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.

The Church

To be honest, although I generally view myself as a Christian and am generally viewed as such by my peers (my apologies to the Christian community in general for that), I’ve never enjoyed church. When I was younger, the only thing I did in church was really to sit there and draw pictures of random things that had nothing whatsoever to do with the message being taught.

Don’t get me wrong, I still try and hold to Christianity and try to listen to/apply the messages, it’s just difficult. I’ve never really been much for listening to directions and applying them, especially after the fact and as anyone who’s ever had a serious go at following Christ knows it ain’t exactly what you’d call easy. But that’s not what I’m here to discuss. My dad’s in the Special Needs Ministry section at our church (for the life of me I can’t imagine why) on the staff and asked me to write this post for a meeting, so I’m going to talk about how I deal with actual church services.

For starters, I hate standing during worship. So I don’t. It’s that simple and frankly I don’t understand why anyone would make a huge deal out of it.

Second, I don’t particularly like when I’m told to greet the people standing around me. I don’t know these people. Why am I supposed to act like I have an interest in what’s going on in their lives? That would be lying – as I recall that’s a sin. I’m nothing if not brutally and savagely honest whenever possible. Yes, I get that people are expected to show an interest in the lives of others. But I’ve got enough on my own plate, thanks, so deal with it. I’ll shake your hand and say good morning but that’s it.

Thirdly, I sit in the same place every time I go to church. In the back row of the balcony. It’s a comforting feeling knowing nobody’s staring at the back of your head, to be honest. And I’ve always loved balconies. The vantage point is such that one doesn’t have to worry about people sitting in your line of sight and far enough away from the stage that you don’t go deaf during worship. Thus, when our worship leader started talking about people sitting in the same places every week, I told myself “if he tells me to get up and sit somewhere different I will walk down the aisle and beat him to death with his microphone.” He wasn’t, actually. He was talking about how people should get to know the others who sit in the same section.

Which in turn is odd. Granted I’ve never ever paid much attention to the people sitting around me, but I don’t think the same group sits up in my balcony all the time. I’ve seen that my family sits there (since I pick the seats) and that a family who’s friends with ours (if I recall their oldest is also an Aspie) sits there often if we go to the eleven o’clock service, but that’s it. Though it’s worth emphasizing that I’m not liable to pick up on this sort of thing. I mind my own business.

Then there are my issues with the Bible itself – no, I’m not reiterating my frustration with my parents’ claims to complete authority. But once I was on a forum for gifted children and someone started a thread where people shared their religious beliefs. Most of them were atheist/agnostic (they had an entire debate on the difference), one was a Zen Buddhist, and then I posted saying I’m a Christian. Whereupon I immediately got hit in the face with “I DUN WANNA BELIEVE IN A GOD WHO SAYS GAYS GO TO HELL.”

Um. What. 

Leaving out the entirety of that particular theological cluster bomb, they then proceeded to try and prove the Bible is fake because it says pi equals three. Part of me says, “okay, you’re nitpicking, and I make that into a lifestyle choice so when I tell you you’re going overboard…yeah.” The rest goes off on a tangent and wants to know why this doesn’t apply. I still believe in the Bible being correct. That’s not likely to change. But I’d like some of my nitpicks addressed in ways other than “that isn’t important and you’re nitpicking,” because that’s dodging the question. I feel like I’d benefit from a class on the logic of the Bible or something (insofar as the Bible can be squared with logic, there’s a point where the two diverge).

Anyway, this post having to do with religion I hope I didn’t offend anybody I didn’t mean to.

The Parent Trap

My parents have recently been telling me they think I treat my managers at work better than I do them.

To some extent, they are right. Actually they’re mostly right – I don’t buy my managers birthday gifts or hug them at random but when it comes to day-to-day tasks, I tend to treat them better.

As you may have guessed, this is going to be a post written from MY point of view, with nothing held back on my views on the parent/child thing. MY point of view does not necessarily mean that it’s automatically correct, unless of course we’re talking about Frozen.

Thing is, if my managers treated me the way my parents did, I’d probably quit on the spot.

My parents tend to get a lot more involved in my business than I would like. Yeah, like every teenager in the world hasn’t said that, but apparently my psychiatrist at least agrees with me. I met with her this last Tuesday to discuss my continued medication and when I told her about how my dad turned the Internet off until I completed a list of tasks, she frowned and said that’s way too controlling. 

As much as I agreed with her, I told her she was welcome to tell my dad that and get her head torn off over it. I’ve already tried to make that point and every time I get hit in the face with the Bible. On top of that, I can’t really pull much by way of verbal argument. I’m verbose and I can talk a mile a minute, but I can’t hold up a proper debate without going to writing. And every time I do have a decent point (which is rarely, at least verbally), I get the Bible thrown in my face with “YOU MUST DO WHAT PARENTS SAY OR WE’LL THROW YOU OUT OF OUR HOUSE.”

Beings as I don’t have another place to live, I at that point retreat from the conversation. It’s one thing to learn to deal with these things by experience. It’s another to try and do so when my entire livelihood is on the line. Whereupon I then get mocked for “you always run away when the conversation gets tough/deep.” Damn straight I do, I’m not about to get thrown out just because you’re cheesing me off enough that I’d like to punch you in the face.

It’s one thing to expect me to do stuff. I’m perfectly fine with that, but it’s another thing entirely to go “I’M SHUTTING INTERNET OFF UNTIL YOU COMPLETE LIST.” Now, I’m not saying they don’t have the right to do that. It’s their house, their internet and I’m living here for more or less free; they’re legally entitled to do whatever they want however they like. But by the same point, I wish they’d do what they want in such a way that isn’t DRIVING ME INSANE. 

And, naturally, we’ve had talks about this as well. None of which have gone as well as I’d like either because of sheer stubbornness on their part (referencing the Bible does not equal an “I win” button or a moral high ground) or because I’ll interpret something they’re saying as an attack and then my dad will blow up over how he can’t say anything without me interpreting it wrong. Well, me and my Asperger’s apologize. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, I’m not the best at reading social cues. Deal with it! You’re the one with the working nonverbal language, stop expecting me to be able to magically interpret what you’re saying properly when experience has shown that I can’t normally and even less so when under stress.

Which reminds me, I’m not taking any sort of moral high ground beyond I’m sick and tired of living like this. And since I know someone’s going to say it, “so move out then” is not an option. So don’t bother saying it. But damn it, my parents ought to be able to tell when they’re driving me completely bananas and be able to tone down the freaking pressure already. I’ve been eighteen and graduated for less than a MONTH, cut me some slack while I figure out what I’m doing and stop trying to shove it down my throat. When I want a drink I’m not going to run to the damn fire hose.