April 29, 2009

You ugly 2

Carrying on from yesterday's post about Teh Ugly, I found this awesome post from over at Shakesville called The This Is My Flaw Project. It's well worth the read, and Shakesville is more than worth a bookmark. Here's an excerpt:
Being beautiful on the inside doesn't change the fact that it's still a
radical act to look different and be happy in this culture. If you're obviously,
undisguisably Less Than Perfect, you're not only meant to be unhappy, but deeply
ashamed of yourself, projecting at all times an apologetic nature, indicative of
your everlasting remorse for having wrought your monstrous self upon the world.
You are certainly not meant to be bold, or assertive, or confident—and should
you manage to overcome the constant drumbeat of messages that you are ugly and
unsexy and have earned equally society's disdain and your own self-hatred,
should you forget your place and walk into the world one day with your head held
high, you are to be reminded by the unsolicited comments and contemptuous looks
of perfect strangers that you are not supposed to have self-esteem; you don't
deserve it. Being publicly Less Than Perfect and happy is hard; being publicly,
shamelessly, unshakably Less Than Perfect and happy is an act of both will and
bravery. That is the world in which we live. And being beautiful on the inside
doesn't fucking change that. ... Which is why it is imperative to challenge the
criteria by which the world judges beauty, to look at the profoundly
unreasonable, totally crazymaking, and inherently condemnatory Beauty Standard
in its increasingly unachievable face and tell it to fuck off.

April 28, 2009

You ugly

It seems people everywhere have been talking lately about what it is to be ugly.
Hack on TripleJ this week has been doing shows about Body and Beauty - this afternoon I got to listen to a guy talk about how much it sucks being an ugly person. Which, it seems, wasn't much of a deal for him. At one point he said "yeah, in high school I was the ugly guy and it was just accepted and we got on with it". I'm looking forward to the rest of the week's episodes. Here's a linky to the Hack page, they usually post the shows after a couple of days.
I stumbled upon this great documentary called Too Ugly For Love, which is about Body dysmorphic disorder, which I had only heard of briefly before. It must be an absolutely terrible way to live, and I'm sure it's hard on partners and friends of people with BDD as well. Check out the doco - it's frustrating to watch, as these are people who just plain believe above all that they are ugly, but fret and worry and obsess over it.
A friend of mine wrote a fantastic post called The Definition of Ugly, where she talks about how she is not conventionally pretty, and then follows it up with a totally awesome, inspiring post called The Definition of Beautiful about how she is fucking gorgeous. Cause she is.
Then there was the finale of Australia's Biggest Loser sometime recently (I don't know, I don't watch TV, I don't have an antenna, it's great) and I was compelled to look at all the before and after photos of these people.
And ugh, if that wasn't enough to make me barf, the most-viewed galleries on my regular news sites were galleries of the Miss Universe Australia and Cleo Bachelor of the Year competitions, cause we all sure do love rewarding people for being pretty.
With all this beauty-talk floating around I turned where I always turn in these times when I want to think about something: to Wikipedia. And boy does the article have some truthful and funny quotes. Let's see what we've got here shall we?

"Despite the existence of universally agreed upon signs of beauty in both genders, both heterosexual and homosexual men tend to place significantly higher value on physical appearance in a partner than women do."
This reminded me of a conversation with my coworker the other day. He asked me how many 'categories' girls make up for men - you know, hot, cute, etc. I was up for some heady generalising and I came up with about 5 - Ugly, Average, Cute, Hot, Handsome. I added that although a guy may be ugly, that's no indicator that he won't pick up if he's nice or funny or interesting or intelligent. I then asked how many categories girls have.
The answer? I'd-Fuck-You or I-Wouldn't. There's also a small in-between section called Come-Back-In-A-Few-Drinks.
How many 'ugly' guys do you see with hot chicks? Plenty.
Now think about how many 'ugly' chicks you see with hot guys.

Back to wiki - on Build being a determinant of male attractiveness:
"...Western men have a tendency to overestimate the amount of muscle considered ideal by women..."
Hehe. This just reminds me of those guys I see walking to the gym with their stupid Fitness First bags and they can't put their arms straight by their sides, and they're wearing singlets. Singlets should never be worn by men. I hope they know that.

