Archive for August, 2013

optimal? semi-random update bits

2013-08-25 01:42:37 PST

So, how have I been doing, what’s new? Etc., etc.

Well, I think generally, some (slight?/)moderate bit better. Kind’a generally “okay”, or at least “passable”. A bit above “surviving” I guess, but not by all that much – certainly not “living”, but, eh, whatever, beats things sucking even worse, anyway.

And, at the moment? Meh, not so hot. And, yeah, that’ll probably make my writing suck even a bit more. “Oh well”, deal with it. ;-)

So a few random thoughts. Ought I be much more me? Or, rather “be” much more neurotypcial(NT) – or at least “fake” it better, or learn how to much better interact with such? I really don’t know. Somehow I guestimate that what is and would be optimal, is probably some of both – and may very much depend upon circumstances, and other factors. “Use what works.” – I don’t think that’s a static answer, but qutie context dependent. Rats, if only all the “right” answers, were simple ones.

Other bits – social interaction, and how I suck at it – especially non-verbal. But, … is it really on or mostly on the “sending” side, … or is it receiving, … or both? I’d been tending to think it was mostly a “sending” problem. Namely, at “reading” emotional state, from faces, I thought I was fairly good at that – a hair above average even. But, … that was based on static images of faces – on-line kind’a test, no timelimits or time constraints, nothing moving (other than when I clicked to input a response or go to next image), effectively no interaction, reaction, or movement. Certainly a whole helluva lot different than attempting to have a conversation with someone – and mostly failing to make eye contact, as that tends to distract the hell out’a me, and have me completely forget what I was saying or attempting to say – even mid-sentence. So, maybe I also suck, or quite so, on the receiving side of things. Seem to do fair at vocal cues though – in the listening, … but not great … and … perhaps much better at that when I’m not listening to the words nor even trying to listen to the words. I dunno. I just shouldn’t jump too easily to conclusions – especially if they may be quite incorrect. Not that I’d concluded much, but had hypothesized.

This weekend, … yeah, thus far pretty sucky. Really quite nothing I’ve been looking forward to, nothing I’ve been wanting to do. Sucks more than work, and no, I don’t want to be throwing myself more into work – that can quickly become a bad habit, and does about zilch to make the rest of my (non-work) life any better. So, … yeah, have done far too little, seems I can’t find anything I want to do at all. And, crud, next weekend – a 3-day weekend – a whole other extra day to attempt to fill with … something. Well, maybe I ought try harder … or … more accurately, more effectively … to find something I actually look forward to, enjoy, want to do, and can actually do and achieve … and not some pipe dream that’s continuing unreachable disappointment.

Work ‘n all that – been fairly busy, … that and other random stuff I’ve been doing or more-or-less needing to do / get done. Has that been “good”? Eh, mostly just fills the time less painfully, … and is slightly productive (well, for me, anyway, work likes my productivity fine). So, sure, not “good”, but … approximately “okay” … passable. If I could get the non-work stuff even up to that level, it would be a significant improvement. Yeah, I did say I’m not in all that great a mood as I’m writing this. Generally been better / more positive, most of the last couple weeks or so. Not sure precisely why I feel somewhat more like crud at present. Nothing I want to do? Is that more cause, or is that more of symptom?

Connection? Yeah, mostly highly lacking. Did, in the past couple weeks or so, have a couple nice on-line chats with someone. That was quite nice and pleasant, and I really enjoyed that. But far too highly rare and uncommon. E.g. was with someone I’d not heard from, at least for the most part, in about a year. And, … since then – more of the same – little interaction/communication – certainly nothing coming anywhere close to a nice online conversation again. Had some other on-line bits ‘o chat here ‘n there with some other random folks, but that’s mostly been … well, too topical to post here now, anyway. Let’s just say it ain’t exactly been good for my mood. And, as for any in-person, face-to-face, any kind of real connection, or anything near anywhere close, or prospects thereof? Yeah, don’t I wish.

