It’s been a while, again

Ever notice that once you have a constant habit of writing it’s a lot easier? When there is a break or a pause sometimes it becomes more of a hassle to restart writing again. “Fear or white paper” if I remember the term correct, or if it’s usable in English. It’s been a longer break of those. Wanting to get back to writing, while trying to organize everything else, and get a grip of the new area we live in.

Time to break out of the rut of not writing.

Suggestions for topics? I remember I had a long list of things I wanted to blog about some day, but can’t find that paper anywhere now. So time for a new list, new old beginnings and so on.

Meanwhile… getting around the new area pretty well. I learned the bus routes I use, and they changed a lot of them in June. Now it’s faster to get to most places, which makes me happy, as do more frequent bus lines.

We picked plants in March when we moved here. All the hot peppers and other plants got planted once we were settled, and all hot peppers have survived. Now the weather is rather hot though, over 90F daily until October (around 35C or hotter). So the plants drink a lot, and need their extra plant foods. It is as always a pleasure to notice that you can grow something, and even better when they are labeled so no accidental stew with Bhut Jolokia or Carolina Reaper when you wanted just some banana peppers. The sun is also insanely hot and bright, so that doesn’t exactly help with eye pain. I’ve been trying to postpone getting a new super dark set for a while, since unfortunately the specific filters like NoIR are pricy, even if you don’t add prescriptions to them. So getting a dark pair for just the summer time here has seemed a bit too much, especially when some of them have a shipping estimate of a few weeks. So then the next day again I go for a run and it feels like the eyes are full of gasoline and sand and nothing helps… (getting close to the tipping point. I guess it’s just one of those things I’ve got my own brakes. I’d want to try those in person first, and would love if they didn’t cost over $70)

I’ve done a small bit of airline travel of my own in this country. Which is very weird since I always used to travel just by myself. Now getting to airport without driving (again, never a problem in Europe), then finding the correct flights, gates, and where to catch a ride at the destination were an adventure and sure different from before (I had to call my lyft driver as I could not find the car maybe 10 feet or 3 meters ahead of me. Fortunately she could tell me which way to go). Now kind of waiting to do some more destress travel soon, then start looking at puppies finally.

I can’t wait to have my own puppy.

And it’l be weird to meet friends in Europe I haven’t met in years. Some of them will be nice to meet, and others I won’t even bother telling about our traveling there to begin with. Being so called close relative bears little meaning in that, especially if their previous behavior has left a lot to hope for. So that will probably unfortunately cause more drama, but hopefully only by and for people we don’t actually care for.

What else is new here, I keep thinking… I’m on a good book binge this year. Just audio. And with a decent selection of headphones.  And it seems I’ve been hitting a lot more inaccessible websites recently, or the web is becoming more inaccessible despite accessibility becoming more mainstream, or I’ll just need to stick to the good old AT and learn to ignore the inaccessible everything.

I’ll need a lot more movie soundtracks to listen to. And good music. Because sometimes the brain feels still fried after listening to hours after hours of fast audio of human speech. On the plus side though, since after a few years ago switching to audio, I’ve retrained my brain to keep the audio first in focus, yet of course it already was pretty much like it before. So I can keep focusing what I hear, no matter what visual input or lack of is present. I’ve also learned to read people more from the voice, which definitely helps in deciphering the social too. Good audiobooks, especially fiction, are very helpful in this. Even as I listen to everything usually around 2x speed (or faster or slower depending on the reader and material), as the intonation and projection of emotionalness still gets there. Now  that unfortunately, like the facial expressions and body language, isn’t an automatic universal standard, so when switching to other languages, everything may sound very flat or overly emotional again. Ah, the curse of being a multicultural, multilingual autistic person. You learn the body language etc from the books, and no matter which “your” culture you try to live in, it feels like you’ve never “spoken body language natively”. Or sort of like being from a wrong culture, even when you tried to live among where you supposedly belonged in. So all the audio and listening should immensely help with that – so I can better use the voice as a mask. Project the desired effect of what kind of emotional cues etc I want to actively show. Now my understanding of nonautistic people is that all this should be very automatic process, not something they have to pay attention to (or if they do they probably sound like teachers of special education or social workers, when they have the talking down voice). Since deciphering visual cues isn’t easy, I want to better learn to project my voice and its mask to do all the “between the lines” talking, then just face the direction of persons I’m talking to, and let the eye contact dance to the others.

That’s the short update and thoughts for now…


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