Tuesday, June 20, 2017

National Fudge Day!

This holiday was on Friday. I love fudge! It's kind of a novelty for me. I feel quite a bit different about hot fudge. I like it, but it doesn't seem as unique. Sunday was Father's Day. I feel a bit weird about this holiday. I want to think that every parent's day is honoring my dad. (I've mentioned why it's weird before.) I did read about what a non-binary parent wants to be called by their child, recently. That was Ren or Renny. They used the 'ren' in parent. Also, Renny in place of Daddy or Mommy. Very interesting. Makes a lot of sense. There's also a Parent's Day, but it's not nearly as big or as recognized as the other 2 holidays. 

Saturday night, we went to a local Japanese restaurant to celebrate Father's Day. Sadly, what she got as an entree wasn't very good. She liked the grilled squid that was an appetizer, though. The entree was, I think, braised black cod. The texture wasn't great, and there were too many bones. It was small, too. It also came with a salad. They're salad is basically just lettuce and a creamy ginger dressing. She doesn't like that, and it was bigger than the fish...So, she ended up getting sushi. At least, she had some things that she liked. I got their beef yakisoba. It had a decent amount of vegetables, and the beef had a little char to it which I like. Very good. Everything comes with pickled bean sprouts and miso soup first. I really love the sprouts! The soup is usually not that great. This time, there was a lot of miso that settled on the bottom. It made a lot of grit. Usually, there isn't much that settles. Maybe it was the bottom of the pot or something. Made it somewhat worse. Miso soup can be good, and sometimes very flavorful. Theirs isn't.

I finally decided to identify as agender. Agender is lit: without gender. It's starting to make more and more sense. I don't think I've felt similar to any of the women I've been around about gender. I don't feel like a man either. In the past, I just thought I was 'lazy' about being a woman or something. Most of the time I'd forget about it, or really not feel anything that way. I think I mentioned about how I like some of the things that are thought of as feminine, but it's all like pretty and fun decoration. It doesn't do much more for me. What got me going in circles recently about it, boiled down to one question. What does gender truly feel like? I couldn't answer that, which might be an indicator that I am agender. I'll still go by she/her for now, since that's what I'm used to. That might change in the future. I don't know. Not sure what else I'll do about it, but it's nice to find out this side of me. I mentioned this in a facebook aro ace group, and a couple of agender people responded. They really related to what I wrote. Got quite a few loves and pride reactions. One said there's no wrong way to be agender. Just do what you feel is comfortable. This was nice to hear. Interestingly, there's a higher percentage of agender people in the ace community than there is in the general population. Of course, this still means not everyone is. It's still a small population. I also came out on facebook about it. Got quite a few likes and pride reactions on that. I think some people didn't really know what that meant, and didn't react or comment. That's ok, I suppose. This makes me a triple A. (Aromantic Asexual and Agender.) Yay!

In a conversation recently, someone mentioned that they don't understand labels. That's how they grew up, and why can't we all just be human? This seems a bit troubling to me. It's ok to not understand them. However, to say we're all just human and should identify as that, is kind of narrow-minded. The thing is what's considered 'human' in general, is really just a tiny narrow sliver of the human experience. In general, people think others are just straight (heteroromantic and heterosexual) and cis. They consider that the norm, and eventually what makes us 'human'. That can be dangerous. I know they probably didn't mean it this way, but this is what's seen as normal or human quite often. There's a vast diversity of people that this just ignores. They're like different lenses on the overall human experience. If people ignore it, it's kind of a disservice to us all. I'm glad we're not all the same. That would be boring. Straight and cis people do matter too, but they aren't the only type of people out there. I think it's amazing. Nature apparently loves diversity, but people shun away anything that they don't know. It's too complex, too 'nuanced', they seem like new words, etc. There have been people feeling the way they have since humans came into existence, and now we finally have words for them. That is awesome in itself. It might be my anthropological part of my mind kicking in, but it's interesting to learn about. (I was majoring in anthropology and loved it.) There are some people will invalidate their identity, and tell them that it doesn't exist. This is basically telling them they themselves don't exist. 

Also, I tend to feel giddy and bubbly when I debate or try to clear up a misunderstanding. That's usually in various forums online and in facebook groups. Although, I usually don't do it much on facebook. On Saturday, someone in an ace spectrum group asked if we're a complete ace or on the spectrum. I mentioned how I found 'complete' ace problematic. Someone misunderstood, and it took a while until they got it. I felt saying complete would make it sound like ace-spectrum people aren't whole or authentic in their own right. They eventually said: "Well, if you're such a complete ace, why are you in an ace-spectrum group?" It seemed weird. Technically when people say ace-spectrum, they mean everyone under the ace umbrella. This would indeed include me. I'm just on the far ace side. In groups like this if they ask you if you're on the spectrum, it means the area in between aces and sexuals. The grey area. Truly all sexuality (including aces) is on a spectrum. Once they understood, they apologized profusely. They said that they were constantly invalidated by people for so long, they were defensive, and didn't really read clearly. My heart goes out to them. I really do care about all of the community. That's why I try to speak up when people say they'll allow aces into LGBTQ+ spaces, as long as they're not heteroromantic. No, you accept all of us or none of us. You can't pick and choose.

I've seen some ace 'discourse' on facebook lately. Usually, you'll see it on Tumblr, not fb. This has come up lately because of Pride and the weird vid that has been going around. The one put out by a gym (?) company promoting inclusion, and showing identities and meanings represented by letters from A-Z. They totally erased aces from it. They could have used aros or agender people, too. Quite a few to choose from. Instead they used ally. Allies are supposed to be an outside force helping the community. That's an extremely important role. I'm not dissing them on it. They aren't LGBTQ+, though. Anyways, someone did basically a rebuttal article on it, and it's being shared around, too. It's not the best, but it wasn't bad. The LGBTQ+ gatekeepers have been coming out to hate on aces since then. Luckily there really isn't that many, but it's disheartening. For some, if they just replaced ace with gay, it would be very homophobic. It's sickening. 

