

“Yes, that could be fun.” Yes, I know it’s a lie. I shouldn’t lie. But I really don’t like being rude or out and out hurtful. That, and I really don’t like the fucking scene people create when you tell them to go away. They usually glare and huff and are a bitch to you the rest of the time you’re wherever you are, so invariably you have to make effort to avoid them or you have to leave. I don’t want to leave. I didn’t bring this goddamn interaction on us, they did. It’s their fault. Childish to assign blame, I realize, but all the same, one of us caused this. It wasn’t me.

Here, I will usually check my phone, or take note of something announced over the speaker if it is something like a store closing, special event, or other such excuse to leave. I’ll smile politely, and say: “It was great seeing you, but I hadn’t realized what time it was/the store’s closing/I don’t want to get caught in the crowd for the event/etc. I’ve got to go.”

Now, in reflection on these interaction, I always realize I should have firmly affixed a “Good bye!” here and turned on my heel and left. I view it as rude, but other people tell me it’s being “assertive.” I notice it’s only “assertive” when they do it, never when it’s done to them. Otherwise, it’s rude. Thus, I’m disinclined to follow their advice, because again, I don’t like drama, I don’t like scenes, and I really don’t like people texting me and messaging me and being dicks to me going “WHY WERE YOU SUCH A BITCH TO X?” But it’s also more than that: It’s not that I don’t like you. I just don’t want to have an extended conversation with you at this moment. Let me take a brief moment to explain something about introverts like myself on the extreme end of the spectrum:

We plan our social interactions down to the moment. We think “Okay, if I can arrive by this time, I can leave by this time without seeming rude.” It’s nothing against you, we don’t hate you, we’ll have fun while we’re there, even! But being around people is tiring. It’s tiring for different people for different reasons. Usually my problem is that with any given person, I have a set of conversation topics I can’t go near, I have a set of facets to my personality I cannot express, and I have to filter everything I say to such a degree it is mentally exhausting. “GET NEW FRIENDS THEN” you say. Well, I do. They’re mostly over the internet. Why? Because I live in a fucking place where there are almost no people like me, that’s why. I have to make do with what I’ve got until I can move elsewhere, like all the precious few people that are like me are. I do like some interaction with people. I get lonely like everyone else. So I have to make do with what I have. Thus, I have to put up with all this garbage if I want to interact with anyone other than my partner. Point is, I don’t like pissing people off because I can tolerate so precious few of them to begin with. If I want to fucking leave, it has nothing to do with you. Contrary to popular belief, extroverts, the entire goddamn world is not a reaction to you.

Now, to get back to that tricky “being assertive” by saying “goodbye,” I was raised that you don’t fucking impose yourself upon other people. Thus, if someone says they have to go, their body is angled away from you, and they look about to leave, you say “Oh! Sorry to hold you up. See you later.” I was, apparently, the only person raised this way in the last fucking half a century. If someone says they need to leave now, the correct response is:

BUT I JUST SAW YOU, WE NEED TO GET TOGETHER. WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU HAVE TO GO? I DON’T HAVE TO GO. I’M NOT BUSY. WE NEED TO GET TOGETHER.” 

If you’re someone like this: Fuck you. Either you’re oblivious to both body language and verbal communication, or you’re outright ignoring it. There’s no excuse for being that oblivious past the age of thirteen or so unless you so happen to be actually clinically diagnosed on the autism spectrum. In that case, you get a pass, and I’ll adjust my interaction with you accordingly. If you’re a mentally healthy human being, you’re just being rude and inconsiderate. I’ve give you every polite indication that I want to end the conversation. I’m not going to tell you to fuck off, because I think that as another human being you deserve to have courtesy extended to you.

Here in the interaction is where I start to get truly upset at the person in question, for all of the reasons above. It’s even worse if I’m actually out with another person at the time– I’m not only upset you’re wasting my time, but you’re wasting someone else’s that I chose to be with and making us both uncomfortable.