Oh this one is lovely - Breast size as an indicator of female attractiveness. Note that the section for female attractiveness is so much larger than the one for males. Because that's how you're being judged dear.
"Large breasts have also been shown to be attractive to men in Western societies, with the explanation that larger breasts will more explicitly show the aging process, hence an "honest" indicator of fertility."
So when your boobs start to sag, it's time to trade her in for a shiny new one. I love how pretty much every single guy I've ever known, when it's come to the "breast size" conversation has said with a straight face, "I only like as much as my hand can hold", yet you never yell and whoop and loudly point out the small-chested girl walking down the street, SmallHands Joe. But I guess it's okay to make a big deal out of someone's boobs when they're huge. It's not like they would be there unless she wanted you to see them right! Huh, am I right?! Cause they're on the front of her like that, she just WANTS you to look at them! Hey, she's not looking, cop a feel!
I'm really glad I don't have big boobs. I have heard some pretty fucking depressing stories from my big-breasted sisteren. At least I can hide mine with a jumper.

Body mass & body structure: "...it should be noted that, in the United States, women overestimate men's preferences for thinness in a mate"
Wouldn't you say this is because it is constantly being shoved down our throats that we HAVE to be thin to be beautiful? What the fuck else are you supposed to think when that's what you are told your entire life? I'd like to let it be known that it only occurred to me about two months ago that my stomach was not fat because it sticks out a little in line with my hips. Because that's where my organs are! I'd just never ever seen a photo of a celebrity with the same stomach as me. I'd also like to let it be known that my legs are short and round and super muscular. So are a lot of other girls' I know. One time, someone I considered a friend pointed to one of my girl-friends with the same legs as me and said "Man every time I see her all I can hear in my head is "THUNDER". Yeah I get it. Thunder thighs. Thank you. I'm super confident now. I'm just glad she didn't hear.

Ooh...the article also brings youthfulness and fecundity into it, confirming everyone's fears that you get ugly and useless as you get older. Since you're constantly getting older, wouldn't you just be getting uglier minute by minute?
"...a preference of neotenic and youthful-appearing features. Full lips, clear, smooth skin, clear eyes, lustrous hair, and good muscle tone are all viewed as attractive in women."
Then it also goes into some stuff about female attractiveness based on hair, including body hair, and reaffirms all that crap we've been through before in here about dudes not liking your body hair you filthy gorilla-she-wolf. So we're bringing it all back to the "paedomorphic characteristics" desired in women by males, which unless you need me to spell that out for you, is disturbing. I know a lot of guys who really do prefer girls who look very young. Wikipedia says here: "As men age, they also desire a larger age gap from their mates".

Veering off a little on the whole body hair thing, considering it seems to be a huge trend in the past couple of years, if it hasn't been happening since time immemorial, that dudes don't like your pubes, can I just say this... I hate when the discussion of "to shave or not to shave" comes up and women pull out the defense "I'm a full grown woman, I don't want to look like a pre-pubescent girl down there". I'm going to posit that shaving is not a matter of me wanting to look like a pre-pubescent girl. I'm also really hoping that the people I have slept with who prefer shaved pubes are also not into the "pre-pubescent" look for the sole reason that, "hey dude, heh, it looks like I'm sleeping with a 12 year old. Hawt."
It's for comfort. I don't count the existence of hair on my snatch as the miraculous proof that I Am A Lady. You can continue to not shave. But don't call me any less of a woman cause I do.

Anyway, all this thinking about vagina has led me on the obvious path to thinking about James Franco, so I'll leave you all with some happy thoughts.

Dear James Franco:
I had a dream about you this morning and it was very sexual, and I'm hoping that you think that's okay and if you do, do you maybe feel the same way, and if you do, would you like to get together for coffee sometime?

Love Tash

April 27, 2009

New Tattoo

Hey y'all, just a quick update to show off my new tattoo that was done today.
I got to Wild at Heart on Charlotte St in the city and Victoria is the girl who does all my tatts. She is awesome and takes her time to do it right. I had her draw up this tattoo for me in February and we finally got everything sorted out right in time for Rudd bucks!
The whole outline is finished and the black shading has been done, but I went into shock when she was just starting the green, after 3 hours of tattoo-age, and started crying involuntarily and hyperventilating. I don't remember that part much but I guess I must have been pretty bad cause she decided to stop for the day and made my boyfriend go buy me lunch. I had no idea you can go into shock but apparently it's pretty common for large tattoos. Uncool!
Anyway it's only half done as it still needs to be entirely shaded - it will be green and purple in the end. Joker colours!
So here's some pics. Enjoy!

