Tuesday, January 24, 2017

National Cheese Lovers Day!


This holiday was a little while ago. I love cheese!:iconinloveplz:Great there's a day to celebrate it! I don't particularly like the really smelly/strong kind. I'm still doing my cheese journey. Slacking a bit on it lately, but that's ok. I want to try many different kinds of cheese from all over the world. (It's kind of like visiting those countries.) Ones I can tolerate, at least. I've had a couple of different cheddars, Colby, Gouda, mozzarella, and a couple of others during this 'journey'. I think I started it actually a year ago. I wanted to try a different one every month. However, since I'm the only one eating them, and most don't come in small portions, some take me longer than a month. I tried the mozzarella from Costco, and that was enough for an army.:wow:Had to throw some of it out. I was eating it for almost 2 months, though. I want to try a lot of the cheese there, and they're imported from all over the world, but they come in huge packages. The mozzarella seemed to be the smallest amount. Some types of cheese I only see there. Kind of sad. There are still a lot at our local international market. I can peruse those for a while.

There's a weird theory that keeps popping up in various ace 'spaces' online. It honestly sounds bigoted and feels wrong to me.:iconannoyedgin-plz:It's the theory that aces and the rest of the LGBTQ+ community are really nature's population control. This makes people sound like they're not human. They also bring up that maybe that's the case for animals that seem gay or ace. There are many issues with this.:iconsighingplz:

With the animal one, they may actually be more fluid than people realize. In certain situations and environments, they can 'change' and reproduce. I just read an article recently about a species of beetle where the males will have sex with beer bottles most of their lives. At some point, this changes and they have sex with females, then they go back to the bottles. Not sure what the females do in the meantime.:iconseychelles-plz:Maybe it's only when the females are 'in heat'. Things aren't necessarily static for animals.

All humans, unless they're infertile, have the ability to have babies. This is regardless of sexual or gender orientation. I'm living proof that trans people can have kids.:iconheroamericaplz:Looking at it another way, I came from 2 women 'naturally'. This boggles many straight cis people's minds. (Particularly conservatives.) My existence breaks their fragile idea of it. I don't know why many people seem to think that if someone tells you they're trans, or gay, or ace they assume that the person is sterile. That's what they imply when this stuff comes up. Seems like an odd thing for aces to say.:iconswissplz:Although, I don't know if those people were just 'allies'.

There are many ways gay and ace people can have kids without even doing it the 'natural' way. So many more options than there used to be, which is awesome!:iconranranruuplz:There seemed to be some elitist ace responses to it, too. There are a few factions of ace elitists. All of them seem to look down on sexual people as a whole. Some especially look down on straight people. This isn't cool to me. It's hating on most of the world. These are family members, friends, neighbors, etc. Many of whom have the potential to be strong allies. It's like them attacking everyone in the LGBTQ+. Don't turn it around. Be better than that.

Anyways, one of those elitist aces, responded to my first post on facebook about it. She said that straight people are continuously popping out babies. They have unexpected and unwanted pregnancies. Apparently, according to her, gay and ace people don't have unexpected pregnancies. They plan each one, if they have them only using those methods I mentioned. And, it's rare. It still reduces the population. So, much wrong with this!:iconohboyamericaplz:I mentioned that there are infertile straight people. They might just continually have miscarriages. (Which is heartbreaking.) They might not want kids. Some have health issues where it could be fatal if they do get pregnant. Many plan it out. They're not just popping them out like crazy. (Also, implies they're just baby-making machines.) Many gay and ace people have unexpected pregnancies. I don't think it's rare for LGBTQ+ people to have kids. Many of the older members that I know have had kids the 'natural' way. Some have more than one kid. They still have functioning reproductive organs. Unless trans people (and others) decide to have certain surgeries before actually having kids. That's a different matter. (And, even then, there are ways to have biological kids. Like, banking their sperm or eggs beforehand, and using a surrogate.) Many, just like straight people, might not want kids. Many do, though.