“Some other time. I have to go, I’m sorry.” Why the fuck should I have to apologize to you? Oh yes, because I’m an idiot. And my idea that I should be polite to everyone is outdated, because the rest of the fucking world doesn’t follow it. I keep forgetting people are surprised when I tell them “thank you.”

And yet, I’m giving the other goddamn person an opportunity to realize they’re being a knob and exit the conversation gracefully. Fucking take it, you ass. Thankfully, about 50% do. The other 50% will physically follow me when I leave. You think I’m kidding. I’m not. Their response is:

OH WELL I’LL WALK YOU OUT. WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING! DOES YOUR NUMBER STILL WORK? LET ME TEXT YOUR PHONE RIGHT HERE TO MAKE SURE IT GOES OFF AND STILL WORKS.” 

Guys, I sincerely wish I was making this up. I’m not. After these interactions, when I finally escape them by going “No, I have to go, I’m getting in my car, I will talk to you later” I, frankly, feel violated. I had to physically get up and leave somewhere because another person would not leave me alone. That’s not a nice feeling. It’s no better than having to leave a bar because you’re being sexually harassed, being talked down to for your appearance, being made uncomfortable because you hold a different belief or value system than the majority at a totally unrelated event. I’ve been harassed in a lot of different ways. I worked for a call center. I’ve had men ask me to send them pictures of me, I’ve had people talk about their porn habits explicitly, I’ve had people call me stupid and horrible things. They all hurt and make me uncomfortable. It’s much of the reason why I quit. I’ve had people follow me from class to class and I’ve had problems being catcalled, on the street, in my car, and in any public space. I’ve had problems being sexually harassed by a guy on a loudspeaker attached to his truck while I’m in my car. All of these things make  me uncomfortable and upset, and makes me want to avoid going out. I shouldn’t have to keep myself sequestered in my apartment to avoid having my personal mental or physical space infringed upon in an upsetting manner.

But all that, I can shake off. It may take me a while, but I can. Frankly, it hurts a whole lot more that someone that actually knows me and calls themselves my friend would make me that uncomfortable by forcing themselves on me. It hurts, because it makes me feel used and stepped on. And more than that, it makes me feel stupid because I was the one stupid enough to give you the time of day in the first place. That’s the worst part, I get told “WELL BE ASSERTIVE,” “YOU’RE EXPECTING THEM TO BE PSYCHIC,” “YOU NEED TO SPEAK UP!”

If you knew anything about me at all, I wouldn’t have to. You know when your friends are upset, even before they say anything. It’ll come through, even in their text messages and IM’s. Anyone does.

But I’m the one that needs to change here. I need to be assertive. It’s all my fault. Just like it’s all my fault for wearing shorts on a 90 degree day while I’m moving boxes to a new apartment and sitting in my car at a stop light with the window down. It’s my fault for giving you an opening.

Yeah, got it. Thanks.

I graduated college on May 5th. I think. I didn’t bother going to commencement, but I do have a piece of paper.

The first thing that struck me is the fact that there’s nothing on this piece of paper, it just says “Bachelors Degree” and that’s it. Not that it was in English. Or Psych. Or anything else. I could have done underwater basket weaving for all my future employers care, apparently. I always think of that fact when people ask me “HOW DOES IT FEEL TO GRADUATE?”

“It feels like no one actually gave a fuck what I did, just that I put in the time. And it feels like I don’t have to go to class anymore. Yay me?”

To avoid the look that would follow that statement, I only include a part of it: “It feels like I don’t have to go to class anymore.”

People keep acting like this is a huge milestone. I suppose it is, but I didn’t exactly not see this coming. I’ve been working hard at making this happen for five years. It feels like an accomplishment, yeah, but frankly, it isn’t very satisfying or surprising. Or, at least, it isn’t as satisfying as everyone seems to think it should be. I’m not jet setting off to a new and exotic job. I’m not running off to get married and have babies. Those seem to be the big life changes everyone is actually expecting me to go on to and on both counts are being vastly disappointed.