April 26, 2009

Shut up

Dears dudes in my life:
Just by pointing out that *one* woman you can think of has a nice high-profile corporate job does not mean *all* women have been treated equally in the workforce.
Just when you think we live in a country that is not completely backwards, girls my age are being charged for procuring abortions. Goodbye choice. I will miss you.
Just because you don't notice sexism doesn't mean I don't feel it and it's not there because I assure you IT IS.
Just because you say you are not, and never have been sexist does not mean you can profess that sexism no longer exists and therefore feminism is useless.
You are only showing your privilege over me and all women by discounting my experience as a female.

April 23, 2009

Anniversary Speech

Here it is in all it's cheesy sappy glory, because I want to share with you how sap-filled and weepy I am going to make every single person in the goddamn room on the night of my parent's 25th anniversary party. In case you can't tell from the speech, my parents are the most sickeningly in love people in the entire world.
Tell me what you think, because I would appreciate some feedback. Yes, I did purposely make the jokes as corny and groan-inducing as possible....

Johnny Cash & June Carter

Napoleon & Josephine

Cleopatra & Mark Antony

Wesley & Buttercup

Romeo & Juliet

Anya & Ron

When I think of the great lovers of history, Anya and Ron are right at the top. They are sweet to each other, they are kind to each other. They are constantly thinking of each other, always on each others' minds. They are best friends before they are husband and wife. They are equals, and I admire that most. Neither of them “wear the pants”. They share the pants, if you know what I mean. That's a big pair of pants!

Not only are they a beautiful couple, but they are also partners in crime, I mean, business. They spend every single day working together in a very small office and they haven't killed each other. They haven't even maimed each other a little bit! They are a great example of two people who can listen, understand, co-operate and work with each other to achieve their shared goal. We may be in the middle of a global economic crisis, but there has been no recession in their love and respect for one another.

Most of all, I would like to thank you, Mum and Dad, for showing me and Nick and Jay and Mitch, what two people who love and respect each other looks like, and what true love should be. Two people who care for each other deeply, who don't give up on each other, who share ideas and respect differences, who grow together and laugh together, who are nothing but thankful for the others' existence, who want nothing more than to be together, and who just won't keep your hands off each other.

Here's to two people who truly love each other. To Anya and Ron.

April 19, 2009

Fave Valley Things

Since I got a few people all excited about their favourite things to eat in the city I thought we could branch out to where I spend my days - The Valley! I work on Robertson St, so it's prime position for noms. I rarely go down to the mall cause it's dirty and I hate it, but there's this awesome little precinct up the top of the street where there's all the best eateries. Then there's James St on the other side of me, but since I'm not a coffee fiend, I rarely venture down there, and New Farm is just too far to walk in the summer, but now it's almost winter I could start to head down there for lunch. Here's what I love to eat!
  • 'Damned' pizza from Hell Pizza - it has avocado, camembert, cashews, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, onions and pineapples. Holy. Moly.
  • Special Fried Rice from Wok Me - if you go there enough like me, you get a club card and they always give me vouchers for free bags of prawn crackers, so I only ever pay for prawn crackers every second time I go.
  • Mustard and Pickle Burger from Grill'd - I love pickles. My love for pickles will never die. In fact, I'm gonna go eat pickles right after I post this. Then I'm going to squirt mustard from the bottle straight into my mouth, cause that's how I roll baby.
  • Cheap lunches at RG - I like to go for the carbonara, cause I'm running an experiment to find the best carbonara in the world, then kill the chef, like in Once Upon a Time in Mexico. The carbonara at RG comes pretty close.
  • Chai latte at Coffee Club - Like I said, not much of a coffee drinker but I freaking love chai lattes.
  • Seriously cheap lunches and free soft drinks from the Cafe - I don't know what it's called but it's at the top of Robertson St, on Brunswick, and it's just a little dodgy cafe where they sell hot chips with awesome gravy, and great burgers. The other day I bought a burger and the guy said I could have a free soft drink. That is service.
  • Burritos and sangria from Montezumas - Who doesn't love Mexican? I go there specifically for the sangria, and the beautiful ladyboy behind the counter with the bee-hive hairdo. God...she is so beautiful. He is so beautiful. I don't know.
  • Blueberry muffins from 7-11 - They're light and delicious and fluffy and they're probably a million years old but I don't care.
  • Chicken avocado sandwiches from the train station cafe - they are cheap and nommy, and the lady behind the counter seems to know what you want before you even say it.
So what's your favourite stuff to eat in the Valley?

