Thursday, November 9, 2017

National Cake Day!

Wow! It has been a while since my last post. (Longer than expected.) Yay for cake! My fave is Black Forest cake. It was National Parfait Day yesterday. I hate what most people think a parfait is in this region. That's layers of yogurt, fruit, and granola. I like the ones that are layers of pudding, whipped cream, maybe some fruit filling, and cake. That sounds a lot better to me. 

I haven't changed either my desktop's or iPhone's wallpaper, so I'm not showing a new one this month. The Pusheen calendar for November is titled: 6 Reasons to be Thankful for Your Cat. The first one has a heart around Pusheen, with the caption: warms your heart. Next to it, she's in an office chair, with the caption: warms your seat. The first one in the 2nd row has her on a bed and her speech bubble has a heart in it. The caption: cuddle buddy. The one next to that has her looking somewhat angry on a bed with food in the bubble. The caption: alarm clock buddy. The first one on the last row has her laying down, hearts coming off of her, and hand petting her. The caption: beautiful friend. The one next to that has her laying down on some papers, coffee nearby, and a hand gripping a pencil. The caption: beautiful paperweight. It's cute. 

The month-long holidays for November are: National Peanut Butter Lovers Month, Raisin Bread Month, National Memoir Writing Month, National Native-American Heritage Month, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Some are for important causes, some are to make you appreciate things you may take for granted, and some are just for fun. Interesting that it's both Memoir Writing Month and NaNoWriMo. Especially, because I finished writing both novels this month.

There's at least one reason why I haven't posted much on here lately. I was trying to finish writing both the memoir and sequel to Alliance. I managed to finish writing the sequel a couple of weeks ago, and finished the memoir 5 days later. 

By the way, the sequel finally has a name. It's Alliance: Dawn. Dawn makes so much sense, on many levels, for the name...People who read it will understand. I have ideas for the memoir's title, but haven't decided yet. One of the biggest candidates is Hineini. Hineini means Here I Am in Hebrew. However, there are already memoirs with the same title out there. So, I don't know if I'll use it. I'm not feeling as into the other ideas for the title. 

Taking out the month of being too sick and it being too hot and smoky to write, plus writing half as much at the beginning, it took me roughly 4 months to write both of them. That's really fast! My first book took a few years to write. 2nd one took close to a year. This is like lightning speed for me. First time doing 2 at once, too. So, technically, it was about 2 months each. Even though I wrote them at the same time, if I just did them one at a time with the same amount of writing each day, it would have been like that. I was writing 4 pages a day, 6 days a week. (Not writing on Shabbat.) 

Now, I'm editing both of them. Trying to edit a chapter from both each day. I'm a little further into Dawn than the Memoir. It's shorter, too. The memoir seems to be the longest of the 4 books I've written. Dawn is slightly less than its prequel. Sometimes it feels like I'm editing so much, my brain hurts afterwards. 

After editing, I'll format them both for their ebook and paperback versions. Then, I'll create their cover arts. I have a clear idea of how Dawn's art will be. I'm a little fuzzy with the memoir. After that, I'll figure out pricing. Then, I can go through the submission process through Amazon. 

I'll have it so Dawn could be bought bundled with Alliance, and by itself. That way people can have the series so far, or get the sequel on its own. This also ups the likelihood that people will actually see it. Some people only look for series bundles. I'll have both of them as preorders first. Thinking they might go live in February or March. I can still be paid with however much I make from preorders during that time. Also, Amazon promotes books more during the preorder. (It'll be my first time using the preorder through them.)  With making ebook and paperback versions of these new books, I'll be more visible in 4 more ways. Besides the 4 ways I have now with my other books. Add in the bundle part with Dawn, and it gives me even more visibility. It's not just being visible through 2 more 'entries' in this sense. I could also rotate Amazon's promos on all 4 books, so there could be a sale at any given time. This adds more to it. Although, as it is right now, I can only run promos with the ebook versions. Still, it's something. I'll also post links to them on the sides here, like I did with the other 2. Easy for people to access them this way. 

I did get to the point of practicing my clarinet for an hour each day during the week. I only stopped when I started editing those books. It felt really nice, and I was noticing more of my mistakes. That meant I was getting good enough to tell again, I could fix them. I might get back to it after the editing. 

Went to Thanksgiving dinner at a friends' place. The couple that hosts it is like family. This year it was just Dad, me, and that couple. Usually, there are a lot more guests. One of their dogs is having incontinence issues now, so we couldn't sit on the couch beforehand, like usual. The wife injured her knee, I think. So, almost everything was being done by the husband. He looked so exhausted. He smokes their turkey, and I've always found that kind of cool and interesting. It adds a unique flavor to it. Anyways, I could see why they wanted less people. They said they wanted at least a couple of friends over for Thanksgiving, and they asked us. I think we're the closest to them. 

I also found out the person that was so rude to me last year when I came out as aro ace, isn't a friend of theirs anymore. They were appalled by her behavior. Plus, there were other questionable things. She was oddly into talking about Jesus sometimes. Not something Jews usually do, and why I at least have an inkling she's a 'Jew for Jesus'. In other words, Christian in disguise. Really scary. She's also a Trump supporter, that couple and my family are really against Trump. For obvious reasons...The hostess has strong political opinions, so that can be a conflict if you aren't on the same wavelength that way. That person was also very ageist, at least towards me. Also, most of the food she brought was awful or just really weird. She would tell us that she messed up horribly just as we're about to try it. Or, how about bringing little pork sausages to a Passover seder? Oh, wrapped in crescent rolls. It's a Jewish holiday, pork isn't kosher, and we don't eat anything leavened during the holiday. Way to mess up in multiple ways. She told me it wouldn't hurt me to try them, too...So weird. I'm glad I most likely won't see her again.

I was going to go to Leavenworth to celebrate my birthday. My birthday was on the 7th. Turns out that has been postponed until around March. At least, it seems like it's still on. Dad brought the idea up, and I thought it'd be great. I've only been there once, and it was a long time ago. It was fun, though. I did go to the Olive Garden for my birthday dinner. That was nice. So, we did do something for it. I hadn't been there in a long time, and it used to my fave restaurant. 

Thursday, October 19, 2017

National Pasta Day!

This holiday was on Tuesday. I love pasta! 😍 Could probably eat it all day every day. That wouldn't be very healthy, though.😅I like pretty much all the shapes I know of. The thick pasta seem fancy to me. Having it for special times, like Shabbat. It's probably because I'm not as used to that type of pasta.

I've felt pretty crummy gut-wise this week. 😞 So much so, I've wondered if I'm flaring again. The only way to really know for sure is through tests...As long as I don't have a prolonged fever, throwing up every day, and losing weight faster than usual; I can't do much about it.😒If any of those things were happening, I've been told to go to the hospital immediately. The pain has increased on both sides of my abdomen, which scares me a bit. I think I'm reacting to food more often again, as well. 

I was able to make a phone appointment with my gastro for the end of next month. She wanted me to make it for the end of this one. There was only one other one that was sooner, but it was around 8am.😳Even if I was up at that time, it still seems too early for a phone call to me. Not only that, but they have it as possibly calling 30 minutes before or after the appointment time...I might ask her about having tests done again. I think by then it'd be a few months since the last round of them. It'd be the first one since I started Lialda, and we could see how that's going with those tests. 

Last week, I tried on an old embroidered keyhole knit sweater. It fit surprisingly well.😳It's supposed to be clingy, which I'm not used to. I don't think I've been able to fit into it since I was 19. That was just before the infamous 'freshman 15' people usually gain in college. I'm almost 33. That's a long time.😮 I don't particularly like how much it accentuates my chest. Every time I bend over a little, it shows a lot of cleavage through the keyhole, which I don't really like either. 😑The rest of it feels nice. 

I decided to look at other old clothes a few days later. Most of these old clothes I hadn't worn since high school. Pretty much everything I tried fit. This was really surprising, good, and slightly weird to me. I found 2 flannel shirts (wore these quite often in high school), a red long-sleeved shirt with white embroidery, and 2 cardigans. I think the traditional Chinese shirt (don't remember the name of it) fit, too. It's fancy and cool looking. However it takes some maneuvering to get it on yourself. It has lots of buttons and a zipper on the side. I was trying it on over something else, too. This was the most surprising one to fit into, to me. It's rather small. Even when I got it from a women's day conference thing years ago, it was small and tight on me. 

So, with all these things fitting, I'm basically the same size as I was in high school. 😌I didn't think I'd make it back to this size. I also thought I was gaining weight again. I'm apparently still losing it. It's kind of scary that way. I want to be back to the normal weight range for someone like me, though. This means I'm getting there faster than I expected. I'm only going to truly worry if I somehow become underweight. 

I joined some more LGBTQ+ groups on facebook. 2 generalized ones, and another non-binary one. Also, found another IBD group. The generalized LGBTQ+ group I was apart of beforehand was really weird. Especially after the fights about allies in the acronym. The creator had some bizarre ideas. After that drama, hardly anyone posted. 🙄So, I dropped that one. I like having a generalized group for it. Feels more like a community. There aren't very many of them, and some of them can be ace/arophobic as well as enby-phobic. The 2 I just joined seem very inclusive. One of those groups has it as 16+ for the minimum age. They just recently made a 30+ group. I might join that as well. Not sure if I'll drop the 16+ if I do that. We'll see. 

The new enby group seems more active and interesting. There are actually questions and topics we can discuss. The other one was mainly just selfies and intros. 😑The new one apparently has another subgroup. I dropped a couple of ace groups, because they weren't active. There aren't that many ace groups on fb as it is. The new IBD group has a huge amount of members, and it's a lot more active than the other one because of that. I can connect more with that community this way, too. 

