This holiday was on Monday. I love pickles!There are so many different types of pickles, too. I only remember one that I really hated. Those were pickled mangoes. I couldn't stomach it.They sounded so good, since I love mangoes. I don't like preparing them myself, but they're awesome. The pickled mangoes were imported from Thailand (our local grocery store's Asian section is great!), but maybe other countries where it's popular make theirs differently? Interestingly, I like the pickled 4 (or is it 5?) bean salad that's popular during the summer here, but for some reason that stuff burns my mouth. I think they might put a dash of red pepper flakes in there. Not sure, though. I like to put bread and butter pickles, dill pickles, and other cucumber-based pickles in sandwiches. A nice vegetable edition with a lot of flavor. Pickled fish like herring is awesome, too!
Today's National Baklava Day. I love baklava! Interesting that we'd have a national holiday for it. It's also Homemade Bread Day. Someday I'll hopefully get the nerve up to make bread.It's almost like magic, even though I know the process behind it. Plus, homemade bread is the best! Smells great as it's baking, too.
Wow! A lot has happened since my last post.Feels like it was ages ago. One of the most recent things is I've felt like I've had a cold for about a week now. Feels like it's getting worse. I think I felt it 'brewing' the night of the 2nd. I feel really light headed, have come close to passing out many times, very nauseous, nose keeps running, temp is rising yet hasn't quite made it to fever level, throat hurts, feel weak all over, having difficulty concentrating, etc. I probably should be trying to sleep more, even during the day. (I usually don't take naps during the day.)
Saw my gastro last Thursday. She told me that I might want to eat more soluble fiber, and stay away from insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber is like vegetable/fruit skins, whole nuts, seeds, whole grains, raw vegetables, etc. They can scrape up an already damaged digestive tract.Instead, for the soluble fiber, she wants me to peel fruits/vegetables (if they have skins like pears, carrots, potatoes), cook (preferably steam) vegetables, have creamy peanut butter instead of crunchy (I like crunchy, though), breads/crackers without whole grain, etc. She also gave me an 'IBD Grocery List' that suggests that sort of thing, plus other stuff that might be beneficial. Interesting how a lot of the stuff that's considered healthy for most people, I might need to stay away from.
She wanted me to go back to taking citrucel, and have it with the miralax and probiotics. My tea with miralax had turned more weird with that addition of citrucel. She thinks it might help to have a fiber supplement slowly added to it. I'm supposed to add a little bit at a time until I'm 'normal'. So far, I'm not. If it doesn't, I'm adding a teaspoon every 3 days. So, for the first 3 days was 1 teaspoon, next 3 days 2, etc. I ran out of the miralax Tuesday night, so maybe I'll just keep adding citrucel anyways? I might try to dilute some milk of magnesia if it gets bad, since it makes me sick at full strength.
I don't feel hunger anymore.She thinks it might be because my system doesn't like what's going on, and wants to avoid food. Like, it 'feels' that will make it worse. At least things still taste good. I hate that I have to remind myself to eat, though.
The lack of sleep is mainly due to the massive amount of pain that seems to be getting worse.It's made me feel incredibly tired, drained, and weak in the muscles. All this on top of already having a cold, has been lovely. She said I should get lots of vitamin C and drink plenty of liquids. Kind of the norm for when docs hear you're sick. I tend to get more vitamin C than I need (according to MyFitnessPal), and have had a hard time with drinking a normal amount of fluids lately. I'm trying my best, though.
Got 2 really awesome tasting teas recently, and that should encourage me to drink more.One's a vanilla chai, and the other's a caramel apple 'dream'. I thought a few days ago about having a big thing of tea, and then a big glass of water after every meal. I probably should try to do that more.
I was in shock for a while after the election a week ago.It's not just him that's terrifying. It's the republicans taking full control, the people he's appointing for his 'team', and many of his supporters. The people who might not be affected much are: white, wealthy, straight, Christian, cis, and male. Unless they are allies. I have some identities that have been targets for these people. I'm not straight, but ace. Many people say we're apart of the LGBTQ+ acronym, and some don't. I personally think we are in that community. Even GLAAD acknowledged it recently. MOGAI sounds like a good one, but it's not well known. Either way, aces are not considered the 'norm' by society at large. (Some use the word 'heteronormative' for that.) Some of us have gone through conversion therapy, been through 'corrective' rape, etc. Pence seems to be for conversion therapy, and if he thinks that's ok, it might seem like 'corrective' rape is, too. Their supporters will be encouraged to do those things. I'm also aro. That's out of the 'norm' as well. Doubt they'll know much about it, but still another thing to tack on for me.