Why does it matter? It doesn’t, really. But I do feel oddly disconnected from the world around me due to how strange my expectations for life seem to be compared to theirs. People seem to expect big changes at these “milestones” and  the only real difference I’ve noticed is now my job is bitching and moaning at me to go full-time, which is pissing me off. I’d like a little time to be left alone and get my shit together. I’d like a small break before I surrender to a lifetime of servitude, thanks. I realize it’s the last one I’m ever going to get.

Anyway, in my little bits of free time my job seems so desperate to take away in the name of moar money because moar, I’ve been reading. Books, magazines, fanfiction, blogs, a bit of everything. I’m trying to catch up on five years of not being able to read anything because I have to plow through plays and text books and frankly, I’m a little disappointed in what I’m finding.

I don’t know how many of you out there are biologically female, but if you are and you’re American, you’ve probably heard of Glamour magazine. It’s one of the less shitty women’s magazines out there, especially next to the likes of Cosmo. 

Or so I thought.

I’ve gotten through two backlogged issues so far and suddenly, see the problem with being a subscriber.

I’ve read the May issue before. Last May, in fact. There was just a different celebrity on the cover. All of the shit inside is the same.

Speaking of, I have a question to pose to biological females that consider themselves to be of the womanly persuasion: Why the FUCK do you let them treat you like this?

If you look inside, everything is about either babies, men, or “fixing” yourself. They tell my friend with small breasts that she needs “ruching” to fix her “lack of curves,” they tell my busty friends that they need “support” to “get the girls under control,” they tell my “curvy” friends with hips that they need to “make themselves look smaller.” Who is this ideal woman they’re trying to make them all look like?

Oh, and furthermore, if you look at your body and realize that you’re not ‘boy shaped’ (i.e. thin) or ‘curvy’ (i.e. Girl code for “fat,” I’m quickly learning) and go “hey! There’s nothing wrong with me. So, Glamour, what should I wear?” You will receive nothing but resonant silence in response. If there’s not something “wrong” with you, they want nothing to do with you. According to them, there’s always something wrong with you. And it needs to be fixed, because otherwise HOW will you get to find a man and get married and have babies and have OMG THE PERFECT LIFE?!!111!!

… Why do you let them do this to you? Here. Go check out Curve or Bust. I know they’re probably a little weird, and one is rather queer (Curve), but in leafing through their pages in the book store, I don’t feel like I’m a failure at womanhood because I want to pursue a life that is mine, not ruled by who I find attractive, by what I think is wrong with me, or by children. There’s stuff about kids and womanhood in there, but the approach is less forceful. It’s information about pregnancy and kids, but it doesn’t imply that “OMG IT’S THE HIGHEST HONOR ANY WOMAN CAN HAVE AND ANYONE THAT HATES KIDS IS A FREAK AND YOU SHOULD WANT BABIES NOW RIGHT NOW HAVE BABIES NOW.” They have articles about sex and sexuality that are not dictated by how to please your man, but how to have pleasure as a couple, or, hell, how to pleasure yourself. Some of the shit in the magazines is pretty out there, granted, but so is a lot of the shit in Glamour. 

For those of you of the less womanly gender persuasion, I would recommend hopping over to your local Barnes and Noble, and pick up a copy of the British version of GQ. No, put the American GQ down. Trust me on this one. You want the British one. The girls are less fake (and therefore, much hotter) and the writing is hysterical and high quality. I have never laughed so hard at a magazine, and that’s even with missing half the jokes because I’m a Yank. Everything in there breathes, it’s fresh, and most importantly, it doesn’t make you feel like shit about yourself. Much like Curve and Bust don’t belittle women, Brit GQ doesn’t seem to suffer from the same stupidity the American one does of making men into someone they’re not. There are health tips and things, yeah, but when they talk about clothes, it’s about the clothes, the watches, the ties, not about “look how awesome Johnny Depp looks in these. Now, you’ll never be as good-looking as him, BUT here are some clothes so you can pretend.”

