My Dad and I are a lot alike. Our idea of a nice, relaxing vacation is to sit around reading and chatting a bit, occasionally doing stuff.
My Mom HATES sitting still. She is one of those people who always needs to be DOING something. Or she either goes nuts or falls asleep.
We're going out to do stuff in the afternoon, but just spending a quiet morning in. So far, while Dad and I have spent time chatting, reading, and the like, Mom has:
- Cooked breakfast (despite the general agreement being that we're on our own for all meals but dinner)
- cleaned the kitchen
- dusted all the knicknacks in the dining room
See, one of the things that many autistics do is rub or pick at any irregularities in their skin--scabs, dry skin, calluses, zits, etc. This is a form of stimming and can be anything from no problem at all to really damaging, depending on several factors like how often and intensely you do it, what type of things you're picking at, etc. (If you do it so that it's dangerous--regularly breaking the skin and thus bringing the risk of infection, for example, or preventing wounds from healing--you can sometimes get the same satisfaction out of letting glue or nail polish dry on your skin or nails and then picking at that.) And I've always been one to pick at things, though never to the point it became a problem.
This is relevant because, about a year ago when one of the warts was coming in, there was a flap of skin or something sticking out. And this is on the sole of my foot, it was really bugging me. So I started fiddling with it, and eventually yanked, and this core of stuff came out of my foot leaving what looked like a deep puncture. Well, I disinfected it and bandaged it, and when it was healed up there was still a callus there but I thought that might have been the core of the wart, right there. Sure enough, the doc said I was right--it was nothing but callus left. So I only had to have two warts frozen off, not three. Yay! Less pain!
Also, the doc knew like nothing about autism or how an autistic person might react to stuff in a doctor's office. Like, the fact that we have sensory processing issues was complete news to her. So now she knows, and hopefully will take this into account for her other autistic patients. (At roughly 1 in 70 people being on the spectrum, I guarantee I'm not the only one of her patients who is autistic, whether they--or she--know it or not.)
When I listen to music on my phone, here's what happens. Say I want to listen to my musical theater playlist. The phone says, "aha! she listened to Hamilton yesterday, so when she puts on the Musical Theater playlist, she doesn't want to listen to all of it, she mostly wants to listen to Hamilton!" and cycles through the Hamilton songs with the occasional other show tune thrown in. Which, no. If I wanted to listen to ONLY Hamilton, I would be listening to the Hamilton playlist. I would not be listening to the musical theater playlist! So instead of putting the phone on shuffle and just driving down the road bopping along to my favorite show tunes, I have to worry about skipping through the stuff I just listened to yesterday.
Alas, I have not been able to find a music player app for android that doesn't do this. And since my old MP3 player isn't really functional anymore, and I don't want to buy a new device for something my phone can do quite well, I'm frustrated. I know that I am an old fuddy-duddy, and most people don't manually curate their own playlists anymore, just let the app do it for them, but I do--I've got twenty years of music exactly how I want it, and it's super simple to keep in order as I add music to it. There has to be an app somewhere that will do what I want, where "shuffle"="random shuffle through the playlist" and not "let me try to read your mind and horribly fuck it up."
Possibly this was a bad idea, because it started people off talking about the very things I had just told them many people with disabilities find offensive. As in, I had to break in at one point and say that I knew a lot of people with disabilities of various kinds, visible and invisible both, who would stand up and walk out if they heard a sermon preached like that. And, granted, in my rural context, you are far less likely to encounter disabled people who have enough contact with the disability rights movement to have the vocabulary for why they don't like or resent certain things, and so they're much more likely to think "it's just me being weird, everyone else thinks it's great, I shouldn't make a big deal of it." That doesn't mean they'll like it or appreciate it.
It was hard to tell what a couple of the pastors there thought, but one of them was all "but we have to make it relatable to the rest of the congregation who don't have a disability!" as an excuse, and another was all into the "everyone has a disability!" approach.
Without time to prepare ahead of time, I am not as articulate as I am when I can sit down and write things out. It was very frustrating.
So I thought that syncing my playlists to my new tablet, it, too, would be no problem. Ahahahaha. No. I have tried syncing multiple times. I have tried many different apps. I converted all my playlists from the default WMP format to the more-common m3u format. I have tried both copying and pasting the files, and using Windows Media Player's sync feature. But no matter what I try, the playlists either a) don't read the playlists, only the songs and albums, b) read the playlists, but can only seem to play one or two of them, or c) reads the playlists, can play one or two, and says it's playing the rest even when there is no sound coming out of the device. I've checked forums, googled, nothing.
In the grand scheme of things this is not a huge deal, as I have both my mp3 player and my phone with all my music on them. But it is FRUSTRATING.
