Monday, May 29, 2017

National Hamburger Day!

This holiday was actually yesterday. Hamburgers are great! There are so many different kinds. Cheeseburgers are still one of my faves, even though it's not kosher. Lamb burgers are interesting, too. Today's Memorial Day.

It's been really warm lately. I didn't want to make it warmer in my room than it already was, so I didn't turn my computer on. My room ends up being the hottest in the house regardless of if my computer is on. I didn't post on here mainly because of that.

I did manage to write more of the memoir on my phone today. That was interesting. I think I managed to write more than I usually do. I started the 2nd chapter, and that topic is Judaism. The aro ace one ended up long, but not as long as I expected. 

I finished a drawing today. It basically personifies colitis. Kind of like if the colon were a person, how would their symptoms show on the outside. It's a bit more gory than I like to draw, but I think I like the results. Colitis is a nasty painful thing, so it'd make sense that it's gory. There are some really large ulcers, small ulcers, scarring, lots of blood on the floor as well as coming through a hospital gown they're wearing, the skin is semi-bright orangey red, they're wearing hospital slippers, and they have a hospital plastic bracelet on. I chose the skin color based on my first colonoscopy. When I looked at the images, the colon itself looked like an angry red color. The ulcers were a bright red color. It was similar to looking at a starry red sky. Pretty, but not good. I actually haven't had very much blood come out that's visible. It still bleeds internally during flares because of the ulcers. I tried to get the anatomy right, but their hands ended up a little too small, and their limbs don't quite look right. The more time I spent on those areas, the worse it looked. So, I just gave up on that. At least the anatomy was better than the last time I drew a full body of a character. I'm unsure what gender they really are. They are after all representing a colon. I suppose it depends on whose colon it is. I might get back into drawing more in the future. 

Managed to go through more kanji today. 唱 or しょう (shou) generally means chant, recite, call upon. 唱える or と.なえ (to.nae): to recite, chant; to cry, yell, shout; to advocate, advance, preach, insist. 合唱団 or がっしょうだん (gasshoudan): chorus group, choir. 焼 or しょう (shou) generally means bake, burning. 焼き or や.き: cooking (especially frying or stir-frying), heating; tempering; (suf) -ware. 焼く or や.く (ya.ku): to burn; to roast, broil, grill, bake, toast, barbecue; to heat, heat up; to make (charcoal, pottery, bricks, etc.), bake, fire, burn; to tan; to be jealous of, be envious. 焼ける or や.ける (ya.keru): to burn, be roasted, be heated, be sunburnt, fade (in the sun), glow red (i.e. of the sky at sunset); to be jealous. 手を焼く or てをやく (teoyaku): (expression) not know what to do with, to be at a loss with, to have difficulty with, to be put out.

I also recently read an article on Sora News 24 about Duolingo's language learning app adding Japanese. By the way, apparently the English version of Rocket News 24 has recently changed to that. Sora means sky. Duolingo has been known to be great to learn from with other languages. I was kind of half thinking about trying their Hebrew one a while back. The reporter said it was surprisingly good with just a few bugs. 

So, I decided download it. I like it a lot so far. I've already ran into a couple of bugs that I knew enough to catch. It's set up like a game. I think it's easier to learn that way. They go through matching flash cards (kanji to one of it's hiragana readings, katagana to hiragana, etc.), flash cards with pics and words to match what's said, translating sentences into English with 'cards', translating sentences from English into Japanese with cards, translating a Japanese sentence to English by typing it out, etc. There are chapters with several parts to them. There are check points. You have to keep the bars full for each chapter you go through. If you don't and don't make it to the next check point, you have to go back through everything from the last check point on. They keep track of words that you might need to practice more. I like that it goes over grammar and sentence structure. Most of the other stuff I've tried doesn't have that. Also, at a certain point you can apparently talk to their bot in Japanese. They'll keep a record and score how well you did on that. A little further in, you can actually speak to native speakers through it. That's really handy. It's already taught me quite a bit more than the stuff I was using before. Although, I did take a placement test beforehand and was able to skip some chapters. Why didn't they make this sooner? I still might try their Hebrew course in the future. They also have French, so maybe I can get back to that. They have Greek and Russian, too. One thing at a time, though. Oh, and this is far better than that JapaneseClass site I was using for a while. That's also set up like game, but it's much more limited. I spent about a year away from studying Japanese because of the pain I've been in. That app makes things easier, even with the pain. I still will try to get back to learning/writing out kanji on a regular basis.

I made a flyer for the local ace group. Made a post in the group sharing the doc. Maybe people will help with distributing them. It's not really fancy, but it's short and has semi-large font. People will see it easily. It has an ace flag at the top with a shading effect, the name of the group, description, meeting times, and mentions joining the facebook group for the location and more info. Basically all the important stuff. Should be interesting to see what happens next with that. I know for sure I'll put one up at the cafe we're meeting at this coming Saturday. I think someone mentioned a while back that they'd put some up at the local college.



