Good news, everyone! The lens just fell out of the eyeglasses frames which broke yesterday(?) that I “fixed” with electrical tape while hoping Zenni Optical doesn’t drag its feet on replacement frames!
The inertia is strong this morning.
Most of my interconnected dreams across the night involved The Magicians. This morning they revolved around a doctor’s appointment without sufficient instruction; I’d had to wear a paper bag in lieu of underpants.
Today was bad and I need tomorrow to be better.
Good news, everyone! I am going to run out of cat food and cat litter because Chewy can’t keep up with pandemic demand. Sorry, cats. I’ll try to keep you from starving to death and pissing all over my apartment, somehow.
It’s weird how you can feel heavy and hollow at the same time.
This morning someone asked me if I wanted an old Xbox 360, and this afternoon I realized why, exactly, it was that I did not: in all my life, I’ve never solved or completed a game. Not once.
The games I played the most when I was younger, for example, were not videogames but Infocom text adventures and I never finished one without resorting to reading a walk-through.
Games are distilled frustration.
Life itself already is a series and sequence of environments and situations which I’ve never been able to solve or complete. Sitting down to “play” more of the same isn’t entertainment; it’s torture. I wish I’d understood, back then, what this was telling me about myself.
Post-diagnosis, my life has been about trying to suppress complication and incite predictability. There’s little question that I’m simply not a puzzle person. I don’t want to have to be responsible for a story — and I’m using “story” broadly here to encompass anything which, in a game context, requires “figuring out”.
I’m fine simply giving myself over to being told one.
It was last Wednesday when the wider, general social cost hit me; I coined the term social cost sticker shock to describe it. This morning, one week later, the personal cost is hitting me, of having nowhere to go. There’s no need to coin a term for this: I am depressed.
Anyone want to explain how I managed to wrench my left shoulder just by sleeping? It’s a steady, localized ache.
J. E. LaCaze has some curious musings on privilege in the context of the social distancing measures enacted during the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic that challenge my notions of privilege; perhaps “complicate” is a better word.
Before the order for social distancing, I saw routine as a necessity. But now I see that in some ways routine is a privilege. After all, to establish a routine is to assume that catastrophe will not come along and disrupt said routine. It is to assume at least a semblance of stability, something we now see none of us can take for granted.
I can’t speak for LaCaze or anyone else but my routines generally are a necessity; my brain needs them in order to remain properly functional. In fact, my routines do not “assume that catastrophe will not come along” they assume the very opposite — and that’s before we ever gert to the fact that some events which others might view as (excuse me) routine everyday crises could strike my autistic brain in fact as a catastrophe.
That “semblance of stability” to which LaCaze refers is a quasi-fiction required in order for me to be able to function on a day-to-day basis. To think that routine somehow stands revealed as a dispoable thing, that’s the real privilege.
Good news, everyone! My eyeglasses frames just broke.
Today I learned that UPS finally added a delivery tracking map, like Amazon has had for awhile now. Directly related: I’ve upgrade my leased Sprint phone from the iPhone XR to the iPhone 11; it’s the same monthly lease price but better camera hardware and software.
Well, okay, now I’ve got problems. Kaiser pharmacy called, and one of my sinus sprays and my reflux meds are unavailable, with no ETA. That last one, especially, smarts.
This morning I got up after the 8:00am alarm to feed the cats, then caught up online from the phone for a bit, and apparently then fell back to sleep because the next thing I knew it was quarter-to-one. This might be the day I don’t get dressed for the day, except that I might run out of sugar.
I went and bought a collapsing chair with the expectation that the property manager for my mother-in-law apartment will return with news from the owner that I can install a basic screen door (presuming I can find an affordable one that fits), so that I can sit outside with coffee and a book without having to go anywhere, but my cats will be able to see me rather than the one cat just incessantly whining at the door like she is now while I am trying to read in peace.
I finally got around to asking the property management company if I could install a screen door on my mother-in-law cottage, and they have to ask the owner but it at least wasn’t something they knew to be an automatic denial. Originally I’d thought I’d need a storm door, which isn’t cheap, but realized this morning I just need a basic wood or even vinyl screen door and already have found several which slat the bottom third to prevent any pet-through-screen escapes.
So, here’s the story of my biggest fandom regret.
Towards the end of my deep time in Joss Whedon fandom came the tenth anniversary of Firefly in 2012. By that time, I’d been around that show’s fan community since the Fox-run “OB” as it was called (either the Old Boards or the Original Boards, depending on whom you ask); obsessively tracked the mysterious viral release of the River Tam Sessions promoting the feature followup Serenity (though at the time they were referred to by the title of the first clip, “Session 416”); and the global charity fundraiser I’d originally founded, Can’t Stop the Serenity was itself six years old. That last part typically was how anyone connected to the show or its fandom knew who I was at all.
That year at Comic-Con of course brought with it the Firefly big anniversary panel on July 13, and this is where my biggest, face-palming, head-desking fandom regret comes in.
My original photography hobby still was going reasonably strong back then, and I’d rent long, fast lenses for conventions, because you never know just where you’re going to be in Ballroom 20 for large, well-attended panels like this one was sure to be.
Before the panel, and I don’t recall if it was the day-of or the day-before — I rather suspect it would have been the day-of — while hanging out at the California Browncoats booth on the show floor (one of my safe spaces within the teeming crowds) while Tim Minear, who executive produced the show along with Whedon, asked me if I wanted to be backstage for the reunion panel.
Now, here’s where I have to make sure you understand something. This was in 2012, five years before I’d be late-diagnosed as autistic, with an anxiety comorbidity centered around social and performance distress. Had I known these things that July of 2012, I might have had tricks and tools with which to navigate suddenly being unprepared and at-sea conversationally, which is the effect this question had upon me.
The gears ground to a halt. My brain latched onto things like the fact that I’d rented an expensive lens to take photos from somewhere out in the house. Unconsciously, I’m sure I suffered a sort of preemptive social paralysis at the thought of being, in a sense and despite having just been invited, where I didn’t belong.
I said thanks, but no.
To this day, I’ve no idea what Minear must have thought at that moment. Surely, he must have thought I was completely out of my mind. Such is the haze surrounding this event that I don’t even know whether I told anyone about it, either at the time or in the eight years since.
My photos of the panel are okay. They certainly aren’t great, and they mostly aren’t the types of photos every other photographer in the ballroom that day wouldn’t also have gotten.
Imagine what photos I might have been able to get backstage instead. Even if the publicity folks for the Science Channel, which in essence was sponsoring the panel, might have temporarily embargoed them, just imagine them anyway.
It’s not just my biggest fandom regret. It’s clearly my single biggest failure as a fan. Out of all the obstacles that being unknowingly-autistic created until I was forty-seven, this literally is the one that plagues me the most. I don’t think about it often, but when I do — like now, here, tonight — not even the mirtazapine can quite keep the feelings of relived anxiety away.
I can’t find a single comfort food anything to watch.
On today’s briefer walk around downtown St. Johns, I spotted the two old guys who tend to play chess outside The Great North coffeeshop, which is closed (and not pictured), instead playing at the built-in tables outside the dive bar Slim’s, also closed.