Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A Furiously Happy Book Review--One That I Hope to Bloggess that Jenny Is Reading

Some tunes to listen to if you wanted…..a playlist! Yays!

             After the previous blog post, I feel this urge to apologize for freaking people out with my possibly-withdrawal-induced feelings of depression and hopelessness where I felt the need to painfully rip off the blindfold I was wearing while running from the black hole-like sinkhole. (I actually shouldn’t; it’s okay for me to share these feelings, even healthy.) It was a letter to myself, an important conversation that needed to be had in order for problems to be solved. It was also a great big flashing sign I could use to direct people in a direction that many people would call “making progress,” even though (to me, at least) it is comparable to me being the reporter out in the field running for her life from a sinkhole, while the hosts of the news channels watched with genuine concern.

             I think this warrants an update: I’m doing better emotionally, which probably can be attributed to the withdrawal from lack of ADD meds. I suspect that this withdrawal (which took place for three or four weeks, during which my doctor pulled a dick move by not filling any of my ADD meds--which meant I ran out, something one should never do ever with any psychiatric meds--until I get my fasting blood tests done) was responsible for most of the issues I had, probably proof it messed up my brain. At least, now I can attribute the need to be fed properly in the morning and the weird I-skipped-on-my-meds dreams to the stimulants and lack thereof, respectively.

             But that’s not what you’re here for--you want to know my thoughts on ​Furiously Happy​, the new book by Jenny Lawson (the Bloggess) that JUST came out!  Right?!  (As in at midnight the night of September 21st--because midnight is when September 22nd starts. Thanks, temporal druids known as Jesuits for inventing this weird concept!) I was so excited and eager that I was able to get my own copy from Target with Dad’s help--thank you, Papa Spock! (I did pay him back for my copy.) And I was so happy I even texted my older sister….to which she responded with a question: “Did the Amazon Pre-Order get there already???” ​HUH?????​ After a puzzled response (probably along the lines of “What are you talking about?”), I found out that my sister had pre-ordered the book for me from Amazon the moment she heard me talk about it weeks before it even came out. Which is sweet, but left me with a dilemma: which copy of the book should I return?!?!?! My answer/decision was NEITHER!!!! I opted to keep them both because I don’t want to feel weird about it; Papa Spock went out of his way to get me a copy of my own, and my sis was thinking of me and being incredibly awesome by gift-ordering a copy of the book that she knew I really wanted and was determined to get. (At least now we know that next time, probably when Jenny’s third book is coming out--hopefully, even though I shouldn’t count my chicks before their eggs are even laid--my sis will tell me whether she pre-ordered it or not so that this weird situation doesn’t happen again.) On the bright side, I get TWICE the furious happiness!!!!

            Anyways, if you’d rather a look at the content I may or may not have spoiled with Twitter breadcrumbs, here’s my Storify compilation:

Yes, those are the breadcrumbs I left on Twitter with the hope that the strangers who are following me on Twitter will read and be like, “HUH? Oh my goddess’ titties! Lol! I should take a look at this “Furiously Happy” thing….. *click* Oh, wow, people love it! I should get it!” (I’m not sure if #FuriouslyHappy was trending on the Twitters, but if it did, AWESOME!)

         In reality, while reading and tweeting along by text message, I was wearing my pajamas (a nightshirt and yoga pants) and a Darn Good Yarn magic skirt (made of SILK) while laying on my couch and reading furiously (happily) in an effort to finish the book before the day was over so I can post this review. And while reading, I was giggling, quiet with awe, nodding with understanding, crying with laughter, and then crying at the end because I knew what Jenny was talking about. I truly understood the battle that so many people, myself among them, are fighting every single day.  I was empathizing on a deeper level, because I knew that my own battle was quite a bit different from everyone else’s. It’s at this point (at the end) where I wanted to just run (or quickly walk up) to Jenny, and embrace her tightly while crying into her shoulder (which is a little overboard for an interaction between two people who only know each other through the Interwebs) and going, “Thank you! THANK YOU!!!! You understand it--thank youuuu!!!! ​I love you for this!!!!​” (I’m crying even while typing this.) I probably wouldn’t do that last proclamation, but when a fan of yours runs up and hugs you, molesting your boobs with tears and shouting “thank you,” over and over again, it could go that way.

By Sweet-Crow
           I’m giving this book over 9,000 white-point stars/plungers out of 5 (the plungers are for the Daleks), not just because it was funny, but because it was a truth that needed to be shared with the world. People, not just those with depression, but also government officials, doctors in all fields, insurance company employees, family members, friends, etc., should know what life with depression could be like. They should know that even celebrities such as Wil Wheaton and Phil Plait and other well-known faces in the celebri-sphere have some sort of mental illness, and that having a mental illness or emotional/mental diffability ​should not​ be stigmatized! As much as you think it’s super rare, when you read the comments on Jenny’s blog posts about depression, you’ll realize that it is a lot more common than you think, and that we are not alone in our struggles. There are ​at least​ 50 other people in the world fighting to escape similar sinkholes to the one I’m running from, struggling and fighting to stay ahead, but wearing themselves out in the process.  There are times when even I get tired and would stop to catch my breath only to feel the earth beneath my feet start to give way, which tells me that I have only an opportunity window of a few seconds (relatively speaking) to fire the grappling hook at something far off in the distance for help. That the battles we’re fighting could be described differently from my sinkhole metaphor, as trenches filling with water that we have to escape, lest we drown.