Sakamoto desu ga:
Naruto Shippuden:

Kekkai Sensen:
One Punch Man:
Mob Psycho 100:

Friday, May 19, 2017

International Museum Day!

The holiday was yesterday. Museums are awesome! There are so many different types, and all of them are interesting. Cool that there's a day devoted to it. The day was created by the International Council of Museums in 1977. The organization chooses a different theme each year. This year's theme was Museums and Contested Histories: Saying the Unspeakable in Museums. Last year it was Museums and Cultural Landscapes. Today's World IBD Day. IBD definitely needs awareness. Too many people are ignorant about it.

My health seems to be getting a bit worse. I'm actually throwing up more often. I usually don't have this issue. I remember my 'specialist' had said that if I throw up often, or have a fever for a while, or I'm bleeding a lot; then it's time to go to the ER. It's not constant, though. I had made a phone appointment for Wednesday to talk to my primary about the new med, side effects, seeing a gastroenterologist, possibly having malabsorption issues again, that weird lump that's still behind my ear, etc. For phone appointments, they can call you 30 minutes before and after the appointment time. So, I waited the entire time, and there was no call. About a half hour later I get a voicemail from her about how she was sorry she missed the appointment, and we really needed to talk to at least bring her up to date on things. My phone didn't ring before I got the message. Maybe service wasn't good at that moment or something. It still was after my appointment time. I'm a little upset about it, but will try again soon.

Another thing that made me a little pissed off, was about a post on one of the public ace pages I follow. Someone said that another person told them that the A in LGBTQIA is for ally. Their response was awesome! But, they were still shaking with anger. This is a huge thing for us, and often it's a tactic to erase our identity from the community as a whole. It's also strange to say allies matter more than aces. The A also stands for aro and agender. It's pissing off 3 different identities at once. And, I might be all 3. At the very least, I know I'm 2 of them. Many 'gate-keepers' tell aces they're 'basically straight', and that we're invading their spaces. Then, turn around and often actually let in straight people into those spaces. Doesn't make sense. They push that aside, saying that allies are often closeted LGBTQ+ people. That seems weak at best. There might be some, but they're still associating with that community. Oftentimes, people who use this argument seem to only want the L and G part. Allies are an important outside force helping the community, and don't need to be in the acronym. 

There was drama again in the closed LGBTQ+ facebook group. The same that seems to be brought up every few weeks. This time, it seemed to be even more heated. The admin/creator of the group wants to be as inclusive as possible. I know she means well by this, and I know English is not her first language. I like that the main title for it is Rainbows, Unicorns, and Aces. Then, it used to have a longer acronym than many LGBTQ+ groups, but that was still ok. She made it much longer recently. People started to ask what some of the more lesser known letters meant, understandably. So, she listed them out and some of the definitions. First of all, with some of the back and forth, she said the definition of straight is a bigot essentially. (This felt really horrible.) Heterosexual wasn't straight to her. This in itself caused tension. She had added H for heterosexual, and added that the A also stood for ally. She had a lot of identities under the A already. Many of these identities and the ones added for others, actually fell under other umbrellas. Like asexuality covers ace-spec people, but she listed specific ones as separate. Anyways, she clearly didn't understand why the H especially was a big no-no. She said that since trans people can be heterosexual, aros can be heterosexual, and aces can be heteroromantic, there needs to be an H to acknowledge them. It was crazy enough to me that I stepped in and commented on it. I said those people belong in the community (if they choose to) because they're trans, aro, or ace. Not because of the hetero part of their identity. We live in a heteronormative world, so why would we need hetero in there? (There are so many more reasons that it's a really bad idea...) I'm not saying being straight is bad. I'm saying that identity isn't why someone would be apart of the community. I think it might be hard for some people to think about intersectionality, and that might be her problem with this. I got quite a few likes on this, so I must have said it right. 

I also responded to the ally part. She wants allies to be apart of the group, because all her friends are allies, and to her, not adding them would be an insult. I mentioned that she can have it as: [acronym] And Allies. That way she acknowledges them without throwing them in the community. Many groups do it like that. 

She also wanted suggestions for the acronym. I mentioned that some people have it as QUILTBAG+, and it's kind of fun to say. A good majority do: LGBTQ+. The plus meaning other identities that aren't listed. It's not erasing them this way, and is shorter/easier to say/type. MOGAI (Marginalized Orientations, Gender Alignments, and Intersex) has been growing in popularity, too. I kind of like it, and it seems inclusive. I prefer writing/saying LGBTQ+, though. Something about it sounds better, I guess. She liked the ideas I brought up. However, she's thinking of leaving the group, because of this drama. She was the one that turned it into something crazy like this. Now she's looking for admins to replace her. Kind of sad. She finally seems to understand, but is giving up. 

