Question

January 19, 2013 at 10:17 am | Posted in 1, Animals, Mind, People, Sight, Society | 6 Comments
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P1020511 Plane Truth Small

When conversing, keep your feet on the ground.

In certain conditions, your (usually unloved) penchant for penetrating questions may find favour in the world.

For instance, if you land in a regional airport and are confronted by a sniffer dog, there’s a good chance your fellow travellers will hurry past its handler.

You, of course, will be entranced by the beast.

If its handler feels bored, jaded, undervalued or just plain lonely amid careless crowds, you might just make her day.

Start small, by asking what her dog is trained to detect.

Then ask how long training takes.

Express amazement that the pooch can master so much in just 10-12 weeks.

Bookend your interview by asking (roughly) how long the dog’s career will last.

Then ask if, after a decade or so, the handler will have the option to keep the dog.

Observe her interaction with the animal.

If she loves it, even you should be able to perceive this.

The dog, unused to his handler receiving such attention, will fix you with a stare that penetrates far better than the X-ray machine behind you.

This is OK, because you have nothing to hide.

And, unlike humans, dogs and horses have no agenda.

So, for once, you can enjoy staring right back.

And then it’s time to leave.

Under NO circumstances should you go on to ask questions like:

  • When do you think your dog will die?
  • How will you feel when your dog dies?
  • How long will it take you to grieve?
  • Will you get another dog?
  • Will it feel the same?
  • What if it doesn’t?

While you may find these questions perfectly reasonable, most ‘normal’ people will NOT.

By breaking off an interview – even when you’re having fun – you stop it going bad.

Easier said than done, perhaps; but you can learn that less really is

more.

🙂

Brought to you by The Feisty Empire.

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Xmas

December 26, 2012 at 7:23 am | Posted in Family, People, Society, Treatment | 9 Comments
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Graham Christmas Small

A time to take special care of yourself.

Xmas (Christmas) can be very tricky.

If you have no (or another) religion,

or can’t/don’t/won’t have kids,

or don’t believe in Santa,

or don’t like socialising,

or don’t wish to clutter your home with needless purchases,

there are few (if any) reasons to celebrate.

You may therefore feel your otherness particularly keenly at this time.

If you have a non-aspie partner, this will likely hit them pretty hard.

So it’s important to take extra care of yourselves and each other.

This may involve bolting the door and bunkering down until it’s all over.

A more positive use of ‘downtime’ is to go where others aren’t (e.g. a golf course at dawn on xmas morning).

If you have pets, make the most of them.

For they accept you, even if you are a ‘freak‘.

😐

Brought to you by The Feisty Empire.

Seat

December 7, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Posted in 1, Compulsions, Humour, Mind, People, Sight, Society, Threats | 10 Comments
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Chairs Small

NOT as easy as it seems.

Few would comprehend (or believe) the lightning thinking that precedes your choice of chair.

You enter a waiting room (itself a feat).

First priority is safety.

Check the corners. Does one offer a view of the entrance through which your appointment will appear?

If so, can you also see outside (to avoid eye contact, pass the time and spot long-range threats)?

Corners mean you need monitor only 90 degrees for danger.

Walls, therefore, run a very poor second.

The centre, naturally, is right out.

But position isn’t everything.

Check the seating. Is it solo?

If it’s a two-seater couch, you may be able to thwart later arrivals with your bag and coat. (This also applies to pairs of chairs.)

If it’s a three-seater (or more) you may have unwelcome company.

What sort of couch is it?

If it’s too soft, slippery and/or deep, you may have trouble rising quickly to meet any threat.

Better a firm, high one with good back support.

But even the ideal chair in the perfect corner can come unstuck.

Is it near a radio speaker (perhaps blaring a chaotic commercial station)? The cacophony will erode your (frail) composure.

Is it next to a water cooler, rubbish bin, pamphlet stand, children’s play area or stack of filthy, outdated magazines?

If so, people (at worst, infants) may launch themselves at you from all quarters without warning.

Waiting rooms are so hideous, it’s best to be the first appointment of the day.

Though this carries its own peril if your appointment still contrives to be late.

The silver line to this stormy cloud concerns your partner.

If, after some time together, your covivant can scan a space with 80 chairs and point to the exact one you’d pick,

you’ll know it’s true love.

Marry them without delay.

🙂

Brought to you by The Feisty Empire.

Earth

December 6, 2012 at 8:52 am | Posted in Body, Mind, Nature, Recreation, Senses, Touch, Treatment | 6 Comments
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Splendour in the Grass Small

Step into your (new) comfort zone!

Chances are you live in your head far more than your body.

While a rich mental life offers entertaining discourse with superior company, you can have too much of a good thing.

At the most practical level, your body is a life-support system for your brain.

Serving the latter to the detriment of the former ultimately compromises both.

So, while hobbies, alcohol, medication and literature may seem preferred paths to contentment, beware false readings from a selfish organ that knows exactly what you’re thinking.

Though all impulses may screech to the contrary, it’s vital to shift your corporeal form.

