The Creatives Low-Energy Planner (free download)

I started listening to Productivity Alchemy, a podcast about productivity methods, planners, and what works and doesn’t work for different people. (It’s produced by Kevin Sonney, with help from his wife, Ursula Vernon, who are two of my favorite people. And Kevin has a very nice voice)

This inspired me to create a planner for myself that would take into account my executive dysfunction and general low energy. And I kept meaning to do a post about it, so here it is.

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How to like somebody – attraction types & why platonic and romantic aren’t so different

It’s pretty well known, at least in the aromantic-spectrum and asexual-spectrum communities, that there are several ways a person can be attracted to someone else (source 1, source 2, source 3). I’m gonna ramble about it awhile.

Quick definitions for those not in the know:

  • Allosexual = somebody who experiences sexual attraction, aka not asexual
  • Alloromantic = somebody who experiences romantic attraction, aka not aromantic
  • Asexual / ace = somebody who experiences limited or no sexual attraction, or only in specific circumstances (for example, demi-sexuals, who are only attracted to people they have a connection with)
  • Aromantic / aro = you can figure it out, by now, huh? BTW, not all aces are aro, not all aros are ace, and I’m both.
  • A-spec = anybody on the asexual-spectrum (ace-spec) and/or aro-spectrum.

Content note for non-explicit talk about sex, mostly using euphemisms.

Types of attraction

So there’s sexual (I wanna boink you / have you boink me), romantic (I want to do mushy stuff with you), aesthetic (oh, gosh you’re pretty), sensual (I wanna touch you / be touched by you), and platonic (we should be besties!). Some people also include emotional (I want us to share all our feelings!) and intellectual (I want to hear all about what you’re interested in). I think there’s one more: care-giving (I want you to take care of me / I want to take care of you).

I doubt that any deep relationship has just one of these and everybody has different needs for each one and different desires for each one.  They also feed into each other: “Gosh, you’re pretty – it makes me want to snuggle with you – oh gosh, we should start kissing now.”

Let’s go into more detail about them. First of all, there are multiple ways to express all of these. And I’m pretty sure, there’s both a giving (directed toward somebody) and receiving (desired/needed by you) part of all of them.

Sexual is pretty straight forward – seeing somebody makes you want to do dirty sweaty things with them. Two points though: 1) you don’t have to be attracted to someone to have sex with them. Libido, attraction, and desire are all different (libido being your body getting excited and desire being you wanting to do the horizontal tango. Possibly vertically.) And 2) being sexually attracted to someone doesn’t mean you will make the beast with two backs or that you want to do it. It’s more than possible to be sex-repulsed and allosexual. (I’m gonna say though, if you are sex-repulsed and you want to id as asexual, feel free.) Or to just be tired. Or whatever.

Me talking about romance is like asking a snake about vegetables (“… they’re a thing that exist, apparently? BTW, you look warm, wanna cuddle?”), but I have some thoughts on it for a little later.

Aesthetic, I think, is less recognized outside the a-spec communities. Allos seem to easily confuse it for lust. I know I’ll get so aesthetically attracted to someone that I’m not sure if I want them or want to be them (often a little of both, yay gender-feels, but that’s a different topic). And it’s probably the one form of attraction that will most strongly start up one of the others.

Sensual is another one that will get confused for lust or turn into lust. It’s I want to hug you, play with my hair, I need a massage, you smell good, wow he’s got an amazing voice, let’s cuddle, kiss me all over… Any sort of sensory desire is sensual. It’s probably the most basic attraction too, because humans are wired to need touch as soon as they’re born. (Sadly, men are socialized to not touch each other and to only get that need filled by their girlfriends, but toxic masculinity is another whole topic that’s been covered by much better bloggers and writers than me).

I think we all know what platonic attraction is and I’ll come back to it.

Emotional attraction isn’t talked about much, but most people need somebody they can share their deepest feelings with. It’s the wordless comfort you feel with those special few. It’s offering support. It’s also how a good musician will make you feel or the emotional release of going to a scary movie with your friends. It’s what makes most deep relationships work.

Intellectual attraction. There’s terms for it – “sapiosexual / sapioromantic” – and unfortunately people will use it to be ableist jerks and say they’re attracted to intelligence, by which they mean highly education, socially promoted intelligence. But it’s not just that, ok? It’s being attracted to people who have interests or passions, people who you want to have long talks with, or just sit back and listen to, and people who will listen and encourage your interests too. It’s why clubs exist, whether it’s model railroads, car customizing, gardening, or coins.

The last one, that I’ve never seen anywhere, is care-giving. You could call it paternal or maternal feelings, but I don’t think it has to be. It’s wanting to make sure your loved ones are warm, fed, hydrated, happy, etc and/or wanting someone to do the same for you. It’s empathy and sympathy. It’s a stronger drive for some people than for others, but we all have it. Personally I have an abundant need to make sure everybody, from family members to random people is okay, and I have lots of friends and family that are the same. For some people it takes the form of “food = love, must feed people”. For others it’s being a sugar daddy. It’s definitely related to emotional attraction, but the need isn’t emotion based. If anything, care-giving is what drives a lot of the expression of emotional attraction.

Romance and Platonce

Look, if the noun form of romantic is romance, shouldn’t the platonic/platonce work?…

First of all, as I’ve said on Twitter several times, I’m not convinced romance actually exists. That’s only like 60% my aromantic butt joking.