I've made at least one fb friend through the new enby group. Another one added me as well through one of the ace groups. Very interesting. Their requests were like a day apart. Another person that I knew beforehand through the local trans group friended me too. That was a day after those other 2. Cool. I'm all for people friending me, as long as they don't harass me, and I know them through some sort of group. 😊

In the new enby group, someone asked if all afab enby people identify as trans masc. Many people think of the stereotype that enbies tend to be masculine or look that way. Afab is assigned female at birth, by the way. I'm afab, and agender. I tend to like some things that are considered 'feminine', but it's like a pretty and fun mask. 🎭I don't particularly feel femme or masc. In my mind it's kind of hard to feel either if you don't have a gender. Unless it's referring to clothes or expression, I guess? Still, clothes don't actually have a gender. Many of the 'men's' clothes honestly look bland and boring from what I've seen. Although, some of their vests look interesting. I'm actually thinking of looking more into that stuff, too. Anyways, some people were also saying since they're enby, they're not trans. That's it works. 🤦‍♀️Trans means that your gender is different than the one that was assigned to you at birth. So, technically being enby makes you trans. Sure, it's up to the individual to decide if they want that label, but that's personal. I put that I'm trans, enby, and genderqueer. I like all of those. Honestly, I don't know which of those last 2 I like more. They mean the same thing, but some people are uncomfortable with the word queer. (Totally understandable.) That's how enby came about. It's newer than genderqueer. Someone felt exactly the way I did about all this, which was cool. 😎Someone else loved it. 

Another person said they didn't feel enby enough because they still use she/her pronouns.😨 She's agender. She wasn't sure about they/them for herself. Many people, like me, said you should use whatever you feel comfortable with. You're still valid as an enby. ☺️I've been thinking about my pronouns, too. I still use she/her, because I'm used to it. They/them seems interesting and logical for someone like me, but I don't really know if it's right...🤔I don't have to decide immediately, though. 

We finally had a meeting for the trans group. Couldn't find a place for it during the summer. There was a pretty decent amount of people. We had one new person, which was good. I talked more about agender stuff during my check-in. Found out one member is agender, but leaning on the masculine side. I suppose that's kind of like the idea behind the ace/aro spectrums? It was interesting. A couple of members, who weren't there, are bigender. I can't imagine having one let alone 2 genders at once, but that's still cool. 😳There are pangender people out there, as well. That's incomprehensible to me to be all genders at once. Even more fascinating, though. A couple of the older trans women seemed to be confused by some of it. They're willing to learn, though.

I brought up how I've been thinking about top surgery (double mastectomy). I've always felt weird about my chest. Especially when they 'exploded' a couple of years into college. It felt more 'right' when I was small. They've felt foreign since they grew, too. 😨I still want 'feminine' clothes to fit me. Someone suggested a reduction instead. That might be ok, however there's still a health risk side. My mom had breast cancer, her mom had it, and one of my mom's sister's had it. I saw what it did to my mom. I don't want that to happen to me. 😣So, getting top surgery will both be a gender and health thing. Doctors will most likely get behind it if I only bring up the health risk part. They still might fight with me. Saying I'm too young for such a drastic change. I'm tempted to bring it up with my primary, but I don't like her anymore. We'll see.

Icons or avatars were brought up that people looked up to. Many people thought about others that they felt they could relate to gender-wise. Mine have always been people like Marie Curie, Audrey Hepburn, and Coco Chanel. I think in the past, I went with what body-type I had. I feel weird with saying female-bodied, but some trans people use it. These were fierce, smart, beautiful, and cool women. I also went by personality rather than gender. The thing is, I don't know any out agender celebrity, scientist, or other icons. So, I can't truly see my gender represented through anyone. 😒

When I brought up Audrey Hepburn, one of the older women said: "oh, you mean Katherine Hepburn." It took me a moment, because I wasn't sure why she 'corrected' me on it. 🤔After a moment, she added: "since she was a tomboy." No. Agender doesn't equal tomboy. 🤦‍♀️Tomboys still are women. I meant who I said, too. 

We might have a Halloween party at the next meeting. 🎃That meeting will be on the 1st, so it makes sense. It'd be a nice, fun, and social thing. I just have no idea what I'd wear for a costume. 

My birthday is November 7th. 🎉Coming up really quickly. I don't have anything planned yet, nor a list of what I want for it. I'm horrible at making birthday lists. 😒I might want a new computer. Mine is having issues going online, and isn't supported by Microsoft anymore. Can't decide between Mac or Windows. I think it'd be cool to have an all-in-one. Computers have come a long way since my current one. Another thing might be a black ring. I might go out to eat for it, go shopping, maybe see a movie at the theater, etc. I don't really know yet.🤷‍♀️

I've made it to practicing my clarinet for 55 minutes. Yay! ☺️Next week I might start doing it for an hour. I don't want to practice for longer than that. I'm sounding much better now. Trying to play things I usually skip, too. 

Finished the agender chapter in the memoir. Ended up being longer than I expected. I'll get back to the travel one next time. At the moment, I'm covering stuff from Kentucky. The state I was born in. The sequel to Alliance has been interesting so far. I'm still not sure where it's headed.🤔

I noticed that Dad had created a playlist based on her memoir. It gave me the idea that maybe I should make one for mine as well as for my other books. That sounds like it'll be fun, and I might feel closer to them. The Sweet Endless Terror one would be probably the easiest to make. A lot of Halloween and other scary/ominous music. 👻🎵

I've kind of given up on the local ace group.😔 No one showed up for months when I went regularly to the cafe. No one has asked where we are since I stopped going. No one's posted in the online group for a long time. I was pretty much the one to post stuff. There were one or two allies that did too, but no one else. It just...seems sad.😣 It seems they want a group, but once they're a member they don't do anything. I get that some people want a more private place, but this was voted on. Also, we don't have many options available to us. 

At some point, I still want to go back to my ace media list. I want to search a bit longer for stuff to add, and then share it. I think I'll share it here somehow, in the inactive local ace group, other ace groups on fb, on ace forums, etc. I want it out there, and people can suggest adding more to it. That way there's an even broader list over time. It just takes time with this stuff. It might be a while before I share it.😞

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

National Coming Out Day

I'm basically out to everyone I know. Although, I tried telling my grandpa over the phone that I was ace (about a year ago), and he said he couldn't hear me. So, I technically haven't told him. He's also on facebook, but hardly uses it. I think it'd be best to come out to him if we were face-to-face. He lives on the other side of the country, though. I hope I do see him again before it's too late...I'm not sure how he'd take it. He's a very kind and accepting person, though. He just might not understand. 

I do want to be more out with being aro ace and agender. I mentioned them in my mini bio on fb. It was the first time I had anything for that. I still share and write about them on there. 

I write about all 3 in my memoir. I actually am redoing the agender part, because I wasn't really sure at the time. Agender will have a separate chapter devoted to it. Aro and ace will be in one chapter. The first one to be precise. Agender is the 2nd now. I also refer back to them throughout the book, because they've influenced my experiences and how I view the world. So, people will be introduced to all 3 this way once it's published...I can probably add an LGBTQ+ tag to it on Amazon. Should be interesting.

In the future, it'd be nice to have a black ring. A black ring on the middle finger of the right hand indicates the wearer is ace. It'd be cool to get one with a spade on it. Another symbol for aces are the ace suit in playing cards. Ace of hearts is for (allo)romantic aces, spades is for aro aces, diamonds is for demiromantic aces/demisexuals (and other people in the grey areas), clubs is for wtf(or quoi)romantic aces/wtfsexuals and other people who can't figure out what their sexual and/or romantic orientation is (or it's indescrible). Sometimes romantic anarchists will use the ace of spades. That's kind of cool. A white ring was thought up for aros, but it hasn't really taken off. They don't have special symbols for what type you are like the ace suit, either. An arrow is a big symbol for it, though. An alien is an agender symbol, which is interesting, too.

I think it'll be cool to get themed clothing and accessories of these identities. That way I could be even more out. There's a surprising amount of it online. Another reason for me to be out is to educate people.

Asexual Awareness Week is coming up quickly. I might be a presenter/speaker at a local youth group meeting. I didn't think about this until Dad suggested it. We don't know if it'll actually happen, but it's an interesting idea. Another way to be out, and to do something for AAW. I'll not only go over ace stuff, but aro and agender as well. Aros are fighting to be separated from the ace community as much as possible, but they're represented during it, too. As an aro ace, I feel like 2 of my communities are ripping each other apart at times. Most aces are alloromantic, and most aros are allosexual. Often ace activists throw aro aces under the bus. We tend to be thought of as less human, or forgotten about, or misrepresented by them. Aros are a lot better about it, but the community is still new and growing. I'll bring up agender, because I am one and it influences my experiences. Mine would be different than an aro ace cis person. Or even an aro ace binary trans person. It'll show that my experience is not universal, which is good. 

I realized recently that I go against a lot of 'normatives'. These are things that are considered the norm, strictly enforced, everything catered to a specific group of people, what's considered good and desirable by society, etc. My existence goes against heteronormativity, since I'm aro ace. Heteronormativity is centered on people who are both heteroromantic and heterosexual, or straight. Not to mention that sex is considered the best thing, necessity to keep living, everywhere in media, etc. Of course, it's 'straight sex' that's encouraged. 

Amatonormativity's another one. It's the idea that romantic love is desirable, it's 'human', better than other loves/relationships, certain rules and assumptions about love, etc. This can be dangerous to alloromantic people too, but it's especially damaging to aros. It's a factor even when people of different (or some like to use 'opposite') genders are close friends. Society will assume that'll 'blossom' into romance and then become sexual. This is an odd view to me. Starting at an early age we're shown romantic themes all the time in media.

Cisnormativity is another one. The idea that being cis is normal, human, everyone has to be this way, etc. If you're not, you're not human or have some sort of mental illness. (According to society.) I'm not cis, so this affects me.

Binary-normativity is another. The world is set up and catered to people of the binary. Being strictly a man or woman is what everyone is. There's no such thing as more than 2 genders. Again, that's how society views things. This affects me as well since I'm agender. Even some binary trans people are against/hate the idea of non-binary people. That's hating on our very existence. 