OkCupid and my profile there. Not sure why, but I feel inclined to go on there and edit it. Maybe some more of “me”, but, alas, with relatively “down” mood, and relatively “what the hell” attitude, that could be kind’a hazardous and/or not work very well, … yet that doesn’t seem to dissuade me from the idea. Haven’t yet, … but might go on there at any moment, and start editing away. Also frequently inclined to just totally blow it all away on there – get rid of profile, account, ‘n all that. Seems so damn hopeless anyway. Not sure why I feel like getting rid of it all like that. Maybe in part it’s like a “F*ck you, you had your chance, you never even said ‘hi’ to me or responded, or you rejected me anyway, without even knowing me.” … not that such attitude is at all logical, but what the hell do feelings and emotions have to do with logic? Hmmmm, other random bit … profile photos there need show the person in the photo. I was thinkin’ of mucking around with that … like make me as few pixels on there as could even possibly be recognized, … shrink that *way* down, … quite low res. And, would that help my prospects on OkCupid? Naw, statistically, that would likely quite suck. Kind’a inclined towards no photo at all – except I know that greatly lowers one’s odds on OkCupid. Yeah, logic, what’s that got to do with it? And probably best not to be editing my profile stuff on OkCupid while my mood is down. Despite any best efforts to the contrary, that tends to leak (more like bleed profusely) all over the place – even if not intended, and giving it my best effort, the negative/down attitude seeps through and permeates everything – and that tends to mostly just quite to highly chase away most any prospects. So, … yeah, maybe best if I don’t go on there … if I can keep myself from doing on there. If I go on there, likely it would just sink my mood more. All the efforts, and, crud, what, only one date this year, not even an hour long, and that was pretty sucky at that. Yeah, I should find something else to do, … almost anything else. Now, if only I could find something I wanted to do, … uhm, yeah, like that might actually even be achievable. Nice in-person conversation, that I’d like to have, but … we’re talkin’ reality here. Okay, so reality sucks, my prospects are pretty close to nill on that.

Buggers, and I ought also be updating my resume – similar issue there, if I’m in crud mood writing/editing it, that tends to leak/bleed through significantly, and not go so well.

Crud, yes the writing sucks, no I’m not gonna do much to fix this post – I read through it more/again, thinking to edit, and mostly just drags my mood down more, and, cr*p, starts giving me a stress headache, … not good.

Okay, let’s see if I can end on a positive, er, uhm, at least less negative, note.

“Don’t think about it” – yeah that’s kind’a often mostly a good thing/idea. Been doing a lot ‘o that lately. Especially relationships, or prospects thereof, friends or attempting to make friends or prospects or how to even go about that. Mostly just not think about it – as much as I quite possibly can. Not think about it, not try – pretty much at all and … results? Better mood. Don’t feel so much like cr*p/crud if I avoid, like the plague, thinking about it, or even so much as trying. Does it increase my odds of meeting anyone or anything like that? Hell no … not even trying, but often even retreat from and avoid most any possibility – especially if it doesn’t seem/feel highly probable to lead to some kind’a decent connection. Which, … kind’a means almost avoiding all contact. Crud, eh? And it make me feel better! Yeah, that’s bass ackwards, but is what it is. Maybe that’s why I’ve mostly been feeling better, f*ckin’ don’t think about it at all – at least as much as feasible … and even semi-actively avoid possibilities (really don’t need yet more disappointments/”failure”). Guess that’s why writing/reading this is so unpleasant for me – causes me to think about it, and that’s damn painful, unpleasant, and friggin’ depressing. Whole lot “nicer” to be not thinking about it – at all. Sucks being human. Sure as hell could do without emotions or any need/desire to connect. Cr*p. Positive note/ending, ah, yes, … (try to) fill time with “stuff to do” – “distractions”, do not think about connecting or attempt such at all and … I friggin’ feel better! [insert smirk here]. Whatever, … enough for now – switch my attention to some distractions or something else to do, and … I’ll feel “better” again (at least for certain definitions of “better”). “Fine thanks, how are you?”

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Boredom Proneness Scale (BPS)

2013-08-23 01:49:02 PST

Boredom Proneness Scale (BPS) – I got:
“You have a 67% chance of being bored out of your skull.
67%
Boredom sets in quickly. Coping with monotony is a struggle.”

Hmmm, that one must be scored differently – another source I ran across (reference at end of this post) actually says, that “average scores range between 81 and 117”.

