Being quiet and semi-invisible has its advantages. For example, although my hacky sack skills are mediocre at best, I'm usually one of the last people standing during two-hit sting or whatever because everyone else has developed friendly rivalries and targets each other instead of me. For another example, I can say moderately witty things and get a very disproportionate reaction just from the element of surprise. One of my proudest moments was in high school algebra when the teacher said "I like math better than history because it isn't full of violence and killing and stuff" and I said "Except for when seven ate nine." There was an awkward silence, and then the class burst into raucous laughter that such a tired old pun really didn't deserve, but I appreciated it anyway.
More recently I was hanging out at a neighbor's house and he was, coincidentally, talking about math, and the context leading up to this remark would take too long to explain but anyway, he said "They gave the test to a lamp and it scored higher than me." The opportunity was too perfect. Out of all the inanimate objects he could have named, he chose a lamp. So I said, "Well, lamps are pretty bright." And that got a good reaction too.
Today is Pioneer Day, when we (meaning Utahans and Mormons) celebrate the arrival of the Mormons in Utah in 1847. Just under two weeks ago, on Free Slurpees at 7-Eleven Day, marked the four year anniversary of my arrival in Utah. It's bittersweet. I hadn't been depressed for nearly a year, but within weeks of moving I was suicidal, and things only went downhill from there for the next ten months or so. But I don't regret it. I'd be bored out of my skull if I had stayed home, and this is my home now. But hopefully not forever. It's more of a transitional phase kind of place.
Here's a story from a few weeks ago that pisses me off just a little bit. A teenager named Gavin Joseph was beaten up by some other teenagers to "teach him a lesson" for having Asperger's syndrome. Instead of pressing charges he decided to make them learn and write papers about his disability. Personally, I think they should be shot, but that's why I'm not in charge of the justice system. I am glad that Gavin is more Christlike and forgiving than me. But I don't think ignorance is the real problem. The problem is that humans think their ignorance is an excuse to be $%#&s. Why should you have to learn about someone's disability before you treat them like a human? Why should you have to know what's wrong with us before you graciously give us permission to be "weird"? Why should we have to broadcast that we have a disability to preempt you from judging us?
Of course, I use "you" in the broad and generic sense, not meaning to imply that the specific people reading this are $%#&s. But I find it funny that while everyone and their dog pays lip service to being tolerant and accepting of everybody else and their cat, and socially accepted forms of weirdness or nerdiness are worn as a badge of honor, in practice it's still politically correct to shun autistic people and talk about them behind their back. The physical attack was just an extreme manifestation of the more muted prejudice that no one bats an eyelash at. Personally, I am able to avoid most of it these days. I've been well trained.
Somebody recently posed the question, "Would you rather have a lot of friends or a lot of money?" Of course, this is a no-brainer. Friends vary in quality, but money is money. And money can buy friends. It can also solve a lot of problems. Just recently I finished helping out a friend with Cushing's disease and Lyme disease and some other crap going on, and I thought, "I wouldn't trade problems with her for - wait, actually I would. Money would solve most of them." Whoever said the best things in life are free obviously wasn't a huge fan of shelter, clothing, or food.
I do have a lot of friends but only a few close ones, and the closeness doesn't tend to be mutual. I recently decided to stop making so much effort to be in people's lives if they don't reciprocate, which they usually don't. At first I was worried because this would reduce my already almost nonexistent social life to even more almost nonexistent, which is allegedly unhealthy, but eating at McDonald's once a week is unhealthy too and that hasn't stopped me either.
A perfect example of what I mentioned last time about not labeling myself:
My laptop is spending most of its time at 99-100% disk usage for no discernible reason, so that the simplest tasks can take ten minutes or more, and I'm almost at the point of throwing it out the window. Google revealed that there are at least a couple dozen possible causes, and so far none of the ones I've looked into were it. I have the most tragically unfair life ever.
I uploaded this to YouTube a couple weeks ago. I didn't make it but I loved it enough to share it with the world. Unfortunately it's blocked in Canada and maybe some other countries.
Loreena McKennitt - The Mummers' Dance (KKAZZ Remix)
As of press time, Planned Parenthood is still in some hot water for illegally selling baby parts.
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About the Author
C. Randall Nicholson is a white cisgender male and a Latter-day Saint, so you can hate him without guilt, but he's also autistic, so you can't. Unless you're an anti-vaxxer, in which case the feeling is mutual. This blog is where he periodically rants about life, the universe, and/or everything.