Little GTHO

Long time no read.

So…I see a lot of people talking about how Aspies really hate driving. As usual, this should be taken with a grain of – actually, just go get a salt shaker and chug it – since it won’t apply for everyone but I figured I’d give my opinion on driving, speaking as an Aspie and a pizza delivery guy.

It freaking sucks.

There’s no way to win at driving. In quite a lot of situations – video games are chief among them, I think – one can screw up without serious consequences. In my case, I can bull my way through social situations purely by sheer force of insanity. Driving…doesn’t work like that. If you screw up, you break a car, or a fence or a mailbox or a person or worse yet a CAT. And then you’re completely hosed. Just like that. Whatever happens, you’re paying for it and possibly losing your license or being criminally charged.

Consider once that I accidentally dented some guy’s car while parking next to it at my bible study group. Being a bible study group guy he was cool about it and all, and since I did think I had not a lot of room I was going all of maybe two feet per hour. Well, it turns out this tiny dent in the car costs $500 for a mechanic to fix. And to put icing on the cake, this was a buddy of his doing him a favor!

First of all, this guy needs new buddies because that is UTTERLY RIDICULOUS! Personally, I would have told the guy where he could stick his wrench and just left with a slightly dented car, but then again my car is also as old as I am and hasn’t seen a vacuum or car wash since I got it. Seriously, the bit where people’s feet go in the passenger seat? That is where random bits of paper and pop bottles go to die. So maybe I just don’t care since I’ve not got a nice car, but still…five HUNDRED dollars?

So if that infinitesimally small screwup can put me out five hundred big ones (and this was while I was saving every cent I had for a decent computer, so I was honked off beyond belief), I have to be constantly on guard against anything and everything that my car can so much as touch. The stakes are too high to allow anything else. As such, any time I’m driving around I’m under constant threat and therefore am more high-strung than I am normally, which is quite the achievement.

Next thing – when it comes to the stereotypical rules, I’m something of a rules Nazi. Drinking before 21? Not gonna happen. Sex before marriage? Nope. Smoking? Please. Speeding? Yeah, right. I drive the speed limit whenever I’m on the road, and I do not appreciate jerks tailgating me or otherwise trying to get me to move faster. Just because you can’t read the big boldface numbers doesn’t mean I have to pretend I don’t, deal with it and just pass me next time you have the chance.

Plus the jerks who drive like complete MANIACS or are just stupidly inconsiderate. I can never park in my driveway because my parents need both sides for their own cars. Typically I park across the cul-de-sac in front of a neighbor’s house. There’s room for two cars to park one behind the other. Except this COLOSSAL MORON leaves his pickup there smack in the middle of the spot. Like, if there were actual white lines there to separate the spots he’d be right the heck on top of the line. Seriously, get a freaking clue, you USELESS WASTE OF SPACE!

In case you couldn’t tell, I do actually do a lot of road raging. Not in the form of speeding and driving recklessly, I just scream obscenities and increasingly elaborate insults at my steering wheel.

Back to annoying jerkbags, we have also the people who sit in the right lane at red lights when they aren’t turning right (my home state allows cars to turn right on red if no other traffic is heading that way), thus blocking people (usually me on a pizza delivery) from getting anywhere in a timely fashion. And my new favorite as of school resuming, we have the inconsiderate college student who, rather than just cross the road during the all of about five YEARS with no cars, presses the button to change the traffic light and only THEN crosses, while me and about five other drivers consider pretending our breaks don’t work and run her over. My God, woman, you force traffic to a halt just so you can cross the street? And nobody else? HOW BIG IS YOUR EGO?!

Now for a big one – you can’t multitask while driving. I. Hate. That. It seems to me all my good ideas for my roleplaying site, things to do in a video game, things to do in real life, or things to post on this blog about only ever occur to me in my car when I cannot write them down or do anything. And I can’t even think about them long enough to really get them set in my memory – I’m too busy trying not to lose another five hundred dollars instantly.

Oh, and if you need to fix your car EVER, or even just change the oil or put air in the tires, you need to do about five hundred billion different things, all of which involve potentially burning yourself on hot bits of metal from the engine heat or sunlight, potentially crushing your fingers in things, discovering that you can in fact get grease on that part of your body, et cetera. It sucks. I hate having grease on my hands. I hate hate hate HATE IT!!!!!!!