Christian(or Christo-?)-normativity. The assumption that everyone's Christian. Everything, in most parts of the world, is centered on Christians. Probably more than they realize. I'm Jewish, and I see this quite often. Don't even get me started with the few months before Christmas on up to the holiday itself...That makes non-Christians even more like outcasts or like they don't matter. 

Not only that, but there's a belief Christianity and Judaism are the same thing. No. No, they're not. Clearly these people don't know the history nor what the religions are about. (Or cultures.) Someone a few months ago told me they're Christian, and asked me what the difference was. Well...the biggest thing is we don't have Jesus at all in our religion. That is central in Christianity, and if you believe in him you are one. They were astounded by it. Couldn't believe what I told them. I get that a lot when I tell people this. I like to educate others, but sometimes I'm tired of doing it.

Neuro(?)-normativity. People that are mentally healthy deserve better, are more understood, and are treated with respect more than mentally ill people. This makes many people feel even worse about themselves. Like I mentioned before, I have multiple mental illnesses.

 Physically healthy-normativity. (Not sure what the prefix for this one would be.) People who have a chronic condition, like an autoimmune disease, are told if they only did certain things, it'd cure them. Offering 'healthy' food to them (might not actually be healthy for the person with the condition), saying they just need to try yoga, why are they always in pain, when will they get over it, have they tried this diet, and the list goes on. It's fueled by pure ignorance, and thinking such and such helped them with their stomachache. Or some other brief ailment. It's really disturbing and frustrating. IBD or Inflammatory Bowel Disease is considered an autoimmune disease. The unsolicited advice I get is crazy. It was especially so when I posted about the diagnosis on fb. No, there's no cure for it. No diet is going to change the disease itself. (It can sometimes help with side effects from both the disease and meds.) 

Oh, and I love when people say at least it's not cancer...Yes, I'm happy it's not, but in a way it's belittling what IBD patients go through. We have to battle this thing for the rest of our lives. Even while in remission we might still have horrible symptoms. Some people lose most of their intestines through surgeries. Some people have to have their buttholes sewn shut, and some have to have external bags that act like colons and other parts of the intestines. The treatments can wreak havok. The extraintestinal stuff is crazy, too. (Eye problems, hair falling out, liver issues, fatigue, etc.) People die from 'complications' of the disease and meds. Some commit suicide because it's too much for them. But, at least we don't have cancer...Oh, wait, we're more at risk for cancers relating to the digestive tract. Wahoo!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

1st Day of Sukkot

Wow! It's already Sukkot! It lit. means the Feast of Booths. It lasts for a week. We build temporary structures or huts/booths, and dwell in them during the holiday. Many people eat all their meals in them during the week. Some spend most of their time in it, including sleeping. There has to be an open side and holes big enough in the 'roof' so you can see the stars. It's a harvest holiday. It's supposed to be one of the most joyous holidays. Hospitality is usually a big thing with it, too. People invite others to enjoy it. That includes people who aren't Jewish and are 'strangers'. 

We don't have one up, and I didn't really want it. It's getting pretty cold out there. We used to put one up, and invite neighbors, friends, and members of the local congregations. Usually, we'd invite them to dinner there. My mom had bought a kit that had all the lumber specifications, instructions, braces, bolts, etc. She got the lumber correctly sized, and with the help of others put it together. We still have it, but it's not in good shape. (In fact, it might be rotting.) It's dismantled, of course. Haven't used it since a year before Mom passed away. So, about 6 years. We usually would put tree branches over the roof part. Then, we'd decorate it with pinecones, fake fruit, lilacs one year, and other harvest-themed stuff. 

It's Mental Illness Awareness Week. I never knew about this type of awareness week. It started in 1990, and NAMI or the National Alliance of Mental Illness is behind it. I tend to not talk much about my own mental illnesses. However, after people were speculating about another gunman being mentally ill, it got me fed up. I feel people need to hear more about what it's really like to live with something like this. There's far too much stigma behind it. We're a lot more likely to kill ourselves than go on a killing spree. I can't remember the studies I've seen on it, but it's pretty interesting to see the difference in percentages. 

I guess I can share what I actually have. How else will people learn about them? My main mental illness is type 2 Bipolar Disorder. Type 2 can be quite a bit different than type 1. It's often very hard to diagnose. Type 2's don't get the euphoric high for their mania. Instead, ours makes us easily irritated, quick to anger, have racing thoughts, think we can do a million things at once, and more. Our lows are much lower than type 1's. (It's interesting to see graphs comparing the highs and lows of both.) We're one of the most at risk groups for suicide. The scary part that I've realized with myself and through therapists, is that we tend to not have a reason for being suicidal. I usually hear people say they're suicidal because they're in too much physical pain (like with an incurable disease), because they feel they have no other option, want an escape, etc. Ours isn't really like that. We just have the urge. Therapists have told me that I've probably had type 2 Bipolar since I was a little kid. I started to become suicidal when I was 14, though. Started cutting for a short time around then. I stopped being suicidal almost as soon as I started taking lamotrigine. Became stable/balanced, and seemingly 'normal', as well. It's like my miracle med. Therapy helped a lot along with it.

I also have PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), agoraphobia, been sexually abused, anxiety issues, OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) tendencies, and probably forgetting one or two other things. 

Agoraphobia is lit. a fear of markets. It's usually referred to as a fear of crowds of people. I can get panic attacks if I'm in a big enough crowd. My pulse increases, feel like I'm constantly in the way, people are judging me, there's no escape, the walls are closing in on me, bouts of nausea, etc. It's not a pleasant experience. The odd thing is it's not as bad when I'm around certain groups of people. Like, a large group of friends, Pride events, and certain festivals. 

Having OCD tendencies is weird. Mainly weird because it's not full blown OCD. I wash my hands until their raw (and sometimes bleeding), I'll check on certain things like locks multiple times, I'll be very careful about what I post online looking at it over and over, and more. It's not always like this. Usually it's when I'm nervous about something. 

Still keeping up with writing almost every day. Up to almost 230 pages in total. (Roughly half each for the sequel and memoir.) That's a lot. For the memoir, the physical health chapter got so long, I had to split it further. IBD has its own chapter now. I didn't realize how much that would have taken up in the physical health one. I feel like I just started the sequel to Alliance. There's so much more the story has to offer. Probably why it's best to make it a longer series. 

Been practicing my clarinet almost every day still, too. I did increase the time to 45 minutes this week. It feels like it flies by now. As I'm practicing more, I'm noticing silly mistakes I've taught myself for years...Kind of embarrassing, but at least I'm noticing them. I tried to correct them yesterday and today, which made me sound a bit clumsy and shaky. I just need to practice more to perfect that. I played Irish tunes during the entire time today. Most of the mistakes I've noticed have been with those. 

Saw the first episode of the new season of Gintama. It looks like they're going back to their gag and parody roots for this one. Seems like a fluffy season, or one to give fans a break from the intenseness of the recent season/arcs. It's even called the Slip Arc. I'm happy with seeing the old-type of Gintama stuff. They say the next season will be the last. I think they're trying to prolong it as much as possible. I'm good with that. I don't want it to end.

Saw the first episode of Black Clover, and it was better than I expected. Mages are granted grimoires, which are magic books in this world, when they're 15. Everyone seems to gain magical powers at a very early age in their world. Asta is one that didn't have a trace of magic before he went to get his grimoire. He seems to yell a little too much. He was the only one that didn't get a grimoire during the ceremony. His showed up towards the end of the episode. It's apparently one of the most powerful. It has a 5-leaf clover on it, which was unheard of. Each leaf symbolizes something. The 5th is demonic, 4th luck, and the others are things like peace, love, and faith. (I think.) His rival, who's somewhat like a brother, got a 4-leaf one. Everyone thought he was the most gifted. I say somewhat like a brother because they were both left at an orphanage at the same time, and grew up together. Some parts seem very cliche, and some are unique and interesting. I'll stick around for this one. 

Started Ousama Game or King's game today. This one looks pretty good. It's a horror anime centered around a survival game. If people don't follow the rules of the game, they'll be punished to death. With just this first episode, 10 students have died. It asks the students to do certain things, and most of the time they only have 24 hours to do them. The main character is the lone survivor of another Ousama Game. He thought that since he won, he could start a new life at a new school. He was sick of it, and didn't want to do his first task. He was ready to die. It was to kiss the girl that has been trying to befriend him. I think he realized it would kill her too if they didn't kiss, and waited to the last minute. The reason why so many students started dying was an order came while they were sleeping. They were told to stay awake at all costs. This seemed really unfair. How would they know if they were asleep beforehand? They were all hanged. Then another student's punishment was to bleed to death, because he was beating up the main character. The text said it didn't order that. It turns out no one knows who or what is behind it. It reminds me vaguely of many other anime. Apparently, the manga has the prequel with the main character in the previous game. I'm slightly tempted to read that.

Recently, started reading the manga Shuuen no Shiori or Bookmark of Demise. It's based on the Vocaloid music video series of the same name. It's a horror one. Also, a survival game. This one is based on urban legends. The most semi-normal main character is A-ya. They're names all start with a letter, and common ending in Japanese. The only messed up thing about him was his obsession with rumors and the occult. Mild compared to the others. Each character's pov seemed more demented. B-ko tried to put up a facade of the perfect girl. C-ta was obsessed with protecting A-ya. He seemed like a stalker. He bugged A-ya's room, was jealous when he talked to others, thought that A-ya needed him for everything, and more serious things. D-ne was truly messed up. She 'loved' B-ko so much she wanted to be her. Just like some themes in horror movies, and some detective shows. A-ya was killed first, and he was the only one who tried to do what the letter told him to do. He didn't want to die. His was to play hide-and-seek by himself. The urban legend this is based on is super creepy. It turned out C-ta saw A-ya following the instructions of the game, and he thought A-ya was an imposter, then killed him. C-ta was soon killed by not reading his letter and talking to someone he wasn't supposed to. B-ko's was an imposter game. D-ne killed her thinking B-ko was a fake, but also wanting to become her. D-ne had a monkey paw. All her wishes were based on becoming B-ko. Her last wish was to avoid her demise. However, she became B-ko, therefore B-ko's demise would be hers instead. So, another B-ko killed her, since hers was on doppelgängers. The legend where if you see yours, you die. Apparently, there are alternate worlds with 'true' endings. I'm about to start reading the 'true' one. I wonder if their personalities will be different? Maybe it'll be with totally different characters? It's very interesting. 