          So, yeah, depression is a bitch and an asshole because it’s lying to you and bullying you into thinking “Life would be so much better without me.” That is bullshit, and I can attest to that--when my sis and I were growing up in the hellhole in the middle of nowhere (in Pennsylvania; sorry, Iowa, but you can’t change history), we were relentlessly picked on; I was bullied, she was bullied….It was hard, but it got worse still when her classmates in a ​Catholic high school​ where picking on her, to the point when they were saying that she should “just kill herself.” How could they?!  That is ​WRONG​!   Nobody should EVER encourage taking their own life! Not even CEOs of Evil Corp! (spoiler alert for Mr. Robot fans who did not see the season 1 finale) This is why we should educate people on mental illness so that they are well-informed and less of a dick about living with depression and/or anxiety.

         Look, you’re not alone in your struggles.  I have them.  Mama Squirrel and my sis have them. LOTS of people have them, and we will feel alone during these times; but we should know that our tribe is out there. Yes, I’m a member of Jenny Lawson’s tribe of weirdos who fight with depression, and I’m proud of it! I’m a member of the Church of Bloggessianism! I frequently tweet with Daleks on Twitter! I even joke around with my parents about needing towels and possibly also getting a giant metal chicken during that shopping trip! This is the tribe I belong to, the nerdy weirdos wielding plungers at trees that we thought were zombies!

          You may be weird and even a little fucked-up, but so am I. What’s important is deciding whether you should march alone or with the rest of us; because people marching by themselves are looked upon as “stupid” and “childish” and “wrong,” but people marching together? That’s a full fuckin’ marching band with its own class and character!!!!

         Keep this in mind while reading this book--which you should buy your own copy of! Unless your sister already ordered it for you; you should check with her first before buying it…..


Friday, August 21, 2015

An Honest Letter to Myself (KLEENEX ALERT!)

Apologies for the long absence. Life happened. It usually does. Not to mention that the evil Writer's Block just stopped me for a few months…..I couldn't figure out ANYTHING to write about. So, I guess I owe you a brief update: attended the Pennsylvania Autism Training Conference again, selling two paintings (only it was Mom who sold them—thanks, Mama Squirrel!); walked an entire 5K color run/walk event; still working on getting my shit together; ran out of ADD meds, but did a fasting blood test so I can get more; having weird dreams due to the absence of the ADD meds, etc.
From LifeHack Quotes
This time around, I have decided to publish a blog post where I could be more honest to everyone (including myself), to a degree (since the Interwebs is full of creeps and criminals, in addition to the awesome, nice people online). And I've decided, after some consideration, to write a letter addressed to myself, which I know is already bringing me to tears; it's hard to be raw and real in an environment populated with trolls and cyberbullies, and I've become far too cautious for that, but I've decided to just answer Yoda's "Do or Do Not" lesson by choosing "Do," and even go so far as publishing it, regardless of the reactions readers may have. This isn't just for you—it's for me.
Oh, what theme song? Just pick something sad-ish, like, sad and honest with yourself and realizing truths about your life or something to chillax to. It could be "Leave Out All the Rest," "From the Inside," or "Waiting for the End," by Linkin Park, the Deadmau5 remix of Calvin Harris' "I'm Not Alone," or Joel's originals such as "Avaritia" or "I Remember," Everlast's "What It's Like," or CoMa's "Something In the Way." (I apologize for the images on that last one!) Of course, having typed all this, I realize that not only did I give too many suggestions, but I also don't feel like going back to edit it right now. You know what? Fuck it—just play something from Nigel John Stanford, like, "Crystal Skies."
Anyways, make sure to have tissues ready, because things are about to get more real and more honest than they have been so far on the Interwebs! (Hence, the "KLEENEX ALERT!")
No, it's not a gimmick: I really did have a hard time typing this up. But it's worth it.

Disclaimer: I'm NOT suicidal, and I have NO intentions or plans to hurt myself, okay? Please. I don't want people to freak out over this. I'll be okay, as long as I get the help I need.

