Nothing quite like a case of the maternal crabs.

So my mother and Jaye’s mom were supposed to come and visit with my nephew this week. I’ve been planning for about a month, getting stuff ready for people. They’ve never seen the new place we’re in. I bought my mom and nephew the plane tickets. Jaye’s mom was the one who kept asking what we were doing this summer. I felt obligated to create some kind of vacationy happening for her. That’s why I invited my mom also, who I have an awkward relationship with anyway. Over the last two months, Jaye’s mom’s been hemming and hawing about committing. I mean she was at first, but once I planned it, she sounded like, “Oh sure, sounds great!” but no exact date of arrival. So last night I texted her about when her plane was getting in and she said that she couldn’t make it, gave me a bunch of reasons why she couldn’t make it… Drs appointments that sounded routine or those that could wait until she got back. She’s done this before, so while I was pretty irked, I’m not surprised. I’m not inviting her to shit ever again. Also, this morning my mother called me crying and said she couldn’t come because she has SCABIES. ..yeah. Scabies. I actually laughed into the phone. She’s 70. She has no idea how she got them. I believe her.. She had to look up what scabies were. I have so many last minute people coming to the house first thing in the morning to prepare for their arrival. Today we had the window washers, the tv guy, a handyman. Tomorrow we’ll have a painter, the cleaning people, and the gardener come at 8 fucking am because my mom’s plane comes in a 10am. Yesterday, I bought a tree for the atrium. Yeah. A fucking tree. Not one of them little ficus trees, neither. Seriously, I want to go to the airport tomorrow morning, run out onto the tarmac, and shake my fist at my mother’s incoming plane and scream, “SCABIES YOU MOTHER FUCKER< SCABIES!!” I told my mother to mail one of her towels to Jaye’s mom so that maybe she can get the scabies too. I’m so upset. Emotional whirlwind right now. *drinks lots of beer*

Cause baby, you were born this way.

I find sociology very interesting. Learning about my own culture, and sometimes even my own personal culture, is just as fascinating as watching something about a faraway land where people accept strange practices as just everyday life. I remember asking my mother, when I was in my single digit years, why people found things like boobs and butts shocking to see. She shrugged and said that it was because they were covered up all the time. I laughed when she slid her foot out of her sandal and said that if feet were covered all the time, it would be just as taboo to see toes, and then wiggled her toes in a shockingly exposed way. This gave me, what I consider, a fantastic perspective on my own culture, and an ability to look outside the box and try to see it from an unbiased point of view.

 

Take Chris Crocker, for an example. I ran across him yesterday, evidently a famous YouTube crossdresser, and watched a video where he talked about how he didn’t consider genitalia when determining someone’s gender. This is also a hot topic on IMVU, and other virtual realms, because it’s one place where you can be whatever you want to be, no matter how impossible it is in real life. Many people are trying to disconnect physical body parts from what gender is supposed to be, others say that genitals are what gender is. I’m not so sure.

 

In the culture you’re in, whatever country you live in, no matter what it is, there’s generally an accepted standard of behavior for men and a different one established for women. In some cultures the two are similar and in others they are drastically different. If you compare the standards of one culture with the standards of another, you get widely varying results, and there are enough of these that you could read up on them your whole life and never really learn and understand all of them.

 

That said, if you think about it what really defines a man or a woman, culturally, it’s really more how they look, dress, and behave. We are reminded each time we visit a restroom that women wear skirts, men do not. With gender it seems that it’s not so much what’s inside the pants, but if there are pants at all.

 

Genitals don’t dictate what clothes you wear, if you put on make up, how artistic you might be, if you want to wear your hair long, or if you like to talk with a softer inflection. Those are things attributed to the female gender by society. In some other culture far away from yours, there is most likely a culture where men do those things.. in which case you’d be all male, baby. Look at 17th century England where all the men wore high-heeled shoes, dresses, curly wigs, makeup, and large feathered hats. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Acad%C3%A9mie_des_Sciences_1671.jpg Take a look; Not a woman in the bunch, and no pants either.

 

My irritation here isn’t so much with the crossdressers (I like them more than I probably should), it’s with everyone who doesn’t see that “our” way does NOT travel all the way to the bone. Humanity is more than the sum of its fashion, and one culture’s idea of how certain genders should act is such a tiny, microscopic thing compared to what the human body is all about.

 

To me, gender on a biological level is about chemistry. It dictates how you react and respond to external stimuli. I know which gender I am chemically compatible with. It doesn’t so much have to do with (external, socially perceived) genitals as it does with levels of testosterone and estrogen in the body. A man who dresses, acts, craves to be what our society dictates what a woman should be is still going to be a man chemically. Same goes for a woman who acts, dresses, and craves to be male. It’s like a litmus test; are my chemicals compatible with their chemicals? Hormonal changes due to external means, such as castration or taking testosterone pills, changes the game entirely, in my opinion.

 

All that said, there is nothing wrong with Chris Crocker. He’s gorgeous, as far as I’m concerned. He is what he is; and truly if he had a vagina instead of a penis, he’d just be another girl on YouTube.