Also, being Jewish, a woman, and having chronic illnesses. These groups are all vulnerable now. Antisemitism is on the rise, sexism and misogyny seems to be encouraged, and they might take away some of the health care that many people with chronic illnesses depend on. I'm afraid for my friends and family who are in the rest of the LGBTQ+ or MOGAI (whichever they feel more comfortable in) communities. As well as my friends who are poc, and the ones who are muslim.
Some of the stuff that's been said/actions in the past, and the actions since the election have been scary.People feel empowered in their racism, sexism, etc. since their candidate won. I do realize not all of the ones who voted for him are, but...it still feels like they're saying it's ok.Especially the ones who say things like: "Just give him a chance!" "You're overreacting!" "No one did this when Obama was elected!" And, many others. They side step everything that's happened, sweep it under the rug, plug their ears to the increase in violence on minorities, and say let's just see how it goes. Even if their group has been affected already.
We need to make people see that it's not ok. Not sure how to do that safely. Violence against others is never good, either. Peaceful protest is one way. Some say we should be more out with our identities, too. Some Jews will be more out with their Judaism, by wearing jewelry with visible Star of David's every day. Or, wearing kippot everywhere. These would be people who don't 'look' Jewish normally to outsiders. Many aces have said that we need people to wear their black rings more than ever now. We need to stick up for each other. Another reason I want that ring. It'd be nice seeing other aces wearing it, though. There's also that safety pin thing going around. I'm unsure about it, and have read about some poc speaking out against it.
Went to an event during the weekend where the main person who organized it, wanted a bunch of women to show up in solidarity. I thought that meant women who didn't vote for Trump, but it was everyone. Made me feel really uncomfortable after I realized.We talked very little, then stood in a line outside against a wall with signs saying who we voted for. It was raining. They wanted us to link arms with someone who voted differently, then take pics of us. After that, they had video of our signs going down the line without our faces. The pics from before did have our faces. The organizer said she was thinking of sending it to buzzfeed or something. She also asked us to hashtag it on facebook. Didn't see anything for it that day or the next. Stopped looking, and don't really want to see. Her daughter had made a cake that didn't turn out, and turned it into cake pops. (Without the sticks, so they were really balls.) It was chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. There were red, blue, and yellow sprinkles representing 3 main parties. Her daughter called them 'Political Sh-t Balls'. Cute, but weird. The whole thing sounded like a good idea, but felt especially weird after.I didn't know what to expect, and I don't think many others did either. I'm all for women getting together through solidarity and for strength. Having publicly say who we voted for, feeling like I was facing a firing squad outside, not really talking a lot about how we felt about the whole thing, etc. seemed different. The sentiment was good, though.
For my birthday on the 7th, I played Sonic the Hedgehog 2 on my Sega Genesis. Hadn't played it in a while. My Sega is still in really great condition. Almost like it was when I got it. I got it on my 8th birthday. Sonic 2 came with it. I was so excited. I was really into it for a while. Lost interest when I was in my teens, but kept it. Had a little more interest in it halfway through college. Just for nostalgia. Kind of seemed fitting to play it on my birthday. It's easy for me to beat, and I can be quick about it now. I've never gotten all the chaos emeralds, though. I think the most I've gotten was with just one left. I think if you get them all you become invincible for the rest of the game, and/or you go directly to the end. If I really wanted to see, I probably wouldn't want Tails there. He's kind of an idiot, and won't even follow Sonic while in those special levels. So, you end up losing all the ones Tails ever got. He's horrible within the game, too. He'll walk right into spikes, Mr. Robotnik, lava, etc. It's weird. Playing as him is ok. Playing 2 player with them can be fun, too. There are special tournaments and such.
