August 28th, 2013


Dangers of The Zone

This was written Tuesday, August 27th, 2013.

As an aspie, I'm prone to getting lost in “The Zone.” If I'm doing something that is productive and creative or productive and yet very simple of a task, I tend to sink so deeply into The Zone that I no longer feel my body's needs. I've come out of zone-trances to find my stomach twisted up in hunger, or my bladder so full that I have to do the pee-dance to get to the toilet in time, or have to poo so badly I'm afraid of crapping my pants. I ignore thirst, as well, during those times.

However, I've gotten to where I can usually avoid going into The Zone for tasks that aren't productive, like TV shows and computer games (both done on my computer). Also for tasks like reading that, while productive to a creative like myself, can still be classified as entertainment. Which is good, because I get bored easily, and if I'm doing something like cooking, I will watch TV shows and/or play games while waiting for things like the water boiling, or the chicken to finish cooking. I've gotten to where I can usually remember to get up every minute or three to check things.

But, as I said, certain other tasks are easier to get lost in. Just about an hour ago, I decided to start working again on my Trai'Pahg'Nan'Nog language, which still is requiring me to bring order to the mess that is the original list of words, which were written down in the order I thought up words in, rather than in anything like alphabetical order. And since I discovered that going through and alphabetizing the whole thing was going to give me a migraine because it was trying to bring too much order to too much chaos too fast, I long ago decided to start with the relatively simple task of putting the words in “piles” sorted by nothing more difficult than the letter they began with. A words in one pile, B words in another, C words in a third, and so on. Done by English word, since most of the words are [English word] = [TPNN word] format, and setting aside exceptions into another pile.

Well, this piling of words by first letter is one of those tasks which requires very little thought, so I put the Harry Potter book 7 audiobook on and set about getting so far into The Zone that the Autopilot had taken over, my conscious mind focused on the story. And so it was that the first time I snapped suddenly and unexpectedly out of this zone-trance, I found myself hungry. I turned on the oven to pre-heat, intending to bake chicken, and then set some water boiling for pasta. Then I made a sandwich to take the edge off my hunger. I then made the mistake of sitting back down at the computer, forgetting that this was only safe to do for things like TV or computer games. I went back to the task of sorting words by first letter.

I don't know how much time passed before I again snapped out of the trance, nor what triggered it, but when I got up again, I found the water at a fierce boil and half of it gone, evaporated! Luckily I had not put the chicken in yet, though if I had I would have turned on the timer. (Though as I later noticed, the phone had had some kind of strange malfunction and temporarily wouldn't play the timer noise, even though the volume was set normally.) I hastily put more water in and put it back on the stove, put the chicken in the oven, set the timer, and decided to stay standing, even if it was boring, while I waited for the water to boil again and while I made the mac & cheese.

*Facepalm* Oh duh, I just realized something: the reason I sometimes don't register people are talking, and can't understand what they're saying at those times because I've missed half or more of what they've said... is because I was in a zone-trance at the time! It happens most often at Brooke's, after all, where I'm on the Internet, another good way to get into a zone-trance. The same thing tends to happen when Lilla and I are at Starbuck's, when I'm on the Internet. Silly me for not realizing this sooner. Of COURSE my brain was having issues with language, because I was so in the zone that the Autopilot was the one controlling the body, mostly, and the Autopilot is not a very intelligent construct. It can do simple tasks very well, and... and I zone out most often while playing games, or while typing out LiveJournal entries and the like. Although the writing-trance would be different from an Autopilot trance, since the conscious mind is involved more fully in the writing process. So okay, it's not ALWAYS because I'm on Autopilot. But it's still a trance state, a state of being totally or partially oblivious to the outside world.

Heh, that's part of what I loved so much about the “Bec” stories by BarBar on (or is it .net?) = because Bec has a condition very similar to autism, which sometimes makes her zone out even more completely than I do. I can usually be roused from my trance when part of my brain recognizes that a shift of gears is necessary. Bec, on the other hand... her trances are so deep that she doesn't stop until her drawing or whatever else is done, and can be led around places by others while in the trance, so that she sometimes snaps out of the trance not knowing how she got where she is. Thankfully I've never had that particular experience, but Bec is very easy for me to relate to.

Anyway, now that I'm done cooking (almost done eating, in fact) and this entry is almost done, I'm going to go back to my word-piling task.

Update: I'm now past the "piling" point and am into a new, more difficult task: checking for repeated words between the two files, a task that also requires looking at the TPNN word, because it's not always the same, and deciding whether to add the other word as an (or [other TPNN word]), delete it completely, or put it into a pile of words to give different meanings to because I like the way they sound. It's so difficult that I did it for two hours and only finished with the B's. I was exhausted after that, whereas the "piling" task was not tiring at all.

PS = I am posting this from the library, and was quite surprised to find that Microsoft Word can read OpenOffice's "odt" format perfectly.

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There's a scene in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows where Umbridge is being derisive about this muggle-born woman's parents being greengrocers. And I'm just like, "Wouldn't the wizarding world need jobs like greengrocers, too?" Especially since food can't be made from nothing in that 'verse.

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Hermione not amused

Words leave deeper scarring than anything else

If ever you think bullying isn't that big a deal, bear in mind what my psychiatrist told me: when I explained to her about my poor memory, that I could barely remember anything from my childhood, and that I still have trouble remembering things, she told me that memory problems like mine are a possible symptom of childhood trauma. Like bullying.

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Hit Girl

Food bank annoyance

Every time I have called the Saint Vincent De Paul people and used their food bank program, they have fucked up in some way or another. Except the first time, in which I called and they delivered some food to me.

After that, though, every time I would call they would say they were going to deliver the food, and that they would call back to schedule a time to deliver the stuff. So I'd wait for a few days for them to call back, but they never would. I would call back, get the same response, wait, and still nothing.

I eventually gave up on calling them, and just went in to the place like I did when I first found the place. And naturally, they give me grief about how I should have called. I explained to them that whenever I call, they say they'll deliver, and never do. I was told Saint Vincent de Paul only does deliveries to people in wheelchairs, which contradicted what I'd been told before, but whatever. They said I have to call in and then come in anyway, so they know how many people are coming in.

So I called this last Monday to let them I knew I was coming. The person on the phone said I'd be called back about delivery, and I basically was like "Okay" while secretly thinking "I'll believe it when it happens." Never got a call back, of course. Frankly, I would have been astonished if they had. Thus, I should have been able to go in today to get my stuff without an issue.

If you guessed that the idiots on the phone failed to inform the people at the pickup place that I was coming, well... no prize for seeing the obvious. *Sigh* And Brooke called the same number the same day and got a call back THE SAME DAY SHE CALLED. Is it just me that gets this kind of bullshit, or what?

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