Starting to feel heavier, more intense, pain lately. I'm not sure if it's something I've been eating or if it's unavoidable. I have to call the gastroenterology department soon to schedule a phone appointment with my new gastro (I'll use this with her too, even though she's not an MD). She told me to make one for the end of the month.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Homemade Cookies Day!

Yay! Homemade cookies are the best! It's also International Coffee Day. I'm not very fond of coffee. It seems everyone's addicted to it but me. I've always had a weird 'relationship' with it. If I do have it, I like it with added other flavors, cream, whipped cream, sweetener, etc. Almost like I have to dull it down, or turn it into something different. I liked mochas as a kid, but that usually had quite a bit of chocolate added, sugar, etc. I thought of it as a chocolate treat. I really love tea, though. It's also International Music Day.
Since my desktop computer's still weird about the internet, I'm sharing my iPhone wallpaper for this month. I've never changed my phone's wallpaper until now. Might do it once a month. I had the lotus wallpaper for 3 years, but lately it looked dirty and old. I needed something new. This is the Undertaker from Kuroshitsuji or Black Butler. He seems to be the main villain of the series. Everything points to him. For a while, it seemed he was such a minor character. Even a 'good' one. He does a lot of behind the scenes stuff. Ciel and Sebastian only find out after the events have already been set in motion. He's one of my fave characters. He used to work as a Shinigami or Death G-d, but rejected it at some point and became an undertaker. The other Shinigami seem to feel uneasy around him. We still don't know his real name. We don't know how he died. Shinigami are people who committed suicide, but are forced to come back life. In this story, at least. (And, they have to fulfill all the duties of a shinigami.) It's somewhat of a punishment for taking their own lives. From the scars, it looks like it was brutal. I like how mysterious he is. He's perfect for Halloween, too. (In many ways.) The wallpaper looks kind of classy on my phone. 

The Pusheen calendar has a cute haunted house. Pusheen's a ghost coming through one of the windows. There's another cat ghost coming from a room further down. The one that Pusheen is hovering from has a skull peeking through. There are bats, a crescent moon, a grave near the front door, a zombie hand/arm is breaking through the ground of the grave, there's a big spider hanging from the roof, and the very top window looks like a candy corn. In the actual calendar, Pusheen is dressed like a witch at the bottom. 

The month-long holidays for October are: National Apple Month, National Caramel Month, National Chili Month, National Cookie Month, National Dessert Month, National Pasta Month, National Pretzel Month, Bat Appreciation Month, German-American Heritage Month, Italian-American Heritage Month, LGBTQ+ History Month, National Cookbook Month, Polish-American Heritage Month, Sausage Month, Spinach Lovers Month. Some are for important causes, some are to make you appreciate things you may take for granted, and some are just for fun. There's a lot this month! I'm part German, so it's like celebrating and learning part of my heritage month. Interesting that Coming Out Day falls during LGBTQ+ History Month. Makes sense. 

Also, Asexual Awareness Week is towards the end of the month. Aros are often included during that time, too. Although, they're trying hard to separate themselves from the ace community. I feel weird, because I'm both. I know most aros aren't ace, but what about people like me? They are different, too. If they want to be separate, why not have their own week, too? I know that community seems to be newer, but there needs to be a similar thing. I know there's an Aromantic Awareness Day, but that's not enough. Aces also have a 'day' after the awareness week. 

I've kept up with writing the sequel to Alliance and the memoir. I also keep getting ideas for their titles. Haven't picked those out yet. One of the biggest candidates for the sequel is: Alliance: Dawn. I'm not sure if that's too vague, though. It sounds like a fantasy series this way...Plus, there's a lot of meaning behind using 'dawn'. It's simple. A recent one I came up with for the memoir is: My Life's Story. Another way to write it might be: A Life's Story. Something about how life is a story...Not sure if it's lame or not. It's simple and to the point. Readers will be more likely to pick things up if the title's simple and short. The ideas I have for the covers might be eye-catching, as well. 

I've kept up with practicing my clarinet. There were a few days I skipped over, though. At one point, the cork to my mouthpiece became too loose. It was essentially hanging by a thread. Every time I tried to put the mouthpiece on the rest of the instrument, the cork would bulk up at the top. Making it impossible to put together and play. I decided to take off the cork, which I barely had to touch it to do. I then wrapped the blank space with dental floss. Some people were suggesting this temporarily. It actually worked and adhered to the area after a while. I still need to have it recorked, but this was a big help. It's kept me playing, which is grand. It's the first time I've had this problem with any of the corks. I've been playing for almost 23 years. The anniversary of when I got it is in December. I got it a month after I turned 10. I mostly just have problems with bending the keys. The more I play, the more it happens. 

I've gone up to 40 minutes for practice. Might start doing 45 minutes each time this week. I think the muscles in my face are getting better. Close to the way they used to be. I hope to gradually increase it to an hour. That's how long I used to practice each day, back when I started up to around the time I quit marching band in college. It always felt amazing. When I was practicing that long, I sounded even better, too. 

The new anime season starts up this month. Yay! Summer season didn't offer much. I think only 2 shows interested me, and I still haven't watched them yet. 

These are the ones that I want to watch this time: a new season of Gintama (Silver Soul), Black Clover, Ousama Game (King's Game), Houseki no Kuni (Kingdom of Gems), Kino's Journey, 2nd season of Kekkai Sensen (Blood Blockade Battlefront), Kujira no Kora wa Sajou ni Utau (Children of the Whales). I'm definitely watching the next seasons of Gintama and Kekkai Sensen. Gintama is my fave anime, and the last season was a while ago. Kekkai Sensen's really good and very, what I call, cerebral. It makes you think. Many people don't like it because of that. I've seen the original Kino's Journey movie. There was a previous anime series, too. I think this is separate. It has an interesting story. Kino goes on a journey with her talking motorcycle. She comes across as a non-binary to me. From the way she dresses/looks, and how she acts. She has a somewhat masculine look, and some viewers have a hard time distinguishing what gender she is. The series is not a gender bender. If I remember correctly, the motorcycle swears a lot, is harsh, and kickass. (Kino's pretty kickass, too.) I remember her going through a lot of intense stuff. Ousama Game is a horror anime. Basically a bloody and gorey survival game against fellow students. It sounds really interesting to me. I like horror from all types of media. It adds excitement, and hopefully it's done well. I think there's a bit of a mystery element to it, too. Also, one of my fave genres. Black Clover is a fantasy and magic based anime. I know there's a lot of hype behind it, so I might check it out. I don't know much about the other 2. 

Recently went to an LGBTQ+ social group. It's put on by the local Pride network. I think they're calling the group LGBTQ+ Friends Meetup. I liked it a lot. There were a lot of people, which might have been weird for the cafe...I got into a big discussion with someone who's bi. So many things in common between what bi and ace people go through. It felt good to talk about. She stuck with me through the whole meetup. Saw some people I knew, too. It was nice to chat with them. 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

8th of Tishri 5778

Rosh Hashanah or our New Year started on the night of the 20th, and ended the night of the 22nd. The 2nd day is usually not as big. Many people don't go or even have services that day. I think I only 'attended' the first evening and first day's services online. It was with Central Synagogue in NYC. I liked most of it. There were a couple of weird songs in English that I skipped over. It still feels weird to have so many rabbis and cantors leading, a choir, and an organ playing in the background. The drash (sermon) during the evening and the one in the morning were both great. The retired cantor that volunteered to help, was amazing. His voice was so soulful, and somewhat in a more traditional style. I think he did the same thing last year, and it was just as great. 

Tomorrow night's the start of Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement. One of the holiest days of the year for us. Like usual, Shabbat starts that night, too. Yom Kippur is sometimes referred to as the Shabbat of Shabbats. So, it's even more so this way? I'll attend Central Synagogue's online services again for it. Most people are told to fast during the holiday. Can't have food, water, gum, etc. The ones who are exempt from that are little kids, people who are pregnant, the elderly, and those with health conditions. If these people do fast, it's as though they sinned. Just like it would be for someone who eats when they aren't exempt from it. I have to eat something with my meds, food helps regulate it as well, and it's not good to fast when you have colitis (unless a medical professional instructs you to). I still feel guilty that I have to eat during that day. 

I'm up to 205 pages, altogether, with writing the sequel to Alliance and the memoir. (100 for the sequel, 105 for the memoir.) It's roughly twice that for paperback versions. Yay! That's good considering I started writing both in mid-May. I also didn't write for a few weeks, because it was so hot (not good to have my desktop computer on in the hottest room of the house) and I was sick. I wrote about half as many pages the first month, and for a while didn't write on Sundays. (The only day I don't write is on Saturdays, before it was both days.) It's the first time I'm writing two books at once, and I'm progressing much faster than I did for the other two books. (Alliance took the longest...) I wonder how much longer it'll take me to finish both? Not sure if one will be longer than the other. There's also the editing and reformatting...Still, it's exciting. It's a milestone for me.

I like how both books are turning out so far. The sequel has been unpredictable, but still follows the plot well. A little too well at times...Things that seemed unrelated are coming together. Makes it more fun and interesting. I'm remembering more parts of my life than I thought with the memoir. The topics for chapters have worked well for it. I'm in the midst of writing the physical health chapter. It's already longer than I thought it would be.

