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Scheherazade in Blue Jeans
freelance alchemist
7th-Sep-2009 10:26 am
Happy birthday to jdotmi and pharminatrix!

Hello to new reader bluesgirly!

Five months seizure-free!

Pretty decent. And the ketone-breath thing is gone, thanks to insane water consumption. *crosses fingers that kidneys are totally okay*

Wind Tunnel Dreams
Starts today, right here. I know what fairy tale I'm doing and how I'm doing it, and it's way different from how I always thought I'd be doing it...

(And yes, it's going to be late-ish; my brain is running slow today, and I'm going to take a walk.)

I have a friend visiting this weekend who requires inexpensive hotel accommodations. Not a hostel - a regular hotel room. Ideas?

Yes, apparently this reminder is still necessary.
Please do not grab me from behind if I don't know you're there. My reflex in that situation is to attack. I was able to stifle that on Saturday because I knew I was surrounded by friends and that this was not an attack, but understand that my subconscious does interpret that as an attack; also understand that, as a short chick, I fight dirty. You would not be happy.

Yes, there'll be another one-on-one conversation about this, too, but I figured a broader message would be good too.

(Countdown to people who don't/barely know me trying to take me to task for "threatening people" in 5, 4, 3...)

Link Soup
* Not Your Average Joe's supports nonprofits! Please nominate BARCC!
* cluegirl is doing tarot readings to cover house repair costs. Go get one!
* Bostonian writers - consider Mike Marano's Grub Street class!
* Oral history, folk music and more: British Library puts vast sound archive online.

Daily Science
Researchers from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie have, in cooperation with colleagues from Dresden, St. Andrews, La Plata and Oxford, for the first time observed magnetic monopoles and how they emerge in a real material.
Magnetic monopoles are hypothetical particles proposed by physicists that carry a single magnetic pole, either a magnetic north pole or south pole. In the material world this is quite exceptional because magnetic particles are usually observed as dipoles, north and south combined. However there are several theories that predict the existence of monopoles. Among others, in 1931 the physicist Paul Dirac was led by his calculations to the conclusion that magnetic monopoles can exist at the end of tubes – called Dirac strings – that carry magnetic field. Until now they have remained undetected.

Walk, shower, Wind Tunnel Dreams... and today's the last day before Elayna starts high school, so it's pretty much devoted to making sure she's ready.
(Deleted comment)
7th-Sep-2009 02:54 pm (UTC)
There's scholarship money available...
7th-Sep-2009 02:51 pm (UTC)
I have that same attack instinct. Very bad for people who think it's funny to try to startle me. Almost once punched a higher-ranking coworker once because he thought jumping out at me was funny. He never did it again.
7th-Sep-2009 03:20 pm (UTC)
I think the whole grab from behind thing is not unique to you; it should just be common sense to not do that to people. Along with the message that hey those of us who have been really scared in real life don't find it particularly entertaining to have that same reaction for your entertainment.

Hey, look, a sore nerve. I still has one.
7th-Sep-2009 03:41 pm (UTC)
All. of. THIS.
7th-Sep-2009 03:45 pm (UTC)
Common sense = yeah. I was thinking this same thing....unless you know the person really well and know that they don't mind being spooked like that. I've done it to my mom, but I know she's not going to whirl around and deck me for it.
7th-Sep-2009 04:32 pm (UTC)
Common sense: far too uncommon.

At most (and only if I know someone's okay with it), I'll blindside-hug at no more than a "normal" speed; even people without triggers get startled.
7th-Sep-2009 04:35 pm (UTC)
You know how I wear jangly silver bracelets? This is why. So people hear me coming.
7th-Sep-2009 04:21 pm (UTC)
Agreed. I once gave my roommate a black eye when he hugged me from behind.
7th-Sep-2009 04:26 pm (UTC)
This. So very much this. Who the hell thinks it's funny to do that to someone, anyway?
7th-Sep-2009 04:28 pm (UTC)
Can you believe I once got a disciplinary lecture at a job because I jumped and shrieked (and didn't punch, even) when someone grabbed me from behind? The grabber and I actually worked it out in a reasonable fashion in under a minute -- "Don't DO that!""Shit, I was just joking!" "OK, but don't do it again, I'm jumpy," "OK, it's cool," but MANAGEMENT actually thought it necessary to lecture me on Being Able To Take A Joke. I counter-lectured them about how, technically, people not keeping their hands to themselves was sexual harassment.