After someone was explaining to another person that aces are not cishet, they kept repeating that they were. Cishet is sometimes used almost like a slur to people outside of the community. It usually means cisgender and heterosexual. That doesn't mean heteroromantic aces fall under this category. You can't be both heterosexual and asexual at the same time. That's having an attraction and not. Also, there are trans people who are ace. Saying that they don't want cishets in their community, and then turning around and saying cishet allies belong; makes absolutely no sense. Someone was saying that all aces should be raped or kill themselves. Really nasty stuff.

Some keep saying that aces don't face oppression. Yet, every time aces share a study or their own experiences, they say it's really just because of something else. It can't be because you're ace. They oftentimes think being ace just means you don't like or are scared of sex. (So wrong!) Reading the personal stories aces have shared has been really difficult. However, I think they're very important. Many have gone through corrective rape or assault. Some were put through conversion therapy, and knew other aces that committed suicide because of it. Many were forced on hormones in order to 'turn' them sexual. Many can't rent an apartment. There was a recent study where people would rather rent out an apartment to a gay person than an ace. It's just too different or they don't understand it. Some were fired when their boss found out, because they didn't know what it meant. Some have been kicked out of their family's homes. Some of those families have disowned them. Some have heard about others being killed because they either fought back to prevent being raped, or just because they're different. There's a lot more. For many aces, this ace 'discourse' or Oppression Olympics is too much to take. Especially from a community that's supposed to help us, and be inclusive. 

A few aces have said some hurtful things within some of the ace groups I'm apart on fb. It can get to people more when it's other aces doing close to similar things. Saying why should we be in the LGBTQ+ community? All they are is about sex. This is absolutely false. If they knew the history of it and what it stands for, they wouldn't say that. Also, some of them seem to have invalidated people in the grey area. Saying they're just sexuals trying to be special and invading. There are ace elitist, which are really damaging for the rest of the ace community, and people outside of it. They think you have to be a certain way to be a 'true' asexual, call people who want kids 'breeders', think they're superior to sexuals, hate aces that have or like sex, they think if you're ace you must be aro, etc. As soon as these people are found, they're banned. The damage has already been done by then, though. This environment of some of the LGBTQ+ community, the people outside of it, and some people within our own community is very toxic. Luckily, most of the acephobic stuff is really done by the community outside of the greater LGBTQ+ one. There's just a small percentage in the LGBTQ+ one and among aces. However, they can be loud.

Seattle's Pride parade will be on Sunday. The local Pride group has a float in it this year. That'll be cool to see. I'll be marching with them. They said the volunteers should wear white shorts or pants. I don't have any white pants. (Don't really like shorts.) I guess I'll have to get some by then. Not much time for it. They'll give us shirts, too. Apparently, they're mostly blue. Don't know what the significance of the colors are. Hopefully, it'll be ok to have my flag. I'm leaning more towards wearing it now. It won't be as in your face this way, I guess. Maybe I'll meet other aces through wearing it. Should be fun. 

There will be a Bat Mitzvah the day before. We know the mom and her daughter who's becoming that Bat Mitzvah. So, that should be good. 

I'm starting to think the Pride group isn't going to be in the local 4th of July parade. It's not on their event schedule. At least, not that I can see. They didn't mention it at the picnic, either. That would be sad if they're not in it. Pride fest is still going to happen, of course. It'd be good to have something more local for people who can't go to Seattle, though.

I'm really moving along on both the sequel to Alliance and the memoir. Wrote so much of the sequel today that my hands hurt. They still hurt a bit. I'm close to 30 pages for both now. Basically, double that when thinking about paperback versions. (In that way, that'd be 120 pages.) That's quite a bit.  I'm several pages into chapter 3 for both. I thought I had briefly hit a wall with the sequel, but ended up being barely there. The ideas for that are just flowing. The memoir's 3rd chapter is on the topic of pets and animals in general. That's becoming longer than I expected. The one before that was on Judaism. I like how it's coming along so far.

Both the ebook versions of Alliance and Sweet Endless Terror have promos at the moment. Decided to have Alliance's as the free one this time. Last time I did that with SET. I think I'm selling more free copies for Alliance so far. 19 last I checked. I think I sold about 6 at this point with SET when it was free. Alliance's going up in ranking. Interestingly, I've looked at the ranking graph, and it has been steadily increasing each day since January. That's pretty cool. SET has the discount countdown one right now. It's not doing anything really. Next week it'll have the same promo on the UK site. Maybe they'll like that more? I was too nervous to see how many I've sold of both before the promos. Still unsure if I want to see. I have it set to show me sales from 2 weeks ago and on. 

I finished the Japanese course on Duolingo about a week ago. I don't think the course's completely done with development. It didn't have the chatting with a bot, and then a native born person talking on the phone with you part yet. Plus, it seemed awfully short. I learned a lot from it. Filled in a lot of the stuff that I needed to go over. I looked briefly at their Hebrew course. They teach it to you without the vowels right off the bat. Makes it even weirder. Most people start with the vowels, memorize those words, and then move onto learning it without the vowels. So, this seems a bit advanced. Weird sentences, too. Like: Mom, when is love coming? There's also a heart this time that's apparently your health. If you run out of bars on it, you have to start over or wait until the bars load up again. Seems like this one has been out longer. I've wanted to get back to French, too. So, maybe I'll do that. Learning other languages would be awesome, as well! Might do the Greek, Irish, Chinese, Korean, Thai, etc. courses in the future. I love learning this stuff

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