Uhm, yes, I did also nod off multiple times while taking the above quiz before completing it – all of 30 questions (1 age, 1 gender, 28 true/false).

Okay, searching some more … Boredom Proneness Scale (BPS) – “Your Score 144
The Boredom Proneness Scale suggests that the higher you score on the scale, the more prone you are to boredom. Your score of 144 suggests you are in the top 1%-2% of the population likely to become bored.

Just 2.3% score above 135 or below 63.”

Hmmm, yeah, a whole lot of scales/tests/measures, I tend to score “about average”, or .. one to two or more standard deviations away from average (e.g. 10%, to more often about 5% to 1% or less at extreme end of scale).

Anyway, this is the video that lead me to search out (and take) those tests: Why Do We Get Bored?

Neurotypical

2013-08-22 07:14:25 PST

Nerutypical – documentary – “Neurotypical is an unprecedented exploration of autism from the point of view of autistic people themselves.” “Neurotypical – a term used to describe non-autistics by autistics” trailer: 1:41 full movie: 52:09 available online through 2013-08-28

Anyway, I’d quite recommend the video. I found it to be quite good / excellent. One can also purchase the DVD. May also be available in, e.g., libraries – and some libraries have in fact had screenings of this documentary.

I’ll likely comment on it (more) later (time, priorities …). Besides, perhaps better to see it before reading any comments I might have about it.

been busy … catch-up, … updates, …

2013-08-22 07:04:38 PST

So, I been kind’a busy. Things settling down more now (well, maybe? Whatever.).

Some semi-random thoughts, updates, and catch-up. Can’t cover it “all” (lucky you, maybe that means it won’t be too long of my writing) … but, … maybe you won’t get that lucky. ;-) Sorry.

Last Saturday/Sunday – fair bit to much of it … headache(s) – at least on and off. Not sure what was up with that. I don’t get headaches often. Most commonly when I do, it’s from stress – particularly negative form(s) of stress – I can feel it – feel the stress in such cases – typically point more-or-less to “exactly” what’s bothering me or got me particularly stressed that’s doing it. Saturday/Sunday? What was doing it? Oh yes, had quite that feel to it, so, yeah, almost certainly negative stress – though there might also have been some other contributing factors. But, put my finger on it precisely – no, couldn’t quite do that. Maybe too much in the mix to quite do that – I dunno. Anyway, headache(s) gone – and good riddance! Yeah, like I said, don’t get ’em often. Last ‘o that seemed to fade and go away sometime on Sunday.

Use what works! – Kind’a thinking a bit of Bruce Lee philosophy. So, … try to be more me? Less of that trying to be like a neurotypical (NT)? Or … ??? What is the optimal strategy? Perhaps (quite likely), what’s best and most effective is … some of both. Probably varies by time and circumstances. Probably also likely varies in particular components. E.g. optimal, for situation X, may be to be more “normal” (NT) on A, B, E, G, and T, and much more “me” on D, R, S, and Q. Uhm, yeah, … if only I well knew – or even had substantial clue(s) as to how much of which was best, and when, where, and under what circumstances. Oh, not to mention being able to actually do such! Hmmmmm… Therein lies the rub? Yeah, big part of the problem is I can’t determine what works. :-( Try whole helluva lot, try this, try that, try the other, try it this way, that way, the other way, try not at all. Results so damn near identical, I can’t separate out at all what does/doesn’t work at all. Or, … reality? It must be different – quite different – or at least I quite presume most all that stuff makes at least some difference, and certainly ought be the signs/signals/evidence to see/determine what makes what kind’a difference – in various ways, both desired, and not. Yeah, seems key problem there, then, must be, not that it makes no difference, and there’s no difference to detect. No, not that. Seems much more probable to be the case that I’m highly blind to it. Many signs, signals, cues, etc., and, unless/until they’re quite blatant, clear, and unambiguous – well – probably even more absolute than “just” that, … only then (or nearly so), do I actually pick up on ’em. Seems viable hypothesis – and would explain a whole lot. How the hell could I adapt and optimize the interactions and such, if I could never even read the cues? Yeah, that’d be a problem – and rather likely is what’s going on … or probably a rather large chunk of it, anyway. Still guestimating/hypothesizing, but seems quite likely to be the case.