Fave City Things

I just got back from a day spent wandering around the city with my Rudd-bucks to burn. I got my new tattoo quoted up and made an appointment first, then walked round and round and round looking for American McGee's Alice in Wonderland but alas, it was not found. So instead I bought a bunch of books from Archives, the Gonzo DVD (about Hunter S Thompson) from JB Hifi, some earphones, some cute shoes from Big W and some emo-socks from Jay-Jays. I love my emo-socks.

Whilst we were traversing the streets we came upon this giant little girl...it was pretty terrifying.
There was a large crowd of people standing around all going "what the fuck" and I was pretty sure that at any moment laser beams would shine from her eyes, de-materializing all those in a short radius of her, so I took a few photos and skedaddled.

Anyway, I'm the kind of person who goes to restaurants and always gets the same thing. When I find something awesome that I love, I think why bother getting anything else if I already love this?
So what's your favourite meals/snacks/drinks to get in the city? Here's a few of mine:

  • Curry Chicken from Suncrane in the Myer Foodcourt. It's $5.90 and it'll fill you up - fried chicken covered in curry sauce with rice and it's the best thing I've ever tasted.
  • Carbonara Pasta or Chilli Chicken Pasta from O'Malleys. I think they're about $15 for these huge bowls of spiral pasta with awesomesauce. The carbonara has more bacon than you can poke a stick at.
  • Free party pies, mini sausage rolls and fried chicken at Union Jacks at happy hour! 5.30 to 7.30 they bring around these platters and I mean come on...everyone loves free food, especially when downing a tasty half price beverage. It helps if you can block out the sound of "dem apple bottom jeans, boots wit da furrrr".
  • Original Glazed Krispy Kremes. They seriously are the best, if you want to spend the equivalent of a bus ticket on one donut.
  • Anything from EasyWay Tea - I'm still searching for my favourite drink from there, but I like that they're refreshing. I'm not much of a coffee person, or at least, when I'm walking around the city I don't like anything milky or hot.
What's your favourite city treats?
Also, does anyone have a copy of American McGee's Alice they want to sell to me?

April 18, 2009


I'm a little confused and not sure how to feel about something, so I'd like some input. I would like to know why it's an accepted norm in society that dudes go to strip clubs. Perhaps I should clarify - I know guys want to look at naked chicks. I can sort of understand that single guys would want to go and spend money to sexually objectify women. If you're single, go the fuck ahead. I have no problem with strippers, in fact power to them, cause they're taking your money. You're still objectifying them, but they're the ones gaining in the end.
What I don't see is how guys in relationships would think it's okay to go to strip clubs. I could be just an extremely jealous and possessive person* but...if you've got me at home, and I'm naked, and I'm free and you actually get to touch me...what the FUCK are you doing in a strip club? Please, someone enlighten me?
I don't feel that this applies to burlesque shows though. I would gladly go to a burlesque show any day of the week, it's art, it's a performance. I guess that what I hate is the mindset of guys going to a strip club (or a burlesque show) - you're not going to appreciate someone as a person, you're going to stare at boobs and revel in your caveman ideal.

How about you take all the time you spend appreciating strippers and those hours you spend watching porn and invest it in appreciating MY female form. It's called FOREPLAY GODDAMIT.
I'm allowed to watch hours of porn cause I have more than one 'go' in me.

And in case you're one of those people who get all of your sexual knowledge from porn, watch this, then try again. And again. And again. Practice makes perfect.

The French call orgasms le petit mort - the little death. Each orgasm brings your soul a little closer to Hades! So please...kill me.

I hope you enjoyed this blog, brought to you by my sexual frustration. Thanks for reading Mum!

April 17, 2009

The Tools

When we were little, my older brother and I both had severe asthma, sort of a shared sickness for us. For some reason we were also constantly severely hurting ourselves, add that to the asthma and we spent many many days, nights, weeks, weekends sitting inside our cosy house making cars out of recycled cereal boxes and toilet paper rolls. For some reason I remember it was always raining. I guess this didn't help our asthma too much.

