I am very disappointed in you

People griping me out for not being published yet- my publisher, my psychologist, my DAD… O_O

That’s right, my DAD, the old Mennonite who wants me to pull his gold teeth out of his head with a pliers after he dies. ermahgerd The convo I had with him last Friday was insane and eye opening, two long hours of poking out my eyeballs and banging my head on various walls. But he completely supports me, an astonishing surprise that’s had me reeling the entire weekend.

That just gave me an idea for a Christmas present. Scott keeps bugging me about what I want. Click this to go get some yourself.

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Before I do anything else, I’ve got to get this Bluejacky thing *done*. It’s my Mt. Everest, and the air is so thin up here (I’m nearly at the top now after a lifetime of anguish) that I can barely breathe. The world looks so tiny down there, and once I leap off I’ll be way up in the sky all by myself, tacking through jet streams and running the breezes. (I’m learning sailing/nautical terminology for a cool story I’ve had going on the side for a few years). I don’t mean to sound so dramatic, but just the thought of a hard core interview is terrifying.

I’m a hermit, tucked away in my cave. Since I first came out public on the internet in 2008 about who I really am, I’ve heard privately from a number of people literally around the world about heavy things they live with and can’t bear to say out loud. I have been surprised at how many people around this globe have silently followed me through everything I do because I brave the dreaded conflict and dare to deal with some things head on in public. I’ve gotten emails and private messages for years from people struggling with mental health diagnoses, autoimmune disorders, sexual angst, abusive relationships, suicide questions…

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I intimately know what it’s like to lurk in the greasy back alleys of black despair. I KNOW what it’s like to live without hope, longing for even a taste of joy an a hollow emptiness that renders philosophical debates about life into oblivion. I know what it’s like to live believing nothing good will ever happen again.

I’m no expert, but I’m here to say it’s possible to make it through ALL that and spring forth with joy. I’m not selling salvation, I haven’t been brainwashed or drugged, I’m not hanging on to a psychotic belief in anything like I’ve seen so many people do when they reach the end of their ropes and think they have nowhere else to turn.

What I have is what I was born with- a lack of empathy, a blunt list of questions, and a gift for words. What I need *right now* is a realistic time pressure. Can I get this done before The Walking Dead returns in February? Because I’m gonna roll with TWD next year, after holding out all this time. In the meantime, another crazy roller coaster ride through the holidays around here and maybe the reason I’m not on the keyboard is because I’m plugging my fingers into my ears and singing LALALALALALALA. If you wanna see real evidence of my change of heart on video, here you go. I look like a dork, but who doesn’t, right? Best way to deal with severe social anxiety is head on. Surprisingly, I don’t have a problem with the camera part, or the talking part, so people don’t understand me at all when I say I have anxiety, which, yes, is medically documented as being pretty severe. See my last post for an explanation of sorts.

I’m done with this. Back to real life. Go see my Winter Storm Klingon pictures and video on my facebook while I get back to laundry and working on Christmas cards and presents.

wonky, worms, and the Borg

I’ve got this weird thing in my head where I ‘wake up’ to realizations months and sometimes even years after things happen. I’m not sure if this is what makes time passing wonky for me or if it’s the other way around. On one level I’m with it, I know what’s going on, on another level I’m not aware of myself at all being in the now and then later when I have memories I have to sort them out like a puzzle figuring out the time order they came in, and on another level still (and this is where it comes months and years later) I suddenly ‘get’ the big picture from a third person viewpoint. So basically I can coexist with a factoid that everyone takes for granted (and really doesn’t care about), realize it’s a thing way later even though I was involved all along, and then suddenly even wayer laterer get this thunderclap how I must have looked knowing something and not knowing it at the same time.

I’m obsessed with the Schrodinger’s cat dilemma and the photo slit experiment. I don’t think existence has to be perceived even if it purportedly must be observed. I’m not sure perceiving is enough in the “I think therefore I am” equation. Everything around us is pretty solid ‘am’ without too much thought leaking around. It’s like saying “I’m aware of my existence, therefore I exist.” Worms accomplish that every day, they just don’t have words for it, unless maybe they do but they’re not sharing a vast wealth of planet knowledge with us. The problem with the cat is no one assumes it will fight to get out of the box and knock the geiger counter around in the process, possibly setting off a false reading or even disabling it, and when we finally open the box we get a tangle of cat in our faces and stagger about clutching our bloody eyeballs.