Try more, try harder? Aw, f*ck it. ;-) Well, to a fairly large extent, more recently, just have not been trying. And is that a bad thing? Eh, yes and no, but not necessarily. I suppose, been being a bit more “me”, trying less to be/act like somebody/something else (NT), or even tryin’ a whole helluva lot to interact better with NTs. I mean, really, what’s it gotten me? About nothing. Or has it? Maybe I’m so sucky at it I can’t tell the difference ’cause most all those interactions are rather/quite “bad” (ineffective), and … even when I try like heck, maybe I still highly suck at it, and can’t read it worth beans, that, … well, the results are equally abysmal. And so it goes. Busy – yeah, been fair bit ‘o that. For better or worse that mostly gives me lots less time to “try”, or even think about it. The good(?) bit is – makes the passing of time less painful – fills it with stuff to do. Okay, most of which I don’t particularly (if hardly at all) care about or much enjoy, but … whatever, less painful anyway. Sort’a kind’a (barely/marginally) (almost?) “okay”(?). Still rather sucks, but what the hell, it’s less painful. Okay, maybe except for some sh*t headaches.

Try not to think about it. Yeah, that makes it less painful / more tolerable too. Just don’t friggin’ think about it. Friend(s)? Relationship(s)? Prospects thereof? Attempting to find/grow that, connect, etc.? Yeah, it’s shit, it’s hard, it sucks, it’s painful. But if I don’t think about it – as much as feasible (keep busy with lots ‘o other stuff/sh*t) – and also, mostly not even trying, … it hurts less, … even quite a bit less. Sh*t, … that ain’t exactly a solution though, … not even close – more like just friggin’ pain relief. Haven’t stopped the source/cause of the pain. No wonder I had a friggin’ headache. Whole bloodly weekend off and … try? Prospects? Yeah, did go to a social event. Hell, went to really at least two such events. Did I try? No, not really hardly at all. Attitude? Yeah, rather “negative” – or perhaps more so too friggin’ realistic attitude. Mostly with attitude ain’t no friggin’ way in hell I’m gonna meet ‘n connect with nobody. Not that it was bad – not even that I was “negative” on it. Tryin’ to think how to more accurately describe/convey. Kind’a like attitude of not trying, not caring, anticipating and having zero prospects, and not caring about it and not thinking about it – or … well, not quite really/fully, but sort’a like tryin’ to fake myself out and think that way. And just not push myself on it. Yeah, no wonder I had a friggin’ headache. And despite all that, it was “okay” – for certain definitions of “okay”. Wasn’t really all that painful at all (okay, except for the headaches). Enjoyable? Eh, passable, more-or-less. Did I enjoy it enough I’d want to do it again? Oh, more like I’d kind’a slightly prefer not to, but keep throwing myself at it anyway – ’cause, yeah, that’s some ‘o ’bout the best prospects I got, … even if they’re about zilch. FML. Yeah, … not think about it. :-> (Much!) less painful that way – at least for the most part. Results? Eh, thus far cr*p, either way.

Use what works. Yeah, I need to get to that. Crud – long ways to go. And already over 50 years down. Rats.

And, to attempt to end on a more positive note. Some modest bits of communications in recent weeks have gone pleasantly surprisingly well. Kind’a out-of-the-blue. Not gonna detail on this blog, and really only a couple “conversations” or so, and, … buggers, just on-line text, no IRL, ’bout zilch prospects of that, but … what the hell, certainly better than nothing. Yes, even some very nice positive complimentary comments from someone to me – but alas, over thousands of miles away, and for that and a host of other reasons, will probably never even meet, and … relationship or anything like that? No, ain’t gonna happen, nowhere close, … even if I might wish it – whole lot ‘o reasons, not gonna detail any ‘o that here. And, unfortunately, far too seldom and sporadic and irregular – just generally don’t have that with much or any regularity or dependability (do have one most excellent friend – but a lot ‘o constraints there too … and no, not gonna detail). So, yeah, generally, far too little connection. Cr*p, didn’t I say something about positive? Anyway, at least some bits ‘o nice “connected” on-line chat or the like. Would be nice if I had some such nice conversations – and preferably in person – and much more regularly. Oh well, I can dream, right? Speaking of which, had fairly decent interesting dream overnight – but forgotten almost all of it now. Sleep? Ah, yeah, whatever, too late for more ‘o that – got some. Whatever, sometimes other things are (much) more important than sleep.