Went to the local trans group Wednesday night. We had a few new people this time. It's interesting and nice that the group seems to be growing pretty quickly recently. There was a group of 3 new people that were talkative, but really nice and friendly. One is Taiwanese, I think, and translates things into Mandarin. In fact, she wants to learn more about LGBTQ+ groups, and translate what she finds out into Mandarin for other people to learn. She's actually lesbian, so she has that perspective already. I think that's amazing! Another one came from Vietnam, is a trans man, and I think might have been one of the youngest members in a while. At the end of the meeting, he made sure to hug Dad and I. It was sweet of him. I think there was a new person who is non-binary, too. That was nice to see. I'm still nervous to ask about gender stuff there. I have this weird feeling if I do, I'll offend someone. Mainly because of the strong possibility of me being agender. Like, to people who experience gender, it might be insulting if someone might not...I know the group's not like that, but it still feels weird to me. I haven't met anyone through the group that's agender, either. They might be the ones that would help me the most. I don't know. Maybe I shouldn't care what others might think, and just ask things anyways. Also, someone has been bringing 2 dogs for last few meetings. I love animals, but they've been very distracting. It won't matter much next time, since it's the 5th Wednesday. Those are potluck and movie meetings.

Local Pride stuff is coming up. The picnic is next month. It was nice last time. The Pride parade will be apart of the 4th of July parade. Last year they didn't have an ace flag. I helped with holding the huge rainbow flag, though. It was really something to see that flag throughout most of the events last year. 

This time I plan to bring my big ace flag. It's 3' x 5'. Bigger than me. I just need to find a pole for it. I'm a little nervous that it might be too big, overshadow other identities, or that it might be too into people's faces. However, Pride is about being proud about who you are. So, maybe it's perfect for it. A popular saying in the ace community is: Ace and in your face. That would certainly fit this. I might wear it as a cape at the actual Pride at the end of July. Some people do that with the big flags. I'm not sure if I'll trip over it, though. 

It'd be kind of cute to find a mini aromantic flag at Pride. Although, I doubt I will. I could wave it around while I'm there.

I was told that they'll have a bulletin board at Pride for group flyers, and that I can leave info sheets or brochures at the main info booth. That makes it easier. Although, I'll still tell people about asexuality and the group, if they ask. I probably will have some people at least ask about the flag. It'd be cool if other aces show up, too. They might gravitate towards me if they see the flag. I was thinking of having a separate booth for the local ace group I created, but no one else seems interested in it. I don't want to be the only one there if we have one. It's silly that way. 

I'll make the flyers for the group soon. Might get people that are actually willing to show up offline. I was thinking about it yesterday, and it was brought up a while ago, that the group's name might need to be changed. I knew there was a group called ACES, but I didn't think they had the county in the name. So, it's essentially the same thing, only with more capitalized letters...It stands for Alternative Community Education Society. A totally different thing. Often, it's seen as a very sexual organization. So, I'm wondering if people have been confused by this? I was just going with the pattern before of other groups. I really thought that group had a specific city name in it, instead. I should have looked more closely at it when I made the group. However, this makes me wonder about the few other ace groups in the region. Many apparently aren't as active as they used to be. Maybe people get it confused with that organization, too? So, I think I'm going to change it to [County Name] Asexuals. It's short, upfront, and gets the point across. I made a post on there about changing the name, if anyone objected, and/or if they had other suggestions. So far, no one's objected to it, or had other suggestions. I know I only posted it yesterday. However, if I still have no objections by tonight, I'm changing it. If people have issues with it, they can tell me. Maybe we could come up with something better if they give me a better alternative. This might actually look better to people at Pride, too. I wanted to make sure it was an ok name for everyone. That way I can start designing the flyers. It'd be a waste if I made flyers before the name change. Hopefully I'll have them ready for the meeting after the one this Saturday. That way I can at least put one up at that cafe while I'm there. I looked at Asexual Outreach's free info sheets, but the wording is strange. I might look at other places for it. Although, the asexual issues sheets were pretty well done. They have a teen and an adult one. Those groups face different issues. Maybe I could use that in addition. We still would need a general info one. Maybe I'll make my own, if need be. I'll probably have them before Pride comes along. So, lots of fun and interesting stuff coming up. All of this has potential to boost our group's visibility and membership.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

15th of Iyar

This is the date on the Jewish calendar. It's also the year 5777. The 15th starts tonight, since it's based on a lunar calendar. I mentioned last time that I was going to switch some of the future titles to Jewish calendar dates, and still do holidays when they pop up. For new months on that calendar, or on Rosh Chodesh for each one, I might give more info about that month. We'll see.