The non-binary facebook group I'm apart of has been interesting. I might look for a more active one in future, though. Most of the posts have also been intros and selfies. Not really much to them. One topic that came up was being non-binary and sexual/romantic attractions. If you had sexual/romantic attraction, what word would you use to describe it if you're not binary? Like, could someone be gay or straight if they weren't binary? This can be slightly controversial. Some people said they go by the 'genitals' that might interest them sexually. If they're afab (assigned female at birth) and are attracted to women, they'd call themselves lesbian. Similar with amab (assigned male at birth), and attracted to men feeling they're gay this way. Or, with afabs attracted to men, being straight. (And, vice a versa.) This can be a bit problematic on many fronts. Would trans men or women be included in this even if they might not have the 'matching' genitals? Why reduce it down to genitals? It seems so cold. Also, the non-binary person themselves is not a man or woman...Many non-binary people take issue with this. Many use the labels androsexual (or androromantic), gynesexual (or gyneromantic), and skoliosexual (or skolioromantic). That's sexually/romantically attracted to men, sexually/romantically attracted women, and sexually/romantically attracted to non-binary people. It seems better to me. Skoliosexual can be a bit controversial outside of the community. Since it's hard to tell until they tell you, and non-binary people might congregate together more...It still sounds complicated. I'm glad I'm aro ace. I don't have to deal with that. Also, with the strongest attraction I do feel, platonic (it's different than being 'just' friends...), I'm pan. I'm attracted to people this way regardless of gender. It's good to know for qpr's or queer (or quasi-) platonic relationships, which I would love to be in. So, even with this attraction I don't need to think of the right label. It's already applicable to me. I'm attracted to men aesthetically, though. This way, I guess, it'd be andro-. Hardly use that sort of attraction, though. It's not as important to me. 

Another topic that came up recently was in a comment to a post. They told the person they aren't trans. They're non-binary. They went into this weird thing about how we don't have gender dysphoria, and don't need surgeries. Apparently, there isn't 'treatment' for us, too. There was so much wrong with their comment and many people jumped in to correct them, including me. We are under the trans umbrella. Trans just means you identify as a gender that's different than the one you were assigned at birth. That boils down to anyone who isn't cis. Sure, some non-binary people might feel uncomfortable with being under the trans umbrella, and not identify with that community. That's completely up to them, but they don't speak for the community. 

I'm afab (it feels like it should be 'was', but I've only heard it as 'am'), and agender. I'm not a woman (and never was, although sex is different), therefore by definition I'm trans. It took me a little while to realize this, though. For a while I thought trans people were binary. They had to be transitioning in some way, too. This was wrong. I remember reading that the person who came up with the trans flag, made a point in saying the white stripe represented non-binary identities. This made me feel a bit better about it. I just mostly see binary trans people at trans meetings and events, so it's easy to feel like you don't belong this way. 

Many non-binary people experience gender dysphoria, and some binary trans people don't. I mentioned recently on here about how I feel about my breasts. I think I'm dysphoric about them. They don't feel right, and weird me out sometimes. I don't feel it as bad as some people I've read about, but I think it's there. Some people who are afab and agender, want mastectomies. Some I've read want be smoothed out surgically, too. (Don't know what that's called.) That seems unique to agender people. Maybe some androgynous people do as well? There are specific ways that non-binary people can transition. I'm just starting to learn about it. It's fascinating, even if I don't go that route. 

By the way, I noticed that comment was eventually deleted, and the person might have been banned. They're very strict about the rules. They don't even allow allies. Especially, not cis people. They have a separate group that allows allies. Both binary trans people and cis people. There was a cis person that made it into the group that's an exclusive space for us, and she complained about people negatively posting about cis people. The thing is many people have been semi positive about cis people. There are some that, understandably, vent at length about cis people. They need this sort of outlet, and to talk to people that understand. So, she immediately was attacked by lots of people. A few mods stepped in, suggesting the other group. She proclaimed that she'll quit the group since we hate our allies so much. It was strange. If you're an ally, you have to realize people are angry about how they're treated. They don't hate you specifically. They hate the system, the world is set up for binary people, and it seems most cis people are against or at least think they can debate our very existence. They understand binary trans people more than non-binary ones. So, you can see how this can affect the community. Even some binary trans people try to invalidate our existence, yet they're just a very small vocal minority. 

Rosie recently went to the vet's for a check-up. She hadn't had one for 5 years. Basically since Mom passed away. She's the worst of all the cats we've had about getting into the carrier. (We thought Drifter was bad enough about it.) Dad managed to get her in after a major struggle. She threw up a little, pooped, and peed in the process. She was that scared. It was painful to watch. We think she may have been abused by her previous owners by making her stay in a carrier for far too long. She may have had to use it as a bathroom sometimes. Which might be why she claws at things after using the litter box. She may have tried to get out of a carrier once she did her business in it. That makes me feel worse somehow... 

Anyways, she's a little overweight, just like Tasha. So, the plan is for both of them to have weight loss cat food soon. Her teeth were unusually healthy for her age. She's about 9 or 10. We got her around my birthday in 2011. She's updated on her shots now. They clipped her nails, too. She felt better afterwards, and has become even more loving towards me which is kind of creepy in a way. Mostly nice, though. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

21st of Elul 5777

The last day of Elul will be on September 20th, and that night will be the start of Rosh Hashanah or our New Year. (For us, it'll be the year 5778.) It'll also be the start of the month of Tishri. As well as the start of the High Holy Days, which lasts for 10 days. They begin with Rosh Hashanah and end with Yom Kippur. Yom Kippur is lit. the Day of Atonement. Those 10 days are a time of introspection. Reflecting on the previous year, and thinking about what we can do better in the coming year. It's kind of a bittersweet time. Happy, yet somber. 

Again, I won't be able to fast for Yom Kippur this year. I have to have food with my meds, and the meds wouldn't work as well for me without food anyways. Not good for someone with IBD to strictly go without food for so long, either. It'd be considered a sin if I didn't eat, because of all this, too. A similar one to if someone was healthy enough to fast, but didn't. It still gets to me every year for that holiday.
This is my wallpaper for September. From left to right: Takasugi, Gintoki, Katsura, and Sakamoto from Gintama. This is when they fought along side each other during the war against the Amanto (aliens). They're in their more traditional samurai outfits. This was also before they had split up. Takasugi becomes a rather complex enemy through most of the series. Gintoki is the leader of Odd Jobs, and helps people in his neighborhood usually. (He's the main character, and just in case people didn't know about him.) Katsura sometimes helps Gintoki from the sidelines, and they actually seem like they're still close friends. Katsura's basically a terrorist who hates the government. Sakamoto's hardly in the series, yet he's important too. (He shows up a lot more in the last season.) He's a space pirate who's good at doing business with aliens. He has helped both Gintoki and Katsura occasionally. He's a goofball, but very clever. I miss this show. It's my fave anime. There's going to be a new season soon. It'll most likely be the last one, sadly. The last couple of seasons were really serious. Not nearly as much comedy as they normally have. I miss that humor, too. Although, it was still awesome! 

The Pusheen calendar has her in an apron and chef's hat. It says: "Let's bake!" over her head. There are all sorts of baking utencils around her. Apparently, she made some sort of mixture in a big bowl, there's a cracked egg shell near it, and she was rolling some sort of dough with a rolling pin. She's happily sitting in the middle looking at it all. Also, has her front paws put together. There's a cupcake in the actual calendar part. It's cute. There's definitely a theme for some of the last few months. What with her own cafe and now baking stuff...Last month was different with the mermaid, though. (Or is it mercat?) 

The month-long holidays for September are: National Biscuit Month, National Breakfast Month, National Chicken Month, National Honey Month, National Potato Month, National Rice Month, National Cheese Month, Classical Music Month, National Piano Month. Some are for important causes, some are to make you appreciate things you may take for granted, and some are just for fun. 

I've had my iPhone for 3 years now. It's a 5c. It's been amazing, and I can't really imagine life without it now. I never had a smart phone before it. The mobile phone I had before wasn't the greatest. At least, it had a calendar, calculator, a few games, and notes on it. It was a lot harder to navigate. Feels kind of novel just to touch the screen. It really is like a mini computer, too. It feels like I've had it for a longer time than that. 

I've been sick with a nasty cold since the 3rd. It's a lot better than it was towards the beginning, but it's still lingering. It has mostly affected my nose, sinuses, made me dizzy, warm, the air hurts my eyes, and given me a sore throat. At one point, I did have a fever. Luckily, that quickly got better. Occasionally, I've felt cold and hot at the same time. That has felt weird and annoying. 

When it was at its worst, we were having a heatwave of about 90 degrees each day with heavy, sometimes hazardous, smoke. Normally with the heat and smoke, that would be a miserable combo. However, being sick during that time felt horrendous. Almost like nature was against me, too. The smoke was from the eastern Washington wildfires this time. (I'm from the western side of the state.) Before, it was the wildfires from Canada and then Oregon. For the last couple of days, it's been nice and cool, and there doesn't seem to be much smoke. A lot more tolerable. I'm still sick of being sick. Makes it difficult to do stuff, or even eat at times. I've gone through probably an entire tissue box already, and I still have a very runny nose. 

The week before last I managed to practice my clarinet every day, except during that weekend. That was nice. Hadn't gotten to it in a long time. Played better than I thought I would. Obviously, it wasn't perfect, but much better. 

I didn't get to it last week. Mainly because of how sick I was. I managed to practice yesterday and today, though. It was hard to play while at the same time I could barely breathe normally, and my nose was going. I had to take a lot more breaks than usual. Couldn't finish a phrase in one go, either. I'm still happy I was able to do it. Today, I mostly played jazz tunes and a few pieces from my advanced classical music book. It was pretty decent sounding today, too.