It’s bothering me that even though I can download my entire twitter history, address links are not yet available for individual mobile tweets, at least on my phone, so even though I can find the very first time I tweeted with a particular person out of 46,600 tweets, I can’t open that tweet and I can’t pull it up on a twitter search even with precise word combinations because it’s too old and I can’t scroll back that far through the actual history on my laptop without bogging down to the point where it can’t load any more because the script stops running. Why do I want that, you ask. Because if I could open that tweet I could see the rest of the conversation around it, I say. Why is that so important, you ask. Because I have a weird wonky time tangled memory and it’s nice to be able to see what actually happened and the order it happened in, I say. Why do you even care, you say. Because after a lifetime of aspie disconnection it’s nice to finally be able to plug emotional bonds into the correct holes in my head, I say. Seeing something in print is more solid to me than just remembering something, like reinforcement. I feel lost when something seems vague and blurry in my head because I wasn’t paying the right kind of attention in the first place to make notes the same way other people do in face to face and phone conversations.

I’m an after the fact person. I’ve been tweeting with several groups of people for a long time and it’s just now hitting me they seem to know me and my idiosyncrasies much better than I do theirs because it took me so many months in the first place to establish which avatar goes with whose name (and both changing every little bit throws me off), where they live and which kids and pets are theirs if they have any, the different jobs they have, the things they like. I’m loving every minute of it, actually, wish my whole life had been twitter so it would have made more sense. I have an awesome memory for something I’ve seen in print and have irritated people for years quoting something they wrote ages ago in blogs or forums and they either have no recollection or aren’t remembering it properly, but I really suck at real time conversations because the words don’t come through my eyes. Sometimes I feel like a photon, like I’ve been in two (or more) different places for one event, and it takes awhile for memories of events to sift down into something I can associate into a timeline.

I wasn’t aware until my 30’s that this is a cognitive deficit I live with, and wasn’t aware until ten years later that it’s considered such a devastating brain problem that people who work with brain trauma victims and psychological assessment can’t believe I was able to hold jobs and make it through college. I work very hard at social mapping, and lately twitter is a huge part of being more successful with it. I can’t even imagine going back to a life without twitter. Social media is a godsend for me. I feel like I understand the attraction the Borg queen offered, being able to finally plug in and be accepted on a level I’ve never experienced before, and hear the world sing its song in my head. Through my eyeballs. But really and truly in my head once those brain implants get here.
 

SnarkAlecs, Syfy, and Twitter, oh my

I have never fit into a group in my whole life. I’m the sore thumb sticking out in every get together, club, class, and forum. Even when I think I’m being subtle I glow like neon. Sooner or later I suck at being friends, too, as lightly detailed in my Fun Myspace Survey on my Bluejacky blog (the Menudo part to the End of the World part), but I’m too busy being busy to wallow longer than two minutes at a time in weepy black depressions. My tagline on Bluejacky since 2008 has been “I am the cat who walks by himself, and all places are alike to me. -Rudyard Kipling”.

Twitter changed all that. I was working on my plan to reconstruct my internet empire from my old evil villain days (I now accept that a few people found me a profoundly annoying boat rocker), quietly tweeting to a seemingly unnoticing world and politely swapping links with a few other scifi webmasters last winter when I suddenly found myself being swooped on by a little twitter gang telling me “good morning” and “happy hump day” and “TGIF” and many other yappy little niceties through the week, week after week after week….