We would have attacks pretty frequently, the way I remember it, and Mum would bring out The Tools.
We had The Inhaler - everyone has an inhaler. But because we were little and it tasted so bad, we had to have the Puffer. I remember it would sit there on the shelf ominously, and we had to be taught to assemble it. We had to wait our turn to be old enough to use the Inhaler on its own.

Sometimes things would get bad enough to use The Mask and you would sit there for ten minutes sounding like Darth Vader.
But you knew it was serious when mum would break out The Machine. You can't sleep for coughing, all the other tools had failed you, now it's time for The Machine. The Machine lurked in the corner doing whatever it is Machines do, darkly, loudly, humidifying.
Every night before bed she'd spread Vicks or Rawleighs all over our chests, then turn on The Machine and you would drift off to the humming emanating from the corner, trying to breathe.

I'm glad it's not so hard to breathe properly these days. The Tools still terrify me.

April 15, 2009

Dear World

I would just like to let you know that I have the greatest boyfriend in the entire world, and all your lame boyfriends had better step up their game.
He just rang to let me know he'll be over soon...with chocolate.
Last night when I had cramps that were threatening to tear me in half, he massaged my stomach for an hour, and when that calmed me down, he scratched my head till I fell asleep in his lap.
This morning when I was trying to get up for work, he started scratching my head in his sleep and wouldn't let go of me.
Never underestimate the power of a good head-scratch. It can set all your troubles right.
Sometimes he yells in his sleep, and he ALWAYS has an angry face on when he's dreaming. It's adorable.
He always brings the awesome with new DVD's to watch because he can't stop buying them. Now I'm hooked on Star Trek.
He eats entire tubs of ice cream in one go and doesn't get fat. Instead he gets muscles. This is probably the most unfair thing I have ever heard of.
When I asked him to find a cute hat for me on ebay, he found me this, which I really do think would suit me:

He won't let me take photos of him but whenever I sneak one in, he looks so goddamn handsome I wish I could take millions more.
I don't mind that I spend my entire days just thinking about how I get to fall asleep with him later. Yes, sometimes I count the hours.
The best thing about my boyfriend is that he always sleeps on the side closest to the door, so when intruders or ghosts come in, he's first to die.

I haven't blogged lately because I've been so sick all I can do is sleep, throw up, writhe in pain or blow my nose and I pretty much don't want to do anything more complex than play Peggle. Boing. Boing. Boing. Boing. Ultra Extreme Fever!
But I'm better now, and I've got some fucking things to say. When I think of them. Be back later with actual content.

April 7, 2009

My phobia

I think it all started when I was little. You know you start to read those cool picture books about space, and about the earth and the earth's core. You find out about earthquakes and tornadoes and natural disasters and how the earth is constantly moving. Moving around the sun, which is so much bigger than we can imagine, and that there are bigger suns out there, giant burning balls of gas, just burning in space. And how the stars we see today have actually already burned out because they're so far away we're seeing them in the past or some shit, I don't fucking know.
And I realised how incredibly small and insignificant I was in comparison to this entire universe of things constantly shifting and changing and breaking up and belching forth fire.
Ever since that moment, and most frequently when I'm lying in bed in the massive dark, I experience pretty terrifying moments that are a mixture of agoraphobia and claustrophobia. I feel like the weight of this entire universe full of matter is crushing my insignificance out of existence, making me smaller and smaller into a tiny dot that will not even implode but just simply cease to be. I have to take deep breaths, spread my arms really wide around me and think about something else.
When my eyes are closed, I start out seeing most frequently the letter A and it starts out normal-sized, but the more I stare at it the larger it becomes until it hurts my brain to think about how gigantic it has become, and how it's larger than me. It's pushing through the space in my head and my eyes. I have to stop and open my eyes and stare at something different for a while.
I'm terrified of space. And I'm terrified of no space. I think about these things more often than I let on. If you ever see me and I look worried, this is probably why.

And that's my piece.

