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Little things in my head.

But it's an honest one!

Halloween Safety Tips -- a must-read this hazardous holiday season! (Recommended for even the holiday-hysteria averse.)

You can tell, sometimes, when a tech has a difficult one. I overheard Mr. S.G. on what sounded like a bad call. Anyone who's saying "Dot as in period..." in that particular tone of voice needs a bit of a hug or something. (Although? Hugging Mr. Sketchy Galore? Do Not Want.)

Moved more stuff. There is not much left - vacuum cleaner, paper shredder, computer speakers, a file box, a large blue IKEA bag of assorted cleaning supplies. Those bags have become my new moving best friend, because they are so capacious, and are so easy to carry. I can comfortably sling a backbreaking load over my shoulder and take stairs at a normal pace, rather than struggling and cursing with it in my arms.

If you IRC with me and haven't seen the notice already, please see the notice in the usual place about updates.

It has been ferociously hot for the season here. I have not been sleeping particularly well. I used to sleep cradling a toy lightsaber. I have slept with a water bottle in or around the bed for some time. hcolleen started dumping ice packs on me this summer when I started overheating. I have combined the concepts, and now wind up filling my water bottle with ice before I go to bed, and going to sleep cradling it (wrapped in a corner of blanket or sheet or something, so I don't hurt myself on it). It's comforting and practical in Arizona. Last night I had to replenish the ice twice.

http://www.rdos.net/eng/Aspie-quiz.php

Your Aspie score: 105 of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 127 of 200
You seem to have both Aspie and neurotypical traits



I think I'm rather closer to neurotypical than not, although it did take what felt like some literal rewiring of my brain in order to be able to converse real-time with the same fluency that I write. I was about 19 or 20, and I'd been chatting for a while, and I suddenly realized that yes, I could think of what to say on the fly; it just came out my fingers, not out my mouth. I already knew that I could rewire my brain thanks to the eyebrow thing1, so I sat down for an intense few minutes (I was actually in the car; BJ was driving, through Goldstream Valley and up the hill into town down Ballaine Road) and made it happen. It was a powerful transformative experience, although it might not have seemed particularly like much to anyone watching from outside. I was a regular chatterbox as a very small child, but the Baraan Show fiasco2 dried up a lot of my willingness to participate in any form of unrehearsed public speaking. Consequently, I would phrase and rephrase things to myself in my head, so each sentence came out perfect and polished, although I still abhorred the sound of my voice. The Shawn Incidents3 only reinforced my unwillingness to have anything to say. Until very recently, there were aspects of myself who were effectively mute, even after rewiring my brain so I could speak on the fly.

I still rehearse things in my head, of course. I have a very loud internal monologue. It's almost always my own voice narrating my thoughts, although from time to time the voiceprint changes. I'm still very aware that it's my own thoughts that I "hear" speaking, and I can tell the difference between what I hear in my head and what I hear through my ears (99.9% of the time, and the rest of the time I'm usually tired enough to be hallucinating, or the person right next to me isn't sure if they said that aloud or not), even though it sounds just like it's someone else speaking. Most of the time when it's someone else's voice, it's something they've already said: an internal recording being played back.


1) Before the age of 13 or so, I'd only been able to raise my right eyebrow by itself, or both eyebrows: not the left eyebrow. But when my virtual cousin told me that she'd been able to learn to raise either eyebrow by itself, I determined that I would learn to do that. So I sat down with a mirror, and learned to flip the muscle impulses from one side of my head to the other, by focusing on feeling the particular brain-twitch that meant to raise my right eyebrow, and consciously mimicking that same brain-twitch on the right side of my brain (thereby raising the left eyebrow).

2) I think I must have been about five, and I had a habit of putting on some form of theatrical event when my parents had guests. I was determined that this was to be amazing! It would be spectacular! It was unrehearsed, and it completely flopped, much to my abject humiliation. "Baraan Show" became a family byword for a much-advertised event that amounted to less than nothing. I decided that nothing I said in public would be unrehearsed ever again.

3) Recipe for disaster: take an egomaniac actor who can't bear to be interrupted when he's pontificating, and add a shy girl who has issues with public speaking of any kind. By the time I could get a word in edgewise, the moment was always past, and anything I had to say would come out as complete old-meme, and I was scolded for this. I stopped trying to talk around him after a while.


I got an interesting e-mail yesterday morning, although I'm still waiting on confirmation from a few other sources before I explode with gibbering glee.
Gone away, gone ahead,
Echoes roll unanswered.
Empty, open, dusty, dead.
Why have all the Weyrfolk fled?

Where have dragons gone together
Leaving weyrs to wind and weather,
Setting herdbeasts free of tether;
Gone, our safeguards, gone, but whither?

Have they flown to some new weyr
Where cruel Threads some others fear?
Are they worlds away from here?
Why, oh why the empty weyr?

-- "The Question Song", Anne McCaffrey
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