... Retry

... So, ended up sleeping about 13 hours last night.  I certainly feel better, though still not 100%.  Tonight, I was going to go home, pack, and just relax before driving up tomorrow.

I say "was" because, as I'm driving into work this morning, I get a call from my mother.  "Dad's computer won't start."  From the description, it sounds like a bad power supply.  Her next statement?  "I hate to ask, but can you come by tonight...?"

1) I told her, yesterday, that I was feeling like total crap from doing too much recently.  She said she sympathized.
2) My step-brother - who graduated with an engineering degree from CalTech and currently works for a major software company - is, right now, sleeping in my old room down the hall from the broken computer.
3) There are, like, five computers in the house for the two of them - three notebooks and two desktops.  Seriously, they have more computers than I do.

This is mild compared to some of the shit she used to pull, but it gives you an idea of what I end up dealing with.

Anyway, I still have my old computer, and the power supply in it should be more than sufficient (assuming it'll fit).  So, if that's the actual problem, I can possibly get it fixed tonight.  If not, then when I get back, I'm going to get asked to spend a day or two copying Dad's files from the old hard drive onto the new one and getting shit installed, and I'd really rather not have to do that.  Even if it means spending a couple of hours elbow-deep in circuit boards tonight.

I think it's a nacho day.  I could really use some nachos.

Out Of Cutlery Error - Abort, Retry, Fail?

I feel like crap today - not quite bad enough to be "sick", but bad enough that I'm going to go home after work, crank up the heater, crawl into bed and just sleep until tomorrow morning.

I haven't had a "day off" - my lexicon for "a day without forced socialization of some kind" in almost three weeks.  Normally, Sundays are my day to just recharge, but the last two Sundays I've had to help my step-dad take apart and put back together all the storage in the garage so they could get the garage doors replaced (long story).  Add to it that Christmas was at my parents' house (which is low-key but still OMG-I-have-to-deal-with-people!), that I worked Monday and Wednesday (and today and tomorrow), and that Wednesday was my stepdad's 70th birthday and all his kids (and grandkids, and spouses/girlfriends) were there, and...

Well, let's just say I feel like a polite train wreck.  You know, where the train comes to a gentle stop - and then just falls off the track.  If you know the spoon theory, I'm not exactly the kind of person who generally runs out of spoons; today, I feel like I've used up all my spares, raided the cabinets for any I could find, and have borrowed a couple from the neighbors.

There were a few moments of interesting things.

A minor issue that's been bouncing around for a while (as in, decades) is that my mother never really accepted that I'm not "normal" - or, rather, she only sees the good parts and none of the complications.  As a kid, it was both accepted that I was brilliant and therefore different, but also that any struggles I had with anything had to be because I wasn't trying hard enough since everyone else could do it without issue.

Over the years, I've gradually gotten her to accept that I'm ADHD (I wasn't diagnosed until late teens), largely by pointing out how she reflects a lot of the same symptoms (case in point: to relax for bed, she has a large glass of hot, heavily-caffeinated tea; she never thought about this being contrary to normal until I pointed it out).  She's never really fought me on the OCD, but again, she's got the signs of it in herself, so that's also pretty clear.  She has fought me about dyslexia, but since I've got a piece of paper for that one too, there's not much she can do about it.

I've never tried pushing the Autism Spectrum Disorder issue much, though, because it always seemed like "a bridge too far" as it were: the common idea of Autism is a stereotype that isn't necessarily representative.  I'm not Autistic, but ASD encompasses a wide range if symptoms that stretch from (probably; it's still being debated) ADHD on one end through Aspergers to Autism on the other, with a few different points in the middle.  I also don't have a formal diagnosis in ASD - there are other confounding factors, and since I had the ADHD diagnosis anyway, it didn't seem necessary.

Well, during conversations with friends and family the last couple of days, my mom volunteered information that, whether she realizes it or not, is classic ASD.  The first was when she was commenting on my tendency to take "escape" vacations.  She referred to her desire to do the same thing - especially before she retired - as "taking time to just be", to "escape from people and not have to socialize."  The overpowering need for such "recharge" time or escaping is a very common thing in ASD folks, and those with Autism and Aspergers tend to get it very severely.  In kids, it's often the cause of stimming or seeking heavy blankets and comfort - in sometimes literal terms, of enclosing one's self in something secure and safe and "blanking out" all the scarey, noisy, troubling stimulation.