April 6, 2009

Hey Jerks

Newsflash Jerks:
Girls have body hair. All humans have body hair. On some girls, such as myself, body hair tends to be extremely dark. I was born with a head of black hair. I am hairy. I have dark hair on my upper lip.
This in no way entitles you to comment on my "moustache". How unfortunate for you that I really don't care enough about other people's opinions on the amount of body hair girls should have, that I don't wax it off and isn't it sad that for that fact, you have to stare at it. You poor, poor creature. I will run to the salon straight away to get that hair ripped out of my skin JUST FOR YOU.
Here is something that is not so much of a secret if you looked at me close enough: I shave my arms, and have since I was about 14. I remember the day I started doing it, I took my jumper off at school because winter was moving into spring, and one of my friends (a male) said "woah, your arms are hairier than mine. You're a gorilla". So I started shaving my arms and I sort of never stopped. I wish I could stop, because I like to think that I don't care anymore, but I know that I do, and I know that I would always be hiding my arms, and wearing long sleeves. Because people are fucking jerks.
I can't even count the amount of times that guys (and yes, it's only EVER guys) have "joked" to me about having a moustache. Of course I'm going to find you belittling me hilarious! That's such a good one, coming from a perfect specimen of beauty such as yourself!

So dudes, please stop watching your air-brushed, waxed, oiled fake porn and take a look at how beautiful the REAL girls around you are. Because you're completely missing them. And after that take a long hard look in the mirror.

April 5, 2009


I've been trolling through online DIY communities all today, cause sometimes I go through these do-it-yourself phases where I just wanna make stuff and mod stuff and create stuff. For the most part, I don't have the right tools and everything I make I end up throwing out. Also everything I see instructions for that looks AWESOME, I can't even do anyway because I'm renting and I fear for touching the walls in case I might put a speck of dust on them.
So here's what I 'created' today that took pretty much no effort, and was created just because I went through a bunch of crap in cupboard to throw it all out, and thought I should do something with this.

Ta daaa!

It is a plastic card holder that used to contain a deck of stripper-cards, which I've coated in leopard-print felt and stuck a bowling picture on the inside for extra rockabilly-ness. I'll be trialling it as my new wallet for a while, it's the perfect size for all my cards and I can just chuck in my coins and fold the paper moneyz, not that I ever have any of that. Was thinking about adding a small keyring hook to it so I can keep all important stuff there, but I don't think it'll work. I have far too many important things on my keyring that I'm not willing to part with in the interests of simplicity. Which is what this is all about.

Here are a couple of my favourite DIY sites and some awesome projects that I would love to undertake at some point.
  • Instructables is a pretty huge community with millions of instructions for excellent projects, like home, garden, arts, crafts, tech, science, sports, whatever. There's also an awesome offbeat section where there is all kinds of weird crap like crazy hangover cures, medieval gauntlets and a whole bunch of steampunk.
  • My all time favourite instructable would probably be the Steampunk Finger Stylus, for DS, phones, etc. It looks suprisingly easy to make, though that fact hasn't induced me to make it yet. One day stylus, one day.
  • Lifehacker is one of the Gawker media blogs, and it's all about DIY home projects, some tech, a lot of green/environment friendly stuff.
  • greenUPGRADER is, as you would imagine, all about going green in your home, with heaps of great recycling projects.
  • Then there's Craftzine which is a huge craft community, sharing every type of craft project you can imagine. I haven't visited there much, but it's good for a scroll through every now and then.
  • PocketMod is a site where you can drop and drag templates like calendars, graph-lines, to-do lists, blank note pages. You create your own little notepad, print it out, fold it up, and it's small enough to fit in your wallet (or card holder). I love using these things.
  • Here's a little writeup on how to make butter, which I'm definitely going to give a go because I go through butter like nobody's business.
  • Another one I want to try now that I'm living below the poverty line, 10 Recipes for Homemade Laundry Soaps.
  • And one that will come in extremely handy to get rid of the hangovers induced by cheap goon, considering that's what I'll be buying to drink away my money worries, Homemade Alka Seltzer!
Dear Mum and Dad...please buy me a toolkit for my birthday, kthxbye.

Added Bonus: Here's a spice rack I made a while ago...

April 3, 2009

World Autism Awareness Day

...Was yesterday, sorry for missing it but I'd like to post about it anyway.

Visit the World Autism Awareness Day site here and if you don't know what autism is, well head on over to the wikipedia article for only the briefest of understandings you can get.