The other webmasters’ sites in case you’re interested-
SF Series and Movies
Nerd Movie
SyFyDesigns

Insert context here- The reason I suck at being friends is because I have Asperger’s and I’ve spent most of my life not getting what the social dance in conversations is all about until recently, so I couldn’t imagine why in the world this little gang persistently kept tweeting hello to me. I pulled one aside to ask why, he said “Because it’s nice.” Ok, so it wasn’t anything weird or suspicious, but just people being nice to me out of the blue for no reason I could discern, which flummoxed me. (The unspoken ‘gossip’ in the survey link above runs pretty deep, I felt used and jaded like never before in my life, all because I obsessively built a fan site to a scifi TV show). About two months into it I finally got the hang of the happy hello yap, but it took another two months to keep their names straight, along with where they live in the world, if they have kids and pets, and the sorts of things they find interesting. We’re talking a little group of 6 people with a few extended contacts. Yes, I suck that badly at being friends. I’m better at telling identical white chickens apart than I am remembering this person has a cat and that person lives up north. But after what happened in 2007, I decided this was my chance to try again, and if it doesn’t work out this time that’s it, I’m done trying to have friends.

I noticed over several more weeks as I adapted to more and more bits of random personal information tweeting at me in sudden flurries of howdies that our common theme seemed to be particular TV shows. Call me slow, but it finally dawned on me that every one of us had a thing for the Syfy channel, or what fills in for that in some other countries, like the Space channel. I myself followed Sliders from NBC to Syfy in the late 90’s, then followed Stargate SG-1 and Lexx from Showtime back to Syfy, and I’ve hung in through schedule changes ever since. No one else in my family outside my marriage cares for scifi, and coming from the extremely religious family history that I did, that made me a black sheep. My dad was very concerned that I watched TV shows challenging my faith, actually chock full of false gods like Q, Ra, and Thor. If anything, I found my faith in humanity and pursuing right over wrong strengthened by shows like Star Wars and Star Trek more than sitting in church ever did. Unfortunately, growing up aspie and more intensely isolated than most kids (my dad is a Mennonite), and then rarely running into adults who watched these things, I had no one to talk to for decades. I have quietly cherished memories of the original Lost in Space series from my childhood like some people might cherish memories of family holidays. I see now how remarkably sad I was that I would never be able to talk to my parents like Will and Penny could talk to their parents. I guess it was kind of like The Brady Bunch, except with spaceships, aliens, a robot, and a mad scientist. Interestingly, I ‘got’ the social stuff just fine when it was embedded into scifi stuff, but as an aspie I can’t stand shows focusing only on relationships. The clincher for me is the problem solving that the group does together for the sake of survival, or for science. Love stories and parenting sitcoms and crime shows bore me silly.

So yeah, after decades of never being consistently socialized with or validated by people who were supposed to love me, I found it confusing and then amusing and then very comforting that a gang of scifi watchers wanted to say hi to me nearly every day for going on nine months now.

One of the people in my little gang was not only a content writer for a TV show and movie review global website family but is also part of another twitter gang called the SnarkAlecs, who like to live tweet what they’re watching on TV, mostly based around Syfy original movies but also including new shows on Syfy and other networks. The SnarkAlecsboss and his own little gang put together a weekly podcast show for radio talking about the TV shows they watch, and create their own Snarktistics such as ratings for movie of the week, coming in mostly from live tweet watch parties. What’s impressive is that the SnarkAlecs pull in some cool guests from Syfy movies and other podcast and music projects, and now they are branching into spinoffs called Dylan Knows and Snarkaholics. Like me, they create because they love this stuff and pay out of pocket to do it, like I do with my blogs, so I think it’s safe to say I’ve found some kindred spirits. I’ve started a SnarkAlecs pinterest board if you’re interested in seeing these guys, and the pins link to the shows for easy access. (I’m a groupie.)

I went through some pretty rough stuff at the end of summer, not least of which was my blog host of nine years suddenly pulling up roots to move to new servers for a ‘relaunch’ and building an all new blog hosting site with all the old archives. You’ve never been through internet hell like your blog host ripping your blogs up right before a book launch you had planned for an entire year based heavily on two of your blogs and it taking not just weeks but months to get everything back into a readable format with navigation. Which I’m still waiting on. If I had been free floating on my own through all that and had never been picked up by my twitter gang and then sucked joyfully into the SnarkAlecs, I think I would have just folded up shop and said forget it. The depression has been incredible. I watched people freaking out earlier this week because Facebook was glitchy for a few hours, imagine your host site being mangled for a couple of MONTHS and your content being shredded. Yeah, *that*. Suddenly everything I’d been linking and building a launch platform over was just gone *poof* and then when it came back it looked like a third grader made it and the navigation was still *poof*, and over the last 7 weeks is finally coming back enough to be able to read a little, but now it’s not making much sense because my wholeness was obliterated. You can’t survive like that on the internet any more. Everything is real time dependent if you are tying together your social media. For great chunks of it to disappear is devastating.