“social”, and rerererererererere…rethinking things

2013-08-13 08:12:20 PST

NT? Aspie? ASD or not, whatever. It’s not like there’s a cure, or even really “treatment”, per se. It’s mostly adapting, dealing, learning, compensating. What most (NTs) are able to do intuitively, and don’t have to be (explicitly) “taught” how to do and understand, for ASD folks, that’s quite a different story. Most notably around and impacting social interaction. As I recently heard one person explain it – and paraphrasing from memory – tradeoffs in brain processing power – typically much more adept at other things (e.g. visual thinking, abstract reasoning, verbal processing & words), while sacrificing many of the skills/capabilities that NTs typically have – particularly social related skills – e.g. non-verbal, body language, etc., among many others.

Am I? ASD? Asperger? Whatever. Maybe, maybe not. Seems pretty probable. But when one takes hard critical objective look at DSM-IV-TR & DSM-5 diagnostic criteria (which, incidentally, is intended for properly trained mental health professionals, not laypersons – among other hazards, many words have quite different definitions in their clinical context, as opposed to their common definitions) … well, might be a close call. You’ve, of course, heard of mid-air collisions. Maybe something more like a near miss. Or perhaps a mid-air clip – which is technically a collision, but where either or both craft are damaged, but that damage is not catastrophic. Uhm, … that’s not to say that, whatever/wherever on the NT/ASD spectrum/continuum I may happen to be, it’s not like there aren’t significant impacts and consequences, even if (perhaps barely) not (quite) ASD. Whatever. Some others might have some different theories. Seems “close enough”, in any case, that a whole helluva lot of it quite accurately applies. And, … competing theories? Maybe one, if that, … with a lot of significant/major counter-indicators. May not have enough data to ever truly know. E.g. current DSM-5 includes in part, on ASD diagnostic criteria (paraphrasing from memory), some things to have evidenced in early childhood – and there may no longer exist the evidence or (sufficiently reliable) memories to rather to quite positively assert, or refute, existence of such traits in early childhood. Seems to be kind’a odd to define criteria on a condition which says it must’ve existed before some (young) age X, when, after the fact, it may be impossible to tell if, before age X, it was, or was not then present. Whatever, that’s how the criteria presently stands. Not that I’m horribly concerned about exactly what the criteria is or isn’t, so much as more general understanding, and practical aspects/implications – if/as relevant (if at all).

So, … social. Biggest issue for me is “I suck at social.” Aye, what a lovely “positive” attitude to have, eh? (Yeah, I’m positive I suck at it. ;-)). But really, not that horrible – but “bad” enough – or more so ineffective enough, that it has major impacts. Could go into more detail on that – have certainly at least touched upon it – and continue to learn more there. Fix? Work-around? Let me (maybe?) come back to that later.

After spending a whole lot of time and energy trying to “fix” that, adjust, work-around, etc., bringing into it the absolute best I’ve been able to do – all I’ve learned from professionally lead communication classes, various well recommended techniques, etc., etc., and applying it all as best I can, the results have been … damn nearly identical. Well, certainly at least in terms of any perceptible difference I can discern in results, anyway. So, to say that’s been disappointing would be a major understatement. More accurately, it hurts like hell and continues to hurt like hell. And also keeps feeling like I’m beating my head hard against a wall, quite highly repeatedly, and just hitting more and harder, and hoping for better results. Yeah, … quite sucks. Also, highly discouraging, when I really can’t see any differences! Maybe they’re there, but I completely fail to see them. But, dang hard to have any clue as to what is/isn’t working, or what works better, or worse, when one can’t see the difference at all. It’s like trying to fix something via a feedback loop … except the feedback loop is absolutely and completely absent. Yeah, … it ain’t workin’ too well.