The trick is to find a (probably solo) exercise you enjoy.

Swimming is ideal, but unsuited to warmer months.

Walking is a good year-round alternative.

If you can find a large grassed oval that’s deserted at inconvenient times, you’re in for a treat.

At first, the prospect of circling with nothing but your protesting mind may daunt.

To ease yourself in, try downloading fascinating documentaries to an iPod or some such.

Acquiring facts is a great way to silence your inner voice.

Once you’re in the swing, take the next step.

Take off your runners and walk barefoot.

At once, the 2D green disc you’ve been traipsing will become a 3D sensory adventure.

Suddenly, you’ll detect every nuance of the turf.

After rain, you’ll feel the little mounds worms made overnight.

When the sprinklers are on, you’ll slosh through puddles and streams.

When it’s dry, you’ll scale tiny sand dunes.

Soon you’ll realise the oval has a camber to aid drainage.

And that a barely perceptible tilt creates a particularly lush spot.

Each time you pass through this, the grass will remind you that, while still an etherial being, you’re definitely of this Earth.

Literally and metaphorically rooting yourself in the real world is an ideal counter to a busy brain.

And the fitness you gain will keep the relationship healthy.

If you’re lucky enough to live by the sea, the benefits of walking barefoot increase a thousandfold.

So close that book, put down that bottle, turn off that screen and

GO!

🙂

Brought to you by The Feisty Empire.

Introvert

November 15, 2012 at 10:37 am | Posted in Benefits, Interests, People | 6 Comments
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Out there.

Being introverted doesn’t mean you can’t act like an extrovert now and then (in fact, it comes with the territory).

If you have a valid message and a means by which to convey it, audiences should warm to you.

And their endorsement may suffice until you can generate your own.

To learn more, watch Susan Cain’s The power of introverts.

🙂

Brought to you by The Feisty Empire.

Eat

November 7, 2012 at 9:11 am | Posted in Humour, People, Society, Threats, Touch, Work | 6 Comments
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Table for one?

Like many aspies, you may prefer to eat alone.

The mere presence of others may dilute (pollute?!) your pleasure in food.

And the onus of communication can turn a meal from treat to chore.

It’s fine to dine solo, but try not to overdo it.

If, for instance, you’re found lunching alone on the concrete fire escape stairs of a busy advertising agency, your reputation for socialising may suffer.

If you’re in business, try to avoid lunch meetings.

Chances are you’ll be so overwrought juggling conflicting tasks that your client or prospect may form a poor impression.

If they insist on meeting for lunch, avoid ‘difficult’ dishes.

Especially beef teriyaki don with long, crisp, slippery vegetables, sticky rice and loads of sauce.

The effort to control your chopsticks and sever mouthfuls while calculating optimal eye contact and tracking the conversation may well result in food on your hands, face, clothes, napkin and table section.

Not a good look.

Especially if you cut yourself shaving.

‘Finger’ foods (e.g. wraps, sandwiches and spring rolls [without sauce]) are a far safer bet.

You could even call these

a recipe for success.

🙂

Bali

November 1, 2012 at 10:43 am | Posted in Mind, People, Recreation, Society, Threats | 9 Comments
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Enter at own risk.

There’s a high chance you won’t like Bali.

The reasons are almost too numerous to describe, but here are a few.

When you land at the airport and stare bewildered at the queues, an airport official will spot your distress and approach.

But instead of helping you, he’ll extort money from you to ‘process’ your passport.

When he snatches your documents and vanishes through a door, leaving you to the hostile stares of a thousand angry, sweaty tourists, you’ll know the true meaning of fear.

If you get your passport back, another trial awaits.

When you see the luggage carousel with nothing on it, it’s not because your bag hasn’t been unloaded.

Rather, it has been taken hostage by a local ‘handler’ who also demands payment to give it back.

Then he’ll want to carry it for you. More exhortations for money.

Next, a deafening gauntlet of currency changers will harangue you for custom.

Next, the taxi driver who beats all the others to you will drive you through a sea of humanity moiling on packed, narrow streets with smashed, gaping footpaths.

On arrival, he won’t be able to change your smallest banknote, forcing you to give him a very large one.

When you finally gain the sanctuary of your villa, the close cries of rice farmers fending off birds will make you wonder what the hell you’re doing there.

Everyone told you Bali was wonderful, amazing.

But all you see is the chasm between rich and poor, and the endless devices of the latter to glean from the former.

You’d rather eat alone than have four staff fawn over your every mouthful.

You’d rather savour your accommodation in peace than traipse the steaming island to have temple monkeys claw out your eyes.

But if you stay put, the servile staff pile up at your door – desperate to please and stunned that you don’t enjoy lording it over them, like so many guests before.

They’ll get upset – though they hide it very well.

And the fact even you can detect their displeasure will make you realise how frighteningly deep it goes.

So you’ll get upset too, and feel trapped among foes.

And the positive feedback loop will continue.