The week before last, I managed to write more of both books each day. (Again, except for that weekend.) I didn't write at all last week. I did end up getting to it yesterday and today, though. I've written about 170 pages all together. That's roughly 340 pages in paperback. Quite a lot. Got to another chapter today for the memoir. The previous one was about college, and this one will be about mental health stuff. This will probably be the toughest chapter for me. After this one, it'll be on 'physical' health. That one will have a lot to it, too. The college one was about 12 pages long, and I think it's the longest chapter so far. Moving along quickly with the sequel to Alliance, as well. I'm not sure where it's headed, but it has been fun so far. Also, had some ideas on the cover recently for it. All I'll share on that is it'll still incorporate the teardrop somehow. While writing out the ideas for it, it sounded cool. 

Went to the Washington State Fair on the 3rd. That was fun, even though I was starting to get sick then. I was a little disappointed that the cats and dogs weren't there. They would be later on that week. It was really warm that day. It seemed to take a toll on the animals. They looked so hot. The barns they were in weren't air conditioned. It sometimes felt warmer than outside. I can't imagine having fur in that sort of heat, either. 

We also went through the big insect exhibit. That building had ac. The insects looked happier. I didn't want to see the big spiders alive or their dead mounts, but I liked seeing the other insects. I don't have the same 'issues' with them. They had the big versions of stick bugs. I had the small ones as pets when I was little. I thought they were cool until they multiplied. They ended up getting into everything, and I didn't expect them to do that so quickly. They were worse than the stereotype with bunnies. 

The best animatronic there was probably the preying mantis. The arms completely unfurled, and the movements were cool. The worst was probably the caterpillar. It didn't do much besides loudly grumble and wiggle slightly. Sad. They could have done a lot with that one.

The produce displays were cool. So was seeing the largest pumpkins and largest cabbage there. The cabbage broke the state record. If I remember correctly, it was 65 pounds. That's a lot. 

The collectors' exhibit was really interesting. Some really went all out. There were collections on pez dispensers, legos, Elvis, Paddington Bear, clocks, matchbooks, Americana, and so much more. I was surprised by this one. 

I had an M&M's caramel apple there. I was surprised that they'd cut it for people. Made it easier to eat. It was really good. I don't have caramel apples that often. Makes them more of a treat when I do have them that way. That's the only thing I ate there. There were a lot of tasty looking stuff. I don't know if that was because I was starting to feel sick or something else. I just didn't feel like eating more.

Eventually, the heat was getting to us, so we left a little early. I needed to be somewhere with ac, and was thirsty. So, we went to Elmer's for dinner. I tried their special, which was pumpkin pancakes. It was pretty good. 

Before going to the fair, I got new sunglasses. This time, I didn't care about which side I looked at. That being the women's or men's section. It was a nice and freeing feeling to not care. I think I chose a pair that could have been found in either section. 

I think only looking at the women's section (or women's stuff in general) was influenced by my mom, and just wanting to conform. My mom only looked at the men's watches and shirts occasionally because they were cheaper. Everything else had to come from the women's section. She was strict on that stuff. I don't think people know that freeing feeling unless you're trans. Especially, for me, being agender or other enbies. It's hard to describe. Like I was forced to be a certain way either by society in general, or family and friends unintentionally. Then, the idea that I can 'allow' myself to not care breaks that. It was a small thing, but a nice step I think. 

When I wrote about it in a status on facebook, a couple of people seemed to not really 'get it'. They said things like: "I like men's bathrobes more." "I love men's pj's and dress shirts." I know they probably didn't mean it this way, but it felt like it was similar to women can like men's stuff, too. Yeah, that's true they can. That's great if they do, too. I'm not a woman or a man, though. It kind of feels like the argument that there are all types of women out there, and you're still one you're just confused. Like there's no such thing as being enby. That doesn't sit well with me. Again, I know they didn't mean it this way, but that's how it comes off to me. I honestly want to explore more of what might give me that freeing feeling or good (not sure if that's the right word...) feeling towards 'gendered' things again. It was great. Didn't get much of a response on this in the enby group I'm in on facebook. They don't seem that active, so I might look for another one. There was one person who loved it, and gave me a nice comment at least.

About a couple of weeks ago I started getting baby ads through the mail. Last week I got a big and heavy box of baby formula samples. The last time I got this stuff was when I started college, and it didn't stop until a few years later. I kind of understand at that age. Now...not so much. I also was getting Marlboro ads and samples back then. It got so bad, I had to call them. I've never smoked, and I've never had an interest in it. They were giving me things a lot more often than the baby product people. That's the weird thing with that time and now, the baby product stuff has been from different companies. A little more difficult to stop. Plus, baby and smoking stuff at the same time was bizarre. Maybe they were confused? 

Personally, I'm still iffy about having a baby. I've kind of always wanted one. For the mom and baby stuff, it can be very gendered. That seems like a slight headache for me. The idea that something might be growing inside me is scary. Sometimes, I think of it as like the Sims or an rpg where you can see what a couple's baby will look like. A fun sort of experiment that way, but not in an emotionless way like it might sound...I think it'd be cool to have a little me, too. I'd want them to have their own personality and such, but it still would nice. I think I'd have it done medically and not the 'old fashioned' way. It can be strange for aro aces to not do it medically. I wouldn't want to have a baby now, that's for sure. But, then there's the whole nature's 'clock' thing. If I wait long enough, I suppose I'd settle for adoption. Something about biological ones feels better to me.

It can be difficult for people with IBD to have kids, too. Although, some can have them. I also feel like someday I'm going to want my uterus/ovaries out. Mainly because of health issues, not necessarily gender. Although, recently I have thought about getting a double mastectomy. The main reason's because my mom had breast cancer, my mom's mom had it, and one of her sisters had it, too. I don't even know about others, because they never share that stuff. I saw what it did to my mom, and I don't want that. That's a pretty big reason in itself. 

Gender-wise I feel they're too big. I'd probably want a reduction if there wasn't a family history of breast cancer. This way I can fit into things better, and they wouldn't weird me out as much. Without them, it might still be better for me. They wouldn't get in the way, either. If I did have a baby, I would use formula instead. The whole thing about breast feeding weirds me out anyways. Something about it...I know it's healthier for them, but it just wouldn't feel right for me. 

Recently someone, in a general LGBTQ+ group on facebook, asked when people realized their sexuality, and how late in life is too late. Like, what's the cut off age or something. I think the first time I knew I was like this was when I was 8 or 9. Much earlier for my gender. Essentially, when adults started splitting boys and girls up, and treated us differently. Just didn't have the words yet. At 16, I denied it. At 31 (just over a year ago), I realized and embraced being ace. Realized I was aro around late October that year. Realized my gender much more recently. I think it can take an entire lifetime, and even then someone might never know their sexuality. Some might deny it their entire lives, too. This can also be applied to gender. It's sad. I think I read an article a while back about a man who realized he was gay on his deathbed. He didn't know what he felt towards men was actually sexual attraction. He just thought every man was supposed to get married to a woman and have kids. Just going through the motions. It's cool he realized it, but sad it took so long. 

Finished watching Shetland on Netflix. It was pretty good. Sometimes, it dragged a bit. It was interesting to see the landscape, and the accent was cool to hear. Most of the cases were 2-parters. However, the last season was all one case. So, it was 6 episodes long. Not sure if there will be another season. 

Also, started watching a Taiwanese mystery series on Netflix called Close Your Eyes Before It's Dark. It's surprisingly good. It's about a high school reunion of a hiking club that vacation at a cabin in the woods. They used to play a game that has the same name as the show's title. Where they pick cards, and whoever gets the joker is the killer. Once everyone closes their eyes, the killer picks the victim he killed during the night. Then, they open their eyes, and the victim is revealed. They have to guess who killed them. In the present, people are actually being killed. They realize it's actually one of their own, but they don't know who yet. It has been kind of comical when they cut to the corpses, and they're talking to each other. The first person who was killed was even more funny by herself. They don't actually move, which makes it creepier. So far, only 2 have been killed. I think another one will happen very soon. They set it up in an interesting way. Each episode is an hour and a half. Really long, but they keep the tension going the entire time. I like the opening sequence, too. Very artfully done, and a bit edgy. Although, it seems to have spoilers. They hint at the deaths. With the first 2, I've noticed that they've shown things related to them. Like a gun firing off. The background music is great, as well. 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Banana Lovers Day!

The holiday was yesterday. I love bananas! They seem to be a very unique fruit, to me. I prefer to eat one with breakfast. I've also cooked them in coconut milk. That was interesting, and really tasty. I think it was a Cambodian recipe. They're good toasted, too. 

The month of Elul started on the 23rd. It's the last month before the High Holy Days. A custom during this time is to blow the shofar each morning. (Except on Shabbat, of course.) It's to awaken our souls to those holidays. I managed to remember to do it today. Yay! Also, got a long note out of it the first time trying to blow it. Usually, I'm not used to it, so it takes a few tries at first. 

This also means Rosh Hashanah, our New Year, is coming up fast. I'm going to do what I've been doing for the last 2 years for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. That's going to online services. Even though I know I'm not on an immunosuppressant anymore, it seems nicer to me. I also don't have sit in a very crowded room. Oftentimes, it gets really warm with that many people. The synagogues I can 'visit' are gorgeous, too. They sometimes have stuff going on between those holidays. Not just the Shabbat services in between. 

Dad and I were recently at a rally against hate, and some people I knew from one of the local congregations saw us. We chatted for a little while. I don't know why, but they seem to always try to encourage Dad to go to services. Funny, because she's not Jewish. I'm Jewish, and they don't seem as gung-ho with me. It's off-putting. I think one of them was surprised when Dad said she wasn't Jewish. It's not like she's hiding that. 