Now then, I’m going to go off and catch up on some more reading, and see if I can work out a plan to blog on here weekly again. If you have any other alternative magazines, please leave them in the comments so I and other folks can try ’em out. Doesn’t matter if they’re for girls, boys, or fish. Tell me what you like to read, and I’ll go check them out.

P.S. If you want to check out the actual, physical magazines I’ve listed here, try your local Barnes and Noble Bookseller’s. I can find all three of those mags there, even in the conservative, Midwestern area I live in.

On Writing

I am currently impossibly high. No drugs. No anything. My problem is writing. I’d stopped writing fiction for a while– lost the time, lost the inspiration. I’ve picked up the pen again and remembered why I tend not to write around other people.

Writing is both a mental and physical process. We think, we hit the keys, move the pen, the issue is that on top of it, when I’m in the head state of a character, something happens when I’m in a good place. I’m removed from all of this. I feel everything they do, from chill of the air where they’re being kept captive to the scent of the tea and the wool of their coat against their neck. My thought and speech patterns mesh and combine with theirs and physiological responses start to match. You can see where this could be problematic– on the anger side, I look like I’m ready to murder someone. On the sad, I feel as hopeless as they do.

My favorite flavor of this intoxication is young love. Not love between two idiot teenagers, but that sense of affection moving into something that pushes irrational impulses in the most rational of human beings. Those days where you fret about what the hell they think is wrong with you, if they know, if you even know what in fuck’s name is wrong with you. This is especially fun with cerebral characters because I identify with them so– While they’re looking up the physiological symptoms of arousal, I was the person that when someone asked if I truly liked the guy I was dating at the time, I of course said yes… but I also went home and thought for about a half hour, checking my pulse, for pupil dilation with him held in my mind.  You probably don’t believe that anyone could be that dense about their own emotions and responses to stimuli, but I was. I saw pictures of love, I could act the parts just fine, I was happy with this person, but if someone is staring at me going “but you LIKE him, right?” I don’t know how I’m supposed to know without some type of concrete indicator.

I’m better now, granted, but it takes me back to those moments where I tended to be completely oblivious to internal cues of emotion. Depending on the situation, it can take me back to the horror and cursing everything that I was apparently in love with this person because I simply didn’t know what to do. I knew external cues, but I could only know what was demonstrated to me. I didn’t know how to demonstrate any type of affection without being false. I eventually settled on giving gifts– it seemed to work and is one of the most common expressions, almost everyone gets that you like them if you give them a present, correlating how much you like them with how much value they perceive the gift to have.  Even a socially awkward penguin like me could manage that much.

Going back to those moments where one has no idea what to do to show affections, deciding if one should even try to show their affections is amusing, nerve-wracking, and difficult. It’s nice to say “Ha! I know that now!” but it also never fails to show how far I have left to go. Gifts, apparently, aren’t the end all and be all of affection– after a while they become a careless short hand. That leaves being affectionate by other means, words, actions, and when you’re still cripplingly anxious that you’ll do something wrong at times, it just makes you want to hide. It makes you lose hope for your character– how the hell can you get them through this? If the ending is to be happy, shouldn’t they at least be able to stammer that they care for someone, even if it feels like speaking Mandrin? And what if they’re interacting with someone much more normal? What then? What the hell does a more normal person think when the general affection consists of less kissing, hugging, and flattery and more of mutual company, perhaps sitting a bit closer together, and trying your best to remember the odd things that make them happy? What does a normal person think when you’re a writer, you love romance, but when it comes to love letters and poems you come up with “Roses are red, violets are a purplish color, not blue, and I hate everyone in the world but you?”

