Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Game Of Spoilers, Or: I Would Rather Know Nothing About Jon Snow

I just finished watching season 5 of Game of Thrones on DVD. (And was surprised by how caught up in it I got, too. The last couple of episodes, there was a lot of very loud yelling at certain characters.)

Of course, being just about exactly a season behind, that means I got to the end of season 5 just in time to be hit by an avalanche of season 6 spoilers, everywhere I turn online. Honestly, what is it with this show? I thought Doctor Who spoilers could be tricky to avoid if you waited too long, but GoT fans and critics seem to go out of their way to make sure nobody can miss them. Years later, I'm still shaking my head in bemusement about the article I saw on the prevalence of GoT spoilers that had a spoiler in the title.

I'm seriously beginning to suspect that HBO is planting this stuff somehow, in an attempt to get people like me to subscribe.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Oh, Look, It's May!

And thus endeth the exercise known as Blogs-A-Lot April. I'm never entirely sure if said exercise feels like it has all that much of a point, but one thing I did notice, this time, is that it sort of forced me to pay attention to every day as it passed, which means that, unlike a lot of months lately, April did not pass by in a blur, but seemed to take its time and to go by in something that felt at least a little more like a steady, regular way. And, honestly, if I was going to pick any month to do that, April seems like a good choice. Despite a few oddly chilly days this year, it is, for the most part, a brief, beautiful respite between the major New Mexican seasons of Too Cold and Too Hot, and it's good to enjoy that while it lasts.

Anyway. It being May, you will probably hear much less from me now. You may breathe a sigh of relief if you wish.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

I Guess It's Just Crappy Old Invisibility for Me

By the way, I forgot to mention it in the last post, but you know what's really annoying about having very poor visualization skills? My absolute number-one most desired superpower, with no question, is teleportation. I frequently long for the ability to just be places without having to deal with all the incredibly tedious, frequently expensive, and, in the case of cars, genuinely dangerous traveling in between.

And, of course, every time I've heard a description of how teleportation works in fiction, it inevitably starts out with, "OK, first you picture the place you want to go..." Sigh.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Maybe It's Because I Can't Put Glasses On My Mind's Eye

I recently stumbled across this article, "Aphantasia: How It Feels To Be Blind In Your Mind", and got kind of a kick out of it, partly because this guy's realization, astonishingly late in life, that other people's brains are doing a weird thing his doesn't is strangely hilarious, and partly because it's incredibly gratifying to be able to say, "Finally! Someone who's even worse at visualizing things than I am!"

Because I don't get pictures in my head, either. Or not much. When I try, I might get something really vague. Maybe something a bit like seeing a scene through thick, not-quite transparent glass, where you can get a sense of colors and where things are, but not actually see any details? Except even that seems like too visual a description. Once in a very, very, very great while, I might actually get something like a photograph flashing across my mind, but it's always gone in a split second before I can really look at it, and it always leaves me kind of weirded out. I can imagine colors well enough, though. It's not exactly like seeing them, but I can remember what they look like, if that makes any sense. And other senses are no problem. I can imagine smells and tastes and touches, not perfectly, but well enough. And my auditory imagination is great. I can recall or imagine voices in great detail and at will: pitch, pauses, and everything.

But visuals? I took the quiz linked to in the article, and found it immensely frustrating. OK, I might be able to come up with something vaguely resembling a mental image for some of what they're asking me for, individually -- the color and texture of storm clouds and flashes of lightning are surprisingly doable, by themselves, although the sunset they start out asking me to imagine is almost just an abstract idea of a circle on a flat horizon -- but to ask me to imagine a picture, see it in detail, focus on those details and then change them? Yeah, I'm kind of with this guy: How do the rest of you weirdos do that? (The quiz, by the way, told me I was part of only 5% of the population who sucked this bad at visualization tasks and asked me if I wanted to be part of a study when I was done. I'm not sure if I do or not.)

I do think this is at least part of why I'm not great at faces and why I'm really, really bad with directions and navigation: I don't have a good visual referent in my head to match a person or a street up with.

He also mentions people asking him about whether he's a good speller, which seemed like a weird, out-of-left-field question to me a first, but apparently, when a lot of people are trying to remember how to spell a word, they see the letters in their mind? When I need to think how to spell a word, I imagine myself either typing it or writing it, often with my fingers twitching slightly. So, like the guy says, it's muscle memory.

And now, suddenly, all I can think of is how I read that book called What We See When We Read a little while back and spent the entire time indignantly going, "Whoa there, buddy, what do you mean we?!" Speak for yourselves, you mind-picture-makers, you!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Real Life Is Annoying. I'd Rather Just Sequester Myself Somewhere And Read.

I seem to have reached one of those not-infrequent points in my life when I've got a bunch of things that need to be done all at once, all of which have to be scheduled around each other and my weird work hours. I'm working on getting the ball rolling on my driveway replacement, and I need to get my swamp cooler up and running, and I have to make a dentist's appointment (because I still have a filling that needs to be replaced, and although I really wanted to just blow that off for a while after the root canal, the dentist is bugging me about it), and I have to go in for my semi-annual blood test before I run out of my thyroid medicine, and I've got the exterminator coming soon (because it's spring and attempted roach incursions have begun).

I'm trying to let my attitude be, "Yay, look how much I am getting done!", rather than "Aargh, too many things! Too much stress! Want to hide from the world!" I'd say I'm having maybe a 65% success rate.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Windows And Driveways

Oh, right, I forgot that thing Windows 10 did the last time it upgraded, where it kept constantly telling me I had to re-enter my "most recent credential" for my Microsoft account. I'm trying to remember how I dealt with that last time. I think, after trying everything the internet told me to try, I just finally told Windows to ignore the message. Oh, Windows.

In other news, I now have an estimate for my concrete work, and I'm possibly more surprised than I should be by just how close it is to my own rough guesstimate for how much this was gonna cost me.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

WTF, Computer?

After all the wailing and gnashing of teeth that Windows 10 caused me last time, until I finally gave up and went back to 8.1, my PC has suddenly decided, with no permission and no warning, to "upgrade" itself again. What the hell, Microsoft. What. The. Hell.

Sigh. Dare I hope it'll behave itself better this time? Dare I?