But I’m not sure romance and platonce* are attractions so much as forms of relationships. From what I’ve read, the best romantic gestures are the ones that ignore the cliches and take into account what your partner needs or is passionate about. If we’re dating and you get me flowers, I’ll be polite and throw them away once you’re gone. If you get me an old grammar of a language I don’t have yet, I’ll be thrilled. And then probably ignore you to read it, but if you got me it, you’d know what was going to happen.

*(look, there apparently isn’t a noun version. I’m sticking with it)

I don’t know what the line is between romantic and platonic. Everything I’ll do with my significant other I’d do with friends (my other joke is the aromantic just love our friends more than allos do). I suspect it’s an expectation of availability, closeness, support and commitment. Unfortunately there aren’t enough alloro aces to out there to pin it down.

I think both are a combination of care-giving, emotional attraction, and intellectual attraction, and romance especially is focused on fulfilling the partner’s attraction needs over one’s own. What makes people say someone is romantic?

They cook for their partner. They bring gifts. They tend to their ill partner. Little touches, little gestures that make it clear that they’re focused on their partner. You get that with really good friends, but it’s not expected.

Naturally, not everybody will agree with my thoughts and I’d love to hear your take.

State of the Silver

I’ve been busy working, and went to Bubonicon in New Mexico and met Ursula Vernon and Kevin Sonney, which was awesome. My job got extended until at least November, which is good money-wise, but not so great stress-wise. I’ll endure.

Around working, I’m gardening a bit (the desert heat is a pain) and working on Nyjichxn some. I’m upgrading the tiddlywiki from classic to the new version (tiddlywiki 5), which is going slowly.1

I’ve been spending a lot of time on twitter and tumblr, so if you’re wondering how I am any time follow the links on the sidebar.

I’m going to queue up some conlang posts, which I know interest hardly no one, but it’s my blog so I can do what I want. :P

1 I really should do a post about Tiddlywiki at some point…

:(

I had to have Nayda put down on Thursday. Zie was the sweetest, friendliest rat you could ask for. Zie was about 2 years, 4 months old.

Of the three I had (Ed, Nayda, and Allard), only Ed is left. I’m going to continue to post pictures of all three, because they’re adorable and I’ve taken a lot.

My name is mine and I love it

Even though it’s constantly mispronounced, every time I see or hear my name it makes me happy. It’s my own name, one I’ve chosen and claimed.

It’s not the name I was born with. The first name is similar and I kept my birth surname as a second middle name (in a futile attempt to appease my parents). My birth name felt girly to me and wasn’t something I identified with. And my birth surname was something I was teased with as a kid (that and a dozen other things.)

There’s been disadvantages to changing it. It was expensive – about $700 for the various court and paperwork fees, plus missing two days of work (but that job sucked anyway). And my old last name was at the end of the alphabet (which was one reason I changed it – I was tired of being at the end of the list). But being at the end meant it was easier to find on a list. And the last time I got called to jury duty, my new name meant I got called into a court room faster (lawyers: never ever pick me for jury duty. It’s a terrible idea.)

It took about a year to get all my bills changed. There are a few things I’ve never bothered to change. I have to put down my old name for background checks when I get hired.

I changed my name because I didn’t like my old one. It didn’t fit me. But I didn’t have any real trauma associated with it, so it’s not painful to deal with references to my old name (except people refusing to use it or giving me shit about it…)

I love my name. It’s my own name. And it makes me happy.

Stress means the wind wants me to drop shit on my toes

I don’t post about my personal life very often. I don’t think it’s very interesting to be honest. But this is one of those posts, sort of.

I have depression and social anxiety. I’ve had it since I was a kid. Compared to a lot of people it’s not very bad. But when I’m stressed…

Well, let’s make this interesting.

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I don’t have a whole lot of really good weeks

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And of course once you drop something, you have to start thinking about when you can pick it up again. And it’s RIGHT THERE taunting you with your failure. But if I’ve got a project I’m working on it doesn’t really bother me. But if I have a project I drop more and more things because I’m not paying attention to them.

But then there’s stress. Stress caused by hormones, changes, too much failure, whatever.

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No, really. It was supposed to be a cloud or something.

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And that’s why I haven’t been updating.

2012 and 2013

This year I wrote 135,000 words of fiction on six stories. I made a fool of myself here by posting a rough draft. I survived that with my self-esteem mostly intact. I won NaNoWriMo and got halfway through Camp NaNoWriMo. I’ve discovered booze I like and started a hell of a liquor cabinet. I tried to get readers here and mostly failed (blog catalogs don’t seem to work, triberr helps only a little). I posted here 56 times, on average twice a week, mostly.

On a more personal level, I moved into my own place, finally getting my stuff out of storage after about three years (although I still have quite a bit still packed because there’s no place to put it, or in a severely disorganized state). I’ve had the same boyfriend since approximately March. I’ve made several new friends and not been a complete hermit. I’m starting my third year working at the same place, where they seem to like me quite a lot and I have lots of free time (or I could do this on my breaks if I would actually remember to take them).

I’ve accomplished less than I would have liked to and more than I thought I would. I spent way too much monkey-clicking around the internet and napping.

So, next year, let’s try to do better! I have a plan (that I probably won’t stick to)!

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Why I use Dvorak

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Last year I switched from QWERTY to Dvorak. At the time I typed about 55-70 wpm, with 99-100% accuracy. Testing just now, I got 55 wpm, with 100% accuracy (but I did a lot of correcting) on Dvorak.

So, why Dvorak? Did I give into the hype that I would type faster, I wouldn’t get carpal tunnel, that I would suddenly be really really cool? (… I don’t think I’ve ever heard the last one.)

A little.

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