She didn't respond to my post, and no one commented further in that thread. One person liked my response. I also know that person is ace and has a kid she adores. I'm assuming since no one commented after me, that people realized how damaging and weird a theory it was. I hope so. It's also funny when I try to debate things, and it most of the time ends with my response. I think people get nervous around others who have things like knowledge, experience, bring up common sense, and facts on the subject. At least, online anyways. Oh, and especially when that person's a woman. Heaven forbid a woman knows what she's talking about...:iconkikuplz:When I debate, I actually want the other side to 'challenge' me. (Not in a mean way, but actually have a polite and civil back and forth.) It can be fun. Sometimes it does change my view. Not entirely to their side, but enough to see why they feel the way they do. Sometimes I actually learn new things through it. When there's no one to challenge what I say during it, it kind of feels one-sided and like the air was sucked out of a balloon. There's not much substance. On the other hand, I like educating people, and telling them what's dangerously on the verge of being bigoted. So, there is something with this sort of 'discussion', if no one responds after me.

I also changed my facebook 'about me' section. I made it so people who aren't friends or friends of friends, can't see it. So, once I accept someone's friend request they can see it. I decided to say more about who I actually am. Not just what I'm into. I mentioned I'm aro ace, my platonic attraction, that I'm a Jew, author of 2 novels (and mentioned them), when I was diagnosed with colitis, what I studied at WSU, and then what I'm into. I'm debating whether I should have a short bio...:iconpolandplz:The one that would go on the main profile page. (Near the pronunciation of the person's name.) And, if I should allow people I don't know to see it.

Went to last Wednesday's support group meeting. Someone who's relatively new asked how I was. I mentioned my pain with colitis stuff. I thought it would be a short thing. She kept going on and on about diet, and what she thought would be best for me. Felt like I was on a runaway train with no way to get off.:iconawkwardplz:She said I should be open and listen to what others suggest. Nope, the only people I should listen to are the medical team that deals with my case, myself, and maybe (a big maybe) people who have gone through something similar. People who are giving advice on something like that, who aren't a part of that community, don't have much of a say in the matter. I even told her that diet won't cure it, and has nothing to do with the disease itself. It's not going to care what you eat. It'll just continue doing what it has been doing. Meds (and sometimes surgery) are pretty much the only things that can slow it down and possibly get it into remission.

I posted about this on that facebook IBD closed group I recently joined, and got a lot of responses. It's apparently a big thing in the community about people giving them unsolicited health and diet advice.:iconnorwayunimpressedplz:Most seemed really bitter about it. Some haven't encountered it much, and said things like maybe they just wanted to show you that they cared. One person's response seemed weird and hard to read. They were giving advice on how ingesting aluminum and other metals would help, and probably will cure it. It was bizarre.:iconwtfukplz:They probably didn't actually have IBD. I'm not sure if that would work, but it sounds dangerous. Nobody liked it, and they seemed to ignore them. I find a lot of the posts in that group interesting. Some are really sad, some are supportive/motivational, some share success stories, some ask for medication/treatment advice, ask about symptoms, some on diet, some about trigger foods, surprisingly a lot on using medicinal marijuana, some are scary, etc.

One of the scary ones was about a woman who was stuck in a hospital. She couldn't walk, the doctor wouldn't give her pain killers, they wouldn't help with her dehydration, wouldn't call her gastro, the nurse never answered her calls to do things like go to the bathroom, and other things. She was really worried. People responded with all sorts of interesting, and seemingly very useful, advice. She stopped responding entirely.:iconitalyishorrifiedplz:No posts in other threads. With the last one, she was debating on how to switch to another hospital. She was in a lot of pain. I really hope she got help, that the people looking after her now know more about IBD, and they're generally treating her better. Some of the posts I can relate to. There was even one about colon scarring and pain. Another was about pain after being supposedly in remission. With looking at some of them, it feels like I'm not alone in what I'm dealing with. That can be a good thing, and I'm glad I joined. Probably should join another one to get more of a mix. Although, this one's very active and has a ton of members.

Lately, I've been trying to be better about staying away from certain foods. Also, staying away from raw and unpeeled (if it has a peel) fruit and vegetables. It's also been a bit difficult, because I don't have much of an appetite anyways.:iconwtfromanoplz:Dinner's pretty much my only 'big meal' of the day. I've been skipping snacks, too. My breakfast lately has consisted of just a little Honey Nut Cheerios with a splash of milk, and some water. The cereal has been about half a serving. Not much. Lunch has been a little more unpredictable. Today I had some rice with dehydrated onions, Greek feta dressing, and some meatballs. Again, with the water. I just realized, I haven't had much fruit and vegetables...:iconusaplz:Had spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. A slice of cake for dessert. (Which I made a few days ago. It's like a cinnamon sponge cake.) The pasta thing had quite a bit of vegetables. Still, looking at the whole day, I probably haven't had enough. Maybe I'll try to peel an apple and bake it in the microwave for my late snack? Maybe add a little cinnamon?