I’m not sure. Still not, three years into a relationship. All I know is I have an extremely wonderful, tolerant person by my side that acts as a wonderful consultant when I’m staring at a problem like this one. It’s nice having a model when my character manages to find someone that is tolerant of their being as much of an idiot as I am with romance or more:

“This scene isn’t right. All of them end with the other one upset. I know I’m doing some bit wrong– it all feels rushed.”

She’ll listen as I talk through it, and then: “Foreplay, maybe?”

“Uh.”

“Explain?”

“Yeah. Explain it to the person with no concept here. My brain goes from A to B. You know that, and for that I’m sorry.”

The truly fabulous part is that instead of sighing like the long suffering girlfriend with an idiot for a partner, she’ll just start laughing. She’ll explain. Again. She’ll help me with the scene. I’ll file away the knowledge for future reference, forget bits or think I have it wrong, and then it all seems to start again. I’ll write embarrassingly personal fiction and blogs on the internet all while awkward penguin-ing at her any time I try to do any explanation of my own emotions in any form other than indirectly and in text. Joys of being /dating a writer, I suppose. Everything makes sense on the page and in meat-space we bumble about, trying to think of what the hell we had a character do to solve this same problem and looking insane.

To think, this is my drug and passion. Sometimes I think it would be easier and more socially acceptable to have a drinking habit.

Final Fantasy and Familial Groups

Since the first anatomically modern humans were ambling about, they have moved in groups. Small family groups, larger tribes, extended family groups… you’ve all heard the trite phrase “man is a social animal” and it does happen to be true, scientifically speaking.

I’ve been watching Jess play Final Fantasy XIII and all the story lines seem to have something to do with family or a family group. One character’s mom dies. One is missing his son. Another, her sister. Due to all these unfortunate circumstances, a they have a suicidal drive to either avenge their fallen families or reunite them. It makes sense, given that the characters are human based, according to everything I’ve read in psychology and my dabbles in sociology and anthropology. It also makes sense that most people would be moved by these stories as a result, as they should have similar feelings. After all,  “blood is thicker than water” and “family is forever.”

It’s like watching a movie I don’t speak the language of, so I only understand pieces. I do love my sister dearly, and while I don’t think that if I was abducted my family would leave me to die, I don’t quite understand a lot of the emotions and phrases playing out on screen. My family was never the feeling expressing sort. Feelings existed and were there, but were not spoken of. Not the more positive ones, anyway. It makes me wonder about us: Would we have been different in a different time? One with more catastrophe, like in this game? What is it about people that makes them pull together in difficult times, or long for their families? What makes them fear they’ll never see them again?

I can tell you the scientific answer, and it all has to do with genes and the fact that if a species wants to survive, its genes need to be passed on. Best way to ensure the genes pass on is to install a mechanism to force one to take care of genetic offspring and those that share your genetics, even if it is only by 50% or less. I can’t tell you the emotional answer, and that troubles me for a cold, self involved reason: It makes me a poor writer if I can’t synthesize a full range of emotions in my mental alchemy lab.

Of course, I’d be lying if I said that was all it was. You know it, I know it. I’m both fascinated and repulsed by the fact that I don’t understand what seems to be a basic knowledge that you put up with your family because they’re your family. I can vaguely understand tolerating idiotic behavior from someone with 50% of my DNA that I see often or has influence over my life. It makes things a fuck lot easier if those that see you often are happy with you, and I’m terribly socially lazy. A lot of the time it’s just easier to ignore it all than bother to fuss about it. However, when people describe relationships with those outside of the 50% range, things become puzzling. I always wonder if I’m seriously missing out because while family seems to bring a lot of headaches, it also seems to bring people a lot of joy.