Dearest Eden,
Hey. It's you. Well, actually it's yourself, the part of you who wants to live a happy and fulfilling life.
Why are we writing a letter to ourselves? Because it's time to do away with the jokes for a while and address what's been going on within ourselves for a long time now. We need to talk.
I know what we've been feeling, lately. Yes, we're lonely, we're incurably sad, and we don't want to grow up or for things to change. But why is that? Why are we torturing ourselves emotionally by thinking, "Why can't I just be a four-year old again?" Is it because we deserve this masochism of the mind? Or is it that we secretly want to fall down that metaphorical sinkhole we've been running from for a few weeks now?
I can tell you right now that, yes, life is hard. It's difficult, and for us, unless we're distracted (and especially off the medications), it feels incredibly lonely. It's hard to remember that we have friends and family who want to help us, despite the voice inside of our head saying that nothing will work and nobody can help.
Perhaps it's a bit too much pride and egotism that prevents us from asking for help easily.
Or perhaps we're really just scared of change in life.
Yes, change can suck. But it's the metabolism of life on Earth. Some changes are bad (deforestation, changes in policy that allow politicians to be bought by corporations, global warming, political shifts in the Middle East giving rise to a group of militants who know how to really hurt us from the inside, etc.). But why get sad at the good changes, too? Is it because we've become too comfortable with the way things were before the change? Why is that?
I actually don't have an answer for that question.
Try as we might, it's incredibly hard for us to live happily. We live with depression (and its bedfellow, anxiety), which we fear is getting worse, whether it's because we were medicating irregularly, or that it's truly, independently getting worse, making us feel unstable in life.
Remember that post on Hyperbole-And-A-Half, about the time Allie Brosh was struggling with her depression to the point where just feeling any emotions is horribly terrifying and painful? And that she wound up ditching her emotions for "robot mode"? And this led to the feelings of not wanting to live anymore? We can't allow this to happen to ourselves. We have reasons to live, whether it's a temporary noble reason (raising awareness and paving the way towards acceptance of neurodiversity) or a temporary petty one (Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess, releasing her second book, which should be just as hilarious as her first one). We can't give up on ourselves and just check in to the mental hospital and go, "Help me feel as though I can be happy again without feeling my heart break for myself!"
It's too terrifying to even go that far, even if it means that we wind up getting outpatient psychiatric care due to our ex-psychiatrist not being helpful with insurance bullshit. (Seriously, this area that we live in is the worst in the State for mental health service availability; local health networks don't do outpatient psychiatric services unless we get admitted to the hospital for mental health reasons, which we really don't want to happen!)
Life is amazing and beautiful and something to be witnessed. We shouldn't scare ourselves with the negatives that lurk within the Deep Web, like Cthulhu being held in the deepest and darkest depths of the sea, waiting to be released to cause chaos and world destruction. Instead, we should figure out a way to either get the fuck away from the metaphorical sinkhole of despair, or just stop it entirely.
As much as it hurts, just talk to Mom and Dad about it. Or your sister; they'll understand that you're feeling hurt inside, and that you want it to stop but are scared to do so.
They're walking similar paths to yours, and they can't help you unless you tell them, unless we muster up the courage to just say the following four words:

Please--I need help.
It will all be worth it, because we are worth it.
I love you, Eden, and I want us to feel better.

Forever yourself,

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A Weird Conversation Between Myself and My Depression/Anxiety (An Update)

       Hi, y'all!  Sorry for failing to post for so long....  I've been nuts as of lately.  How?  Like this:

Me: *Looks around*  "Dammit!  I've fucked up and now it's time to fix everything.  No more extremely slow downward spiral for me!" *cracks knuckles*

My Depression/Anxiety: *Perks eyebrow*  "Really?  Are you sure you want to do that?"

Me: "Yes, motherfuckers!  My brain isn't some place where you can camp out and run self-destructive programming for free!  I'm tired of sleeping all day, not taking my pills--which can make me sick--and not being productive!  I have stuff I need to do!"

D/A: "Uh, no, you don't!  You have other stuff that's more fun!  Besides, chores and responsibility are boring and lame; you'll be boring and lame if you do them, and they're not fun in an ironic sense!"

Me: "LIESSSS!!!  I have dishes to do, a living room to clean up, a bathroom to scrub clean....  I have to start now!"

D/A: "No, your inner Lazy Dalek says that you can do it later, following it up with repeated chanting of 'PROCRASTINATE!  PROCRASTINATE!'  Plus, isn't it lonely?  You don't have many fr--"

Me: "SILENCE!  I shall be productive today!  Not later--TODAY!!!"

D/A: "Crap!  Uh, uh....!  Hey, Attention Deficit Disorder!  A little help here?"

ADD: "Hey, look!  SHINY!  *points*"

Me:  "OOOOHHH!  SHINY!  *scamper-chases*"


That's a sort-of typical conversation that led to me to a lot of unmedicated days of sleeping, nights staying up until 6 am EDT, and not even following through on plans that can help me be Pro-Eden.


      Yeps.  Pro-Eden, meaning helping me make positive changes towards my life.  How come?  Go listen to the Pro You Podcast on the Nerdist Podcast Network!  Episode I, Inertia--the Real Phantom Menace, should explain everything, and help you start on your way towards better awareness, and, ultimately, a better lifestyle.

      It's because of this podcast that I've decided to get going  with my climb up Mt. Molehill; I've even gone so far as to not refer to workouts as "workouts," but as "Pro You Moments".  I've been tweeting with their Twitter account, and been giving updates with my progress.  Here's a couple of the latest ones that I sent them recently (before this blog post):

Seriously, this podcast is awesome, especially after all the talking is done, when Tom (one of the hosts) gives you a chillaxing Pro You Moment, where you can meditate with food for thought.

Beyond that, some other stuff happened, which I will update in another blog post, one that I'll publish once I've stopped yanking my hair out over Artist's Block, aaand, for the most part, being like this:

In any case, be consistent (especially with medications), be aware, and ENJOY YOUR TACQUITO!!!!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Star Wars Universe Wars

            Sorry for not posting anything as of lately.  I've been quite busy with life.  I had to be out in public and get a new laptop of my own and new headphones and stuff.  (What?!  I want to blend in with the background, to make it impossible for y'all to see me!  I'M INVISIBLE TO YOUR OCULAR SENSORS!  MWAHAHAHAHA!!!!!)

            Anyways…..I figured I should post SOMETHING to keep people from going, "OH, NO!  SHE'S DEAD!"  (Well, at least the people who don't watch my twitter feed.  Those who do, or those who are friends with me on Facebook, or interact with me regularly on Deviant Art know that I'm alive and well.)  That and to rant a wee bit on Star Wars.

            Okay, more than a wee bit.  But I do have some nerd frustrations that need to be unleashed.  (No, not THOSE nerd frustrations!  Gawd, get your minds out of the gutter!)  That and some funny shit to share.