The joke is actually on me, I originally made all my stuff go *poof* a few years ago and then decided to resurrect it, so the irony is not lost on me at all. I did the unthinkable | GrandFortuna’s League of 20,000 Planets

A lot of flak goes to people who can’t stop texting through dinner dates or who are so addicted to facebook that they go into depressions when their computers go down, and since I had spent several years using social media to distract myself from my own depressions through building fan sites and blogging, I decided to shut it all down and take a break. I had no public interaction whatsoever for about a year. It was glorious. I figured out who I really am and what I really want are what I’ve been all along- being a public figure using social media to create things I enjoy as a way to relax and escape my own doldrums. But this time I have a plan and goals and a timetable, and it’s way more fun than it was the first time around. As before, I wasn’t on the internet to find friends, but to amuse myself and others as a distraction from whatever miseries our lives pile on us, because that’s what fandoms are all about- escapism. Except this time the key is to be a real person without a mask. That’s a scary thing in fandoms. I’ve been stalked a few times to the point of someone bringing a gun into my house (pre-Lexx), so this decision wasn’t made lightly. If I’m going to interact with fans, I’m going to be a real person, not an avatar, not a mysterious webmaster, not one icon for this activity and another icon for that. My whole entire real self is here now, my personas gathered into purpose, and you know what? It’s a relief! I’m so tired of playing the fan behind the mask game. If haters want a piece of me, I’m right here, and I don’t care any more.

I made that decision about 15 months ago. I made a new twitter account and slowly started linking my various medias. My plan’s timetable had 3-month, 6-month, and 12-month projections, like so much traffic here or there by a certain date. I studied other successful media personalities and worked hard at creating new content to support a more professional writing career.

What I didn’t expect was friends. I wasn’t back to make friends. My history with friendship is dismal. I now understand that it’s my fault, because my glaring social deficit sooner or later tries people’s souls like chaff in the fire. Once I realized this, sadly not soon enough for the 2007 debacle, I worked on communication problems with a psychologist for several years and practiced on my poor family, with some pretty good results. Not all our problems are solved, but I no longer burn bridges over communication problems. I also practice the social niceties dance every day so that my new skills remain fresh and rooted in positive habit. I still have the same old personal feelings about it all, but now I choose which carries more weight- the necessity of airing my trivial grievances versus the good feeling I get that some people actually enjoy seeing me enter a room.

I enjoy being a loner, but I really like the feeling that I’m part of the world, too. This is important.

I’m part of the SyFySnarkAlecs twitter list now. I’ve got a built in group of friends who like the same TV shows I like, and I can check that list any time and see what everyone’s up to. The very best part of that list, for me, is watching parents proactively and very positively raise their kids with full blown scifi in their houses, something I never had and only dreamed of. It’s real, and I get to see it. *feels*

Before I got on twitter I never group watched a scifi show (movie theaters don’t count). How many of us have looked on longingly during Friends and Seinfeld and The Big Bang Theory wishing we had a solid group of people to come back to every little bit? I discovered live hashtag tweeting after I got my first iphone last Thanksgiving (black Friday sale!) and had an awesome time watching the Superbowl blackout happen live, and watching the Triple Crown races with other fans on twitter in real time. That’s the thing- real time. You can hang out with people from all over the world watching the same live events and seeing what they’re saying. I discovered the joyful camaraderie of watching witty people joking together and found myself literally laughing out loud just checking my phone, a sort of fun I haven’t felt in a long time.

If you like live hashtag tweeting, you might see me (Pinky) jumping in once in awhile. You can follow me at PinkyGuerrero on Twitter.

edit 10-30-13 Click this thumbnail to see comments left on the contact form, which comes to me privately and doesn’t display for the public.

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