Chasing That Happy

A girl who has too much to say

sniperj0e:

pros of werewolf boyfriend:

  • happy with any present as long as its chewable
  • very very excited to see you after any period of time apart
  • will lie in your bed and keep you warm whenever you take a nap
  • growls at jerks, may eat them

cons of werewolf boyfriend:

  • absolutely nothing

Cons might include shedding everywhere…

Although any time he goes out as a wolf, he’ll return buck naked. Win.

(via forthegothicheroine)

Levels of Secret

I was playing truth or dare with a friend recently, and we realized that pretty much all people ever ask about in truth or dare are sex and drugs. And it got me thinking about the things that people keep secret. I see there as being roughly 4 levels, and at any time a secret can kind of change between the levels, based on the keepers comfort and/or acceptance of the secret.

Private:

The least secret things, but sometimes the least talked about, because usually it isn’t that interesting. Private things are stuff you just don’t talk about because it isn’t really polite, or worth mentioning. What we do in the bathroom is probably at the private level. Our sex life is private; people obviously know it happens, but it isn’t polite to talk about usually. If someone asks, we usually don’t have much issue sharing a private secret.

Taboo:

These are things we keep secret because part of society would maybe look at us funny, or arrest us if they knew about it. Sexual deviancy or fetishes would usually fall under this category, or drug use (since we aren’t supposed to do it where it’s illegal). Taboo things are obviously only secret from the part of society that would censor them, and there’s no issue in revealing them to others who share the taboo practice.

Embarrassing:

Stuff that we just don’t want to relive. I really don’t have to elaborate on this, I think. But it is fundamentally different than the next one, and the difference is that embarrassing things are based in actions, they are stupid things we DID, not stupid things we WERE. If we are pressed, we might reveal embarrassing things to people we trust. 

Shameful:

Stuff that makes us feel worried or bad about ourselves. Childhood abuse, family alcoholism, going to jail. Stuff that we don’t want to talk about because it reminds us how bad we feel about ourselves, or by kinship if it’s a close relative. Shame is when you feel that you ARE bad, not that you did something bad. Of course, if we learn to accept that we were not the cause of whatever it is that shames us, it transitions into something embarrassing. Shameful things would only be revealed to people we have serious trust in.

Requested:

Things other people told us to keep secret. I would say that on a case by case basis, people may determine how secret these secrets really need to be. Obviously government secrets need to be kept at all costs, while the person your friend just slept with might not be as closely guarded.

Weird Side Effects of ADHD

I would add “…That Nobody Really Realizes”, but that would sound too much like a Buzzfeed.

This is mainly just an extrapolation off of http://www.tickld.com/x/if-your-friends-ever-say-they-have-adhd-just-show-them-this

1. Forgetting Important Things

Usually ADHD gets press for the hyperactive part, the jumping from stimuli to stimuli, but people don’t realize how this affects other cognitive processes, like memory. It’s really hard to remember things (which is to say, things like dates, or items you need to bring, etc) when you have ADHD, because in order for something to be committed to long-term memory, you have to basically re-recall the memory several times over a long period. The typical ADHD person will often be distracted half-way through, and the likelihood of them deciding to retrieve that memory at the appropriate time is a crapshoot. Sometimes you get lucky and something situational triggers you to randomly remember you need to buy eggs, but more often than not, this carefully recorded fact goes un-accessed until the missed item or date is long-forsaken.

This also applies to conversations on occasion. Sometimes when I talk to someone, I don’t have to even have my eyes open and I’m perfectly attentive. However, very randomly, without warning, even if I’m looking at them in the face, I’ll get distracted by an internal tangent, and their voice is tuned out almost entirely and without my knowledge. Then later when they say “Hey, did you remember to do this thing I told you?” And I literally just have no recollection of them ever telling me that.

"I told you like, five hundred times!"

"YOU NEVER TOLD ME ONCE!"

"Yes I did!" etc.

