2 more days of Sukkot!It's a harvest holiday. The word sukkot literally means booths. So, many translate the holiday as: the Festival of Booths. It refers to outdoor temporary walled (not entirely walled off) structures with a 'roof' made out of plant material. They're usually decorated with things like pine combs, fake fruit and vegetables, and other things that might remind people of a harvest or fall in general. We're encouraged to live in a sukkah (singular form) during the holiday. Basically to remember when we were wandering the desert. Most people will have their meals out in one. Some actually do camp out in it. There are some really elaborate ones. Many also invite guests to sit out with them. They're called ushpizin. So, it's kind of a hospitality thing, too.When we would put one up in the backyard, we'd invite people over to enjoy it. Most of the guests weren't Jewish, and it was a way for them to get a taste of what Judaism is like. We also shake and say blessings over a lulav and etrog while we're in it. Together, the lulav and etrog are considered the '4 species'. Lulav is a palm branch, 2 willow branches, and 3 myrtle branches tied together. The etrog is a type of citrus. Similar to a lemon. Some people make jam out of it after the holiday. I've never had that, and it sounds interesting.I kind of miss having ours up, and enjoying it out there. Although, it's pretty cold outside right now.
Yesterday was Caramel Apple Day. I have a hard time eating these, but they're really good.Interesting when people dip them in a bunch of other things, too. Like cookies, candy pieces, candied peanuts, chocolate pieces, etc. Seems a little too much. It's sweet enough as is.
I thought it would be fun to use a Halloween themed wallpaper a couple of weeks before the holiday. Seems like this one fits. It's Ciel being controlled by Drossel Keinz from Kuroshitsuji or Black Butler. I think Drossel was only in the anime version, and it was a brief arc. Drossel was a puppeteer that turned into a puppet after death. He loves to make puppets and dolls. I barely remember that arc, but he would control people with his strings. Basically, making them his living puppets. They'd go into a trance, and do whatever he wanted. I think he made Lizzie fight Ciel and Sebastian. She snapped out of the trance, but still couldn't move her body on her own. Dolls can be really creepy, and the idea that you don't have control over your own body is scary.So, it's perfect for the holiday!
I did 'attend' Central Synagogue's Yom Kippur services online. Pretty much all of them. The first night one, morning, afternoon, Torah study, and the ending night one. Felt like I had spent time with them without actually meeting them. The one who lead the Torah study was the president (who's also a rabbi) of the Reform movement. It's the largest Jewish movement/branch in America. Smallest in Israel. (The Orthodox have a stranglehold on everything there, but secular Jews are actually the largest population.) I think it's called the Progressive movement in Europe. I was raised in it, and still am Reform. Although, I've been debating Modern Orthodoxy. As you can tell with what the Europeans call it, it's a very liberal branch. Very inclusive, and continuing to become more so. He apparently was very close to the head rabbi there. A local synagogue that I was apart of had a previous president actually lead one of the High Holy Day services. I think he retired recently, and this one stepped in.
He talked about inclusion of other Jews in our community. How do we unite together? Instead of having one group of Jews pitting against others. (Even some Reform Jews look down on secular ones. It's more complicated than some people think.) Embrace our differences, and try to compromise on things. This can be very difficult between the Orthodox branches and others like ours. I agree, though. People need to stop the infighting. Although, it's much worse in Israel.
The actual services were pretty good. There was a cantor visiting from Israel. She had a certain accent when she sang and spoke in Hebrew. Reminded me of how some of the people I met in Israel spoke. Thought it was pretty cool.
The pain seems to have gotten worse.When I lie down on my back in bed, it feels like my intestines are falling/oozing out of my abdomen. There's a lot of squeezing and spasming in there, too. The squeezing is relatively new. It started off as a gentle, barely noticeable, squeeze. It's almost unbearable now. Like, someone's pulling, pushing, clamping down, moving it sideways, etc. on my intestines.It gurgles a lot while lying down, too. This makes it very difficult to sleep. (As if I wasn't already having problems sleeping...) Even if I lie on my usually ok side, my left, I get this weird feeling. It feels like it's open to the air most of the time. Like, no skin, muscle, fat, etc. around it. Occasionally, it feels like I'm stabbed with a hot poker while it's spasming. Also, found a lump that seems a bit dense where it tends to hurt the most. It's starting to scare me, too. It might just be inflammation from either my intestines or something near it. Feels like almost everything in my body is being affected. This might be because I've been experiencing nonstop pain for a while. The majority of it really started in June. Supposedly when I was supposed to be in remission. If I were, then why?And, why am I having certain issues with the bathroom still?
I'm having a harder time eating, as well. I have to actually tell myself to do it. I don't really feel hunger anymore, and feel full most of the time. Even if the only meals I've had are lunch and dinner. I tell myself I have to at least have those, since I have to have food with my meds. That's a sad thing for me.Things at least taste good still.