For reference, in case it helps: the phone is a Samsung Galaxy S5, and the tablet is a Lenovo Tab A-10, and both are Android devices. I have tried many players and can't remember them all, but I know I have tried both Google's Play Music and the other Music app that was preloaded on the device.
(By the way googling for apps with good playlist ability is useless, because what the reviewers gush about is the ability of the app to make playlists for you. Which, okay, fine, if you trust the computer to make the right matches, no problem. But there is no way the computer would be able to do anything half as good--for my personal tastes--as what I already have. For example, one of my playlists is called "Folksy." It contains some twangy country, some rockabilly old rock, some folk songs, some Gospel hymns, and a few other odds and ends including Rosemary Clooney's recording of This Ole House. Now, a computer algorithm might get the rest of those ... but would it also pull in the Rosemary Clooney without also pulling in the rest of her songs which would be totally unsuitable for the "folksy" playlist? I think not.)
And all this time, he's apparently been handling the revelation that he's on the autism spectrum a lot worse than I knew. My baby brother was diagnosed when I was in college, and I figured out right away from the list of symptoms that I was, too, and I struggled with it for a long time. I figured out that Dad was autistic then, but he didn't until a couple of years later when baby brother was in school and he asked the teacher if he thought Dad might possibly be autistic, and the teacher kind of boggled that he was only just then figuring it out. Anyway, when I've talked with him about it in the decade since, it's been mostly focusing on the "it's nice to know why I am the way I am." So I thought he was handling it okay. But apparently, he wants to be positive for his daughter; Mom gets to see more, and apparently there's a lot of "autism is horrible, I'll never be able to have friends or do anything." (And, yeah, in his life he has only had ONE close male friend, who committed suicide like a year before baby brother was diagnosed. But they have a decent social circle; he may have only had one "best friend," but he's got friends who genuinely like him and care for him.) And I don't doubt there's a lot of midlife crisis in there, too.
I feel guilty, because Mom asked me for advice on therapy and stuff a year or two ago, and I didn't really brush her off but I didn't pay much attention because from what I could see, he was doing okay. But, like, they didn't even know that ASAN exists, and there are two ASAN chapters within two hours of their home. If nothing else, they'll know if there are any good therapists who aren't a dick about autism in the area, and if we're really lucky there will be a middle-aged man or two that Dad could maybe strike up a friendship with. And I've known about ASAN myself for a while now, I could have hooked them up.
The last several months have been getting steadily worse.
( Cut for menstrual TMI )
My periods have been getting worse. I think it’s time to see a doctor about this. It’s not just one occasional bad month any more.
I hate cleaning the litterbox, so I try to get away with doing it as seldom as possible. But cleaning up cat piss that missed the box is way worse.
So, my family is all pretty sure (like 99% sure) that my aunt has been depressed for a couple of decades (there’s probably an unhealthy dose of anxiety in the mix, too). She does not believe that, however. I’ve suggested talking to her doctor about it, and she says that she’s fat and lazy and useless and no therapist can help with that, and doesn’t listen when I say yeah, but the therapist might be able to help you realize you aren’t lazy and useless, and feel better about the fact that you’re fat.
She has health problems that are very real, but at the very least the depression is making them more difficult to deal with. (Being so mentally fried she can’t cook and goes out to eat instead does not help with the diabetes, for example.) She was depressed but fairly stable for a long time, but Grandma was her main emotional and physical support through that time--they lived on the same piece of property, and Grandma would cook for the both of them and do yardwork and such while Aunt was at work, which allowed her to save up her spoons. But Grandma died a year ago, and I’m not sure if Aunt’s getting worse or if it’s just that she’s overwhelmed by trying to do EVERYTHING. I live half a continent away and I do what I can when I’m home, and talk to her regularly on the phone when I’m not. My parents live in the next town over and visit at least once a week, doing odd jobs and whatnot to help her, but it’s not sustainable for them or her.
Anybody got any brilliant (or, even just vaguely competent, that would work too) ideas for what to say and do to help her at least ask her doctor about it and get an evaluation? I’ve talked to her a couple of times over the years about it, and she’s never listened, but then again, she’s never been this bad before. I sent her the pics about “what depression actually feels like” vs. “what people think depression feels like.” I want her to be happy and to realize that most of the things she thinks are character flaws are symptoms of her illness.Help!
schneefink has been watching Babylon 5 for the very first time, and posting lovely reaction posts, and Babylon 5 is one of my favorite shows ever, so it's wonderful ... except that I have SUCH a hard time remembering the exact order of things and so avoiding spoilers is hard, which makes discussion hard. And schneefink is very spoiler-phobic (more so than I would be) which means discussing some of the great structural stuff JMS was doing, even in vague generalities, is verboten. I am having to gnaw my fingernails off to keep from spoiling her with each post she makes, and I'm still not always succeeding.