Also played the Sims 2 Seasons on my computer, after that. Got the Seasons extension close to a year ago, but have had the Sims 2 itself for a while. It's like a 100 times better with Seasons. Like the name suggests it actually adds seasons/weather, there are new clothes, new hairstyles, it added gardening, new events related to gardening and the seasons, new decorations, new appliances, new furniture, etc. It actually makes the game more fun and more real. I love creating sims, creating houses from scratch, watching how the sims interact, seeing if I can make multiple generations (you can actually make an extended family tree going back several generations), etc. This time I created a sim that's loosely based off of a character from Alliance. Haven't thought about using her for it before. I sometimes base them off of characters from fave shows, anime, Alliance, etc. I think it was the first time I had a sim electrocute themselves by trying to repair their dishwasher.It was quite spectacular. I had just started playing with her, and didn't want her to die so soon. She managed to survive somehow. I saw her charred skeleton flickering several times, and it actually scared me at first, because I didn't know what was going on. She was also robbed, and the policeman who tried to stop the burglar ended up almost being beaten to death. With this house/sim it seems more violent than usual. I also have been using the cheat I found in the Sims app on my phone, where I can give them a million or more simoleons before they even do anything. (Could be any amount really.) This way I can do more with their houses, don't have to worry if something is stolen (can just replace it), etc. It's very handy, but I wonder if that's begging for more crazy stuff to happen.I've used that cheat with some of the more recent families, and it hasn't really been like that. There's another one where you can make your sims become immortal. They'll never age, but I think they can still die by 'accident'. That one sounds a little creepy.
The day before that, I wanted to have a movie marathon. Ended up just watching about 3 movies, and the last 2 half-hour episodes of a British zombie miniseries. Not much of a 'marathon'. The best was probably Today's Special. Really good, and made me hungry for Indian food.Dad also put up my new shower curtain, liner, and hooks. (I'm short, so it's difficult for me.) The previous ones were really old. The liner looked particularly bad. The curtain wasn't really my thing, either. It was a realistic underwater scene. This time it's kind of a vine-like heart shaped pattern with other designs within those hearts. Kind of mesmerizing.The bottom has a red/maroon background with a cream-colored design. A small portion at the top, has a cream-colored background with a red/maroon design. The shower liner is a frosty white this time. I noticed that there are suction cups on either end. So, you can suction cup it closed. That's very interesting. The hooks also have part of the design on them. The old rods were taken out, too. (Yes, there were 2 of them.) Now, it's just a black rod. The more I use it, the more I like it. Definitely more my style.
The day before that, we went to the mall. I wanted to find a black ring at one of my fave stores, Fuego. Again, the black ring worn on the right middle finger is an ace symbol. I like the idea that it's on a middle finger. It's also like a code to tell other aces, and just to be out with it. It doesn't really matter what material it is or what design. Just the main color must be black. Many people get a hematite one. I've heard those are fragile, though. They didn't have any black rings there. I normally find a ton of jewelry I like, but none of them stood out. I did find a pusheen calendar. Thought that would be cute for my next 'regular' one.Also, went to Barnes and Noble's cafe for a while. (It's also at the mall.) Got one of my faves: an iced chai.
After that, we went to Silver City. I hadn't been there for a while, and it's usually a pretty decent place. It's also a brewery, and I don't drink alcohol for many reasons. They do make their own root beer and ginger ale. Never had their ginger ale before, and might in the future if I can remember it. I got their root beer, which is one of my fave drinks. I normally get iced tea when I go to a restaurant, and at home I mostly just have tea and water. But, when I'm celebrating something, that's different. It was good.
Got their Bavarian Hefeweisen Chicken. The chicken was sitting in a beer sauce and had goat cheese on top of it. There was polenta on the side, that had corn kernels and red bell peppers mixed in. Normally it's served with seasonal vegetables, but I hated most of them. So, they suggested mashed potatoes instead, which I love. There was a lot of herbs sprinkled on top of everything. Looked like a party. It was much better than I expected. One of the best things I've had at a restaurant in a long time.I decided to eat as much as I could, instead of setting a limit for myself. Still ended up only getting through half of it. The leftovers were amazing, too. I got a brownie for my birthday dessert. It was more like a lava cake. It was sitting in caramel and chocolate sauces, on top of the brownie was a big scoop of ice cream, those sauces were drizzled on top of the ice cream, on top of that there was a mountain of whipped cream, and on top of that there was a tiny lit candle. The candle was cute, and I didn't expect them to do something like that, since that wasn't one of the birthday options. They didn't sing to me, but Dad did. Glad someone did, and I feel embarrassed when it's a big group doing it. The brownie was amazing, too!Couldn't finish it, but it turned to fudge the next day. (I'm surprised at how much of it I was able to eat.) Which was almost better.