Traffic lights and signs even get in on the action. They make me paranoid because they can do one of two things: they can get me out five hundred bucks for a violation of one when it’s in the stupidest place possible, or they make me insanely late for a delivery so I lose out on tip money. And tips make up a substantial portion of my income. I maintain that if it is possible to drive down a road and hit EVERY SINGLE RED LIGHT ON THAT ROAD, the Department of Transportation needs to have someone kick their behind up between their ears until they make the thing work. And, once, I delivered to a trailer park that was essentially a gigantic cul-de-sac. As I returned to the neck of the thing to get back to the main road, I see a sign telling me I just drove all the way around that thing the wrong way because apparently it’s one way.

…WHAT GOOD DOES THAT SIGN DO? Tell me when I bloody well turn into the thing, not when I leave! It’s basically saying “you could have got a ticket or an accident this whole time and you wouldn’t know why lol #yoloswag” It’s another reminder that while driving you also have this ENORMOUS external locus of control. You can do everything right, be Pizza Delivery Jesus, and all it takes is one other schmuck screwing up once at the wrong time and BOOM! You’re out five hundred bucks AT LEAST, possibly a car and in my case my bloody JOB, not to mention your ENTIRE LIFE! If this wasn’t freaking necessary for my survival I would swear off driving forever and never leave my bloody house, it’s a waking nightmare every second!

Flee, Flee For Your Lives

Recently, while watching an episode of Doctor Who, I saw something funny. Being myself, I thought to share this funny thing with my dad, so I went to go find him and I told him such. He then asked how work was last night and we held a lengthy conversation on the topic. After about ten or fifteen minutes of conversation he demanded I make a blog post this morning. I needed to clip my fingernails and wasn’t willing to sit through a conversation about why I need to update regularly (I know all that, thanks, and saying it over and over again won’t improve my understanding) so I left.

I was then accused of running away from conversations that make me uncomfortable.

Uh.

Well, OBVIOUSLY.

Of course I’m going to leave if I feel uncomfortable. Conversations that make me uncomfortable or are annoyingly repetitive or turning into lectures from the other person (before you say it, I know I’ve been on the other end of the lecture bit most of the time; I ramble) are undesirable stimuli and I see no reason I should have to sit through that. I mean, courtesy can only take you so far. That and the stipulation my dad threw in at the end was that I only talk about what I want to talk about and not anything anyone else started. This in spite of the fact that we just held an extremely long conversation about work that HE started.

Anyway, on a cerebral level I understand that conversations what make us uncomfortable need to happen from time to time. Birds and the bees, and whatnot. The thing that cheeses me off is first of all that I get shamed for it. If it makes me uncomfortable, I’m not liable to stick around. I’m sorry, but I’m not. I don’t sit around on thumbtacks for kicks, you know. It’s a perfectly freaking natural reaction. If somebody is playing Justin Bieber music really loud, I’ll cover my ears and walk away. If it’s sunny outside, I’ll stay inside (or wear sunglasses).

The other thing is, yeah, from a certain standpoint this conversation could be considered necessary. I’ll be the first to admit that I should be updating this more often. Sorry about that, by the way. But I don’t see the reason for me to be deluged with frank demands to update numerous times after I’ve acknowledged the fact. For one thing, my inner critic is extremely attentive and good at what he does; it comes naturally to perfectionists. I’ve been annoying MYSELF plenty to get a move on with this and actually one of the main reasons why I got so cheesed off earlier this morning is because I was actually planning to make this post and then I get hit in the face with an unnecessary and socially uncomfortable reminder that makes me feel even more inadequate than I already make myself feel.

And you know, I can understand how my dad’s thinking from this perspective. Where he’s standing, he has no real idea whether I’m saying I want to post because I genuinely WANT to post or just to get him off my back. But another thing: I get really freaking tired of thinking from other peoples’ point of view. Yeah, I’m supposed to love others and be all Jesus-y to them and Christianity and stuff, but it’s DRIVING. ME. INSANE. I get EXTREMELY tired of putting others’ needs before my own and I’m tired of walking in others’ shoes. My feet hurt, too – and don’t even get me started on stiletto heels. I have my own freaking shoes and they have custom-made inserts because my feet are all messed up somehow, so you can all keep your shoes, I’m done with them.

I’m just SO TIRED of dealing with other people. Maybe that’s why I sit in my basement all the time and play video games. Everywhere else I go I’m preoccupied with being courteous, being nice, being Christian and being polite. Down here I don’t bloody well have to. For the sake of the world at large I hope I get better at this, because if I have to go all Donna Noble on somebody there won’t be much left of their eardrums by the time I’m through with them.

Tolerance, Gaming and just a bit of Perspective

I am here to update and chew bubblegum.

