Having just gotten back a response from my initial inquiry to a potential new psychoconsultant, I now have a copy of what I’d submitted through their online form, which I said I’d have included here had I thought to save it.

How can we help?

I am a midlife-diagnosed adult autistic (with anxiety/OCD co-morbidities) looking not for “treating” my autism (that’s not a thing), but for the helpfulness of regular “check-ins” with someone, as well as to hone and refine (and potentially develop) accommodations, mitigations, and self-advocacy. It’s important to me to find someone who understands that the socially-performative aspects of therapy in and of themselves are problematic for an autistic brain. Bonus points, therefore, if it’s possible to do outdoor walk-and-talk therapy. I’m especially interested in someone who is responsive to the idea that in many ways the autistic brain, esp. with sensory sensitivities, effectively is being subjected to mini-traumas (feel free to ask about my blogging about this).

I’ve found it difficult to condense everything I think a potential psychoconsultant should know up front before attempting to have a conversation with me. It’s still too long for what should be an elevator pitch, and yet the shortest I’ve yet managed.

There’s a duck with one broken wing and questionable allegiances in Dead Astronauts, so it’s a little disconcerting that the cover of The Restless Clock features the diagram of a duck with its own questionable behaviors.

It was a duck, and what the Duck did, though unremarkable in a duck, was so extraordinary in a machine that it immediately seized center stage. Like Reisel’s artificial man and certain other machines had been purported to do—but this time in live performance—the Duck shat. It did so, appropriately, in response to being presented with a meal. First it gobbled up and gulped down some bits of corn and grain; then it took a pregnant pause; and at last it relieved itself, through its tail end, of an authentic-looking burden.

‪Two things right off the bat about Jeff VanderMeer’s Dead Astronauts: (1) I’m going to get a headache from this book, probably; and (2) his wordsmithing is at its most rhythmically seductive here — or, not just seductive: gravitational, like you don’t quite have entire control over your body stumble-stepping down a hill.

“Anxiety chest” has plagued me all day, since I pushed myself to do a grocery errand in the hot sun despite my sensory sensitivities; it never let up once I got home. At one point I surrendered and went to curl up in bed, but it remained in place when I woke up. Ever since, any decision I had to make, or wanted to make, no matter how small (e.g. trying to find a movie to watch) has only reemphasized the feeling. My anxiety meds are a one-a-day thing, so no extra help there.

Browsing around Movies Anywhere, the multi-studio, multi-platform, “merge your collections” service, I notice they now have a Watch Together feature but, honestly, here’s a promotional image and I could not watch a movie this way. That said, they also have a Screen Pass feature where certain of your movies you can digitally lend out to other people. If you’ve merged your collections on Movies Anywhere and have anything interesting to watch, let me know.

Nadia Eghbal notes an update to her notes, one of which struck me for two reasons of personal note.

How to virtually simulate a “fidget experience” / walking outside together? Ex. ppl listen to talks better when they have something to fidget with, and similarly going on a walk together gives two ppl something else to passively look at, which makes the conversation richer

Ex. video chat where instead of looking at each other, you’re both looking at a YouTube video on mute while talking (kinda like being in one of those hipstery bars with a movie projected on one wall)

That last bit of the first bit is sort of why I want to find a psychoconsultant who does walk-and-talk therapy, although in that context it’s not so much being richer conversations as being less anxious ones.

That second bit reminds me of something I thought about while watching Comic-Con@Home panels that were conducted via Zoom (or whatever), and I feel like such panels — or even such conversations you’re a part of — might be less stressful-seeming (to me, anyway) if people’s cameras and displays were not conjoined instruments, allowing for a wider variety of angles.

One of the first responses I got on Twitter for calling the Wall of Moms debacle a clusterfuck was that it wasn’t a clusterfuck. Jagger Blaec for Portland Monthly has some news for you: it was a clusterfuck.

It’s slow going in the beginning of The Seep by Chana Porter, and a bit like a kid quick-tripping through telling a story in an “and then this happened, and then this happened, and then this happened” way, but it settles down. I’d think that if you liked the James Tynion IV and Eryk Donovan triptych of Memetic, Cognetic, and Eugenic, you’d probably find this worth reading. Parenthetically, having just started in on Dead Astronauts by Jeff VanderMeer, I already can tell this one is going to give me a headache.