Tylenol does absolutely nothing for it. The old bentyl pills only make me sleepy every other time I take it. Not sleepy enough to put me to sleep. I was taking them just for that. I ran out of the miralax last week, and tried to take some milk of magnesia. The milk of magnesia made me feel very sick those last couple of times. My stomach felt extremely full after taking it. Yet, I hadn't eaten for at least a couple of hours before both times. The miralax did eventually help with the constipation, but for about that last week on it, I had horrible diarrhea. It got even worse with the milk of magnesia. I still have it bad at times with that. Why can't it be in between? I feel like a yo-yo.I think I might have a partial obstruction, stricture, or some sort of adhesion working on making that partial obstruction. It's got to be something. They say with all of these that laxatives might actually make it worse. Yay!I'm still taking the probiotics. Not sure if they're doing anything, but might as well keep it up.
I made an appointment Thursday for an MRE or Magnetic Resonance Enterography. It's a type of MRI that looks specifically at the small intestines. Something that definitely could shed some light on things. The closest appointment time they had was for the beginning of December. Kind of a while to wait.I can't eat within 4 hours of it. I have to be there 1 1/2 hours before the 'procedure'. Probably will take the contrast at this time. It lasts for 2 hours. I'm going to be super hungry at the end of this. (If I feel 'normal'.) They have to have a specialized nurse for the whole thing. I didn't think it would be such a big to do.I thought I'd take the contrast, the testing would take maybe a few minutes, and I'd leave. They even asked if I needed sedation. Another big test to go through. At least it's not something like a colonoscopy/endoscopy or sigmoidoscopy. Those are much bigger and scarier to me. I have to get a blood draw within 30 days of it, too.
I read that they can watch how everything functions in that area. Things like my blood vessels, intestines moving, blood flow, etc. That actually sounds really cool.Makes sense that it'd be that long, in that way. I want a copy of the results of this test. Fun to watch my innards work, and see what's so messed up about them.
I also rescheduled my gastro appointment for a couple of weeks into November. I think my gastro wanted to have the MRE done beforehand. Oh well. I've done everything else. I got the radiologist's interpretation of the x-rays back. Not the actual images. Apparently, they didn't see anything abnormal. I think my gastro wasn't expecting much from that in the first place. The MRE is a different story.
I also recently talked about different attractions, on facebook. I might talk about it a little differently here. It's important to me, because I get to learn more about myself, and figure out what type of partner I might want in the future. There are 5 main ones, from what I've read. Sexual, romantic, aesthetic, sensual, and platonic. Most people have these aligned a certain way. Like their sexual, romantic, and sensual ones will all be the same. Many seem to have a hard time differentiating between those. They're just so well linked together for them.
Many aces aren't aligned so well. Some are romantically attracted to people, and some aren't. For my romantic attraction I'm leaning a lot more towards aromantic or aro, the more I think about it. Meaning I'm not romantically attracted to anyone. Sometimes I go back and forth in my head between this, greyromantic, and demiromantic. Greyromantics only very rarely, and sometimes when they do barely, feel romantic attraction. Demiromantics feel romantic attraction after establishing an extremely close bond with someone. It rarely happens, too. I'm reluctant to identify as aro. I think it's because of my own prejudice about it, but learning about it is changing my view.At least, I know I'm not a 'full' romantic.
Sensual attraction just is 'tactile' based. Not necessarily having to do with sex or romance. Things like holding hands, kisses on cheeks, hugs, cuddling, etc. are under this category. I'm not sure about this one, because I don't usually like to be touched.
Aesthetic attraction is just based on looks. Nothing necessarily sexual or romantic about it. You just like the way someone looks. For me, I think I'm more attracted to men this way. I think some of them look stunning.Some use the gorgeous painting analogy, but I think that makes it sound like people are objects. Not something I'd agree with.I think I might be attracted to men in a way I haven't found the term for. Someday, I might find out.
Platonic attraction is just on who you'd tend to want to be close friends with. Some aros have come up with the term aplatonic. Meaning they aren't attracted to anyone platonically. I have a hard time understanding that idea.Some people will only be best friends with the same gender, opposite gender, both, and a lot of people don't know (or are in denial) about non-binary or genderfluid people. I think society wants us to be close with people of the same gender, which I find very odd. I really love everyone, platonically, regardless of gender. So, I might be pan this way? Some say that might be a thing. Especially if you're ace and/or aro. 'Pan-' means you're attracted (in some way) to people regardless of gender. I think most of my love/attraction went to my platonic one...I really value my friends. With many people who are unsure if they're aro, they can't tell where the difference starts between being platonic and 'romantic'. I'm like that, and it confuses me. I can tell when it's full on romantic stuff, but where it might start is confusing.