            So, sit back, relax, tune out to "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger," (the"Deadmau5 remix" according to my library) by Daft Punk (which Papa Spock needs to listen to more).  And remember that at the time of my drafting this, I am actually very tired.  My butt was kicked by Thursday, and I still haven't recovered much; instead, I've been reading Bill Nye's Undeniable and Phil Plait's Bad Astronomy in bed, like I "should" be doing.

So Far, So Good…. I Think…..

            So, a status update: I don't exactly know what I'm doing right.  I have tons of cleaning to do (still), a few appointments to either check up on or set up, a whole dozen others to attend, and a bunch of distractions in between.  I've accomplished stuff, made the opposite of progress on other stuff, and there's not enough time in the day to do it all!!!  Really, the word, "Bleh," pretty much sums up my current mental state.

            Let's do a quick run-through here….

~~Public speaking—I've had to do a couple of presentations in "public" to a group of young adults with disabilities about social media.  Yes, apparently, I'm an expert.  (What I did, however, was share my firsthand experiences online with these people.)  And I enjoyed the satisfaction of surprising myself with how well I did (according to audience feedback), which is a really good booster for my low-to-medium self-esteem.  And yes, I got paid for it in gift cards provided by the sponsor, which is a very popular large (national?  world?) retail company found all over the US.  And when I was done, I was also given a gift (that isn't exactly necessary but very, very, very helpful, since I can't take my not-so-portable desktop computer everywhere) that was provided by this sponsor: a new laptop!  BUT, I still don't have Internet at home.  Oh well.

~~Exercising: My FitNerd Journey—I've also started doing a sort-of-kind-of exercise routine.  Basically, twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I go out in exercise clothes to do some…. PHYSICAL THERAPY!!!!  Yays!!!!
            What?  Did you expect me to just say, "I go out to some lunkhead dungeon to have a stranger yell at me to work through the pain of my muscles tearing as I try to do the impossible, only to return home in tears and swearing to punch them in the face next time I go before passing out on the bed"?  Seriously, I know for a fact that the scenario I just described is detrimental to any sort of routine construction, and destructive to the nerd psyche many of us tend to have.  That and because I'm worried about certain other medical conditions, which means I'd rather take a step between "regular workouts at the gym" and "not exercising very much."  That step, for me, is physical therapy.  No, I'm not injured; I just want to start in a supervised setting that will allow me to get the fitness-and-health-goal cheese wheel rolling down the hill.  And so far, I've been doing really well, exercising my legs and my arms and increasing my endurance a bit so I don't feel like I'm dying when rushing to catch the bus.  I've figured out the ideal posture (which is just like the posture I had when I was doing horseback riding: spine straight and tall, shoulders down and back a bit, sitting on your tailbone with your legs relatively underneath your profile, but relaxed, with your stomach tucked in), and I've also been able to do better leg curls and bicep workouts.  It's awesome, and a really good self-esteem booster.

~~Home and Internet—Right now, both of them are separate: home is meh, since I'm still trying to clean it up more and more.  Internet is also meh, because I'm getting behind on so much!  I've been doing the Crash Course videos ("doing" as in watching), specifically the Astronomy series.  I've already put together a playlist of the videos I've added so far.  Surprisingly, I've found a lot of the lessons to be the same in Bad Astronomy!  Like, Phil's repeating himself for the crowd who is more likely to watch YouTube videos than to read actual books that were published in 2002 or 2003.  But you can't beat the graphics from Thought CafĂ©!  They're really well done and funny and awesome; I wish that I have a well-funded web series that has them doing similar graphics to the ones you can see in the episodes!  5/5 plungers and a ton of POINTS(!) to them for their creativity, style, and their humor!

            That's all for now, with the updates.  You can find more on Twitter.  As for the Team Savage-vs.-Team Bagans internet battle, I've put together a journal entry on Deviant Art, complete with links to tweets, blog posts, videos, etc., so if you want to find out everything quickly, go check that out.

            That's it for now, mostly because there is a disturbance in the Force that I've been ignoring up until now—and I can't take it anymore!!!!

Star Wars-Episode Everything: The Approaching Doom

            Alright, even though the official teaser is cool (with the Garth Brooks version made by @midnight being super funny—POINTS(!) to them for it)……

……and there are pictures of what's happening behind the scenes, I am worried about the fate of the current Star Wars universe.  No, not the one Disney has constructed!  The one that existed before Disney decided to fuck us nerds over!

            You see, I've been prowling through the Nerdist site lately, and I've found some awesome articles that I've shared with people on dAmn (the Deviant Art messaging network, which is basically just a bunch of chat rooms created by DevArt staff and users).  But lately, I've come across some news that should excite people, but actually just made a lot of us nerds angry with grief over how a sandcastle empire (that each of us nerds and fans and nerdy fans have contributed to with careful precision and painstaking effort to make it juuuust right) was destroyed by Disney just stomping their way through.

            As many of us are all aware, Disney bought the rights to Star Wars and have hired J.J. Abrams to direct the new Star Wars movie, Episode VII: The Force Awakens…..  Shouldn't that be "Reawakens"?  Because last I checked, at the end of Episode VI-Return of the Jedi, it was already awake, but feeling quite lonely!

            So, when THIS article was posted, I was shocked.  I could only skim through part of it, before immediately jumping down to the Comments section to post my complaints:

Before long, I got some responses:

And I felt the frustrations rise, which resulted in me posting a response to one:

However, I was fortunate enough to have a brief encounter with some extremely funny nerds on there, offering replies that made me laugh hard!