I also don't think miralax is working anymore.:iconhanatamagoplz:I usually have it with my late snack along with a probiotic. Lately, that and the tea the miralax is mixed in is all I've had for that snack. I skipped a couple of nights to see how different it would be. It's not really. I almost feel like I'm flaring again, only with the constipation this time. This scares me a bit. I've read that some people do start flaring after their colonoscopy. It's like the stress they put on their bodies beforehand and the anesthetic, switched it 'on'. If I am, I hope it's not affecting the areas that were already damaged. That would be like a double punch.:iconlietplz:I'll see my gastro next month and see what she has to say. Hopefully she'll at least prescribe pain meds.

Gintama has been amazing!:iconfrancisplz:I'll be posting spoilers in this section, so if you're watching it and haven't gotten to the most current episode, you might want to skip this. They all went to Kagura and Kamui's home planet. I like that we might get more of a background on them. They basically overthrew the new shogun. His army deserted him, and he's been taken hostage by Gintoki and the others. Their main objective, at the moment, is to save Takasugi. Umibozu, who's Kagura and Kamui's father, met up with the people keeping Takasugi safe until the others arrive. Kamui's the leader of that group, but is missing. Umibozu is only there to find and kill him. Yet, he's helping Kamui's group? And, the 2nd in command is ok with this? Although, he hates Kamui himself. There was a tradition amongst the Yato (their alien race) where the son eventually has to kill his father. That tradition was abolished, because their population was dwindling. Kamui still wants to fulfill it. So, they've had this 'spat' for a while. They're 2 of the most powerful characters. After Gintoki and the others meet up with that group, they plan to fight Utsuro. Who apparently was, Shouyo, their teacher from the past. They thought he was beheaded. He was, but somehow came back to life, and went back to being called Utsuro. Shouyo was kind and caring towards them, but Utsuro is the exact opposite. They say he's over 500 years old. I think he's been trying to find ways to kill himself, while at the same time trying to dominate planets/the space 'government'. He came from a planet that people have mined to power most of what they use in their universe. So, it's a very valuable resource. The story keeps getting more and more interesting. They still have thrown in several of the usual gags and humor, which is nice. One of them was Elizabeth fell out of their 'outfit'. They always wear a bird-like outfit. They write on signs to communicate. (So, you never hear their voice.) They've only really shown their hairy legs. Nobody knows what gender they are, or what they really look like. They fell out of the suit, yet still didn't show us what they look like...:iconromanoplz:I like how the creator seems to mess with gender and people's views on it. One of the reasons why I love this show. Also, he messes with the ideas of sexuality.

Watched the Gintama: Aizome Kaori-hen or Love Incense Arc OVA. It was hilarious.:iconlaughingplz:Each character was falling for several other characters. At one point, Gintoki ended up saying he didn't care what age a woman was. (Although, he usually ended up with elderly women.) He did get together with Kondo towards the end. So, it wasn't just hetero pairings. It was about incense that once you inhale the smoke, you fall in love with the first person you see. It was in Yoshiwara, which is known to be a town of prostitutes. The person behind it wanted everyone to love each other. She felt she couldn't be with the one she loved, but other people could be. She wanted them to praise her, too. Once a big stash of that heart-shaped incense caught fire, the smoke filled the entire town. Later, they burned a big pile of broken heart-shaped incense. Apparently, it would counteract the effects. Afterwards, Gintoki seemed almost like those elitist sex-repulsed aces I referred to earlier. He didn't want anything to do with sex or even imagine it. He saw Tsukuyo's dress and freaked out. Saying she needed to cover up. He had a problem with her cleavage. Normally, he's very perverted.

Been watching elDLIVE, too. I'm not sure I like the anime version as much. The cut scenes are strange. It's got Chuuta from the waist down walking past in his school uniform. Seems awkward at times. They've also been using bright stripes in the background for some scenes. The manga isn't like that. One good thing is the voice actress for Drew is the same one that does Kagura from Gintama, and Happy from Fairy Tail. She's awesome! Almost as good as the voice actor who voices Gintoki. Maybe they'll get better as it progresses. I still get to see the stuff from the manga come to life. I probably should read more of the manga. Haven't for a while.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

National Hot Tea Day!