2. Inability to Fall Asleep

For most of my life I’ve dreaded trying to go to bed. As a child, my head would be swirling with terrors lurking in the room, and as I aged, I would often turn to darker topics, as my brain extrapolated from one depressing subject to another. This is typically referred to as “Rushing Thoughts”, and would sometimes go on for only half and hour, but at it’s worst has kept me up for hours into the night. Not that ADHD means you think about depressing things, but rather that you jump from topic to topic, and there is never EVER a moment of zen (meditation is a completely alien idea to me). So when deprived of most stimuli, the brain creates it, and especially at night this can be a breeding ground for bad thoughts. It’s 10 times easier for me to fall asleep in a well-lit room full of loud people than it is for me to sleep in a dark, quiet room. My saviors are books on tape and TV

I wouldn’t be surprised if insomnia and ADHD had a high comorbidity rate for this reason. (comorbidity = simultaneously occurring conditions)

3. Pattern Recognition

I see patterns and associations everywhere I go. Our brains are designed to see connections between things; it’s one of the reasons why humans are so smart. This is a good survival trait, so when we make a connection, there’s a little *ping* of reward (aka dopamine). ADHD is essentially having a constant dopamine craving, so while this mainly manifests in noticing novel stimuli (which is based on another human trait: curiosity), it also means that people with ADHD really like to see patterns and make connections. We’re constantly going off on crazy tangents in our heads, because everything reminds us of something else.

This sometimes means that someone with ADHD can see a connection where others can’t, and thus can solve problems more efficiently. But most of the time it just means that I think lots of people look like celebrities, and no one agrees with me.

4. Inability to do Homework (or other boring things)

Now I know that this is fairly common knowledge, but I feel like this is a side of ADHD that people have a hard time understanding because they don’t know the underlying cause.

ADHD is* a result of a lack of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is mainly used in the reward systems, which affects the attentional system. When you notice something new, you get a small reward. When you see a pattern, you get a small reward. When someone says something nice to you, you get a small reward, etc.

Most people in the world have a sufficient amount of dopamine (which is a stimulant, hence why Ritalin is used to treat ADHD) that they feel fine doing boring tasks. Obviously it isn’t ideal, but you slog through it because you know that there’s a reward at the end (getting good grades, getting to take a break, getting paid, etc).

When you have ADHD, however, not getting lots of little dopamine bursts for an extended period of time is TREACHEROUS. Imagine that someone is pushing you towards the edge of a cliff, and every single fiber of your being is trying to push back against them. It’s not quite a physical feeling, but it nearly is. It’s this overwhelming sense of “NO I DONT WANT TO PLEASE DONT MAKE ME”. Because we need that extra push of dopamine just to feel normal. It’s not just that we get distracted during homework, or that we’re lazy. Our brains are painfully craving to be doing something, ANYTHING other than the boring work. Any distraction that happens during these tasks is just dopamine seeking behavior, rather than willfully not doing the work. I’ve tried to force myself to do things I don’t want to, and I end up staring blankly at the page, while a thousand thoughts fly through my head about everything else in my life.

It sucks.

5. Hyper-focus

However, if we find something rewarding to do, we can get really sucked into it, likely because of a state called “flow”. Look up “flow and video games” in google scholar if you want to see what I’m talking about.

Actually there are kind of two aspects of ADHD: there’s always the distraction component and a difficulty with directing attention, but there’s different manifestations of distraction.

Hyperactivity is one of them, which is the typical “oh look a bird!” kind of kids, the kids who can’t sit down, who notice a million things around them.

But there’s also hyperfocus. These tend to be the more introverted kids, the ones off in dreamland, who are constantly distracted by their internal lives. They are unable to redirect their attention once they’ve been sucked into something, rather than their attention being constantly grabbed by other things.

Obviously it’s not all one or the other in any given person, but most of the world tends to forget the hyperfocused aspect of ADHD.

Really what it comes down to is what is the most rewarding for the person who has ADHD, because whatever that thing is, they’re just going to gravitate towards that.

*my idea of what ADHD is comes from research papers** I did as an Undergrad a couple years ago, so the research could be outdated by now, but probably not.

**and obviously my anecdotal experience as someone with ADHD who grew up in a household of other people with diagnosed ADHD.

http://www.youtube.com/attribution_link?a=kxFe4LWozYM&u=/watch?v=pGusS9MT2Es&feature=share

If you want to learn about brains and you know it clap your hands! Or just watch the video.