            Thank you, kind strangers of the nerd population, for giving me a bit of comic relief when I was still feeling the sting of having Disney smash what we had to pieces.

            Seriously, what happened was that the Expanded Universe (much of it documented on Wookieepedia) was just erased from existence.  None of it (the books, especially) is canon anymore.  The only stuff that is canon is everything that is in all the movies, plus the Star Wars: Clone Wars series and whatever specials that they have.  That's it; the Thrawn Trilogy books that I have yet to read, anything that involves an agreement as to how Boba Fett escaped the Pit of Sarlacc, what happened with Darth Maul, all of that is no longer "accepted" as Star Wars lore.

            I expressed these frustrations to Papa Spock recently, and he responded with his usual Spockish answer: It's because what was already there was too restrictive for them to do anything creative with the storyline in order to draw in more people.  I suspect that J.J. was a large part of that decision, seeing that he was the one who did the Star Trek: Alternate Universe movie series!  And because of that, the Star Trek Online game was completely changed!  Like, WHAT THE FUCK?!?!  It's frustrating, especially since people are going to respond with "It's Disney, not ours.  They can do whatever they want with it, seeing as it's their Jeep and no longer the Jeep that George Lucas has allowed all of us nerds to go joyriding in.  They can change the radio station presets on it to whatever they want, and you shouldn't worry about it."

            I am worried about it.  So much has been ruined lately; nerds are being sexist with their anger, saying, "HOW DAREYOU MAKE MY GHOSTBUSTERS WOMEN!!!"  And many of us are still Klingoning (Heh, get it?!  Klingon…ing?  Never mind, I meant, "clinging on"….) to the Original Star Trek series, to Next Generation, Voyager, and Deep Space 9, to keep alive the memories of what we enjoyed the first time around.  It sucks!

            You see, we nerds (especially those of us on the Autism Spectrum) are resistant to change (much like conservatives and Republicans—*shudders* That felt creepier than I thought it would be….), and if you introduce sweeping changes all across the major nerdism nodes (like superhero genders, storylines we grew up with and memorized every detail of, Star Wars universe elements and happenings that take place outside of the movies and television series, etc.), we're going to be resistant.  Like, we're fine with the way things are, and they made sense; why did you change everything that was working?  You can't fix what isn't broken, and the worlds we dive into oftentimes (Marvel comics printed on paper, DC comics printed on paper, Star Trek series before effects got super high-definition cool, Star Wars the way George Lucas did it originally, etc.) just seemed to work for us.  So, it's frustrating to force us to accept sudden changes to the worlds we love.  And like I said, we're resistant to changes; you might be able drag our bodies into the theatres through persuasion by awesome trailers, but you will never be able to take hold of all of our minds and hearts that were dedicated to the original stories.

            (I'm going to nitpick here: the longsword with its lightsaber Crusader hilt, amazingly cool as it is, doesn't have to be done like that.  According to Wookiepedia, there is such a thing as a darksaber, where it's a lightsaber that seems to "glow" black, and isn't in the general rapier style we have grown accustomed to, but rather like a katana.  If you have read Wookiepedia, you wouldn't have to piss off so fucking many nerds!  Now back to my regular spiel….)

Evolution: It's a Painfully Long Process That is a Part of Life

            Now, a proposal for the solution to everyone's problems….

           Has it ever occurred to you that mayyybe Papa Spock (who is quite biased, considering that he's a Disney Geek for reals; don't go, "Team Disney," at me, Dad!) could be right in some aspects?  That they're being too limited by our expansion of the Star Wars universe, ruled over by the god known as George Lucas, who caused that universe's Big Bang with an awesome idea?

            And, Disney and other involved parties: you're losing us over your changes.  Would it really hurt to include us nerds in the process of creating this new movie?  Or are you too busy focusing on the movie and not on what the reception of the movie might be like?  (Same for you, Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, Star Trek, and video game companies/franchises, with your products!)  Our demographic is highly populated with early-adopters; a new gadget or video game or Marvel movie comes out, and within hours, you have thousands of nerds stampeding forth to line up for the midnight releases, shoving money into your faces while scrabbling at whatever we could grab on to while pitching tents in our pants over how excited we are for this new addition to our universes.  We live, not just in our physical universe, but also mentally in thousands of abstract universes that might actually be real universes that exist somewhere within the multiverse!  Why else do you think we play Dungeons & Dragons or Magic the Gathering?  We tend to argue over certain minute details, but we're happy to add to what we have, rather than just knocking it down and starting over.

           We should get involved with each other…..  (Oi, gutter brains!  Not sexually!  Okay?  Get back to reading!)  Nerd-sourcing, similar to crowd-sourcing, is incredibly cheap; we highly value the mental and emotional parts of producing nerdy content, which means that even if we don't get paid, we are likely to still do the work just to be a part of something special.  How else do you think Ok Go (Shit Fuck) was able to do the Rube Goldberg music video without spending way too much money?  Nerds pitched in because they knew it would be a good idea that needed to be created and put out onto the Internwebz.

            I propose that the resistant members of the nerd community rejects the rejection, and keep the Expanded Universe alive. while cherry-picking what Disney introduces to us; this is what they plan on doing to our EU, anyways, adding what they like and erasing what they don't like officially.  Nothing says that we can't have fan-created content just because someone bought the rights to something.  (Yes, Disney, there is such a thing as fan-fiction and fan art.  Also, Wookipedia is OURS!!!  So if you get lawyer-happy, we'll rally around our own kind, outright rejecting you altogether.  At least, that's what I think will happen….)