This was a while ago, but I love tea!:dummy:Why not keep celebrating it? Most of the time, I only drink water or tea. I currently have orange spice, and vanilla chai. Really tasty ones. I love almost every tea I've tried. Some of the ones I love are: chai (regular and other varieties), mint, green, chamomile, hibiscus, cinnamon (I've made this from scratch before), Jasmine, berry, ginger (sometimes), apple cinnamon, lemon, pumpkin spice, and more. I normally just add some Splenda to it. Depending on if it's something like chai, I might add a little milk to it, too. Tried it with mint, and that was interesting. Kind of like mint cream.

This will probably be a little long.:iconhanatamagoplz:I decided to get back to doing things with the local ace facebook page. I talked about how I recently found out I'm aro, and brought up the very basic sexual/romantic orientations. There are so many more than what the pic showed...:iconawkwardplz:I find it fascinating that there are more. On the whole, as humans, we're a lot more complicated than just being gay or straight. I don't think the general public understands this. I find it makes us more interesting and awesome.:w00t:However, I also was majoring in anthropology while in college, so that might shape how I view it.:iconseychelles-plz:It's lit.: The Study of Man. Most people say The Study of Humans instead. So, yeah, it's all about us. Many people don't know that their romantic orientation can be different than their sexual one. Even if you're neither ace nor aro. All of them share the same prefix. Some other ones that weren't listed: fray-: attracted to someone until they meet that person, then it fades (it's considered the opposite of demi-), lithro-: someone who does feel romantic/sexual attraction but doesn't want/need it reciprocated, abro-: someone who has a fluid or rapidly changing romantic/sexual orientation that fluctuates between different ones, and quoi- (or WTF-): basically, someone who can't distinguish between another type of attraction. For the last one, if they're quoiromantic, they can't really tell the difference between platonic and romantic attraction. I suppose for the sexual part, they might not be able to tell the difference between romantic and sexual attraction. I've mostly heard about the romantic version.  

I also wanted to bring up the idea of different attractions. Used how I feel, and where I land for some of it as an example. Like I did on here a while back. It's handy to learn about them, especially if you're aro ace. Just to get to know yourself better. Also, saying I'm aro ace describes what I don't experience, and I like to know what I do.:iconthailandplz:Doesn't mean the aro and ace part are any less important, just good to know more about myself. My strongest attraction seems to be platonic, and many aro aces might mention/go by it. Especially, if they want a queer(some say quasi)platonic relationship. I would love one. It sounds great!:iconfrancisplz:I'm pan this way. Meaning, gender doesn't matter to me in being really close best friends and/or being in that sort of relationship. It's the person themselves.

Interestingly, I've been encountering the 'do you consider yourself queer' question often lately. The most recent was on AVEN. I'm iffy with this word. It was used in a very hateful way in the past. Many people don't realize that it wasn't just aimed at gay people. Although, most of it was. There were a lot of assumptions, too. Some people used it against people who weren't considered 'normal' (either in the way they acted or looked), or in 'normal' relationships. It's still used in that way, but seems to be not as often now. Probably because many people have reclaimed that word.

With the original dictionary meaning, yeah, I'd probably consider myself to be. It means: strange, odd, different from the norm, or peculiar. I know people who refer to the greater LGBTQ+ community as queer. Interestingly, the Queer Movement, which sometimes separates itself from that community, considers people like me to be queer...:icontinoplz:I'm certainly not straight. If I ended up in a qpr with another woman or someone feminine looking, society might assume I'm lesbian or 'queer' anyways. I've read that people who aren't a heteroromantic heterosexual cis person, can call themselves that. It's a very personal thing, and no one but that person has a say on it. Again, unless that person is actually all those three things.