Left/Right Brain Myth

So you’ve all probably heard at some point or another this psychology principle of Left Brain Right Brain. I got taught this in school, and I totally bought it. It is false.

There are many modular components of the brain, which is to say, there are many cognitive functions that are associated with a specific brain area. Sometimes these areas are lateralized—our left hand links up with a spot on the right side of our brain, our right field of vision with the left side, and so on and so forth. Certain components of language (Wernicke and Broca’s areas) are lateralized on the left side of the brain, while certain attentional capacities and Theory of Mind are on the right side (RTPJ). However, it would be an egregious and foolish assumption indeed to believe that any part of human existence, in it’s vast complexity, would happen using only half of our brain.

Also the whole “You use only 10% of your brain” is, as far as I know, also a lie/misunderstanding. Your brain is going crazy apeshit like, all the time. Even if at any given second you’re using 10%, the next fraction of a second you’re using a different 10%. We brain scientists call all this crazy shit going all all the time “The Resting Brain”, or sometimes DM (Default Mode). The hilarity of this is not lost on many researchers, who are now getting into the nitty gritty of what exactly is going on in DM, which is obviously more than some zen nothingness. I’ll get to why this relates to Left/Right Brain in a moment.

The more complex cognitive tasks that we tackle (such as social situations, logic and reasoning, creativity and art, and other things arbitrarily a part of the Left/Right Brain Myth) recruit huge networks scattered all over the brain. Obviously there’s crossover (attention/focus is required to do pretty much everything), but there’s also major differences.

One of my professors and advisors, Anthony Jack, published a paper showing that instead of Left/Right, we have competing networks. Specifically, he focused on Social/Scientific (I might be fudging that a little, don’t hurt me Tony!). He and his team (i.e. my classmates) found that when doing tasks that focused on socializing, one network was used, and when doing tasks that focused on science, a different network was used. And the coolest part is that when the Social Network (har har) was being used, the Science Network was suppressed! Which is to say, the activation was lower than the Resting Brain/DM. This implies that task switching would be difficult (and this might even have been a further result that they showed).

What I’m trying to say is that the human brain is not some boring, easily categorized thing, but vastly complex and exciting. If you ever hear someone tell you that the human brain is simple and explainable, I promise that they are a liar! It is easy for us to find a simple explanation that seems logical enough, but it is up to us, especially the cognitive scientists of the world, to question that explanation and dig deeper, to retest and rethink. And that is why I care so much about the Myth of Left/Right Brain.

On Stranger Tides

So I finally got around to watching this horrific excuse of a film. I’m utterly baffled as to how the guy who directed Chicago and Memoirs of a Geisha could have messed up so bad… Then again, Tom Hooper did Les Mis after King’s Speech…
Every moment of this movie was overacting. Actors who are normally subtle, or at least entertaining (like Geoffrey Rush), were painfully overacting, not in a funny way, just in a sad way.
Besides the acting, the script was not half as witty as it might have thought it was, and every conversation felt like filler instead of something important. Every joke could be guessed from the build up.
The pacing was a nightmare. Full throttle all the time! Or at least, even if there were less exciting moments, they either lasted half a minute, or were eclipsed by the continuously intense soundtrack. Really Hans? Really?
Also on the note of pacing, the editing was so much slower than any action movie, every cut about the same length. This was paralleled by really boring cinematography. If Les Mis was “Extreme Close Up: The Movie”, then this was “Medium Wide Shot Strikes Back”. There were maybe 3 shots in the whole movie closer than a two shot. 2 of those 3 were part of a sequence I call “Jack Peers Through Leaves” (he peers through at least a hundred pairs of fronds). There were no CUs during conversations, or during action sequences. Maybe they were afraid of showing the horrible make up everyone had? Or afraid of showing emotions? In any case, it was impossible to care about anything happening, because there were no emotional reactions to anything, and everything just whizzed from swordfight to slapstick gag to swordfight.
Then there was the whole subplot with the priest and the mermaid, which I literally thought was the beginning of a porno. Pirates XXX was more nuanced than that crap.