Started watching Barakamon on Monday. Handa-kun was basically a prequel to this. Yet, at least, the anime version of it came out after this one. Handa is now in his early 20s, and is a master at calligraphy. An elderly curator at an exhibition criticized his calligraphy. Saying it was too unoriginal or like you'd find in a textbook. Handa gets angry, and punches him in the face. His father tells him to go to Gotou island to cool his head. The title means 'easy-going person' in the local dialect. He's anything but at the beginning. Through interacting with the villagers and being in a different environment, he starts to find his own style. The kid in the pic is Naru. She's 6 at the beginning, and likes Handa. She ends up visiting him every day to play. I think she's what really changes him. Although, he gets annoyed with her often. People were commenting that he has a totally different personality in this. To be honest, I don't think that's really the case. He's matured, he knew about how his 'friend' manipulated him at the end of Handa-kun, and realized people actually cared about him. So, it makes sense that he's not as stand-offish, trying to isolate himself, scared if he'll say the wrong thing, etc. I think I like it so far. The villagers seem really curious about him. 

Re:Creators has been interesting. There's a lot of talking and preparing at the moment. Not much in the way of action. The military has realized that characters from anime, games, etc. are appearing in our world. They plan to gather all the characters and their creators. They think that they can find out why characters are appearing in our world this way. The more that appear and stay, the more our world becomes unstable. Eventually, it could destroy our world, and therefore others along with it. So, with gathering them, they figure they'll find some way to stop it, and stop the character dressed in a military uniform. Although, it's difficult since some characters' creators have passed away. Like, with Meteora. She really wanted to meet him and thank him for creating her and her world, but he's dead. It was supposedly an accident. At the end, the main character (of this story, he's really like a creator) was thinking about why the girl in the uniform recognized him, and she looked familiar to him. I really thought he created her. They showed flashbacks of a girl with glasses that had jumped in front of a train during the first episode. A girl he apparently knew. Don't know if she survived that. But, he remembered glimpses of the uniform girl, I think, being created by her. He might have had a hand in the project. Still don't know where this is really going, but it's got my attention for the time being.

Tried an episode of Yu Yu Hakusho or Poltergeist Report. I know it was shown at our college anime club, but I think it was during one of their marathons. I only went to those a few times. It was like the first Saturday of every month or something. The entire day devoted to anime. If I did go, I couldn't stand more than 3 hours of it. Anyways, this anime started in 1992, which is only 3 years after Ranma 1/2 started. I think Ranma's one of the oldest ones I've watched. Might go back to that one. I just couldn't get into Yu Yu Hakusho. I know it was only the first episode, but the style isn't that great to me. If I can't get used to how the characters look and the overall animation, I shouldn't just slog through it. It's another long anime. (Just over 100 episodes.) It's supposed to be a classic, though...Oh well.

I'm really liking One Piece now. Skipped quite a lot of 'filler' episodes recently. I'm glad I can do that, considering I'm not up to date on it. I'm still pretty far behind. I like that they have an archaeologist on the crew now. Especially, since I was majoring in anthropology, and archaeology is a branch of it. I was going to focus on cultural and possibly linguistics, though. We did have to take an archaeology 101 class for it. She's pretty cool. She's also one of the most powerful of the crew members. In the most recent episode I watched, she and Luffy almost froze to death. They were frozen by one of the 3 admirals of the Marines. Chopper slowly warmed them up, and saved them. They make him seem so child-like, yet he's an excellent doctor. Usually pretty intelligent when he's put in life threatening situations, too. He's always looking for medicinal herbs and when they're not exploring islands, he's studying medicine. 

For the past few days, I've noticed a huge lump forming behind my left ear. It seems to only be getting bigger. I thought one of my earrings had infected it or something. It wouldn't be this big, and would start further up in my earlobe. Instead, it's only on part of my earlobe, but more so behind it and down the outer edge of my jaw. It feels like there might be liquid in there. I don't really know. I like to sleep on my right side. When I do that, it feels like a weighted balloon filled with stuff is pushing down on my inner ear. The fluid feels like it can move around, but only in that area. It never feels like it actually drains. If I sleep on my back, the pressure on it is still pulled back, too. Sleeping on the other side, it hurts even more. So, yay! Another thing affecting my sleep. I'm also scared about it. I'll bring it up during the phone appointment with my primary. (Still haven't scheduled that...)

I managed to write more of Alliance 2. Might have finished the first chapter, although I'm unsure about that. On Monday, I managed to play my clarinet. Haven't done it in a while. I don't think my mouth was used to it anymore. The left side of my lips, at some point, started to not be as tight and a lot of air kept coming out. It was like the muscles on that side of my lips were suddenly too tired to 'seal' that area. I wanted to practice for 50 minutes, but almost didn't make it because of this. Maybe I should practice for a less amount of time, until my mouth gets used to it again. Have to exercise those muscles more. Got back to learning kanji on Monday. Haven't done it this way in close to a year. So, it was nice to do. This time it was on a really common one, so there were quite a lot of compound words. 

I have an urge to make a youtube vid about being aro ace. It'll be about what it means, my experiences, and coming out. I guess, I could say it's my coming out on there. Although, I don't really have friends on there, and I've come out to pretty much everyone I know in various other ways. It doesn't feel like there are that many vids about being ace, or even just about coming out as one. Let alone being aro, as well. That's another layer to it. 