So, rerererererererere…rethinking things. Yeah. Analyze to death. Well, sometimes it pays off. Or sometimes a rather to quite different perspective or take on it helps a whole helluva lot. Or some of both. Whatever. One way, or another, eventually come up with some – hopefully better – but at least different thoughts/ideas. Now, of course, too, the other thought that also often comes up, is friggin’ give up – don’t even f*ckin’ try – at all – just not worth it. So damn hard, and painful, and really exhausting and draining and … still doesn’t work worth sh*t – at least for me, so … why bother? Well, that’s a quite defeatist attitude (even if it might be a too damn accurate one?).

So, a couple bits. One I thought of about a week ago. Rather than try so damn hard (I do tend to push myself hard), and expecting so much of myself – particularly where those “goals”/”aims” might be exceedingly difficult or perhaps even “impossible” or “unattainable” for me, instead, go and stretch for things that are within, or nearly within reach, … with a bit of a stretch. Stuff I can do, or nearly do. I’ve noticed in reaching (and perhaps even in nearly reaching) such goals, … well, they tend to positively motivate me. Whereas trying to stretch/reach for stuff that I’m absolutely nowhere close to touching … well, that mostly ends up feeling highly defeating, draining, and not at all encouraging. Okay, so there’s that bit – sort’a the “baby steps” and “stretch goals” approach – but (nearly) reachable stretch goals. Certainly one thing to do/try/consider.

But another thing I just thought of … well, yesterday now – yesterday evening it was. I was thinking, what’s worked for me in the past. Notably socially. It’s not like absolutely everything has been complete and total failure … okay, sure, “wins”/successes damn rare and few and far between, but a count significantly above zero. So, there is/was something there! But what, what worked, how did it work? How can I learn/build from it? :-) Yeah, sure, exceedingly rare. But, … that’s still a whole helluva lot better than nothing/nada/zilch/zero/zip/bubkes. So, what happened, and how might I learn from that / leverage that? Well, the old adage/advice “be yourself”. Yeah, I didn’t have to do anything in particular at all – just be myself. Okay, … that’s easy enough for me to do. But, what else, what happened, how’d things get started? Typical scenario, they were interested in me – attracted to me. No, not some mere appearance thing – pro’lly slight ‘bit above average there, but nothin’ that’s gonna be winning me any contests. No, it was much more about who and how I am, than mere appearance. They found me interesting, intriguing, … generally “different” in a way they found positive/interesting/attractive. Got their attention, and drew them to me (and most of the time that was a good thing). Okay, yeah, sure, I’ve always been rather “different”. And, I guess some folks pick up on that (probably a lot of folks, really, to varying degrees), but, for at least some that works out as a positive for me, as it draws them to me. Sure, doesn’t guarantee things will go great from there, but it’s a helluva good start.

Anyway, thinking further on that. How can I leverage that? How can I have that work as more of a factor so folks can notice/perceive that I’m “different” – and, as feasible, well represents what/who/how I am, and works to attract them? I really don’t know yet … going to have to ponder that one some more, maybe do some experimenting, … who knows. The other thing I was thinking, might also be anywhere from somewhat, to perhaps even highly useful, as a useful “discriminating factor”. Okay, “different”, whatever. That’s gonna have some people backing off (or even running away), yet attracting (at least some) others. And, if that correlates rather well to those who’d want to back off from me anyway, and those that would be or continue to be interested and want to get closer, well, that could be a good thing, … a very good thing. Just think of it – sooner and earlier repel those that wouldn’t wanna be/stay/get close with me anyway (certainly a timesaver, if nothing else), and attract much more so, than not, those that are more likely going to want to be/stay/get close to me. :-) Maybe, among other bits, perhaps need to be more myself – further differentiate myself from the “crowd”. Stand out, as who/what/how I am, rather than trying to do a (probably piss poor) imitation of an “NT”. Well, seems like a fairly good theory anyway. Definitely warrants further investigation. Even if the number attracted is small, if the probability of “match” is quite significantly higher, that could be a major net gain. Still, too, got to think about when/where/how. E.g. where do I meet these folks, and around doing what? The few circumstances I can think of where this has happened in past, are not things I typically do these days (e.g. being in school in teens and 20s isn’t something so fitting for 50 … but perhaps there are other thing(s) that would be as, or even more fitting).

Who, me, analytical? You kind’a noticed, huh? Yeah, sure – among many other things also.