I've been holding off on writing anything about this because I honestly don't and probably never will understand autism, and it's kind of personal. My boyfriend has Asperger Syndrome, which is on the autism spectrum. I've always felt weird talking about it with him because I don't want to be singling him out, or making him feel different. But I guess the fact is, our brains work differently, and I've always been a mixture of fascinated by how he thinks and upset that we can't understand each other in the way that I think of understanding.

From wikipedia:
"...people with AS therefore show significant difficulties in social interaction and restricted, stereotyped patterns of behavior and interests. AS differs from other ASDs by its relative preservation of linguistic and cognitive development. Although not mentioned in standard diagnostic criteria, physical clumsiness and atypical use of language are frequently reported."

"The lack of demonstrated empathy is possibly the most dysfunctional aspect of Asperger syndrome. Individuals with AS experience difficulties in basic elements of social interaction, which may include a failure to develop friendships or to seek shared enjoyments or achievements with others (for example, showing others objects of interest), a lack of social or emotional reciprocity, and impaired nonverbal behaviours in areas such as eye contact, facial expression, posture, and gesture"

Have a read of the wikipedia article because I'm going to have a hard time explaining it properly without feeling like I'm listing all the things I see my boyfriend doing because really, I have no idea what he does or thinks. So I'd most likely be totally wrong. Here's a part from the article which might give you an understanding of what it's like to talk to someone with AS:

"Speech may convey a sense of incoherence; the conversational style often includes monologues about topics that bore the listener, fails to provide context for comments, or fails to suppress internal thoughts. Individuals with AS may fail to monitor whether the listener is interested or engaged in the conversation. The speaker's conclusion or point may never be made, and attempts by the listener to elaborate on the speech's content or logic, or to shift to related topics, are often unsuccessful"

My boyfriend gets obsessed with things, and it'll usually get pretty intense, and go in phases, like for a few months all he did was buy Alien figurines and we'd watch the Alien movies, then it was all Terminator. He's really into film, and I'll often be on the receiving end of a monologue about camera lenses or setting up a scene. He collects DVD's obsessively and could probably start a video store with his collection. Wiki says: "Although these special interests may change from time to time, they typically become more unusual and narrowly focused, and often dominate social interaction so much that the entire family may become immersed."

I think the hardest part is that he's not very good at comforting me when I am upset, or realising that it's his fault that I'm upset. I get so annoyed sometimes because I'm not sure whether he really can't understand why I'm upset, or if he's just being an asshole. Sometimes I think maybe there's something wrong with me, why can't I feel nothing, why do I have to feel the way I do? Sometimes I want to just sit and talk with him for hours, but he is completely, entirely focused on something else and I can't even get into his peripheral view. Sometimes when we do talk, it feels like he completely ignores every thing I say, or if I try to argue a point, he tells me he doesn't want to talk about something if I'm going to get angry. We have extremely different viewpoints to begin with, and most of the time I feel very alone, and kind of worthless. He considers himself superior to a lot of people.

I don't really know where I was planning to go with this, except to say that it is hard. I've joined forums for people who have partners with AS, because I thought maybe they could tell me how they cope, and give me more understanding. What I found was actually extremely depressing, hundreds of unhappy wives planning to leave their relationships, mostly older women who have no way of caring for themselves, so they're stuck while they plan an "escape". There are a few good communities of people whose relationships are still together and strong, but there's really no rules, no list of things you can do to be happy, so I stopped visiting the sites. And I just stopped thinking about it. He now lives back at his old house, which is just around the corner from me, and we still see each other every day, and this has all reminded me how grateful I am that I know him. He's an awesome person. And that's all I have to say about that.

Here is a video I found a few months ago by an autistic woman (tried to embed but the linky didn't work). The first few minutes she is shaking doorknobs, moaning, rattling things, etc and the second half of the video is her explaining (through a voice synth) how she is interacting with her environment, and what she is thinking. It's pretty fascinating. Anyway...happy Friday!

April 1, 2009

The Wisdom of T-Rex

Wherein dinosaurs explain the concept of the Male Gaze.
(clicky to open properly)

mulvey LATER wrote that the paper in which she talked about the male gaze was meant as more 'provocation' than 'well-reasoned argument'.  sweet!  this is a great way to silence critics.  it is the 'hah - you fell for it suckers!' school of debate.  the only allowable response is 'oh man, you got me!  you got me!!'

What is the Male Gaze?