I'm also thinking of talking about IBD in another one in the future. Just watched some vids on it, and I could really relate to them. Some were showing them getting remicade for the first time, and that's one of my most likely options for looking at other meds. I have a lot of scarring in my colon, and it can help heal that scarring faster. So, even if you're in remission, it can still have benefits besides keeping the disease in check. That's pretty cool. Remicade is done by infusion. Depending on how well people can tolerate it, it seems to take 2 to close to 4 hours. You apparently take some extra strength tylenol and maybe a steroid through the IV beforehand. It looks like if I have it done, I'll have to go to a local hospital for it. Not really sure, but it's most likely. I'm not too fond of that hospital at the moment. People can have allergic reactions to the med up to a week afterwards. That scares me. The other med that's a high possibility is humeira. That's done through shots. A nurse has to do it for you at the beginning for a few months. Then, you do it on your own. I highly doubt I'll be able to do it on my own. Needles really disturb me. I've passed out during a blood draw before, and it was mainly because of the needle. With either one, I'd still have to have other people do it for me at the beginning and wait a while. Again, at the beginning, with humeira, even though it's a shot, you have to wait a little while afterwards so they can treat you if you have an allergic reaction. Both are heavy meds, and I'm scared of either one. Remicade would probably be easier for me, and it even says it can help with the scarring. I don't think humeira does. Good to see some of those vids. Just to see people going through similar things is good. I didn't watch them before, because I was too scared to know more about it. I'm trying to get over that. I still have this weird feeling that it's happening to someone else. I'm just an observer to watch for side effects or something. For a while, I wasn't paying attention to side effects, so that's a big change in itself. It's a weird feeling, like your body's not really yours. The more I take part in discussions in the closed fb IBD group and watch these vids, I think that will change.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Herb Day!

The holiday was yesterday. Yay, a day for herbs! They make dishes even more amazing! Without them, it would be boring. When making variations of things not from a cookbook (like spaghetti/other pasta dishes, omelets, pizza, tuna/sardine dishes, etc.), I like to experiment with garlic, basil, chives, dill, oregano, rosemary, and so much more. It's fun. This way, I get a different overall flavor with those every time. 

I've used holidays and songs as titles, because I sometimes have a hard time coming up with titles. And, I don't want the titles to be too repetitive or boring. The holidays bring up interesting topics, and it's fun to learn about new songs/bands from around the world (mainly Jpop/Jrock/Cpop/Kpop, and some from European countries). Before that, the titles were actually quotes. Since I haven't looked much lately into new songs, I think I'll continue the holidays for some, and the date on the Jewish calendar for the others. It might not be as interesting, but it'll be something different. Plus, I'll most likely feel like posting more often. I don't think I'll go back to quotes. Although, those were interesting. At some point, I'll look into more music, though.

Went to my first Queerly Beloved gender variant show last night, called Have Your Cake. I've only been to, I think, 2 drag shows in the past. With one of them, it was at WSU. I think, it was during an Up All Night event. Beforehand, they had a workshop of what's involved with makeup, walking, clothing, etc. They had the women go to the drag king side, and men go to the drag queen side. I thought it was very interesting. Some of the members of that group actually were trans. I remember they said it was their way of safely being a theatrical version of who they actually are. They seemed very respectful about things, too. I know my ex-boyfriend at the time was extremely uncomfortable about the whole thing, and refused to see what the queens do. Kind of sad. I've seen one or 2 others at Pride events. 

Anyways, I like that this group actually calls it a gender variant show. Seems like you can be more creative and flexible with it. I know the founders, most of the performers, and some of the audience. So, that was cool to see. Many of the performers in this one are also trans. One of the founders' birthday was that day, so it was essentially a big celebration of it complete with cake. (Hence, the name, I think.) There was a cake walk, which was called a cupcake sashay. Haven't done that in a while. I was called up, but didn't win a cupcake. Dad did, though. They looked like they were nice and fancy. I think she won a chocolate one. There was also lemon and red velvet. When I was up there, it felt like not many people were actually sashaying. I was, so it kind of was funny. Plus, many of the songs that they played during the cake walk, I hadn't heard in years. Some used to be my faves. Very easy to get into that way.

It was an 18 and over show. So, there was some sexual humor/performances. I find that stuff amusing. The birthday person later went up to me, and after talking a little, seemed to think it would be too intense or something for me. They know I'm ace. Many people seem to see me as innocent or be easily disturbed by sexual stuff. I might look younger than I am too, but I'm not innocent. It takes a lot to make me feel uncomfortable about it. Being ace, it's like a gay person seeing someone of the 'opposite' gender acting 'sexy'. It'll just be like 'meh' to them, or interesting, or almost humorous, or uncomfortable if that 'sexiness' is directed at them. Think of it like that, only with everyone regardless of gender. I can act 'sexy' if I wanted to, but it's not a 'thing' for me. I find it amusing in many ways. I've joked about sexual things in the past, too. At junior high, high school, and college dances it felt like it was heavily sexualized. So, it's nothing new for me. At times, I just don't understand why there's such an emphasis on this in society. Another reason why it seems amusing. Their next show will be kid-friendly, so that would be interesting. We left before they served cake, but at least I had a slice of key lime pie when I got home.