And remember, I am doing a Posting Meme in January! Anything and everything you want to ask me, the post is HERE, there are a lot of open days left.
I'll be going to see Into the Woods tomorrow with my aunt, and am looking forward to it.
11 freelance niches that are growing at The Simple Dollar
Had you ever thought of writing product descriptions? Neither had I, but as everything is sold online--and Google keeps changing their algorithms--many companies need new, enticing, accurate, google-bait descriptions of all their stuff, and need it changed with some regularity to keep up with Google. Or voice acting! Not for Hollywood movies, but for corporate cartoons and instructional vids. Bet some podficcers out there would do an awesome job at that one. Transcriptions? Psh. Fans do that all the time. Doodle video creation (again for corporate cartoons and instructional vids), again, I know some fans who could knock it out of the park.
For those of you out there who need some cash, take a look!
This guy also wants me to show a DVD to my congregation about how "atheists, gaytheists, and lawless thugs have infiltrated the IRS for criminal harassment of churches." And assures me that anything I may have heard about churches losing IRS tax-exempt status for endorsing particular politicians is only "ridiculous misinformation" spread by "noisy atheist groups" to "gullible clerics."
It kinda has the feel of somebody taking a Nigerian scam email, diehard Tea Party frothing (not any of their actual serious discussion points, just the froth and slogans), and a Bible, throwing it all in a blender, and sprinkling cheerful glitter over the resulting incoherent mess. The smiley faces throughout add an ... interesting touch.
The Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod (aka LCMS or just "Missouri Synod") is much more conservative than the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Although they aren't the most conservative Lutheran church in America, they're the largest conservative Lutheran denomination. And they have an institutional phobia about doing anything with people who don't hold and proclaim the "pure Gospel" like they do. They couldn't possibly do anything that might imply that they endorse anything that isn't the ABSOLUTELY PURE LUTHERAN DOCTRINE (which they are the only arbiters of), and nobody can possibly be a true Lutheran without agreeing with them on every tiny point of doctrine (and some of them aren't too sure that people who disagree with them can even be called true Christians at all). Most lay people in their church aren't bad about it, but some of their pastors can and do lead witch-hunts to root out impure doctrine and improper ecumenism.* So when I see an LCMS pastor working on anything to do with Christian Unity, it's funny. And I wonder what his superiors and fellow pastors think of him ...
*You may recall that after 9/11, an LCMS district president (their equivalent of a bishop) participated in a huge ecumenical prayer service in New York City. (It might have been held at Yankee Stadium? It was a really big deal, anyway, lots of religious leaders from lots of denominations.) He had permission from the overall president of the LCMS to do it, but the ultra-conservative faction managed to get him brought up on charges anyway, hoping to use him to oust the president (who was, gasp, shock, horror, only a moderate conservative, not an ultra-conservative). The District President resigned, instead.
For those of you interested in the history of it, ( internecine Lutheran strife, witch hunts, and propaganda )
tl;dr: the LCMS has been kinda screwed up since the late 1960s.
In the last month I have:
- Started a new WIP (Remix of Going Native by rapfic )
- Started a new story which I hope will be medium length and finished relatively soon (Cyd Charisse as a Vulcan)
- Finished two WIPs (one not posted yet) (treknovelfest vignette about Spock and Saavik hasn't been posted, but Teal'c and General Hammond on Ash Wednesday has)
- Opened up several other WIPs and got creative juices flowing again with them (Superman Returns future fic about Kara (Supergirl), the sequel to Unreal Things, a couple of others).
- Started what I thought would be a short story but will probably end up being a lot longer (Jim Kirk and Carol Marcus)
- Had wonderful inspiration today for one of the WIPs I hadn't opened up to start thinking about finishing. (Today I took a Prepare/Enrich class, which is a one-day seminar to help pastors use the Prepare/Enrich system of marital/premarital counseling. And I had a lot of good ideas on what to do with a Star Wars AU WIP--Anakin doesn't turn, instead he and Padme settle down with the twins on a tiny backwater planet where they are both bored out of their skull and after a few months of living together Padme realizes their relationship has SO MANY PROBLEMS and drags Anakin to couples counseling. Which, yeah, communication: NOT THEIR STRONG SUIT. Which is kinda weird for a Jedi and a politician, if you think about it.)
At this point, I don't really care whether or not I finish anything new. I'm just excited to be writing.