I didn't last very long at that job.
7th-Sep-2009 04:33 pm (UTC)
I can believe it; I just wish I couldn't.
7th-Sep-2009 06:48 pm (UTC) - pigtail-pulling
I quit a job that I liked for much the same reason. The guy would take advantage of the tight work conditions to "oops!" squeeze behind me on almost a daily basis, tug my braids to prevent me from leaving or ignoring him, and ask me personal questions about my love life, despite the fact that I was underage and kept telling him that I wasn't interested in dating anyone. When I'd call him on this behavior, he'd say that I couldn't take a joke, that he was just playing. If I told him to stop it, that it wasn't appropriate at work, he would wink and say, "Ri-ight... after work, then."
He started following me around or "accidentally" bumping into me, and it was really scary. I never walked home the same way twice if I could help it, and started having difficulty concentrating in school, because I'd have to work directly after. I was afraid of locking up the restaurant in winter because the shortest way home, by the train tracks, was not well-lit.

The manager glossed over his behavior and insinuated that I was "leading him on", reprimanded me for complaining so much, and pretty much stated that it was all in my head.

The final straw? While the only other waitress was trying to handle a full house, he shut me in the freezer, knowing I was claustrophobic, and wouldn't let me out until I agreed to go on a date with him. I was already on the verge of meltdown when he pulled that stunt, so as soon as I got past him, I went outside to the pay phone to call the manager... only to find that the other waitress had walked out.
I tried to get through the night as quickly as possible, but realized that I couldn't keep up with the orders and would have to start turning customers away. So I stood on a counter and announced that we would only be serving appetizers and ice cream, and that it would be more than a half hour wait to get everyone seated squared away. If anyone wanted to leave, I'd totally understand, and "here, have a coupon for a free cone, come back tomorrow". As soon as they were done, I was out of there, for good.
7th-Sep-2009 06:53 pm (UTC) - Re: pigtail-pulling
Holy shit, that sucks. Especially the manager. FAIL, manager.

In my case, the grabber really WAS just horsing around, and was totally okay with "ok, she's jumpy, doing that again is a bad idea," but management got all butt-hurt that I shrieked the FIRST time. I didn't really fit in there.
7th-Sep-2009 08:21 pm (UTC) - Re: pigtail-pulling
Hope that where you are at now is a much better fit.
7th-Sep-2009 08:47 pm (UTC) - Re: pigtail-pulling
MUCH. Nobody grabs, and while the line isn't exactly at a delicate tea party level of decorum, nobody's trying to make me feel out of place just because I'm female.
7th-Sep-2009 04:45 pm (UTC)
It's not handy to find it now, but I had a discussion at my lj about being hugged from behind (are there people who just grab?), and just about everyone was in the range from disliking it to hating it. A few had one or two intimates that they liked it from. And it's not just about feeling overwhelmed-- I was surprised that a largish guy didn't like being hugged from behind by his little kid.
7th-Sep-2009 05:03 pm (UTC)
In this case, it was a cover-my-eyes-and-pull-me-back-slightly thing; in the prior case (same person) it was a grab-my-shoulders-and-pull-me-back-slightly thing. *twitch* The prior one was the one that was Actively Bad, because I was already disoriented by several things: sun-glare in my eyes, confusion in conversation with Mark, total stranger yammering at me and me trying to extricate myself from that because I was trying to unconfuse things with Mark - so I was overwhelmed, and suddenly someone grabs my shoulders from behind - no.
7th-Sep-2009 04:46 pm (UTC)
I totally get the don't hug from behind thing. If I know you're there and I know you well I'm usually okay (ie boyfriend and I at home together and he hugs me from behind as we're talking about something or small gathering of very well known friends).

But in middle school I broke the nose of my not yet best friend and eventually adoptive brother because he snuck up behind me, put his hands over my eyes and said "Guess who?" That was perhaps one of the most awkward and embarrassing trips to the principles office. Punching the first person who tries to make friends with you on your third day in a new school; hard to explain and live down. When the principle asked me why I thought that punching first was okay, I informed him the reason I had transferred to his school was persistent and unrelenting bullying at my old school that eventually resulted by TWO attempts on my life by my classmates. He didn't believe me until I gave a very explicit account of what had happened the second time and showed him the scar on the top of my head from the first attempt. (Yes really, five larger, older, boys in my grade tried to kill me, twice. The school refused to guarantee my safety on campus to my mother and I spent the last half of sixth grade home-schooled until my parents could agree where I should be sent for seventh grade.)