There was also a recent comic I saw of an ace guy and a straight girl talking. The girl was talking about how a guy went into a strip club just to catch pokemon for Pokemon Go. She couldn't believe that a guy could do that, and asked him if he could. There was a slight pause, and she said: "Oh, right, you're ace..." He asked what kind of pokemon were there. This reminded me of that comic.

I might have looked like I hated it or was extremely uncomfortable, because I was in a lot of gut pain. Also, the spotlight kept shining in my face. Oh, and the beam near me blocked the view at times. I was in pain for the entire day, but the intensity came in waves. I'm still in some pain. I don't think it's as bad as yesterday, though. Most of the pain was in my stomach. Felt like horrible stomachaches and cramps. Also, like someone stabbed me several times with a hot poker in my stomach and intestines. Makes me wonder if I'm starting to actually flare. (Not just that something different I've been feeling for a year, and still don't know what it is.) I didn't want to eat today, but told myself I needed to. Things haven't tasted all that great, though. 

No one showed up to the local ace meeting yesterday. At least, I had a really tasty English toffee scone and iced vanilla chai. Their chais are really intense. I can't tell if it's like a sugar intense, the flavor is just very concentrated, or it might be overly caffeinated or something. I kind of like it, but it's like a punch in the face every time. For dinner, we went to a local fish place. I got their fish and chips. That's one of the things they're known for. We waited a long time, and then the bread arrived. Another long wait, and we finally got our food. Mine was swimming in grease. More so than usual. I expect some amount of grease, since it's all fried. The fish was too soft and falling apart. Couldn't pick it up with my hands. Didn't seem right this way. I had about half of it, and didn't think it was good enough to take the leftovers home. My stomach was close to its worst pain of the day while we waited for our food. It was horrid. 

Wrote a lot more of the memoir on Friday. It's interesting looking into my experiences with being aro ace, sharing info on what it means and about the communities, what kind of an aro ace I am, what brought me to the conclusion that I'm aro ace, reflecting on that romantic relationship, being oblivious to some guys who were into me romantically during junior high and high school, about flirting, and more. Looking at it from many facets. I might bring up questioning if I'm agender at the end of the chapter. Kind of feels like an interesting ride so far. I need to get back to writing Alliance 2, as well. I'm getting excited about both.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

National Chocolate Parfait Day!

The holiday was actually on Monday. I love parfaits! I don't like the ones that are usually considered parfaits locally. Those have granola, berries, and yogurt. It's like a regional thing. Anyways, at least our local Safeway has the real stuff. They have lemon, apple spice, chocolate brownie, cherry, and strawberry flavored ones. I recently had their apple spice one. It has whipped cream on top, apple pie filling, sponge cake, and vanilla pudding on the bottom. I think the others are pretty much the same, just switch out the apple filling with the others. I think I've had the brownie one, and it was really good. To me, the lemon and cherry ones are tied as the best, though.
This is my wallpaper for May. It's Leo and Sonic from Kekkai Sensen or Blood Blockade Battlefront. It's a fun one. Also, Kekkai Sensen will have its 2nd season soon. (I don't think there's a set date yet, though.) That'll be awesome!

With the Pusheen calendar, it seems Pusheen has her own cafe. There are several other cats at the tables, and one ordering something. The food looks tasty and cute. 3 kittens are at one table, each one eating a cat head-shaped cupcake. 2 older cats seem to be chatting about things. One has coffee, the other has cat head-shaped cookies. For some reason, the one with the cookies reminds me of Tasha. That one's all white and long-haired. Tasha has black spots, though. She still seems to have a similar expression and overall look. There's a curly-haired cat alone at one of the tables. They ordered the most amount of stuff. They have a cookie in front of them, a slice of cake, coffee, and a parfait. It's a cute scene. On the calendar part, they have a chocolate chip cookie. Kind of makes me hungry every time I see it. 

The month-long holidays for May are: National Asparagus Month, National BBQ Month, National Egg Month, National Hamburger Month, National Salad Month, National Salsa Month, National Strawberry Month, National Vinegar Month, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Drum Month, Haitian Heritage Month, Jewish American Heritage Month, National Bike Month. Some are for important causes, some are to make you appreciate things you may take for granted, and some are just for fun. Wow! That's a lot of them this time. 

The 5-year anniversary of my mom passing away was on Monday. We visited her grave. Apparently, someone had cleaned off the headstone. Dad was thinking of wiping it down with a towel. Last year we had the unveiling. It was somewhat dirty looking after we took the covering off. So, it was nice to see it this way this time. I like it even more. We couldn't stay long, because it was really buggy out. Last year, it was because of the rain...Seems every time I go to that cemetery it's either raining or buggy out. 