…I don’t own any bubblegum. One might say I’m all out of bubblegum.

A funny thing happened to me the other day. I was playing a naval combat game online, wherein each person has their own ship and they can name it whatever they like (within certain guidelines…obviously profanity is forbidden and there is a length limit but whatever). Naturally, being the Frozie Fuhrer, I opted to name my battleship Queen Elsa’s Revenge, after the famous pirate ship and my favorite movie which-also-is-the-best-movie-of-all-time-stoparguingwithmethisisnotoptionalYOUAREINCOMPATIBLEYOUWILLBEDELETED

*ahem* Sorry.

Back on topic, I killed somebody else’s battleship and in the chat he promptly informed me I was a “hacker n00b.” I mean, with zeros and all. Nobody spells noob with zeros anymore. This being after a shift at the restaurant and me therefore being higher on caffeine than the ISS, I indulged my inner sadist by responding to him. If you’ve played online games, you know how this went. I even went so far as, when a teammate of mine killed him, I started jokingly calling him a hacker (the teammate, not the One Who Spells With Numbers) because obviously anyone who killed this guy must be a hacker.

It reached lunatic status when he threatened to hack my account. Yeah. Hypocrisy is fun stuff.

It occurs to me that I’ve been on the other end of that in the past. World of Tanks, Roblox, Team Fortress 2, Battlefront 2 and Left 4 Dead have all been graced by my own gamer rage. And it occurs to me – should those of us not raging REALLY be laughing?

It’s honestly not funny at all. I’m not even talking about “oh, we all did this at one time or another.” I’m talking about Asperger’s. Stressful situations like that have a very real potential to spiral outside the person’s ability to control them. Effectively we’re laughing at someone else’s disability. It’s amazing what a dampener this has put on my enthusiasm for quashing people like that in video game voice and text chat. If you reach out with just a little perspective (this new format for italicizing text is horrible, by the way) you discover all sorts of things that make you feel like a really nasty sort of person.

Fortunately, for those of you who count yourselves with me among the petty, vindictive, immature and hypocritical, we’re not left without targets. There are people who are legitimately being…well, I won’t use the term I’m thinking but let’s just leave it with they are not very nice people. Take the previous navy game for example. Some jerk on the enemy team thought it would be amusing to name his ship in German to bypass the censors. His name apparently translated to “Jews are [expletive]s”

Needless to say, nobody was amused. Since he was perfectly grammatical and lucid in his messages, he was certainly doing this for lulz as opposed to because of an issue outside his control. That’s the one time I’ve ever used the Report function in that game. I hope it worked.

Triumphant (maybe) Return

Wow. It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted here. Sorry about that – meatspace is a terrible thing and my job has been EXTREMELY taxing for a while now. I’m one of two people working dishroom/delivery at the moment so I end up working a shift almost every day and almost always closing the restaurant (which is harder than a regular shift).

Excitement.

Anyway, hope you’re all not cheesed off at me. The reason why I’ve finally cleared out some time for this is that my parents and I have come to an agreement. Essentially I’m going to be a tenant now. I’m going to pay rent and utilities and whatnot and purchase my own food, while still living at my parents’ house. This is pretty good – while it’s going to cost no small amount of money, it’s a good deal and on top of that it takes a huge stress load off everyone.

Because I no longer have to do dishes and my parents no longer have to lecture me about video games are evil.

So, all in all I think this will turn out for the better at least in the long run. Despite that, as always with changes, I’m freaked out about a few things. For one, buying my own food isn’t as simple as it sounds, because I’ve got to plan out what I’m going to buy by a huge number of variables such as nutrition, prep time, taste and price. That is going to be a huge hassle. Let’s just hope that this yields some good updates in the future, at any rate.

Dasvidaniya.

On The Computer and Male Bonding

My parents seem to take issue with me being on the computer. I’m not entirely sure why.

Recently I was able to get them to stop using the word “addiction” when talking about the computer. I cited the fact that when it was time to eat, go to bed, or go to work, I bloody well get off my computer and go do those. An addict wouldn’t.

My dad then responded with a remark to the effect of “the majority of your discretionary free time is spent on the computer.”

Okay.

The obvious question I have is, so what?!

Discretionary free time means I choose what I get to do during it. And I choose to use the computer. Yeah, supposedly being outside is healthy. I hate outside. I mean really hate it. There’s way too much sunlight, spiky plants that ooze irritating chemicals, dog dung, dead mice, all manner of insects doing their best Dracula impression and I live in a neighborhood with loads of annoying small children.