As I’m watching with the fascination of someone watching an ant farm, I wonder if the reason this game was so family based is not because a lot of people are not like me, but because they are like me. The world is smaller than ever, and now it isn’t uncommon for kids to move away for jobs, to abandon the lands where their family first set down roots, and rarely see each other in person. It used to be that you were with your family all the time, working beside them, running from predators with them, protecting them, feeding them, and taking care of their children. Now, we see each other through screens and talk to each other with keyboards. Humanity isn’t all that way, but where virtual communication has become more possible, people are moving farther and farther away from their families because they can worry less about “keeping in touch” with the new tech. But what happens when your only contact with someone for years is through a screen? Would you run after them if they were cursed with a horrible disease that could infect you too, just to try to save them? Or would it be easier to just weep for them, far away from them, the problem, and having not felt them elbow you in the ribs in play or ruffle your hair for years?

Maybe that’s why this game seems to be more focused around actual blood families than the Final Fantasy games I’ve known in the past, maybe we need some type of reminder.  Our playmates are taunting us from a half world away, our families are on the opposite coasts, and our friends exist on the internet.

I’m betting more people feel as unsettled and alien as I do watching this dedication to others actually being acted upon and not just paid lip service. Others that feel they’re failing the test of whatever it is to be human. With all this technology working its way farther and farther into our lives, it makes sense that we’re in danger of becoming part machine ourselves.

 

Layered Drinks

Holy shit. You go away for a couple of decades and they change everything.

In any case, here we are, and as promised, here is how you mix layered drinks:

1. Either find a recipe or build one of your own, consulting a chart like this to ensure that the liquors you want to layer have different enough densities that they actually WILL layer without being an utter pain in the ass. It’s supposedly possible to layer liquors with the same density, but it’s very difficult. Write your recipe down in order of density so you don’t have to keep running back to the chart.

2. Now, gather up the liquor and find yourself a glass. The wider the top, the better. You have to fit a teaspoon or bar spoon in there.

3. Okay, so consult that shiny chart again to see which liquor is the heaviest. That’s the one we’ll start with.

4a.There are a couple of ways to layer drinks. One is using a bar spoon, holding the scoopy bit of the spoon in your hand and pouring the liquor down the handle with the end of the handle inside the glass so that the liquor runs slowly down that twisty handle to keep the likely hood of breaking the surface tension when it meets the other liquor down. However, realizing not everyone HAS a bar spoon, we’ll use the “back of spoon” method.The other way can be found here.

4b. Take your spoon and put the scoopy bit convex side up in the glass, just above the bottom. Steadily pour the heaviest liquor over the back of the spoon so it spreads out and makes a nice even layer in the bottom, moving up as the level of the layer rises so the spoon doesn’t break the surface. Technically it probably isn’t necessary to pour the bottom layer, but it makes for good practice for the other layers.

5. Now, to avoid mixing the alcohols and messing up your efforts, wipe off the spoon. Again, not strictly necessary, but makes good sense to me. I’m a neat freak with food.

6. Check the chart to find the second densest liquor and repeat the above trick with the spoon, pouring slowly over the back so that you don’t break the surface tension of the bottom layer. Do it correctly and you’ll find this layer should float mysteriously above the bottom one, content to exist as its own entity rather than getting all chummy with the other liquor.

7. Continue the pattern until the drink is complete, keeping in mind that the thinner the layer, the easier it will be to break.

There you have it, how to make drinks so fancy the liquors snobbishly refuse to associate with one another, just in time for the holidays so you can impress everyone on New Years and knock back your failed experiments during Christmas so you can cope with your family.

 

Internet Forever

I love the internet, and today I’m reminded of why. Everyone isn’t American here. On the front page of WordPress, there was ONE mention of what anniversary is occurring today in America, which is a stark contrast to the world I’ve been living in for the past month:

Watch the first ten seconds. I’d hate to spoil it for you. The rest is hilarious too, but that’s all you need.

Now, I don’t respond well to bullshit, and that’s what all this “patriotism” is. How was your life really affected that day? It became more of a pain in the ass to fly.

That’s it.

Nothing else, unless you were in that event or knew someone in it.