They did ask me why I wasn't going to services. I was trying to be polite, and told them for a while it was because of the immunosuppressants, which was partially true. I know both congregations have new rabbis, and one of them basically had a huge overhaul to what they used to do. It's just...I don't particularly like most of the members of either. There are a handful I really like, but that's not really enough. The others try to mother me every time they see me. Or, talk about my mom. Or, think I'm a mini version of her. Many also were rather rude when they found out my Dad's trans. (Some just continued to be that way.) Some have tried to set me up in the past. Some have inquired when I'll find another boyfriend. They get gossipy and catty sometimes. That's not my cup of tea, and I'd rather go to services to pray, than have all that other stuff. Also, we're supposed to be against gossiping...It creates a weird and semi-hostile environment for me. I haven't felt that way at other synagogues I've visited. Maybe because they didn't have a history with me? 

I had a gastro appointment last Monday. I wasn't able to get one with an MD, but the only one that was available was a PA or Physician's Assistant. She actually listened and gave me more options to relieve my symptoms. 

She wanted me to go on Lialda. It's a very similar to balsalazide, which is an anti-inflammatory med. Balsalazide was really great at first, but soon stopped working. Often, people respond better to Lialda if the other one stopped working. She said she was very hesitant about prescribing a biologic, but if this doesn't work out, that's my last option. I don't have to take nearly as much as when I was taking balsa. It's just 2 huge pills a day, instead of 9 huge plastic capsules a day. (Had 3 three times a day, and felt like I was just filling up on plastic.) These look a lot like they're ibuprofen on steroids. The only side effect I've noticed so far has been a bit of heartburn. 

She said in the future I may need to have surgery. I really don't want to, and told her that I'd like to try everything before that. She seemed surprised, but still talked about the possibility of surgery. She said they'd have to know whether I have Crohn's or UC in order to see what would work. I've read/been told that it's important to know which it is, in general. I told the specialist before about that, and she brushed me off. The PA did at first, telling me the treatment would be the same. However, she changed her tune about that. She's making sure to write IBD on my records now. That was what they said I was diagnosed with at first. Not specifically Crohn's or UC. I like that more if they don't know.

She wanted me to try the trazodone my primary prescribed. I was unsure about it. Mainly because it's considered an anti-depressant. I have gone through countless ones in the past. I have something that's been perfect for what I actually have. I didn't want it to mess with that, too. She told me it's a very light one, and hardly prescribed for that. It's mostly for sleep. So far, I think it's slightly working. 

She wanted me to try peppermint oil pills. Didn't really elaborate on that much. Looked it up, and it's usually used for a variety of gastrointestinal stuff. Often, for nausea, abdominal pain, and heartburn. Sometimes for sleep. It wasn't available anywhere in town, but Amazon had a huge selection. It smells awesome! Not bad when taking it. The side effects so far have been burping a bit more, and burps tasting and smelling like mint. 

I also got some blood tests done. All of them have come back normal, despite still feeling several symptoms. My sed rate was the lowest it has been so far. Sed rate is how fast red blood cells fall in a tube. The stickier they are, the more they clump up. Those drop the fastest. Those clumps are an indicator of high inflammation. The normal range is 0-20. My highest was 44. This last one was 18. A good number.

She wanted me to try going back to a fiber supplement, and miralax when I need it. I didn't want to, but am trying it again. I noticed Citrucel, which is what I used before, is normally full of sugar. So, I tried to get the sugar free one. When I got home, I looked at the ingredients more closely. It had aspertame as one of the main ingredients. Something I can't have. So, I returned it, and looked on Amazon for one. I noticed regular Benefiber was sugar free and aspertame free. I got it. First time I had it was in water. It was really nasty. The second time I tried it in hot chai. To my surprise, I couldn't taste it in that. Maybe the heat dissolved it more or something. At least, I know a better way to take it now.

She also thinks the low FODMAP diet would help me. It stands for: Fermentable, Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyols. It's supposed to be a temporary diet, and is used for many gastrointestinal disorders/diseases. Main ones being IBS, IBD, and Celiac Disease. It's to help figure out trigger foods that make symptoms worse. Sounds great in theory. I'm not sure I'm ready for the diet yet. It's very restrictive, very small portions with some things (many people have issues with figuring out how to have enough calories for the day), elimination part lasts for 3-8 weeks (you take out the foods high in FODMAPs right away), and you have to add foods back in gradually after that. I think she mentioned I could do the main part for 4 weeks. It's also supposed to help give your gut a rest during that time. Many people feel much better during it. I could still have some of my favorite foods, at least.

I got a few other things from Amazon. One of those was pajamas. I was only down to one pair before. They were really old, winter-like heavy, and way too big. I could barely keep the pants up, and was swimming in the shirt. These new pajamas are amazing! They feel velvety, comfy, it fits me way better, and could probably be used in any season. The only issues I have with them is they're slightly too long in the sleeves and pants, and other parts of it are a little too big as well. I got it in 2 sizes smaller than my old PJs. Yay! 

I also got a purse. My old one was about a decade old, discolored, full of holes, and one of the zipper 'pulls' fell off. It had corduroy-like fabric and was really durable. I loved it, but it was time. The new one has more pockets, I think it might be able to hold more in general, and looks nice. It has vinyl-like fabric. The old one used to be beige with a leather strap and zipper pulls. This one is coffee-colored, and has metal pulls, which would be better in the long run. 

My new sneakers came today. They're Skecher's instead of Champions. I've never had Skecher's shoes before. I heard they were good, so why not? My old shoes weren't available in the same brand/type of shoe as a 7.5 regular anymore. They just had the wide version. I'm not wide anymore. I tried to find shoes that were a similar style and color. These ones are mainly navy with pink trim. The old ones were black with a lighter pink trim. Not that much different. These new ones have thicker soles, better tread, and are a lot more cushiony. At first, one shoe didn't feel good, but over time it has gotten better. Probably needs some breaking in. The only issue I have with them is the shoelaces are a little short. Although, maybe they'll be similar to my old shoes on that. Those laces seemed to grow (probably loosened) so much, I had to quadruple-tie them. 

With one of the recent arcs I watched of One Piece, I can tell Luffy is definitely aro ace. I know the mangaka recently said it, but this cemented it even more for me. He was thrown by himself to an island called Amazon Lilly. Like the name, it's a country of Amazon women. Men were banned from entering the territory. Most of the women had never seen men before. They threw in both the legends of the Amazon women and Medusa for that arc. They always had snakes around them, and Boa Hancock or the Snake Princess (their leader) has the ability to turn people to stone. Specifically, people who are attracted to her romantically/sexually or who greatly admire her. She's considered very beautiful and most men seem to have a thing for her. I actually think she has a slight masculine look. I can't pinpoint what makes me think that, though. The only man who hasn't felt anything towards her and her powers don't work on him, has been Luffy. Even her citizens aren't immune to it. He didn't feel anything like that towards the other women, either. Never felt it towards the men they've met on their journey for that matter. Since he's uneffected and has gone up against a group that once enslaved her, she's fallen hard for him. It's kind of comical. She's helping him a great deal now. I have a feeling she'll become a member of his crew. She can't seem to stay away from him for very long. That'd be cool. She came off as a bitch at first, but I like her now. She already doesn't like the idea that there are 2 women in his crew. There needs to be more. With her, it'll be 3 women and 7 men. Slightly better. 

I'm trying to be better about my writing this week. I essentially didn't write at all for roughly 3 weeks. Longest span of time between writing so far. That's not good. I'm trying to keep up with writing both the sequel to Alliance and the memoir each day. I've noticed my average page count has been 2-3 pages each. (4-6 altogether.) It's not bad, but I want to write more. The problem has been with my computer slowing down while I write. I probably would have done a lot more each day if it was up to speed. Honestly, I stop when I get too frustrated, do something in between, and write the other until I get frustrated again. If I had been writing during those 3 weeks and my computer was running smoothly, I might have either finished them or been close. I'm up to 145 pages altogether. (About 290, again altogether, in paperback.) That's a lot. 

I've made it to writing the 'college' chapter in the memoir. This might be a long section, as well. The previous one was on school up to that point. 

The sequel has had a huge twist recently. I'm even surprised that it popped up in my head. It's a huge turning point to say the least. Some questions have been answered with it, but it's brought a new crop of questions up. 

I'm also going to try to practice my clarinet on a regular basis. Didn't do much of it at all this summer. I did it today, and didn't sound nearly as bad as I thought I would. It was fun to get back to. 

I'm also trying to stick more to my normal 'diet'. For the last few days, I haven't cared. Always interesting to keep track of it with My Fitness Pal's app. I also want to be better about going to bed at a decent time. That way I can get up at a better time, and actually have more of a morning. Last night I went to bed at 9:30pm. I probably didn't actually fall asleep first until about 10:30pm. Still half-woke up every so often during the night. I fully woke up, naturally, at 7:30am. Not bad.

It was really warm today. About 90 degrees. So, I planned to practice my clarinet first thing in the morning, and write right after that. I normally get really warm when I practice. My 'break' between writing the stories was lunch time. I immediately turned off my computer after writing the last story. Helped with keeping it tolerable in my room for a while. It's going to be really warm off and on throughout the week. So, I might continue to do it this way for now.

Monday, August 14, 2017

8th Blogoversary!

I wasn't able to post on the actual day, so at least it's still within the same month. The actual anniversary was on the 6th. I had several blogs scattered over the internet before that. They were at places like LiveJournal, certain forums that had a member's blog area (most of those don't exist anymore), Wordpress, and Xanga. None of them were kept up on a regular basis. As far as I know, my LJ and Wordpress blogs are still up. Haven't posted anything to them basically since I started this blog. At some point, I realized I was spread out too thin, so I decided to make this my main and basically only blog. I still used/am using deviantART's journal for art updates or major events. (That's been less often than it used to be.) Nothing like this, though. Interestingly, I did make 2 other blogs eventually through Blogger. One's supposed to be a place to practice my Japanese, and the more newer one is to 'discuss' or put my thoughts, opinions, and ideas down. I haven't posted to that newer one in just over a year. I like the idea for this one. It's been a longer time for the other one. These 2 subsets of blogs are quite different than this one.