Her yahrzeit, or the Jewish anniversary of it, is on the 9th of Iyar or May 5th this year. Technically, starting tonight until tomorrow night. I'll light a yahrzeit candle for it. They burn for the entire time. I'll probably take a pic of it, to at least do something for it. I almost forgot about looking up her yahrzeit, so I'm glad I didn't miss it.

Afterwards, we went to the somewhat new local Indian place. Just to have something calming. I think she would have liked it there. I got chicken saag (a spinach type curry), and plain naan. Haven't had saag in a long time, and it was good. They have a ton of different types of naan. I think I've had their garlic one and potato one. Their plain seemed the best so far. It's huge, too! Got gulab jamun for dessert. It's one of my fave desserts, and haven't had it in a long time. They're like milk-based ball-shaped donuts soaked in a honey and rosewater syrup. They usually come out piping hot. I think I was supposed to wait a little longer before trying to eat the first one. It wasn't entirely cooked all the way. Plus, even though I tried cooling it off, I burned my tongue a couple of times. Oh well. It was still really delicious. Although, I think the last time I had it, it was slightly better. 

I thought, since there were a few likes to my reminders for the last local ace meeting, that we'd have a few more people. Nope. I was wrong. It was just me and one other person. It's great that that other person is going, but it doesn't feel like a 'group' yet. Hardly anyone else posts on the online group, either. It's alright if people don't want or feel they can post online, but at least show up to the offline meetings. Contribute a bit. I know some are allies, and that's cool. Still would be great for them to show up. I also know some ace and ace-spec people might be too nervous to go, and take time to get the courage to go. Totally understandable. There should be some that are willing to go by now, though. It's weird. I don't hate anybody in the group, just would like more people participating in some form. I want to plan some group-like things. Get people's input on the media list I'm creating, hear other people's stories, hear their concerns, see what we could do as a group about some of that stuff, have getting to know you type events, and mold it into more of a community. 

I do plan to make flyers for it. I'm a little nervous about broadcasting it, since I don't want, what some people call, 'chasers' and other dangerous people showing up. Yes, there are actual asexual chasers out there. I've read many stories about them in other fb groups. Some might be semi-harmless, and just want a relationship with an ace. However, most of them, consider aces a challenge. Like, it's their duty to 'convert' or make them straight. You can tell where this can lead...Also, there are people out there that want to kill anyone who isn't 'normal' or a heteroromantic heterosexual cis person. So, how to broadcast it without putting the group in danger? It's a tricky thing. I know Dad had put flyers out at cafes when she started her group. Later, people put flyers up in libraries and at their college. I think places like those seem 'safe'. I'll definitely put one up at the cafe we meet at. The other person that's been showing up said they might go around their college with some. 

I also want ace representation at Pride. Events start with our local one next month. I feel a little strange about it, though. It's rare, but there are some people who have issues with aces at LGBTQ+ things. Even though we technically are apart of it, there are exclusionists or 'gatekeepers'. They're still like that with bi and pan people, too. Those gatekeepers would probably just want it to be for LG, and not the rest of the communities. Anyways, I thought it'd be cool to have a booth at our local one. I can have my giant flag draped over the front, or put it over a table. (Although, it's more likely to get dirty if it's on the table.) Then, have flyers for the group on the table. Asexual Outreach has free info flyers and brochures that I can print out, as well. It'd be something. If the group was in full swing already, I'd ask them about it and what they would like to have at the booth. I might still post a status about it in the online group. Dad is apart of the Pride organizing group, so I'll ask that group about it.

As it is, I also want to find a pole for my huge ace flag. I'll probably wave it around during the parade. It might be too big, though...It's actually bigger than me. I'll be loud and in people's faces if I use it. Then again, that's kind of what Pride is about. Being proud of who you are, and showing it to the world. It would be interesting if I had like a mini aro flag to wave with it. Aros are almost non-existent at these things. Even more so than aces. If I'm able to have a little booth, I might make aro info flyers, too. Since I'm both. Also, often times aces help the aro community out. Even though many aros want to distance themselves from aces, it's still good to help each other, I think. And, the people who are both, like me, have a different view of it. Interesting how I only fully realized/came to terms with myself being ace a year ago. Sometime in June will mark a year. It's only been since November when I realized I was aro. 

I'm still questioning if I'm agender. My mind is still going in circles about it. Thinking things like there's a lot of different types of women out there. Then, going back to I never felt like the women I've been around about gender. In the past, I've thought: oh, I have a similar body to women, so I must be a woman. That technically doesn't make a person a woman, though. I haven't felt like clothes 'affirm' my gender like some people. So, gender expression comes into play, as well. I see a lot of what's considered 'feminine' stuff as fun and pretty decoration. It doesn't make me who I am, I guess. Some men like that stuff, too. It doesn't mean they're any less of a man. It's confusing to me. Part of it I'm thinking, is if I'm agender, this 'confusing' part would make sense. If you don't 'experience' or feel a certain gender, how would you figure that out with all this gender-specific stuff? It feels very vague. 