So shut the hell up with your “patriotism” and “remembrance.” I’m not patriotic, I’m not going to lie. I don’t have particular pride in my country, nor do I believe any country is really worse than my country. It’s a place to live. If I was patriotic as these people claim to be, I’d enlist. I’d  be out busting my ass for my country. But I’m not. Neither are they.

I understand that the event shook America to the core, that thousands of lives were meaninglessly destroyed, I understand that rallying together after a crisis of this magnitude is better than the alternative of panic. The issue is that the tragedy is exploited, used to fuel political campaigns, used for public relations boosts, used as gruesome shock entertainment, as a real life horror movie to drive up ratings.

Take a moment of silence to reflect. Light a candle for their souls, if that helps you– If you’re still grieving, grieve however helps you without hurting yourself or anyone else. After that moment, get up and move on. Watch some cute cat videos. Figure out what political party you support. Go make some art. Go kiss someone, just be sure they don’t mind first.

But do not take up my television, radio, workplace, and streets with false sympathy for people you never knew and never will know, claiming that it is patriotic.I’m fairly confident they wouldn’t want your bullshit and neither do I. It doesn’t change what happened, and it doesn’t change that you’re only caring because you’re forcing yourself to manufacture sympathy for some particular end. It is not patriotism or honoring the dead. It’s bullshit.

VIVA LA INTERNETS, the only place where it’s okay to be what people consider being an asshole, so long as it’s true or a convincing facsimile. No one set of mores holds true here.

This announcement brought to you by my annoyance. Have some wonder at the world instead of fear and manufactured sympathy, and remember there is something outside of here…

 

Anonymous

And now for a post on current events that will probably get me on a terrorist watch list for refusing to see things in black and white:

Anonymous.

No, not the state of being a faceless being in a crowd. Something related, but much different. This is Anonymous with a capital A.

Before I begin I would like to make something very clear. I am not a member of Anonymous, nor do I represent them in any way, shape, or form. I’m not here to somehow unmask their inner workings. I haven’t the foggiest how they work or gather, I can only see what they do, claim to do, or is attributed to them, just like anyone else observing a group from the outside.

What I want to discuss is the group’s pseudo acceptance on the realm of the interwebs. Anonymous is a group that has been said to hack security firms, data bases, and well known companies as well as government entities. They sound like the epitome of all things that are tearing the room apart, but that’s only if you don’t know the OTHER side of their internet lore– they’ve used their collective powers to hunt down child molesters and animal abusers as well.  Anonymous is the greatest example of chaotic neutral I’ve found in the real world.

For those that don’t have experience with Dungeons and Dragons, allow me to explain what I mean by Chaotic Neutral, courtesy of Wikipedia:

Chaotic Neutral is called the “Anarchist” or “Free Spirit” alignment. A character of this alignment is an individualist who follows his or her own heart, and generally shirks rules and traditions. Although they promote the ideals of freedom, it is their own freedom that comes first. Good and Evil come second to their need to be free, and the only reliable thing about them is how totally unreliable they are. Chaotic Neutral characters are free-spirited and do not enjoy the unnecessary suffering of others, but if they join a team, it is because that team’s goals happen to coincide with their own at the moment. They invariably resent taking orders and can be very selfish in their pursuit of personal goals. A Chaotic Neutral character does not have to be an aimless wanderer; they may have a specific goal in mind, but their methods of achieving that goal are often disorganized, unorthodox, or entirely unpredictable.

Anonymous fascinates me, mostly due to the fact their particular brand of vigilantism is not outright rejected but, instead, accepted on a larger scale than I thought possible.

Anonymous is a sign of our times… they are anyone and everyone. You are anonymous, if you follow their cause. In a small way, perhaps, but you are still a part of their “movement,” as it were. We’re a generation of kids bored at home while our parents worked three jobs to pay for houses too large for their salaries and treated us like we were precious glass, not human beings that could take a round in the school of life unaided.  Is it really any surprise that out of a generation neglected, yet over protected, would emerge a group convinced of it’s own invincibility and so loosely organized that they are like roaches, impossible to destroy because when you smash one, three more crop up in its place?