Like I mentioned earlier, I've realized recently that I'm aro and not on the spectrum. Aro is aromantic, and means I'm not romantically attracted to anyone. I thought I was in the grey area (sometimes referred as the aro-spectrum) for a while. It was easy to figure out that I definitely wasn't romantic. Heck, the easiest part (with attractions) was figuring out that I was ace. I hadn't been exposed to the idea that we have different attractions before that. I only liked romantic things after I got used to them, while I was in a romantic relationship. It was nice, but I've never needed, craved, or desired it. Dating has always felt weird. I've tried in the past, especially in college. Or, I should say guys tried to date me in college. I wasn't truly looking for it. The weirdest one was a lot more recent, when I went to a Jewish singles sushi night. Felt like I didn't really belong there, and was uncomfortable when guys tried hitting on me.(Some women tried to, as well.) It wasn't just the idea that many were there looking for a 'hook up'. When I said things like I would like to just be friends first (mind you I didn't know any of this back then), many of the guys were turned off by me. When my ex-boyfriend in the past started doing romantic things, it threw me off. I was very uncomfortable, and he seemed so forceful with things like kissing, hugging me a certain way (not really a friendly way...hard to describe for me), holding my hand at all times, etc. At times it was suffocating.But, like I said, I got used to it and liked it. (Except for those bruising kisses...) I never initiated any of that stuff. Being a woman, this might have made him think I wasn't into him. And, maybe that he needed to try harder. Since we're thought of as being into romance. I guess it might be like what some ace men feel about sex. They're told men are supposed to be into it, and think about it all the time...And, if they don't, they're not a 'real' man. Another reason why many have a hard time coming out.
I think I still want a partner to experience life with. Read a little about being in a qpr, and it sounds ideal for me. Qpr's are queer or quasi platonic relationships. Some feel weird using 'queer', so they use quasi instead. People don't have to be ace nor aro in order to be in one. However, most people who are outside of those communities don't know about it. Not even people in the rest of the LGBTQ+ or MOGAI communities. Some people say it's like being in a relationship that seems more than platonic, but not romantic. Others say it's like a different type of deep relationship than romantic, and can be hard to describe to others. People can be extremely emotionally close to their partners in this. They usually end up living together. Some outsiders have mistaken them as romantic. It's interesting, because you can be open about what romantic stuff (or 'coded behavior', is used sometimes) is ok and someone might even enjoy, what are the boundaries, etc. Partners in qpr's tend to be called zucchinis. I'm not sure about that, but other people have chosen other vegetables for it. Pumpkin was another I heard recently. I kind of like that one more. Not sure why they're vegetables. (Some just say their qpp, which is just 'partner' that replaces the 'relationship' part.) It's interesting, though. Some people in qpr's even get married. Sometimes for the governmental benefits, sometimes to put their families at ease, and more. I saw an actual list of reasons why on tumblr a while back. The reasons sounded awesome, but I can't seem to find it at the moment. The only thoughts I've had growing up really was about the dress and food. Maybe the music, too. But, nothing like how some of my friends felt about it. I didn't even think about the partner part...They can have sex and have kids together, too. I'd like a qpr, but I'm not sure how to go about getting one. Kind of different than going out there and 'dating' to find one.Maybe after meeting some other aces, I'll find one. It'd be cool if they were also aro. From what I've seen, apparently the majority of aces are romantic. There might be like 20% who aren't (might be in the aro-spectrum), and about 5% who aren't sure. (If I remember correctly.) The people who aren't sure/don't know the difference tend to call themselves either qouiromantic or wtfromantic. That's kind of cool.
I decided to try to get the local ace group on facebook to be somewhat more active. I created polls on what we might want the online and offline groups to be about, and where would we like to meet offline. Actually had some people respond, which was great. Still not enough to gauge on this stuff yet, though. A lot of the options I just came up with on the spot. Wasn't sure about some of them. It looks like a local cafe and college might be options people would like to meet at so far. Having a cake/other dessert potluck at the end of each meeting seems like a good one, too. I think that would be a great idea for something positive. Creating events was another big one. I thought we could have some fun ones, some to raise awareness (somehow...), and some to get to know each other more. The fun ones could be something as simple as cooking, going somewhere fun together as a group, or others. Just an idea that came from my experience with other groups. Another was on topics. I kind of figured that people would want that, but wasn't sure. I want this to be about what the group as a whole wants. Not be up to one person, because that will make it all about them. Not about building an actual community of some sort.
Education, resources, and meme/comics were big ones for the online group. I already posted a huge list of the online resources I know of, and people have suggested on AVEN. Interesting to have even for myself. I might look more into some of them. The thing is, with ace stuff in general, it feels like I'm going down a rabbit hole.There's so much stuff online about it and so many communities. (Hopefully, I'm not getting 'tunnel vision' with it.) It fascinates me, and the fact I denied it for so long, makes me really excited to learn more about it. Like, I get to learn more about that part of myself that I hid for so long. Also, excited to be apart of communities online, and to actually make a community locally.