I think I do want a partner to experience life with in the future. Just will be an unconventional relationship. We'll be extremely good friends. Something much more than just 'friends', but not romantic partners. I've read some aros are similar. They call relationships like these queerplatonic or quasiplatonic relationships, or qpr's. If I did have one, I'd rather use quasiplatonic. Since 'queer' can have some bad connotations. I also feel odd using that for myself. A qpr is easier, too. They call the partners zucchinis, instead of boyfriend or girlfriend. Interesting. I've also read that people don't have to be aro nor ace to have one.
Regular dating is weird to me. I don't know if it's because most people are expecting it to lead to sex, or I'm aro/greyromantic and find romantic stuff fake or uncomfortable most of the time. I love seeing friends and family in romantic relationships. It's cute and awesome.Just don't like it so much when it involves me most of the time. (Or seeing it in media, really.) Although, I did eventually like the romantic attention my ex boyfriend gave me. It was just nice, though. Not like I 'needed' it. Took a while to get used to it.
I thought for a long time I was just the 'default' straight. I'm apparently not. When you haven't been exposed to these terms/identities, it makes it hard to know who you are (in this way), or where you might land. I just felt like I eventually would be like everyone else around me. Before the term asexuality became popular, many people who were, identified as bisexual or bi. 'Bi-' means you're attracted (in some way) to men and women. (Many say 2 genders now.) We were categorized as Group X in one of the most famous studies involving us, the Kinsey scale in 1948. It rated sexuality on a scale. The earliest reference of asexuality might have been in 1896. Very interesting to read about some of the history.
I'm thinking of starting my own local ace group. Yesterday, I left a comment on the Seattle ace's closed facebook group. I asked if there already was one in my county, and if not I'll start my own. I highly doubt there is. I'll start with making a closed facebook group for it. This will be the first group I've started on there. If there is enough interest, we could meet in real life. It'd be really cool if it ends up like that. I'll have it open to allies, and people on the ace spectrum. So, people who might not be ace, but in the 'grey' areas can feel welcomed, too. I've seen lists of some of them, and there are a ton of different types in that grey area. It's fascinating. (Not just greysexual and demisexual.) They also have their own flags. We're like a large community encompassing them, as well. Although, even with them, we aren't that big of a community...
I'm unsure what the cover pic and profile pic for the group will have. Maybe the ace flag for the cover, but I'm kind of at a loss for ideas of the profile one. Maybe look at some of the memes? We'll see. Also, the name...I'm not used to this, but should be interesting. Maybe the person who gave me the idea about starting the fb group first will help out, if need be. I found out recently that he actually is on the ace spectrum, which is really cool. One person commented on what I posted on the Seattle aces group, and they said they live in the same county, and would love for a group to meet more locally. So, yay! One other ace from the area that's interested! Happiness!One more than I expected...Another person liked my post on there. Maybe there really is a need. Now I'm getting excited and nervous about it.
I have been reading, editing, and creating an outline of Alliance this past week. (All at the same time.) There's a lot more to edit than I realized. I'm just over halfway through. I haven't read it all the way through like this since I published it about 3 years ago. It's getting an overhaul. The outline is so that I get all the 'details' of things before I make a sequel to it.
When I'm done with that, I'll republish it. I created back cover art for both Alliance and Sweet Endless Terror. I'm planning to publish print versions of both through CreateSpace, or basically Amazon. It's free to do. I just needed to do those back covers, edit both books (I doubt SET will have as many errors, but I might republish it afterwards too), reformat for a print version, and go through their process. The back cover for SET has a knife and ribbon. Representing 2 of the stories. The back cover for Alliance has a different angle of the same scene as what's in the teardrop. Both are pics I've taken. (I drew and colored the knife and ribbon one.) The back cover of that is more distorted, and there's a somewhat dark side and light/happy side to it. A big theme of it is things aren't as they seem. Looking through the teardrop in the brick wall on the front, it looks nicer and happier. Turn to the back, and it's distorted and not the same angle. Like, the grass is always greener until you go to the other side. I like how both back covers turned out. I might have the descriptions of them on the back covers, too. It might be weird to pick up a book, and not see a description. I did read that they distribute to some actual brick-and-mortar bookstores. Should be an interesting process.
Tomorrow's the start of Asexual Awareness Week. Maybe that's the perfect time to start that group, if I do it.I might switch my profile pics to having the ace flag filter. My main one for places like fb is kind of dark, so I might even change that part. There are some online events/activities for each day (from what I've seen), which is interesting. Coming Out Day was on the 11th, and since I already came out I brought up the attraction thing. Reading some of the stuff from the new groups I'm apart of through fb, and ace related pages, reminded me of making my own group on there. Thus, all the more ace things I'm sharing. Also, with all of those places mentioning AAW, it's also a bit on my mind. I'm still new to the community, and feel energized to learn more about it.