            Anyways, we should have two parallel Star Wars universes, with galaxies inside that reflect what we nerds accept inside one of them, while Disney gets to have their own universe; this way, we can both be happy!  *uses Jedi mind trick on Disney's Star Wars dept*  You will accept this idea and implement it without issue…..

            That's all I can say about this for now.  Of course, it's still up for discussion; discussion and healthy debates (and not just flame wars that involve name calling and cursing and whatnot) are good for society and its many demographics.  It's what Athens was built upon way back when; why can't we do the same?

            Chew(bacca) on that.  In the meantime, enjoy your Greedo Tacquito!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

A Second Existential Crisis: The Scary Question About the Human Race

            Yeah!  A new blog post!  Wanna think about it?  Try my Psybient Chillscape playlist that is a couple of days and a few minutes long in total playtime!  Chillax a ton!  Expand your consciousness!  Huh?  Oh, no, wait, it's a blog post, not an acid trip.

            Just recently, I've had another bit of existential angst on the scale of the human species.  It's not that it's a bad thing, it's something that probably everyone should think deeply about, while they do repetitive boring tasks or are spending time by themselves doing nothing that will risk their lives (like operating machinery or driving or patrolling for trouble if you're one of the cops out there).  Say, perhaps 5 minutes at a time on your smoke breaks.  That should work….

Cue the Imperial March—HEAVY METAL STYLE!……

             Anyways, this has only popped up in my head during a shower a few weeks ago on Monday evening (on February 9th, 2015).  It was like my brain just decided to open up a corner of my mind I prefer not to frolic through, mostly because it's a bit too dark.  And from that corner in all of her Sith glory emerged Darth Eden, the dark side of my humanity that I insist on suppressing.  And it was not a good thing at all; in fact, this is proof that I should medicate more often, to prevent Darth Eden from ever even seeing the light of day, or night, or evening, or whatever time I arise from my comatose sleep; she can still exist, but she shouldn't ever take an active role in my life because I want to be a good person.  Anyways, with Darth selves come dark questions, and this moment was no exception: Darth Eden just emerged while I was shampooing my hair and, simultaneously, pondering the validity of the moral and ethical conflicts that arise from deciding who should die—the chimpanzee or the little person being attacked by said chimpanzee.  ("Schwaaaaaaaa?  Where did THIS come from?!"  Listen to Nerdist Podcast episode #130,"Penn and Teller."  The link for the impatient ones is also available.)  And without skipping a beat, while I decided to try and drop the mental dilemma, Darth Eden asked with evil eyes aglow, "Why should the human race as a whole exist the way it is now? With all its faults and issues and the conflicts that we currently have?"

            That frightened me so much that I just HAD to reach out to my friends and my tweeps.  And it also helped to remind me that they are simply awesome weirdos just like me who totally get me!  So, major POINTS(!) to them!

The Questions of a Young Padawan to Jedi Master Leonidas

            First, let's start with a response from my friend Jesse, who I absolutely SWEAR is the Jedi Master version of Leonidas!  He was wise, he totally understood where I was coming from, and he's a Spartan!  Really!  (Ever heard of the Spartan Race?  I think that once I become a ninja Jedi, I should run in it!  *adds to list of currently unlikely dreams*)  His responses were really insightful and what's also interesting is that he thought that my question was so good that he shared the conversation on Facebook:
A friend of mine, Eden Pyrithea, asked me a question that had come to her mind, and its a good one, and we had a conversation about it and i thought i should post it here because i do believe every word i said to her"Should we humans, as a whole, exist the way we are?"i thought about my answer for a while before responding, "No, we should exist and work daily to improve ourselves and the universe around us. Simple acts can lead to mighty changes. Go speak at a town meeting on views that you believe in, volunteer at a soup kitchen to help those less fortunate then you and make the world, and the universe a better place""Huh. What about the general current human state There are evil people who live inside of the lies they spread." was her next question"They only exist in power because we allow them to. So by beginning a small movement that can then become a large movement you can resist them, a perfect example would be Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his dream.""But they carry influence like we carry mass.""Only because we allow them to. I think a time will come, and sooner than some think, that we as a people will rise above things like hate and greed to become the utopia Gene Roddenberry believed we could"and yes i do believe we could be as great as The Great Bird of the Galaxy thought we could be, but its up to us to start finding small ways to help each other. Like my thoughts or not, but i will stand by them to the end.

            He's right, though it does seem a little frustrating.  There are so many good people in the world, but there are all these larger-than-myself issues such as war and ISIS and the anti-vaccine bullcrap (as well as the anti-autism fears people have related to it) and us having a really corrupt Congress (and possibly POTUS if the antichrist twins Koch brothers succeed in buying the election) that, despite each drop into the bucket of liquid influence causing a small ripple, I just want to kick the whole bucket over, spilling its contents, shaking up everything to the point where people can finally figure out what really works and helps everyone vs. what doesn't.  But maybe once I start attending town hall meetings and speaking out on issues that I'm passionate about, my drops of influence could become rocks that get bigger and bigger.  I should become more patient.  And I probably shouldn't be so impatient; as Mahatma Ghandi once said:

"Be the change you want to see in the world."

            Perhaps maybe the world could change quicker and for the better if we work together….

Into the Twitterverse: When You've Found "YOUR TWEEPLE"!