I also posted a documentary that I thought was pretty decent. It's about asexuality and some of the issues we face. The only problems I have with it are: showing examples of how sexual the media is, and showing some of the sex ed stuff. They could have just talked about those parts, or at least warned people.Some aces are sex-repulsed, and having those images suddenly pop up can be disturbing to them. I think I'm sex-repulsed myself, but I'm also sex-positive and think it should be talked about. Also, it's cool for people to have as much or as little (or even none) as they want, as long as it's with a consensual adult. To me, as long as it's not about me, it doesn't repulse me as much. I feel weird, because I'm actually very curious about it for myself. It's like my mind's not sure what to make of it. I do think things like sex ed is incredibly important, and everyone including aces need to know about it. Even if they're sex-repulsed. People are trying to make sex ed more open to people of other sexualities besides heterosexuals. This is a big thing.
I also posted another youtube vid that many ace and aro people collaborated on. Some were within those spectrums, too. It's a 3-part special that's full of ace and aro info. I don't think, although I could be wrong, the person that put it together is actually ace nor aro. To me, it's very well done, though. The fact that they let actual ace and aro people talk about it, and all they really did was ask questions, was perfect. It's straight from the horse's mouth this way. Also, with one of the aces, I've watched some of their vids, and they're really interesting. I might look at some of the others.
I'm thinking of maybe posting some of the educational comics that I've seen and liked. Some of them are about the ace-spectrum people. I think we already have a couple of those in the group, and they tend to not be talked as much. I think the spectrum is important, too. Plus, there are so many different identities within the ace community, it's really interesting and cool to me. Even on just the ace part there are many different types. I almost feel like we're even as diverse, if not more so, as the regular sexual spectrum.
Went to the local trans group last night. They were making paper boats for TDoR. TDoR is Trans Day of Remembrance. It's a day to remember trans people who have been murdered in the past year around the world. Some include people who committed suicide, as well. Also, those who weren't reported, which were probably a lot. The boats are going to represent each person, and they're going to be released onto the water at a park on Saturday, I think. I think the names will be read, too. There will be candles. I'm unsure if I really want to go. It's a very heavy thing. Not sure if I emotionally can handle that at the moment. I feel like the trans community is family, so it's difficult.
I know I'm usually not very good at folding things or origami, so I just watched people. People were also talking while they made them. Someone asked me how I was (I hadn't to talked them in a while), and eventually I brought up the ace group stuff. She had interesting reactions. Ones I didn't expect, but then again I'm still new to telling people. She said she used to think she was, until she was in the right relationship. Maybe I needed to just be in the right one...She also asked why do you think that is? And, were you abused? Is there some sort of chemical imbalance or hormones that made you that way? It was so weird.I told her: "No, it's just the way I am. There's nothing wrong with me." I wanted to turn the 'were you abused' one back at her for being trans, but I just can't bring myself to say something so rude and uncalled for. I had heard that people online were asked/told these sort of things, but it almost seems surreal in real life. Oddly, amusing in a twisted way. I brought up that I'm aro, too. And, she said: "That would suck for me! I'd hate that!" I thought, if you were aro, it wouldn't suck.It's just who you are. It's like telling a straight person: "Oh man, that must suck! I'd hate to be straight!" Doesn't make a lick of sense. Or, how about: "I'd hate to have blue eyes if I were you!" What? When I mentioned I had a boyfriend in the past, she said good for you. And, that must have helped you, huh? No, I don't need help. That's not how this works!Ace people can have sex, aro people can be in romantic relationships. It doesn't change that part of them. Ace isn't celibacy, and aro isn't something like being antisocial or hating being in relationships...
Later, I ended up talking to someone who was new. Started off talking about allies in the group, and what it's like for us. Especially for someone who's a family member. That was an interesting conversation. He said he might bring someone, can't remember if it was his wife, now that he knows allies are accepted. So, yay! More allies. We also started to talk about ace stuff. Then, someone who gave me the idea for the group, came over, and joined in. Had a much better conversation about it with them. The person I knew is actually gray-a, so it was much better from the start that way. We talked about if aces and ace-specs were welcome in the LGBTQ+ community. They also agreed that we should be. Some aces feel like they don't want to associate with it, and that's ok. It's their decision as an individual, though. I've heard about many people who come from the other communities not wanting to be apart of it either. I think with every group besides the L and G (although the L went through a lot to be in the community, too), has had some sort of backlash or opposition that took a while to get over. A lot of it's still going on for those groups. So, even the LGBTQ+ community as a whole has issues within. It's not perfect, but I think things are getting better.