I'm much better than I used to be, but I still try to remember to warn new people I meet that it is a Very Bad Idea™ to sneak up on me or startle me in some way because I tend to react first and apologize later.
7th-Sep-2009 07:51 pm (UTC)
Reminds me of my kids' and my experiences. (If it weren't for my best friend, who didn't take shit from anyone, I wouldn't have gotten through middle school.) My kids had a rough time of it with bullying at the last school that they had attended.

At the same time, my daughter had been going through some rough stuff, including her first crush, puberty, homesickness for FL, and the death of a loved one. My daughter's grades were plummeting because she was overloaded emotionally. Plus, she was dealing with a teacher who let personal feelings get in the way.

The tipping point was the popcorn...

The teacher had begun bringing in dairy-free popcorn for her each morning so that she wouldn't feel left out while the others had snacks. She used to like this teacher and be cooperative in class. This worked fine for months, until Bree noticed that it was against school rules to eat in class. Even though the teacher said it was okay in her classroom, Bree refused to eat it and would not explain. She would stare and refuse to budge.
(Gandhi had nothing on my child when it comes to passive resistance.)

Also, she'd missed a lot of class and was having difficulty making up assignments, or even asking her classmates or teacher what she'd missed. Her sporadic participation in class was really counting against her.

The long story short? By year's end, her teacher was frustrated and flunking her, despite the fact that she still aced tests, including standardized ones. I was told, "I could have given Bree ten more points in order to pass, but I'm not going to." She had managed to pull up her grades by twenty points in every other class, though, which this teacher took a personal slight.

So, needless to say that when my daughter and son complained about bullying in school, which spilled over onto the bus, as well, I took it very seriously. Still, I couldn't seem to get anywhere with the school, so I decided that I'd begin homeschooling them this week.

Thankfully, on Friday, I received word that the kids will be starting a new school on Wednesday, one with smaller class sizes and structured to meet the individual needs of their students. Hopefully, this will be a good fit.
(Deleted comment)
7th-Sep-2009 04:58 pm (UTC)
I grew up with people placing their hands over my eyes from behind, hugging from behind, etc., and it was always intended to be a pleasant surprise. These were not as extreme as the other stories we've seen here, and this is not intended as a justification, but there are subcultures within our culture where these surprises are considered joyful.

And I know you find it pleasant, which is why I do it to you! But my default is to not do it.
7th-Sep-2009 07:46 pm (UTC)
the BL archive is awesome, and you are awesome for posting it up.
7th-Sep-2009 08:18 pm (UTC)
medical: Woot!
And, hopefully your kidneys have sorted things out. I figured that part of it might be the fact that you'd lost weight, and some meds are fat-soluble, therefore this sudden release would have strained your kidneys.

WTD: I liked it, BTW.

Grabby hands: I don't get why people think it's funny in the first place, mind you, but I take offense when someone grabs or tickles me despite knowing it makes me uncomfortable. My family was very physically-demonstrative, to the point that if you struggle against being held, they will hug harder. I am not ticklish, due to being held down and tickled without relief so often.
Roughhousing with my brothers was one thing, though; post-traumatic stress took my aversion to a new level.
My brother used to corner me during arguments after I'd come back from college, and my first response would be fight-or-flight. This led to some serious physical altercations; I hate to admit it, since we get on so well together now. The reflex is still there, though, although muted somewhat over the years. I still I don't like crowds, enclosed spaces, or the feel of people brushing against me. And, I will start swinging if you invade my personal space without warning me first. (This also has to do with my vision and balance, though.)

I'm glad that my daughter is able to verbalize what makes her feel comfortable and not. I wish I'd been able to do that when I was younger. So, for the record, Bree doesn't like to be hugged unless she initiates it, or unless you ask first. And then, she will show you how she likes to be hugged.

(But, Elayna can hug her as much as she likes!)

NYAJ's: That's cool! Will spread the word.

Elayna: We all wish her well on her first day of high school. Bree wants to know what she's bringing for lunch... is it sushi? Because Bree's bringing homemade sushi. LOL
7th-Sep-2009 10:17 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the shill, ma'am!
7th-Sep-2009 10:49 pm (UTC)
When you approach any finely bred creature, you must always approach her respectfully. My first horse taught me that. Ouch.
8th-Sep-2009 04:14 am (UTC)
I absolutely love all the discussion here on what is obviously a major topic, but would sadly (as proven) not a big one.

I believe many of us have been victim or even in cases, victimizer (sic) unwittingly. Although it's when you've seen the result of this behavior once and yet think that "Oh that was just THAT person" instead of realizing to change YOUR behavior and learn from it that I want to come behind those people and give them surprise Heimlich maneuvers or a full nelson and see how they react.

Also, good luck to Elayna! High School... how time flies!
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