And Penelope Cruz looks horrible in a mustache.

Day 9: Homeward Bound
Goodbye Ocean Pointe! We handed over our parking pass and hit the road (after taking down my tent palace).
Goodbye mangroves!
We had Pelican “Wraps” for lunch, made out of lettuce leaves, turkey, and avocado. (So many leftover avocados…)
Driving North-South or South-North is like going through the seasons. Look, we time travelled from Summer to Fall! Although there are still palm trees, so it doesn’t really count.
We stopped in Jacksonville for dinner (turns out Florida is a long-ass state and takes forever to drive through). Yelp strikes again! We found the Maple Street Biscuit Company, which had fun biscuit sandwiches, mainly featuring fried chicken. They ask you what your favorite childhood TV show was, and call that out for your order instead of your name :P
I got some maple syrup infused coffee!
In the car I finished The Long Earth, by Terry Pratchett and Steven Baxter. Makes me want to live as a hunter-gatherer.

Day 9: Homeward Bound
Goodbye Ocean Pointe! We handed over our parking pass and hit the road (after taking down my tent palace).
Goodbye mangroves!
We had Pelican “Wraps” for lunch, made out of lettuce leaves, turkey, and avocado. (So many leftover avocados…)
Driving North-South or South-North is like going through the seasons. Look, we time travelled from Summer to Fall! Although there are still palm trees, so it doesn’t really count.
We stopped in Jacksonville for dinner (turns out Florida is a long-ass state and takes forever to drive through). Yelp strikes again! We found the Maple Street Biscuit Company, which had fun biscuit sandwiches, mainly featuring fried chicken. They ask you what your favorite childhood TV show was, and call that out for your order instead of your name :P
I got some maple syrup infused coffee!
In the car I finished The Long Earth, by Terry Pratchett and Steven Baxter. Makes me want to live as a hunter-gatherer.

Day 8: Last Day, Last Night
Last day, we were supposed to go snorkling, but they cancelled all the boats due to wind :((((
So instead, we played Belfort! One of my favorite games, mostly because of the artwork, but I also like the mechanics. It’s a worker placement, so you have little elves and dwarves that you send out to do special actions or collect resources. Then you build pubs and inns and banks etc, which can then have special actions activated by gnomes! Gnomes! The pub turns your dwarves into super dwarves.
We went out for lunch at the Hobo cafe again (this time I got pictures!) The artichoke crab dip was sinfully delicious.
Clare lookin’ like David Bowie or something; so cool her lips are blue.
We went shopping for souvenirs. I really wanted to take all these adorable ducks home with me :3 Who likes the little duckies in the pond? I do, I do, I do, a chicka-quack-quack.
The grown ups played Russian Railroads, a much coveted game at the Board Game Geek Convention this past year.
Meanwhile Toby, Clare and I went to Harry Harris Park, which had all these twisty trees, and very confusing signage… It said there was a fee, but there was no gate, only an unmanned toll booth thing. Only later we discovered a SECOND sign that told us the fee was only on weekends.
Sand fleas everywhere!
That night we all went for a jaunty swim in the pool (and by “we”, I mean everyone else swam but me). I dipped my legs in the hot tub, does that count?

Day 7: Lazy Day 2
The night before we stayed up too late, so the campground gates were closed. Little did I realize this meant gates that were topped with barbed wire, rather than the toll-like gates within the grounds. However, being a skinny-ass girl, I was able to scoot under the gate.
However, this meant the next morning I was stranded until someone picked me up, so I went to explore the so called beach at the Kampsite. It reminded me a lot of The Island (which is in Canada), because it was in the mangroves, rather than facing the open ocean.
There’s a lot of really cool mobile homes at the kampsite too.
We played Terra Mystica again, as the snorkeling was postponed due to inclement weather (i.e. windiness). This time we played with the real rules (mostly), which made it a little harder.
Toby made red velvet cake the night before. Yummmmm.
In the afternoon we went to the pool, and did more henna.
I actually got some work done on this screenplay pilot! Yay!