Hopefully, I can post more often on here in the future. It was way too hot to turn my desktop computer on earlier this month. There isn't really a good Blogger app, and it's difficult to type from my phone to the regular site. Kind of sucks. Otherwise, I would have been posting. 

Hopefully, this blog can keep going for many more years. It's been going longer than any of my previous blogs. I've never written in a diary/offline journal for this long, either. I wasn't into keeping a diary, but I did have one as a kid. It was off and on, and then I forgot about it within about a year or 2 of getting it. Even had a little lock on it.

If something happens to Blogger, hopefully I can move everything to another host. Blogger hasn't exactly been the best the last couple of years. It's been worse since their latest big update. Although, I'm grateful to have a place to post to. There are a lot of pros to it still. 
This is my wallpaper for August. It's Sebastian from Kuroshitsuji or Black Butler. Thought it was a cool one, although more serious than usual. The current arc in the manga has had a couple of the biggest twists to the entire story. (Spoilers ahead, if you don't want them, skip this paragraph.) The mangaka (creator) was hinting a lot about what would happen, and we somewhat suspected. However, it makes Ciel's life sound even more cruel and disturbing than we thought. There were elements that were unpredictable. The part that most people were suspecting that was correct was that Ciel has an identical twin. We couldn't suspect much more than that. That's what I love about the mangaka. She makes you think you have it all figured out, but she turns it around. Not only is she an outstanding artist, but her storytelling is brilliant! Anyways, he has an identical twin, but the Ciel we know is not actually the 'real' Ciel. It's not his actual name. We don't know his name (or even if he has one), but he's apparently a 'replacement' for the real Ciel in case he dies or something. He wasn't really treated as well as it seemed when his parents were alive. Sebastian seemed genuinely surprised that the Ciel he knew wasn't really who he said he was. That's saying a lot. It's hinted that the real Ciel was killed off, but he apparently has come back to life and showed up at the mansion. Most of the staff had no clue. Now, they're not sure who to believe. A lot of fans think the ones who were behind illegally taking people's blood were really saving it up to bring him (real Ciel) to life. Probably the Undertaker is really behind that. Not sure where it's really going with this. Does this mean Sebastian and 'fake' Ciel's contract is void? That could go down many ways. 

The Pusheen calendar has her as a mermaid. Or, would that be mercat? She has a head ornament that's a yellow star coming from her ear and 3 pearls coming off of it. It's weird to see her as half fish with the tail and fins. She looks happy, though. There are 2 different shells near her, and another one in the actual calender part. 

The month-long holidays for August are: National Panini Month, National Peach Month, National Goat Cheese Month. Some are for important causes, some are to make you appreciate things you may take for granted, and some are just for fun. Not much this time, but interesting mix. 

I started this post on my desktop computer a couple of days ago. The internet connection was pretty strong that day. However, ever since then it has been having issues with it. It recognizes the 'options', but usually doesn't connect. When it does, it's only for a few minutes. It's frustrating. So, I bit the bullet and am trying a blogging app on my iPhone. I'm not sure how good it'll be yet. The problem is Blogger itself doesn't actually have an app. So, it's a little iffy. We'll see how this goes. So far, so good, I guess. If this works out, I might post more often. (More likely to have much shorter posts this way.)

I noticed that my desktop computer is actually 12 years old. It was Dad's before it was mine. I think I've had it for about 9 of those years. It uses Windows XP, which Microsoft doesn't support anymore. This also means there are no security updates. That's risky. No matter how much I dust it, it still seems to 'overwork' itself. It becomes really noisy, fan sounds like it has issues, etc. Even writing with it using Word has been frustrating. It has been slowing down a lot lately. It's been a really good computer, though. 

In the future, I think it'd be nice to have in all-in-one desktop computer. It has everything packed into the monitor. Complete with USB ports, disk drive, headphone jack, speakers, etc. on the outside. They seem to have a wireless adaptor inside, some have Cortana, most have a webcam built in, and more. They've come a long way since this computer came out. Plus, it seems they're cheaper, too. I think I'd want another Windows one. I like and am more used to Windows for PC. Plus, Amazon and Smashwords (if I ever go back to that) only want Word docs for submitting manuscripts. So, in that way it makes sense. The only Apple product I'm familiar with is my iPhone. That's not the same to me. Although, right now it feels like it's turned into my main computer...

For the first week of it being hot out, I wrote more of the sequel to Alliance and the memoir in Notes on my phone. Got quite a lot of it done. Even wrote down a lot of ideas for later on in those books. I'm not sure if I'll just write everything from Notes to Word on my PC, or somehow get the connection to work long enough to copy and paste from it in my email. (Notes can be saved to my gmail account.) I always save the Word docs to a flash drive, so when I'm finally done writing/editing these, I can probably use another computer to submit it or something. It's still frustrating, though.

Some people/articles on fb have been talking about teachers teaching kids about gender. Often, the articles exaggerate it. I wrote out my take on it on fb. It really comes down to: why would people have a problem with their kids learning about gender? What is so wrong or too 'mature' about it? I think many people get it confused with sex. That also needs to be taught, but that's a whole 'nother can of worms. Are people worried their kids will turn trans or something? The teachers aren't going to tell them how to think or feel. It's not like brainwashing. Kids, *gasp*, might realize they are trans or don't want to conform to their strict gender's rules. This could also greatly help with acceptance from other kids. What's so wrong about kids being educated about another aspect of the world around them? It's kind of like parents being up in arms about kids learning about Russia, and thinking they'll turn Russian or something. That's how ridiculous it sounds. The argument that it's the parents' job is very problematic. Some parents will beat up their kids just for asking, some won't know how to explain it (even if they're well-meaning), and some kids will be scared to even ask about it. 

I've been thinking about joing a closed non-binary group on fb. They don't allow people who aren't enby. Basically, a completely enby space. Not used to a group that excludes allies. However, it might help with finding others like me, hearing people's stories, and learning more about myself. I know that a lot of enby pages and groups on there are being attacked by haters lately. So, it's understandable. They want people to fill out a form before they approve you to join. Feels kind of weird. It would especially be nice to meet other agender people through it. 

I'm unsure if I have gender dysphoria or not. It's a bit different than people who have a gender. I hate seeing myself naked. I get dressed and undressed as quickly as I can. Been like that for most of my life. In the past, I never liked undressing in front of people in locker rooms, so I'd either change under a towel or in a bathroom stall. The only reason I wanted bigger breasts at some point was because the girls in the locker room made fun of them. (They somehow saw them.) Saying I had mosquito bites instead. I also didn't fill up tops/dresses too well. Then, my breasts suddenly grew big during college. I thought I'd like it, but I didn't. It's never felt 'right'. I'm seriously thinking about getting a reduction or a complete mastectomy. A reduction would be for things to still fit ok, because I do like to wear 'feminine' things. However, there's a history of breast cancer in my family. My mom being the closest relative that had it; but my grandma on that side had it, and I think an aunt did, too. So, there's a high probability I might develop it, as well. If they're taken out, that risk goes way down. So, multiple reasons for it. Again, I'm not sure if this stuff is gender dysphoria or maybe just body dysphoria...There are other elements to it, too. I suppose talking with other enbies would help. 

I recently got a newsletter from the enby group in Seattle. They apparently have been meeting at each other's houses, but now have an actual meeting place. I've been there before. It's a nice and quiet conference room at a cafe. Those regular meetings are only for enbies (no allies), and people who are 16+. They do have other get togethers during the month. Most of those are for all ages and genders. They have a camping trip coming up. That sounds fun. Very interesting group. Oh, they're getting big enough that they're thinking of splitting off into groups during their regular meetings. I wonder if that means there might be enough for an agender subgroup? That'd be cool. 

Since I wasn't interested in too many of this season's new anime, I've been watching mostly One Piece. Even Boruto has kind of bored me. Re:Creator is interesting, but seems to be really stretching it out. The others I was watching are somewhat old. I do want to go back to those, but I did get a bit tired of them. One Piece on the other hand, has only gotten better. 

I'm close to the 400th episode mark now. About halfway to where it's at currently. They now have Franky, who's a cyborg, and Brook, who's a skeleton. I like them both. Brook a bit more, though. His story is one of the most tragic ones so far. He ate a fruit that brings you back to life. He didn't know how that would work until after he died. I think he said his soul couldn't find him for 5 years, and he had already became a skeleton by then. He didn't see anyone for decades, and someone stole his shadow at some point. He mostly 'lived' on the same ship his fellow crew members died in, during that entire time. He's a musician. Apparently, can play almost any instrument, but prefers the violin and piano. In fact, the last thing he did before dying was sing and play the piano. Right now, they're trying to get to Fishman Island. It's underwater. There's apparently a way to take a ship down there. 

When it was so hot out, there was also a lot of smoke from the Canadian wildfires. So, 2 unhealthy things happening at the same time. I felt sick to my stomach every morning and afternoon. I think my gut issues got worse during this time. They actually had warnings about going outside in that weather. It was crazy. Luckily, we did go to other places during this time. Like the movies, eating out, going to Port Townsend, and more. 

We got a new clock yesterday! Yay! It's a big analog clock, on a brick wall, hanging over the fireplace in the family room. It's got an old looking map of the world, a separate seconds face, and interesting hands. Kind of reminds me of a ship or something. It's cool looking. 

Also, a couple of months ago I got some new towels and a bathmat. The previous towels were falling apart. These ones are nice, but the ridges/bumps to them take a bit of getting used to. I didn't have a real bathmat before. It was just a green towel. This is nice, though. Really fluffy, there's memory foam, and the backing sticks the floor. Just putting my feet on it feels nice. The cats are scared of it, for some reason. Especially Rosie. Like, it's some new creature or something to her. There's evidence that Tasha sleeps or lays on it, because of the fur she leaves behind. I would have thought both of them would love it.