             Another good friend could be one you have met online through Twitter.  Fellow Nerd @LisaR_M (who is actually a hardcore Chris Hardwick fan, but not to the groupie level that @DiHard11 is at) was able to provide some insight of her own.  Here is her series of tweets that helped me onto the path of personal enlightenment:

            I was able to take to heart the "ego check" one, because sometimes, when you're on the Autism Spectrum, you don't always think of the world through a perspective outside of your own.  This (in my case, especially) often leads to moments where you feel as though you have all the answers!  ALL OF THEM!  Including the Answer to Life , the Universe and Everything!  (That one is easy to obtain; just read Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and ask, "What is 6 times 7?")

            It does get frustrating at times, and she's right: we shouldn't think that way.  Even if you're not on the Spectrum, if you're just a nerd, it's still the same principle.  Chris Hardwick has already pointed this out on page 105 in a subsection titled "The Third Reaction" in his book The Nerdist Way, saying, "Nerds know they're smarty-pantses—in fact, it's part of how they define themselves, so sometimes we come from a place of 'everyone is stupid but me.'  This is shitty and wrong.  It also leads to spontaneous emotional reactions to situations rather than calm, well-thought-out ones."  So, as a member of this community of differently-wired persons, we should work on understanding what makes sense to other people, instead of dismissing it as "utter crap".  In fact, that's what I'm adding to my XP goal chart: "Understanding and Communication," because I know that once I understand where my debate opponents (like the anti-vaccine….. *struggling* people) are coming from, I can communicate my way around their defenses to see if I can help them open up to (at the very LEAST) healthy discussions that are highly educational for both sides of an issue.  This is also made difficult because everyone understands something their own way and are often convinced that they know the "truth" behind certain topics; and everyone living their life as a story, and they are the hero of it, regardless of whether other people regard them as heroes or villains.

            (Small parenthetical paragraph note: Another great way to help people get a better understanding of Autistic Spectrum Disorders is to talk to us!!!!  So often are we excluded from the conversation that I'm sure there is misinformation out there, provided by people who are thought to be the voices of the "autistic people," when they're not really speaking for us, but rather for themselves.  Yes, this includes Autism Speaks; they don't really pay attention to what we're figuratively saying.  Just talk to us or ask us about ASDs and living independently!  We can answer questions!  Either tweet to me or to @chromesthesia; we can give you insight!)

            So, as I was saying, I was given pearls of wisdom that I'll be fashioning into Earrings of +20 Wisdom, thanks to my friends.  And it has led me to perhaps what the goal would be for the world.

My Hopes for the World in Commercials

            This discussion about humanity has led me to having hope for the future of the human race; it's not a very big anti-vampire spotlight of hope, because it's a lot of work to set forth a giant tidal wave of change.  But now that I typed that sentence, I am realizing that I shouldn't work on creating a tidal wave, but rather just create my own small waves that will erode at this rock of evil that I see before me.  And I can do it similarly to this commercialfrom Liberty Mutual:

One way to start, just hold the door open for the person entering or exiting the building you're entering or exiting from, or keeping to the sides of the grocery aisles, shopping cart and all.

            Maybe once that gets going, we can live life like these adorable animals in this Android commercial that has been making the rounds of the advertsphere:

In any case, I should enjoy what I can, taking the good stuff to heart and cherishing it emotionally while leading the bad stuff to my mental laboratory to analyze it, determine if it's an endeavour to take on with the experience I have or to pass on it, buying more time to learn about the issue that is staring at everyone in the face.

            (And can I point out that we have a time limit here?  I mean, come on!  Asteroid Apophisis coming!  TICK-TOCK TICK-TOCK!!!)

            In any case, I hope you agree with me on this and have decided to join me on this journey towards world improvement.  And to make the journey more enjoyable, why don't we ride a burrito boat?  JUST BECAUSE!  Heehee!  In the meantime, enjoy your mindful tacquito!

Friday, January 23, 2015

An Open Letter to Adam Savage of MythBusters and Zak Bagans of Ghost Adventures

            This is a letter directed mainly to both Adam and Zak in regards to the "online controversy" that occurred on January 8th, which I sort of covered in my previous blog post that was published that evening.  It's also, in some way, directed to all the fans of both Ghost Adventures and MythBusters, to try and clarify everything that possibly was already clarified, but….not enough, apparently.  The reason why I am doing this is because I realized, after listening to Adam on his Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project podcast episode that referred to this controversy (Click here if you're too impatient), that it's my fault.  So, please, lend me your ears/eyes.....

            Dear Adam and Zak,

            I know we probably want to move on from this fight that started up on Twitter (we know which one), but….  I couldn't.  Not just yet.  Not when I'm having dreams where I'm discussing in person with Adam the tweet that started it all (Sorry, Zak; I think my subconscious too afraid to invite you into the dream!).  There was so much guilt and so much wincing that I am overdue to issue an apology.

            Yes: I'm sorry for starting it all.  I'm the one who started that shit storm, creating the opportunity for us all to ride the leaky raft down Shit Creek all the way to the bottom of Asshat Falls (and to add to it, we ran out of duct tape to repair said leaky raft).  I am the person who is responsible by accidentally creating a flame war with a simple mistake.