At the trans group last night, I brought up that I'm questioning if I'm agender. There was a bit more of a reaction this time. Had a lot of people there, too. One person asked what it meant, and they don't mean to offend. I told them what it meant. I'm not offended that they wouldn't know, it's kind of a lesser known gender identity. I only knew about it pretty recently. The person who asked is questioning their gender. However, I think they said in the past that they're leaning towards genderfluid. There aren't that many non-binary people there. Let alone someone who's agender. In a way, I kind of feel like agender isn't trans. But, it's not cis, either. It's kind of its own thing. I don't really know...Maybe I'll bring up more of this stuff next time. Oh, and apparently I'm a toaster now. Someone joked about how Dad might have 'changed' me, and therefore she gets a toaster. They started calling me the toaster. Funny, but I'd still rather be a unicorn. Much more majestic. 

Also, if I am agender, I'd be what some people call in the ace groups I'm apart of on fb, a triple A battery. Some have it as A cubed. It's interesting. Also, within agender, there are other identities. Like, maybe you like what's considered feminine things and are agender, or masculine things for that matter. Are you afab or amab? This one's also used in the trans community in general. Afab is assigned female at birth, and amab is assigned male at birth. Both would have different experiences no matter where they actually fall in the spectrum. I forget many of the terms the agender community has. I'm really just starting out with looking into it, though. 

I recently started writing the sequel to Alliance. Don't have a name for it yet, so I guess I can refer to it as Alliance 2 for now. Even just for myself, I've wanted to continue the story. Alliance ended on a huge cliffhanger. I could probably make the story into a series. There's so much I can do with it.

Started writing a memoir, too. I decided that each chapter will have a topic, and I'll expand on that topic and the experiences I've had related to it. The first one's titled: Aro Ace. I might throw in gender stuff, as well. A lot of these 'chapters' sound like they'll be pretty long. That's ok, though. It also won't be necessarily linear. Hopefully, I can keep up writing both the memoir and Alliace 2. 

My health hasn't been great lately. Every few days, it seems I find a slightly different side effect. One of the ones that's been constant lately has been a weird rash on my left lower eyelid. It usually appears at night. Like, around dinner time. It feels like a bad sunburn. My right lower eyelid is starting to do a similar thing. IBD can affect things outside of the digestive system. Like, the skin, eyes, bones, hair, etc. Technically, everything's connected to our digestive system, though. Anyways, it's a little upsetting to me. A couple of weeks ago, when this started, it was at its worst. My entire left eyelid was in so much pain for most of the day, I couldn't open it at times. It made my eye sting, but most of the pain was on the outside. So, I knew it wasn't an inner eye thing. It's been a bit easier to live with after that day, but it's still weird. I'll bring it up when I talk to my primary. 

Maybe it's a side effect of the nortriptyline, which is the new med I was put on. The 'specialist' from before said it might help with my stomach pain, and may help slightly with sleep. It doesn't really do much. I've noticed that I still have a hard time falling asleep because of the constant pain. I still get about the same amount of sleep, which I'm guessing is about 4 hours. Not good enough. When I wake up, I feel like I've been hit by a truck. It's hard to move, too. I think that's a side effect of it. They said it will most likely make me groggy, but this seems to be something more. It kind of adds a different sort of pain. I'll bring this up with her, too. Another thing, is when I look at people to listen to them more intently, my face feels droopy. Especially my eyelids and mouth. It might just be the angle I look at people, because I've noticed it at other times, as well. It's a weird feeling. Sometimes it feels numb, too. Eyes seem to get blurry occasionally, too. I was actually told that this one might be a side effect.

In the past, the only thing that I got results with the constipation was from the dulcolax. It was really bad again, so I got some. I decided to take 3 the first night (on Monday), which is the highest dose. The following morning, I woke up and immediately threw up. Luckily, I made it in time. Apparently, 3 was too much for my system to handle. I didn't get any relief for it until yesterday. Still feel backed up. It's pretty bad when dulcolax isn't quite cutting it. I'm happy it helped a lot yesterday. I'll bring this up, too. Although, she won't be able to help me on this until I actually see a specialist or gastroenterologist. It scares me. I keep thinking that maybe I have a partial blockage that's slowly getting worse. I hope it doesn't end up being completely blocked. I'd have to go to the hospital for that. 

I finished watching Bleach. It's a really long one. However, I skipped most of the 'filler' episodes. There were enough filler episodes at times that they had their own story arcs. I'm glad I skipped them. The manga version ended in 2016. It was going for 15 years. The anime ended in 2012, and went for 8 years. The anime ended early, so if people want to see what happens next, they can read the manga. I might do that. There are 4 movies, which I might watch in the future. There's also a live-action film coming out at some point. I think I read that it's an American adaptation or something. Not sure how that will go. There's a rock musical, too.