I’ve read what little the mainstream media has said on Anonymous. What is most amazing is their absolute inability to believe that a group can not have some evil mastermind behind it all, that instead it is just a mob following whatever idea sounds best at the time, be it good, ill, or something else in between. The media are convinced there has to be some sort of hierarchy, that nothing else can exist but an ordered system that merely appears chaotic as some sort of grand ruse. They are also throwing around the word terrorism, per usual, because it’s what they use to describe anything that they want people to run screaming from. This is amusing in two ways: One, I can think of nothing more terrifying than something you cannot possibly predict. Thus, for once, calling them terrorists is more accurate than normal. However, terrorism, as used by the American media,  implies a predictability– terrorists are  just evil people out to do evil things because they hate America and all things good and shiny. Small problem: Anonymous hates everyone. It has nothing to do with nationality or any other characteristics, mostly it’s all about whose day they want to ruin today because it sounded like a way to pass the time. Sometimes their actions have a higher point, sometimes not. Sometimes their means are their end. Sometimes they’re saving a kitten from being lit on fire, and sometimes they’re stealing secret files.

All that is really known about Anonymous is that they are a force to be reckoned with, and that a saying often paired with them rings true as the eyes, ears, and vigilantes of the internet: We are Anonymous. We do not forgive. Expect us.

The Results…

So, I had a test on Monday to finally, definitively prove that I have gastroparesis, rather than simply having a diagnosis of exclusion. I got the tentative results today, and that they’re that my digestion does seem to indeed be a bit slow. That’s fine. I was hoping maybe, just maybe, it wouldn’t turn out that way, but that’s okay. However, then the nurse said she needed to talk to the doctor about something, to double-check the test. Never a good sign.

But, fine. Means I just have to wait for a phone call, right? Shiny. However, instead of stopping there, the nurse said something else: “We’ll discuss if Reglan would be an option–”

Reglan is a drug for treating gastroparesis, and not a reason or this particular reaction all by itself. I was going to look into the option of drugs as a last ditch option. However, Reglan is the one and only drug I have found online for this condition that had a universal response of “OMG WTF HOLYSHIT DON’T DO IT!” Why, you ask? Not only because it usually doesn’t seem to help, but also because of this little side note on this drug, courtesy of the U.S. National Library of Medicine :

Receiving metoclopramide injection may cause you to develop a muscle problem called tardive dyskinesia. If you develop tardive dyskinesia, you will move your muscles, especially the muscles in your face in unusual ways. You will not be able to control or stop these movements. Tardive dyskinesia may not go away even after you stop receiving metoclopramide injection. The longer you receive metoclopramide injection , the greater the risk that you will develop tardive dyskinesia. Therefore, your doctor will probably tell you not to receive metoclopramide injection for longer than 12 weeks. The risk that you will develop tardive dyskinesia is also greater if you are taking medications for mental illness, if you have diabetes, or if you are elderly, especially if you are a woman.”

Now, I’m not elderly, but the simple fact I have XX chromosomes is clearly a risk factor, as well as the fact that I’m bonkers (especially if I ever need to go back on meds again). Uncontrollable tics? I fucking flail and twitch enough, you goddamn bastards, I don’t need any fucking help. In short, go fuck yourself and your dangerous, debilitating drug. One of the few things I like about myself on the outside is my face, and that’s not even all the time. I’ll be goddamned if you take my fucking food, my sense of normalcy in life, and what little I can occasionally like about myself with it. Go to hell. Go to hell and fucking die.

Thus, I’m in the market for a nutritionist. If any of you know good resources for such things, please do hit me up with some linkage. The regularly scheduled blogging, rather than the “boo hoo, I’m sick” diary will start back up soon.

 

 

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