It was interesting, after my response, someone immediately said if I'm not having sex with another woman, than I'm not queer (he had this in relation to being LGBTQ+). And, people are just trying to recruit others into the LGBTQ+ community. This was before I went into 'detail'. One of the funny things about this is: no one knows who a person is truly having sex with.:iconkikuplz:Society can certainly make assumptions, but unless people tell them (or, I guess, caught them in the act), they don't know. If I was in a qpr with another woman (or someone presenting femininely), would they know about that sort of relationship or would they assume? Some outsiders think qpr's look similar to a romantic relationship. Another funny thing: what about straight trans people, bi people, pan people, etc.? Do they not matter?

The LGBTQ+ community is certainly not trying to recruit people. There is gate keeping. (There's also some gate keeping within the ace community, which I find odd.:iconnorwayunimpressedplz:) Although, I've seen most of that online at places like Tumblr. It's really disturbing looking at some of the ace 'discourse' on there.:iconitalyishorrifiedplz:There are those who think aces don't belong at all, and the A really stands for ally. That boggles my brain. There are those who say that there are only the 4 main letters, and everyone else is trying to grab up resources or something. These 2 'factions' are dwindling in number. Thank goodness. Some say they are accepting of ace people, but turn around and say except for heteroromantic aces.:iconromanoplz:Kind of erasing their ace identity, and thinking only the romantic one matters. They do a similar thing with aro heterosexuals. Some aren't sure what to make of aro aces. We're either aliens, or 'of course' we belong in it. Kind of funny to me.:iconlaughingplz:

Reading about the Queer Movement, they have a different view, like I mentioned earlier. It seems much more accepting. Also, the LGBTQ+ community has a lot of infighting going on, and each 'letter' has their own issues to deal with. Even the L and G parts have some separate issues. It's a lot more complicated than people think.

After I mentioned a lot of this, he kind of had a flustered response. (I didn't go into the qpr thing, which I now think I probably should have...:iconswissplz:) Saying that his opinion is based off of what society thinks. If LGBTQ+ people want to use a different definition, then that's going to make things more complicated like you outlined. He somehow thinks that they're 'redefining' it for political reasons, too. What? The question wasn't necessarily asking would society deem you as queer. The question was would you yourself use it? These are 2 different things. Oh, and the Queer Movement can be different. Many LGBTQ+ don't like using that word still. There was so much wrong with his responses, I was amazed by it.:iconchibigilbertplz:I love how they asked this on facebook, and I didn't mention I was aro ace at first. They politely asked what I was, even though it was on a public ace page. When I said aro ace, they immediately said: "Of course you are!" A nicer response than I was hoping. My post that explains things in detail on AVEN has more likes than his response to it. Kind of a little boost in confidence.:iconranranruuplz:I still am unsure of using it for myself. I like the idea, though.

Anyways, we had 2 new people join that local ace group, and it seems as soon as I posted about attractions and such, they dropped it. We had 11 before they dropped out. That seemed cool. I hope I didn't scare anyone away with the attractions thing.:iconpolandplz:I actually deleted that post, since I was unsure of it. Might be easier to discuss it in person. I have a hunch it was more the fact that we haven't met yet.

I wanted to wait until we had more people. Very recently, I read a couple of other ace groups' minutes, and they started with around 3 people. We have 3 times as many. So, maybe it really is a sign to start meeting.:iconeestiplz:I'm also unsure about groups like this. I created a group in high school, but it wasn't about something like this. It was about promoting diversity. I've led several other groups in the past (some after high school), but again, it wasn't the same. I haven't attended an actual ace meeting before, and everything I've seen has been online. There isn't a 'guidebook' either. Some other specific groups train people before they let people lead local versions. There isn't anything like that out there for these. Leaves things wide open, and we can really make it ours. Having no 'guide' for it might be a little awkward at first.:iconusaplz:Maybe my background with groups will help.

Reading some of their minutes, I've gotten a few more ideas, too. One of the ones that started meeting in India occasionally does quizzes during their meetups. The most recent one I saw was on sexual/romantic orientations. That would be kind of fun, and familiarize people with the terms. Although, there are so many...Interestingly, that group mostly had allies. That's still cool to see allies supporting aces.:iconyayhanatamagoplz:

I think, our group has 4 allies, 2 people on the ace spectrum, and 3 (including me) who are ace. That's actually not a bad combo. I want the people on the spectrum to have a voice/be represented, too. They're important. Having close to half being allies might be good, as well. Others can learn, support, get the word out to aces they might know, educate others around them, etc.:iconchibinitalyplz:

So, I made a few polls to iron out the details of actually meeting. We'll most likely meet at a café. At least, for the first meeting. I think there are rivaling cafes at the moment in one of the polls. Not many people have actually responded, so I'll wait for a bit to see what happens. The person who has filled out all the polls, seems to be ok with having it during the weekend. That might actually be really good, considering some people are freer during that time. We could probably do more things, too. Wherever we end up for the first meeting, at least, I hope it'll be a place that's ok with people bringing desserts. One of the things I thought would be nice, and end the meeting on a positive note, would be to have a dessert potluck. There's the ongoing joke in the ace community about what's better than sex. The most popular was cake, but many are strongly for pie. So, to appease people from both sides and others, I thought it'd be just whatever dessert you want. Or, maybe on the first one, we just order desserts from the café itself...:iconchibiswedenplz:I don't know. It'll be exciting to see how this group turns out.

A few days ago, I made a list of 'trigger' and 'good' foods. The trigger ones are ones that are more likely to upset my system. Even if I'm supposedly in remission. They can still do things like irritate the damaged areas. With the good foods part, they're the ones that are calming, easily digestible for me, and don't affect me much. This was a good thing to do, since I usually just remember 2 of the trigger foods. Don't usually remember any of the calming ones, either. Here are the trigger ones I have so far: corn, popcorn (unsure about other corn products yet), beef summer sausage (unsure about other sausages), certain raw vegetables/fruit with peel (not sure exactly which ones, but some of the most likely: pears, apples, celery, carrots), bell peppers (I suspect), pickles (unsure), whole grain (I think), some whole nuts (at least, having a lot of them). As you can tell, I haven't narrowed down or looked into some of these more.:iconwtfromanoplz:But, it's a good guide. Good foods: fish, eggs, dairy (one of the most calming for some reason), most cooked/peeled fruits and vegetables, oatmeal, couscous, rice, smooth peanut butter, challah (and other breads like French and sourdough), cream of wheat, bananas (almost as calming as the dairy, and it's an exception to the cooking fruit thing). Quite a bit, but I know there probably are more. Also, adding cinnamon helps, too. Garlic doesn't seem bad on my system. Trying to decide if that one is calming or just ok.:confused:Everyone is different. So, what might be my 'good' food, might be someone else's trigger. Dairy seems to be the most divided one, though. In the facebook group I recently joined, there was a question about whether dairy is a trigger for people. It seemed like half said that it was one of the worst triggers, and the other half said it was the most comforting. Some said they could only eat dairy during flares. Very fascinating indeed.

Got the biopsy results back yesterday. They apparently had 12 of them this time. I think that's more than last time.:wow:It seems, from those samples, that the left side of my colon is worse than my right. That's what I gathered from reading about it. The odd thing is most of my really intense pain is on my right. This is going by samples, so it might be different with the whole thing.

Also, we don't truly know what's causing the pain. Although, after looking it up, many people feel similar pain when they have scarring in their colon. Recently, in that same fb group, there was a question about if anyone has pain with the scarring even though they're in remission, too. Most, if not all, were saying yes. In fact, some said it was much worse pain than what they experienced when the disease was active. So, in my case, it might be the same. I thought if it was in remission, I wouldn't feel pain anymore. It sucks.:iconhongkongplz:It's a different type of pain than the one I felt when it was active. Hard to describe to someone who doesn't have it.

If it's too damaged, scarred, and/or painful many people have to have surgery. I'm scared by that idea, but if they take away the damaged parts, I might feel better. If I flare afterwards, the disease won't be damaging those areas further. If the whole thing is taken out, which I highly doubt, (and if it were UC) I might not have to deal with it coming back. (It'd be different if it was really Crohn's.) With that, it takes at least a year to recover from, and you have to have either a 'pouch' on the outside or inside. Many eventually get the internal one, but everyone starts with the external one. It also would take even longer to recover from. That sounds like fun...:iconohboyamericaplz:

They also said that I have some architectural distortion. I'm wondering if that has to do with the walls looking thinner when I compare it to pics online. That'd be interesting. I find a lot of this fascinating. Looking at it from the prospective about knowing my inner workings, kind of makes it cool.

Managed to get some editing done of Sweet Endless Terror, too. Close to halfway through that. There are slightly more errors than I expected, but it's still nothing like editing Alliance.