The first day of Kindergarten

I am filled with worry and concern for my child’s well-being. It’s not that I think that he’s going to come to any real harm in Kindergarten, where I just dropped him off, its that I feel that I am not equipped to help him if he needs it. I am deficient in the ways of social mores. I know how to fake it. I know how to cater to my survival strategies and tactics. These can’t be taught to a normal person, and I’m sure that my reasonings for things would only confuse him and teach him the wrong way to go about it. My way is how to travel in through the side window because I can’t see the front door. Teaching someone to scale a wall and shimmy up a drainpipe to break into the upstairs window unnoticed would surely seem an odd way to go about it to a normal person who sees everyone else going into the front door. I’m terrified of giving him the impression that he isn’t worth enough to go through the front door, as I was taught.

My mate was raised differently than I was. His race breeds and raises children that are prepared for hardships they might face. They are tossed into the mix and expected to be self-reliant, learning as they stumble along the way. They emerge emotionally strong and independent, socially forthright. My race raises children that are quiet and thoughtful, but largely dependent on their parents for guidance. I know no other way, and while I am very concerned about the social issues that my child might face, my mate has no worries, believing that once tossed into the river, he will learn to swim on his own just fine.

While it doesn’t appear that my son has the same level of social anxiety that I have had, I can tell he is nervous. One asset that he has that I didn’t is the ability to voice his thoughts and concerns without fear of ridicule. My thoughts and needs were forever trapped inside a box of fear, locked behind my eyes, serving only to confuse and frighten me. I do my best to soothe his fears and answer his questions, but sometimes I flounder. My biggest fear now is not being able to help him transition from aloneness to sociality. If he feels unsure and looks into my eyes for guidance and sees only that I am also unsure… they say that parent to a child is just another word for God. What does a frightened one feel when they look at God and see fear in his eyes?

When he is outspoken, he embarrasses me, and I reel him in. When he is ridiculed by someone else, I don’t defend him and instead try to find out what happened and why he did what he did. I don’t mean to shoot him down. It’s my own fears that I cater to. I don’t like social confrontation and would rather exit the situation in the smoothest way with the least amount of interaction. It’s the only way I know to get out of a social situation. I praise him when he does well. I swallow my nerves and cheer him when he’s doing something difficult in front of other people. But confrontation, especially with strangers, is not something I know how to deal with. All social interactions have a pattern, an accepted recipe that people follow. It’s a dance I can’t learn, and I don’t know how to learn. Unfortunately, this side-effect might be teaching him that he isn’t worth standing up for, and I would rather die than have him feel this way about himself. I was taught this, and it has left me feeling damaged.

I had the hardest time in school, mainly because of this. If I had felt that I was worth standing up for, then I might have voiced my concerns regardless of the fact that I lack the natural ability to interact with people. I don’t want him to feel the way that I did. I don’t want to be the one to teach him to feel that way.

Channeling the addiction

One thing that always bothered me about internet addiction was the disproportionate ratio between what I put in to it and what I got out of it. It bothered me that I was into something so hardcore, and put so much hyperfocus, superpower energy into whatever I was addicted to at the time, only to get nothing out of it in the end. Sure, it makes for great stories, like the time I watched all ten years of Friends in four months. (To watch people age that quickly was sobering.) Or when I decided I was going to learn to speak Vietnamese? (How hard could a language made up of three letter words be, really?). Or that collaborative story that I wrote with two others that netted me 10,000 emails that I still have to this day?

And while for a moment, looking cool to other addicts was fairly awesome, all it really gave me in the end was a greater need to shower than other people my age. I had the same level of drive and motivation as that guy who owned his own company and made his first million by 30.  I was just out of control with putting that energy in the wrong place.

I started my own business a couple of months ago, but it was more out of fear of leaving my comfort zone than anything. Having fallen into it, I’m gradually making the transition from Independent Contractor to LLC. I’m not there yet, but I’ve got four people under me at this point, and I’m beginning to invest in my company. It never occurred to me to purchase tools that would give me an edge, make things easier. Streamline. The concept is very exciting to me, because as one person I can only work so many days in a row without sleep. The tools, and the people, increase my ability to use my superpowers. I’m having a blast.

Of course, I’m still in front of the computer 20 hours at a time… but, this time it’s toward something that’s growing, something that could possibly have a greater output than the energy put into it. Maybe not quite yet, but one day it will.

I see you.

I had been putting off watching the movie Avatar, not because everyone was talking about it (as I tend to shy away from things that attract large groups of people), but because I wasn’t sure if it was worth seeing on cable. I was under the impression that without the 3-D element, it was just a movie.

As one of the four people in America that wasn’t overly inspired by the Lord of the Rings movies, or the Harry Potter movies (great movies, don’t get me wrong. I just didn’t connect with them deeply like other people seemed to), I expected this movie to have the same effect, but I think it struck a chord.