The other thing she mentioned, this time in the context of things we did when I was a kid, was: "You always hated loud noises, even when you knew they were coming.  You'd cover your ears and, if you could, even curl into a little ball."  The "too loud/too bright" reaction is also classic ASD - generally brought on by hypersensitivity to stimulation (which I have in other ways as well).  It's often one of the first things that parents of Autistic children notice.

This is all on top of having speech impediments as a kid, being delayed in maturation (I hit puberty a little late and then had a longer and slower developmental period - part of the reason I still look a lot younger than I am), all the troubles I had in school despite being an "A student", etc.

In the larger scheme of things, it doesn't really matter if my mom acknowledges all of this.  It's not going to impact my life today, and none of her grandkids (my stepdad's grandchildren, really) seem to have any of these issues.   At the same time, though, part of me wants an apology.  Part of me wants to hear her admit that she made my life hell growing up, and that all of the pressure and stress she put on me was unfair.  I mean, I eventually started pushing back against it, but that was only after years of mental/emotional abuse and eventually trying to kill myself, so one could argue the damage was done.

(I should probably add here that I like my mother, as a person.  She's kind and brilliant and supportive, and as a woman, she's kicked some serious butt throughout her life.  She's the kind of woman who is a feminist whether or not she calls herself one.  She was just a very crappy - and codependent - mother, especially for a kid who needed more than to simply be pushed.)

I'd just like, in general, for the "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" narrative that a certain portion of the (mostly conservative) population seems to love to be blown to hell.  It causes far more harm than good, and it's predicated on this notion that everyone is the same and has the same strengths and needs.

Anyway, Saturday I drive off to relax for a few days.  I looked into a lot of options, including Tahoe and Yosemite and King's Canyon, but as I really don't want to spend $400 a night in hotels, I'm just going back to Guerneville - they didn't end up getting flooded out, and the hot tub is always nice.  For now, I just need to make it that far.  No meetings, comfort food for lunch, and wrapping myself in my heavy coat to keep warm.

And, maybe, stealing some spoons from the cafeteria.  They're plastic, but hey.

The ceremony of innocence is drowned

... It's probably a bad thing when you score more than 20 points (self-diagnosed, so probably suspect) on the PCL-R.

Hey, there.  Been a while, though it's been fairly boring here.  Not so in the news lately, of course, but in the interest of not triggering people, we'll stay out of that.

Trying to decide what to do for New Years.  I've got the 31st and 1st off, and kind of want to go somewhere there's snow, but since I won't know that until a few days before, I haven't made any plans yet.  That being said, I haven't even started Christmas shopping yet.  I should probably get to that.

Speaking of shopping, I finally decided to try and sell some of my photography as posters and such.  I'm testing out a few different sites; no purchases yet, though there's a bit of interest in some of them.  My totally-arbitrary-mental-abacus says I need to get about 100 viewings of any one image before I'll sell something, and I'm getting close.  Not bad, considering I'm not advertising at all.

I also uploaded a bunch of photos to a stock house, so maybe that'll end up selling some as well.  You never know.  At least they're all non-exclusive licenses, so I can do it all at once and still retain the original rights.

I got a new phone, finally.  My contract was up last December, but I hadn't seen anything since then that I liked until recently.  Picked up a Nokia Lumina 920.  Seems pretty decent so that, though it's a bit large.  I love the voice-to-text options: I can have it read me incoming text messages and reply to them by voice while I'm driving.  Cool feature.

Dating, not so cool.  Pretty cold, actually.  I've had a few messages back and forth, but only two tangible dates out of it in a year or so.  I'm not terribly bothered by this, but it does raise the question as to whether or not I want to keep putting any effort into the idea.  I may try a different site, just for kicks.  It'd be nice if there was someplace local I could just go and hang out, but seeing as I don't drink and don't get along with alcohol well, the bars seem a wee bit contraindicated.

Finally getting some definition in my upper body.  The rowing machine seems to be doing the trick, and I finally figured out now not to get callouses on my hands doing it.  Still not losing the bit of excess just under my belly button that I've had for like 10 years now.  I may have to actually need to try changing my eating habits, which I've been hoping to avoid as I don't know how sustainable that is psychologically.  That being said, my weight's been stable, so maybe all it would take is losing that bit and I could keep it off with my normal habits.  We'll see.

Anyway, there's that.  It probably won't take me 3 months to post again :)  Maybe something exciting will happen.  Well, assuming we don't all die in a horrible fiery explosion on Friday (and no, I don't think that's going to happen; even the Mayans didn't think that was going to happen, and it's their damned calendar).