Not happening this year. My grandma has stage 4 cancer and the doctor is saying months (don't know how many) and if you're going to visit, sooner would be better than later. And March and April are two of the three busiest months in my profession so taking time off in March or April would be not possible except for dire emergencies, so I'm looking to go home next week if I can make it work (and praying that it will).
Even if I she's miraculously cured in the next two weeks ... nope. There's just no way I can write.
I don't want to know what it was like before ...
Fics what the Intarwebs have not provided for me that I would love to read.
- A Downton Abbey AU where Mary got pregnant when she slept with Mr. Pamouk in season one, and she and Cora went to America to "visit" *cough*have the baby in secret*cough* and when they came back, they passed it off as Cora's child. (And if it was a boy, even told Robert that it was Cora's--after all, a son of Cora's and Robert's would inherit the title, cutting Matthew out of the succession again, and that would be Dishonerable! and Robert would object. Cora, however, strikes me as much too practical for that, and much happier with her own grandson (even if he is a bastard) getting her money and the estate than letting someone else get it.) To make things even more interesting, you know of course that O'Brien would have to go along with them--Cora would never leave her maid behind, even if she wanted too it would be too suspicious.
- OuaT fic that is neither RumBelle nor Swan Queen nor about Captain Hook. There are so many wonderful, fascinating characters and events that just beg to be explored, and what do people write? 98% of fic falls into three categories. First is the woobification of Rumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold to make him into a Tragic Love Interest (and ignore all the things that make his and Belle's relationship interesting, and also forgetting that his number one motivation is getting Bae back and his number two motivation is power and only then does Belle come into things). I find this trait disturbing on a number of levels, not least of which is that most people I know who woobify bad guys on TV are also likely to do it in real life ("oh, he means well! it's okay because he loves me! of course he does bad things and treats me badly, but it's okay because he had a bad childhood!") Second you have the Emma/Regina stories, which do often woobify Regina but are at least less likely to be as blatant at it (because of all the hate!sex fics). And, you know, while I think their relationship (in a non-sexual sense) is fascinating and would love to see it explored, I don't much care for woobification and I like hate!sex even less, so there's most of that pairing that I have no interest in. And then you have fic about Captain Hook, who fills a role on the show but is pretty much your stock antihero/villain. I mean, there's nothing about him that I haven't seen a thousand times in other characters. Come on folks! There is so much more interesting stuff going on in this show!
And, finally, and most grossly: ( RL Plumbing woes )
My color will be red. (As you can tell from my icon, it's my favorite color.) My two favorite superheros are probably Oracle and Wonder woman, though I have soft spots for Jason Todd, Stephanie Brown, Superman, and Captain America. Smarts/detective skills/computer skills would be a cool secondary power to have besides the wings.
So! What should my superhero name be? Background? Am I a mythical creature or an alien? Do I use technology or magic? Am I DC or Marvel? (Despite my yuck factor with New 52 and my love of recent Marvel movies, I am at heart a DC girl ... but if the recent relative awesomeness of the two franchises keeps on as it has been recently, that may change.)
Costume! I am a very good seamstress, so I can make anything I want. (There will be no sex-kittening.) With wings, a cape really doesn't work. It could be anything from a simple red turtleneck and black cargo pants and black boots to something more elaborate and superhero-y. (I already have knee-high black boots that I think I will wear because they are practical and look good and I think superheroines don't wear high heels.) Should I go the traditional spandex-route? Should I wear my underwear on the outside? Should I wear a mask? Should I make some kind of insignia to go on the front of the costume? (Designing and creating the insignia would be the most difficult part, I think.)
"On Moonlight Bay" is on, a Doris Day movie set around the turn of the 20th century. She plays the teen daughter of a new family in the neighborhood, who is a tomboy who loves to play baseball. So first thing, she goes out and finds a group of boys playing baseball and pushes her way in. But then she sees her kid brother sneaking around with a gun they're going to shoot. She goes over to scold them, and takes the gun. I'm not sure if she meant for the gun to go off, or if it was an accident--the movie isn't clear. Meanwhile the older brother (her age) of her brother's new friend has been looking for him, and is in fact only on the other side of the barn door. Which she was pointing the gun at. It is blown off its hinges and knocks him down. The boys scarper, and Doris isn't quite fast enough, so he catches her (and remember she's still in a dirty baseball uniform). And promptly turns her over his knee to spank her. After a few blows, he realizes she's a girl!
Next scene, I shit you not, he's walking up to her front door with flowers in hand to take her out on a date.
Doris Day met a guy through spanking. In a 1951 movie. Not ten minutes in.
BDSM fics aren't my thing, but I'm kinda surprised nobody's done any fic for this movie, yet. There's cross-dressing and explicit discipline and everything.