I can see why it would appeal to a wide range of people. The reason I felt a connection was pretty much summed up in the last 2 minutes of the movie, and the fact that there were two hours of development that led up to that point, only deepened it. I suddenly saw the odd parallel between this movie and my Internet addiction, and took note of the personal irony in the title.

My life is better rooted now than it once was, as I’m no longer trying to escape a difficult situation by diving into another place, another self. Had I watched the movie ten years ago, I’d have felt a greater sense of tortured ache. I remember looking at myself in the mirror, wishing that I could just link my brain and click upload, vanishing into a world that I created with my soul, independent of the world around me.

I don’t envy those still going through that.

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Hey Escapism; no means no.

I get scattered so easily without even trying. I think it’s to the point where I can actually call it a talent because I do it with such flair. Last night, I found myself reading information about work at home opportunities where you put together crafts (I did it for hours without realizing it and cursed the activity when I finally came out of my hyperfocus and crawled into bed). You put them together and send them in, and they pay you about a dollar per each one you do. While it sounded like great way for me to work with my hands AND enjoy the rhythm of blessed repetition (a wandering mind is a relaxed mind), it wasn’t a good way to support my family. From what I understand, you end up spending a great deal of time redoing crafts before you get paid. It wouldn’t be a good use of my time, even though it sounds really tempting.

Sometimes I have to wrap my brain around the fact that now that I have a degree, I have the ability to set my goals higher and make more money. This doesn’t include little at-home, possibly-scam jobs (even if the idea of painting and gluing a hundred little birdhouses sounds relaxing).  I’d be better off laying some tile around my kitchen.

I’ve decided that since I want to keep doing this working at home thing, I needed to figure out the best way to go about it. I happened up on a few video tutorials that gave some great ideas about how to manage your time and avoid distractions in a home office. Most of the tips I’ve read online seem pretty obvious and don’t really apply to me since I feel that my ADD needs are rather specific. This video below of Julie Morgenstern is much more applicable. It’s inspired me to buy a planner and give some of their ideas a shot. Once the planner comes, I’ll be able to create a better schedule for myself.

Here’s the video. Good stuff. You can also check out more videos of hers here (these are shorter and easier to digest). http://www.usa.canon.com/app/html/HomeOffice/index.html Just click tutorials.

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It’s only a small burn. It’ll heal soon; don’t worry.

Every once in a while I get to the point where I feel I need to check out a new game. I’ve stuck with IMVU for this long for a number of reasons, but the main ones are that I don’t venture off into new territory easily, and IMVU is better-looking than some of the others I’ve checked out.

I’m most focused on quality, really. I want to go where I’m sure I’m not going to be talking to kids. Sure, there’s the whole thing about not wanting to accidentally expose them to sex talk, and the like, but I’m also realizing that the new generation of social gamers are lying and manipulative bastards. I’m not interested in talking to a spoiled little shit who is focused on adult behavior for shock value, emo cutting, and making me think they are some kind of rockstar because they believe it makes them appear badass.

I remember being in high school. I know that being immersed in that is your whole world and you don’t know any different. You don’t realize that adults don’t really act that way, and if they do they have some serious issues they need to take up with their psychologist. Hey, I’m not looking to know your entire real life, nor do I really need to know much outside your online persona, but there comes a time where you just feel like you’re hearing the same old story. Try mixing some of your real life into your fantasy world and extend yourself. Eventually, you’ll be 40 and realize that playing people online in a lame attempt to get instant love and adoration isn’t going to work for you. This is what happens when you’ve been online since you were ten. Shame on your parents.

I knew that something was wrong with my choice in online bfs when I heard him on Skype, talking to a bunch of other (supposedly) newly 20-somethings about how he was so popular in high school for juvenile behavior and how his mom still doesn’t understand him because she nags him to get a job. I know, I know. My bad. I’ve learned; and now that the emotion is gone from the entire thing, the humiliation set in right nice, so I’ve learned my lesson.

What do they say? Dating some 20 years younger than you isn’t cool. It just means you were putting up with the same shit you were putting up with 20 years ago. I think that’s going to be my new mantra. Maybe I’ll just say I was in it for the sex. Takes the sting out of it a little.

So, since social behavior is where I have to focus hardest, I don’t like games that have a steep learning curve with too many buttons. I know that makes me sound like a moron, but I can’t focus on more than one thing at a time. I’m too aware of myself in front of people to feel good about experimenting with a wonky avatar and a million new controls.

SecondLife seems awkward and boxy. Everyone loves it, but I’m not exactly sure why. I’m awkward and boxy in real life, and I’d rather not transfer that over to my fantasy world. I’m looking into RedLight, but I’m not sure how much gay there is there. I saw lesbo stuff there, but that’s the wrong side of the spectrum. I’ll have to read some reviews and see what people say. Like I said, I’m looking for quality, and I’m hoping that by heading into the adult arena I end up finding people that can spell and who are mature enough to know how to get a credit card as opposed to finding the standard back-o’-the-porno-shop type of guy.

EDIT:

Oh. And it’s my birthday ^ ^ Yay me.

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