Your sole, cold comfort (when the host, the receptionist, the gardener, the pool person, the path sweeper, the snake catcher, the house people, the deity offering preparer – and all their retainers – have finally left your compound) may be to transmute your pain and disappointment into searing, staccato verse:

I hate Bali

I hate Bali.

It is f*cked.

All the mopeds.

All the trucks.

All the bullsh*t.

All the scams.

Grin at me through

Praying hands.

Take my money.

Plus plus plus.

(Plus plus plus plus,

Plus plus plus.)

Yes I am a

First World prick.

I deserve your

Third Class shtick.

Bend me over.

Call me ‘Sir’.

Rough pineapple.

Now do her.

Charge us double.

Give us half.

Disrespect us.

Laugh and laugh.

Show us pictures

Of the sun.

Swipe our visas.

Wipe your bum.

All is fiction.

Nothing real.

Bait and switch and

Steal steal steal.

Send us packing.

With your curse.

Now we see there’s

So much worse.

Dress your gods, but

Strip us bare.

Wish that we were

Never there.

Despite your rage, you’ll know deep down that it’s not Bali’s fault.

This means the problem lies with you.

And the wait for your non-transferrable flight home will be very,

very

long.

😦

Further reading: http://www.theage.com.au/wa-news/goodbye-bali-and-f-you-woman-reports-rohypnol-ordeal-20160711-gq2wpj.html

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Drive

October 30, 2012 at 7:04 am | Posted in 1, Benefits, Body, Hearing, Recreation, Senses, Touch | 10 Comments
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Learn one; master all!

If someone teaches you to drive, they may be astonished at how swiftly and well you pick it up.

This will likely be due to two factors.

First, you’re probably dying to master an enclosed, personal, movable space that protects you while giving you a means of independence and escape.

Second, and perhaps more encouragingly, your superior sensitivity will alert you to the training vehicle’s every nuance.

The moment you slide into the driver’s seat, your senses will start reaching to every part of the machine – like ganglia.

If you crunch the gears, you’ll shudder in sympathy and note the warning signs for next time.

If you hit a curb when turning, you’ll know by sound and feel whether it was the rubber tyre, the plastic hubcap and/or the metal rim of the wheel.

Early pilots called this ‘flying by the seat of your pants’ – because they literally felt many aspects of the aircraft through their seat.

You’ll take this principle even further.

After a while, your perception will extend beyond the car.

Since you’re well used to keeping your distance from people, you’ll have a valuable asset when it comes to reverse parking.

Onlookers will marvel as you knock the training sticks and bricks over once or twice, but never again.

Once you learn to drive one car, you can learn to drive any vehicle (see photographic evidence above).

It’s a bit like The Matrix movie, in which Trinity downloads the software to fly a helicopter.

But it’s better than that, because the software is already in you.

In fact, it is you.

On the road, because you obey rules and are careful, your dealings with police should be minimal.

In summary, learning to drive could be one of the most empowering and enjoyable things you ever do.

🙂

Brought to you by The Feisty Empire.

HSP

October 8, 2012 at 7:32 am | Posted in Diagnosis, Treatment | 3 Comments
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Worth the trip.

If your counsellor  mentions ‘Highly Sensitive Person Syndrome‘, your first impulse may be to laugh.

First, it sounds like a pretty wishy-washy name.

Second, you already suffer from Asperger Syndrome; of what possible use could another condition be?

Still, as you’re always questing to find your way in a difficult world, you may accept your counsellor’s recommendation to read The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine N. Aron.

If you do, you may be struck by three things:

  1. There’s a questionnaire to see just how sensitive you are. Chances are you’ll attain a perfect score.
  2. Elaine is obviously an HSP, and her empathy with your condition is very welcome.
  3. She offers some useful and practical life tips.

Chief among these are:

  • Be your own ‘parent’ (i.e. look after yourself as if you still had a living and/or caring mother or father).
  • If you’re about to freak out in a situation, give it just a bit more time. Promise yourself you can leave if things remain difficult. There’s a good chance that after you get over your initial panic, you’ll be OK.
  • You really can’t afford to hide in your room forever. Especially if you have a partner. Give new things a go now and then. If something is too hard, you can always withdraw. But at least make an effort.

While some parts of the book may be uncomfortable to read, it’s true that without some pain there’s little gain.

On balance, you should find that The Highly Sensitive Person will reward your time and effort.

The book costs about ten bucks and you can buy it here.

🙂

Brought to you by The Feisty Empire.

Coin

October 2, 2012 at 9:17 am | Posted in Compulsions, Senses, Sight, Society, Touch | 2 Comments
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This series starts so well, but then it turns to sh*t.

Depending on your country of residence, your confusion about currency may not be confined to banknotes.

This Australian sequence, for instance, is counterintuitive to say the least.

Fortunately, you’ll likely get your mind around it after a few months.

This is good, as you have little choice in such matters of State.

Confronted with absolutes, it’s better to go with the flow than rail to zero effect.

😐

Brought to you by The Feisty Empire.

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