As far as I’m concerned, there’s a reason mankind put so much effort into perfecting inside. If I spend too much time outside I’m disgracing the memory of people who worked so hard to give us air conditioning, electricity, internet, and fuzzy carpet. I think those people deserve better than that.

On a more serious note, getting outside is supposedly very healthy. Good for it. I have no particular interest in being at the peak of perfect health. Sure, I understand the need for exercise, I just ignore it. I take the occasional (VERY occasional) walk, and as far as a shut-in like me is concerned, that’s good enough. I have the right to decide to be inside considering how much I hate outside.

Now, despite the rhetoric I’m in the habit of spouting, I don’t outright hate sports or people who partake in outside activities. When it comes down to it I’m fine with them having their interests so long as they don’t expect me to give two bits. I rarely expect people to give two bits about the difference between Scyphozoa and Cubozoa and frankly, the world’s probably better for it.

One thing that this has engendered, I suspect, is no small amount of resentment towards my dad. After all, it seems a bit hypocritical (on the surface) for him to get on my case about video games when he could spend six hours playing Joust back in the day. Frankly, what I wish he would do is give up on the “modern games are too complicated” thing and learn to play a free game like Roblox or Team Fortress 2. I was on Roblox the other day and ended up playing with a father-son duo and was thinking, “Gee, I wish my dad would do that with me.”

I mean, sure, he’s offered to play golf with me. But I can think of a lot of things I’d rather do than play golf, and beating myself in the head with a crowbar is near the top of that particular list. And yes, he’s offered to play paintball and play with RC stuff, but neither of those things have really borne much fruit yet and both take significant investments of time or money to start up. Video games are an interest of both of ours’ (Dad’s nickname in college was Pac-Man) and don’t have a huge startup cost in either time or money. Plus they can be done inside, which is always a bonus in my book.

All According To Plan (Or Not)

Planning things has never gone particularly well for me. In particular, I tend to set out to do something and then never get it done. It’s gotten to the point that if my parents ask when I’m going to do something, I can no longer give them a definite answer because I honestly have no idea.

Seems to me that the world enjoys going out of its way to frustrate any plans I might have made. As such, it becomes increasingly difficult for me to even formulate a plan. I keep trying to take into account as many variables as is humanly possible and the resulting wealth of options and outcomes (sounds like a tabletop RPG, n’est-ce pas?) drives me completely insane.

For that matter, I have a semi-obsession with keeping my schedule open and flexible. I currently work, say, three nights on a given week. That adds up to maybe twelve or fifteen hours. Per week. Plenty of time, right?

Not if you’re as plan-paranoid as I am. To me, I’m on a constant time crunch, because I have things I need to do and no idea when I’ll be able to do them. I’ve meant to clean up the rest of my room for a month or so now. Same thing with organizing my computer files and iTunes library.

Part of that is simple procrastination, a factor that is largely independent of my Asperger’s. But it goes quite a bit beyond that, to the point where my brain freezes up and I become incapable of planning out the next five minutes, let alone the next five days. It gets quite frustrating and I am currently reluctant to even try.

You Don’t Have Autism

Recently I was talking with a coworker at my job and made the remark that as an Aspie I was contractually obliged to do everything awkwardly (this in response to him telling me I didn’t have to stand there awkwardly while waiting for something to do). He apparently didn’t know what Asperger’s was. I regarded this as something of a professional failure, given that I had endeavored to make sure as many coworkers as I could distract from their jobs knew about Asperger’s, so I told him basically it was high-functioning autism.

His response was an incredulous “you don’t have autism!”

Which I found exceedingly interesting.

I was recently reading a book called Asperger’s On The Job by Rudy Simone, and one of the points was not to be offended when someone thought you didn’t have Asperger’s. Some quick application of perspective allowed me to figure out why. The average person with no personal experiences with the spectrum will view autism/Asperger’s as a set of universally negative attributes such as lack of social skills, incredible rudeness, etc. etc. The positive attributes are far less well-known. So when my coworker told me he didn’t think I had autism, he was in fact informing me of one of two things: either he is extraordinarily bad at observation or in general I am not viewed as possessing most of the negative bits of Asperger’s.

So either way I win. Or at least I break even with the first one. I know for a fact that I’m universally regarded as quirky around the workplace; frankly I like it that way. Otherwise who’s going to randomly start singing Let It Go in the middle of the dinner rush? But as I said before, barring complete perception failure on the part of the coworker in question, I have apparently been managing myself pretty well. That’s food for thought.