No-Hump Day

I've been pretty sick lately, puking constantly and it really hurts, but now I have magnificent abs. So while I've been sick and concentrating all my will power on NOT blowing chunks, I've mostly been living on the internet, reading, twittering, more reading, playing games. I'm not at all coherent lately so here's some stuff I've read/thought/talked about with people. A MISHMASH, IF YOU WILL.

Tiger Beatdown is my new favourite blog that makes me feel so much better to read because it's fucking venomous. Read this and this post about the terrifying Judd Apatow/Seth Rogen phenomenon that is sweeping your television screens and damaging your brains. Actually, reading those articles made me truly upset, especially one which I will quote now, which is a conversation between the two bloggers about ahem "man-children":

"KELLY: YES. And suddenly I flashed-forward into my future, and I was eight months pregnant, and my feet hurt, and I was throwing up a lot, and my boyfriend was wondering why I hadn't made him a sandwich. And then I had kids, and I was still the primary income-earner - I would, in fact, be bringing home the bacon, and frying it up in a pan, because my boyfriend wouldn't cook - and after I'd finished making dinner I would come in and find that my boyfriend and my children had been eating Pixie Stix and reading comic books and they weren't hungry. I would be doing everything for him, forever, while he got to have fun. And then it was just over. I had to get out."

I've had that moment, and it was a dizzying, horrifying, brutal moment of clarity that all the drugs in the world cannot push out of my mind. I AM AFRAID OF COMMITMENT. There. I said it. I am afraid of relationships, and I am terrified of marriage. I have been reading a collection of short stories by Charlotte Perkins Gilman lately. They are all what I think I would call "subtly feminist" 1800s-society lady tales of subordination and being shut up in an attic to recover from The Hysteria and it all FREAKS ME OUT, that one day, if I just shut my eyes and let myself keep drifting on, I'll be the quiet wife in the kitchen, with my children doing things behind my back because I'm "the angry Mum" cause I don't let them do what Dad does, and one day I'll wake up and I'll go out to make their lunches for school like an automaton and I won't even realise that I am dead inside, cause I'll be, you know, dead.

Excuse my freak out. They happen sometimes.

On another note, have you ever thought about the quandary of asking someone to repeat themselves? I HATE asking someone to repeat themselves, because I know how frustrating it is to have to repeat yourself, especially after you've told a perfect joke, with perfect pitch and timing. It's just that the bar you're in is really loud, and your friend didn't quite hear you. So most of the time I just smile and nod, which sometimes turns out to be worse, because you've either hurt the person's feelings by not guffawing at their hilarity, or they'll follow themselves up with a question. "Oh so how much did you pay for them?" And then it seems like you've been indifferent to the conversation all along. But I wasn't, I swear, just drunk.

I just want to let people know about Seinfeld's Law: Chicks don't eat on dates. I know it's not true for everyone, but it's definitely true for me. I can't do it. I can barely eat lunch with friends. It's a mixture of not being comfortable pigging out in front of someone else, and being too focused on first impressions/talking to the other person/looking dainty that I can't just chow down and enjoy myself. So I'm sorry if I told you that we should go to that awesome Chinese place, and we ended up getting sausage rolls. I'm really incapable of eating in front of people.

My housemate and I are throwing a party, and we've begun to freak out and encounter all those problems you get with social circles and people you don't like within them. I hate to seem all elitist by not inviting certain people to my party, but basically, that's what it is, MY party, at MY house. What irritates me lately is the prevalence of this kind of thinking that, well, I know other people who are going to the party, so I'm kind of invited by proxy, right?
The other people I don't invite to my parties are the ones who stay the night. Wait, that's being unfair, you say. I understand that there will always be a few who will stay the night, and out of my friends, there are a certain few who know that they are more than welcome to stay the night. I have beef with the ones who are barely my acquaintance, and turn up bags in hand without even asking if it was okay for them to stay the night. They're expecting a bed from you, and the next morning, they have a shower, use your expensive shampoo and fluffy towels, expect a feed, and don't leave until 2 or 3 in the afternoon. WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?! WHAT ARE THEY DOING IN MY HOUSE?! I would just like to extend thanks to my friends for not being like my neighbour's friends, starting loud bogan fights, smashing glasses in the pool area, or listening to trance.

This all being said, I'm actually a pretty happy camper lately. And right now I am transmitting mind-hugs to you all. Much love.