            I should not have tagged you both in the tweet.  I know Adam meant well as a confirmed skeptic critical thinker (I'm sorry for calling you a skeptic.) that he thinks ghosts don't exist, that ghosts are made up, and that Zak was offended by (somewhat rightfully) misinterpreting the response.  But I was the one who created the opportunity that I should not have made, by tagging both of you in the tweet instead of my Dalek tweeps, or human tweeps, or even the two to five Darth Vader parody accounts who follow me.  Or how about the Sontaran?  I could have asked ANYONE else in the entire Twitterverse (including God, R2D2, a Stormtrooper Intern, and Wil Wheaton's cat), and instead, I asked you two because I stupidly thought, at the time, that it was a "good idea".

            That was incredibly stupid and shortsighted of me for doing that, especially now that this little mistake of tagging you two instead of my Twitter peeps was an experiment that was doomed to epic failure before Adam even responded: Before tweeting, I should've realized, you're both already somewhat professionally biased in terms of my options, because you both would want me to watch your respective shows (which I can do, one at a time), instead of the other respective show—because it's YOUR SHOW!  You put so much hard work into putting it together (or being the hot, handsome talent in front of the camera) that it would not help either of you if I opt to watch another show instead of yours; then again, you both have millions of fans, so I wasn't going to cause too much of a difference—but I did, by asking you two for your (obvious) opinion on Twitter instead of my Twitter Peeps, or texting one of my friends.

            I feel so guilty for this dumb mistake.  And it was made with 2 of the most awesome people I admire.  I was just….an idiot, a fool with matchsticks inside of a professional-grade fireworks factory with exposed fuses.  I was playing with fire, and it wound up being funny at first (as you can tell from my previous post that was mostly directed towards the fans), but it was both aggravating and terrifying.  I was dragged along for the ride, because I kept getting tagged in all the tweets that were responding to Adam and it just wouldn't stop.  My phone (which is a dumb phone, as opposed to your smart ones) can get Twitter updates via text, and I've got my updates set so that my phone gets all my @Mentions, which is set to "Receive all, including people you don't follow," which resulted in a phone that kept going off because Twitter was texting me all the tweets that tagged me.  That's how I knew: people kept tagging me and wouldn't let me even utter a word of the sentence, "STOP THE RIDE!  I want to get off!"

            This apology should've come earlier, but I was either too scared or distracted with ducking my head with latent tweets and it was only after listening to an episode of Adam's podcast (the specific episode that addressed this) when I was walking home that I realized that it was all my fault!!!  California Dalek (aka, Cali) was right; I just hope he doesn't rub it in….

            Anyways, I should probably shut up; I really do not ever want to start up the flame war again.  I'm sorry you both got shit for this, when I was the one who should've gotten it.  Really.  Also, Adam is not a cyberbully (or a robot or Vulcan) who is "anti-science" or "closed minded" or whatever; he's totally pro-science, and amazingly hilarious with an awesome career (CEMENT TRUCK!) and a really cool, grounded perspective of the world who, to be honest, could've reworded the response he gave so it's not one that would open the door to the cyber abuse the Interwebz is known to be a platform for.  And Zak is not an idiot or a fool who chases his imagination (though he looks like a hot jock) because he believes in ghosts and can bet his electrons on the personal experiences he had in his life.  And we're all human, which means we're bound to make mistakes, and we're nerds because we're passionate about what we like, to the point where, if someone confuses Star Trek and Star Wars, or Friday the 13th and Nightmare On Elm Street, we (at least both Adam and myself) would write a 2-page thesis—1 tweet at a time—about how they are different.  (Don't deny it, Zak!  You are a nerd of a specific type, being a horror movie buff and a believer in the paranormal—yes, paranormal nerds exist!  And don't worry because nerdy is the new sexy!)

            I'd suggest ways to fix this, but I'm also afraid of getting my ideas shot down by you two.  It's because I'm a total fan-squirrel (squirrelly fangirl) who belongs to the third camp: the one that sits between the skeptical-of-ghosts-and-the-paranormal MythBusters Adam Savage fan camp and the believer-in-ghosts skeptical-of-skeptics Ghost Adventures Zak Bagans fan camp, and it's the one that has fans who, like me, enjoy both of your shows.  But I hope we can FINALLY get past this without getting any more weird dreams that is really our subconscious scolding us.

            Also, one more thing: I'm sorry that this ever happened, because I'm very, very, absolutely sure that there is now a fanfic genre of the two of you….er, you know…..  Rule 34?  *DUCKS!*

            Anyways, one last apology (I'M REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, REALLY SORRY!), with an update: I've solved my problem—each week on Saturday, I'll watch one of your shows at 9pm EST, and then catch the late night repeat, but it'll alternate so that one week will have MythBusters at 9 and Ghost Adventures at midnight and the next week will have Ghost Adventures at 9 with MythBusters at 11pm.

            Just be glad that Doctor Who Season 9 didn't start yet; if I added that third option, the nerdy fan base shit storm will end up evolving into a shit hurricane, and all we would ever be able to do is hide from the Interwebz until it passes completely, hanging onto each other for dear life as though it would make everything better, with me sobbing quietly into the darkness.

            I've learned my lesson: DO NOT ASK THE ON-SCREEN TALENT WHICH OF THEIR SHOWS I SHOULD WATCH!  Because if I do, open-season on the Interwebz starts up and everyone will have to run for cover.  *writes note to self to "Wear a bullet-proof vest everyday from now on"*

            Anyways, thanks to the both of you for your awesome shows, and please know that I nerd over the both of you equally!  Though, now, I'm sure I started the war up again…..  HIT THE DECK!

           With much nerdy love,

            Lady Eden Pyrithea