Mar. 4th, 2017

spikethemuffin: (Gardening)
I can't believe I lived so long without figuring this out. I suspect it's common knowledge, but just in case: if you squeeze your voluntary tummy muscles just above a menstrual cramp and push the squeezedness downward, contracting as you go for a couple of seconds, the pain diminishes significantly for several minutes.

This is a remedy for alone time, because I can't figure out how not to make faces like Calvin eating casserole when I do this...
spikethemuffin: (Gardening)
When I was in kindergarten, most kids needed someone to "start" them on the swings, i.e. an external push rather than using own their bodily momentum. I was already clearly behind in any task involving physical coordination, but I loved swinging, and I was the non-dominant in my kindergarten pair (five-year-olds are like oxygen molecules, aren't they? Always in pairs if you leave them alone.), so I would always push Christy in the swing, then amuse myself for the rest of recess.

But one day, Christy didn't come to school, and I got a turn on the swing. The trouble was, Christy was fantastically jealous and I was rather unpopular; there was no-one to push me. I realized, though, that I could swing back and forth and get a little swing going, then kick the ground to push myself farther and higher. It worked! I was swinging higher than I ever had before, higher than ANYONE ON THE PLAYGROUND. When I finished my swinging, I was literally surrounded by admiring fans, some of them---gasp--- the fabled and legendary SECOND GRADERS. It actually took a few days for my method to catch on. (In my defense, I was five, and not great at explaining physical stuff.) (Christy, of course, went apeshit, actually having a shrieking meltdown when she came back and found out I'd skipped so many rungs on the social ladder. She refused to use the kick thing for as long as I knew her, feeling it was "cheating," and actually telling people that they should not admire how high I could swing and that they should not talk to me. Curiously, she eventually allowed me to make up with her, once she got over the pain of my unthinking betrayal. Um. So, yeah, that's a long-standing pattern for me in relationships, apparently.) Once it did, the natural order of the playground was restored: those who were "high swingers" still swung the highest, although orders of magnitude higher than before, and I was no longer queen of the rubberchain throne. I didn't care about being the best, though. I just loved the feeling of flying, and who cared what those on the ground thought? And that's been my role. Not a great artist, but the first in my class to actually figure out looking at what things look like and drawing that (eyes are shaped like you think fishes are, but fishes are shaped like weird deflated footballs, noses grow from eyebrows, apples aren't spheres and neither are treetops), showing the "good at art" kids the way from drawing good-looking pictures to being real artists. Not able to color within the lines by my physical grace to save my soul, but figuring out how to start at the edges and color inward, and to keep the grain of my strokes consistent. Never being afraid to ask the "stupid" questions. Organizing my space to fit the job. Never being actually pretty, at my hottest I looked like a dollar-store action figure of Paul Verhoeven, but using color correction to make it look like I had beautiful porcelain Scottish skin. Being the slowest runner anywhere, of all time, but placing in races via persistence.

So I feel in my heart--- I hope in my heart that that is who I am. Stupid, slow, clumsy, whatever, but I find ways to make things work and I give them to the people who can really fly with them.

The flip side of that, of course, is that you don't really want me around. I have been told by reliable people that Star Wars is a terrible movie, and I am just What's Wrong With America for unironically loving it; the movie was just the first of its kind to use its particular gimmicks in a way that hit people's resonant frequency. Early Superman comics... ugh, super-clumsy and contrived, no-one likes it, it didn't start being a "real" story until those Shuster and Siegel idiots let go of it. Prototypes of cars before the Model T, unreliable and ridiculously resource-intensive before a real person refined it. Loki is the quintessential innovator and wow, boy howdy, fucks things up on a nigh-professional level. Etc., etc. But when I tell you that this is a thing I do to keep up with the normies, don't say, "Well, you're an awful piece of trash with a trash life and you like Star Wars, that's how trashy you are, why should I take your recommendations?", because I am doing VERY well for how very awful I am, and you might do well to see whether you can use my disadvantage to your advantage.

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