Words of warning and welcome:

This is very much my blog, in that it will try to positively document my life (something that I usually try to keep very private). So don't be surprised if this doesn't follow accepted patterns and norms. Obviously it started out as a blog about one particular aspect of my life (see the most numerous tag) but it has developed a great deal since then. It is a place where I can be anonymous and honest, and I appreciate that.

It will deal with many things and new readers would do well to check out the New Readers' Page above this and the tag down there on the right. Although there's nothing too bad in here there will be adult language, so be careful. If you think this needs a greater control, please let me know. Thank you!

Monday, 26 September 2016

You Can't Tune a Radio to Heaven

How to top official news.


One of the ales mentioned.
This is a good pale, in case that floats your
boat.
Hmm. Well, I'm not sure I can. I'm still where I was, I'm mostly weathering things but I am also being a bit pants. Talking with Harry at work caused me to do my usual divulging all the wrong things to all the wrong person at all the wrong time with all the wrong words. That's why Harry provided me with beers to drink over the weekend but, thankfully, asked no more. Today has passed without any significant divulgence in that regard and so I think I can score a victory? The weekend went well enough, much ale (for me) was imbibed on the Friday, Saturday was mostly on routine (always a life saver) with a nip to my local for a half and then Sunday was spent at the local nature reserve looking at trees and shit like it was in the old days when we had woods out the back of our house. I'm not complaining.

Back home then for a mowing of the lawn, as now I have a lawn mower and can nominally do man-tasks such as mowing the lawn and weeding. Which is what I did. I had an ale, that had been chilling since the beginning of August, in celebration of having done man things and then did nothing in the evening.

Score for the weekend was four ales, no work and some family time. Yay? I don't know. I mean, I'm no alcoholic, but four is more than my more usual one a week - and last year was less than that. Eh, I'm sanguine. Managed to get some marking done today at work and mostly carry out the tasks assigned. And given that on Thursday I had a conversation with the Head in which my results were clearly pointed out as being sub-par (but they are, to be fair) I think I'm doing mostly fine with the stresses and strains of life for the moment.

Not in real life though.
I did have some odd dreams and they revolved around memories of my Mad-Ex though. Details are hard to write out but there was that time she had me in handcuffs (I'm sure I've mentioned this before) and in pink combats and a rainbow cardy. I imagined if she had added chastity to that (you know my predilections by now) and that's been much of my nights at the moment. I shan't detain you by writing out the full scenarios, mainly because they've been done so well by others that I can add nothing to them and, well, I'm not sure I can write what's in my head, much less anyone read it. I did, however, buy a cassette player. For £20. Which may be a bit shit. Or my tapes are old. Who knows. Not sure it was the best buy I've ever made. Well, it has a radio. Tilly was less than impressed and even angry at first, she was hoping I'd just junk all my tapes. You know, in fairness, given how shit the tapes play... I may.

And that's all I have for now.


Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Officialdom

Tilly may not agree, so it's not quite as fully as the graphic
would otherwise indicate, but this is pretty close to my
feelings on the matter.

Maybe with more swearing.

Strangely, not encouraged when announcing pregnancy.
It is now official, we have announced it on the Book of Faces following a scan that showed a growing (and rather active) mini-person: Tilly is pregnant. A third child is on the way and there's no going back nor denial of the situation. It is time to prepare for the inevitable. I mean, I've known this for quite a while and have started planning for it already. I'd argue that I have a plan from back when it was brought up as an option and I said no: I am under no illusions and kinda suspected that, as usual, my own thoughts on the matter would have little bearing on the reality. However, now Tilly has also accepted that she is actually having a child. She is, of course, very excited about it all. She'd already stolen a march on me by the "wanting a child but not yet" thing, but now she's sufficiently far advanced that I must seem quite churlish by comparison. Telling people at work was difficult.

Illustrative of a feeling I guess.

In this case not sought nor enjoyed.
Harry was enthusiastic and made many jokes that were designed to be at my expense in a sort of supportive fashion and would have been fine if I were remotely into the concept of having a baby. Harry was thus surprised to learn that I was not remotely up for it. I had to reveal this because I was getting tired of the 'jokes' about having three and having hands full etc. Yes, these probably work well with neuro-typicals who want children or with NTs who don't but can lie effectively about how they feel. I cannot. Alice was also supportive but in a more subdued way, I can cope with that. With everyone else I'm playing the in-out game: I pop in, tell them the news, listen to the coo-ing and the smiles and then fuck off before I'm asked to comment further. The joy of teaching means that there's always something more important that I can be doing than talking shit about having children. And, male privilege, it is assumed I don't want to talk family. I can play to that narrative to mask my actual feelings, turns out I'm good at that.

I've had Scroobius Pip in my head for a while now and he remains there despite new Pet Shop Boy B-sides dropping recently on YouTube and a new obsession with watching people playing Totally Accurate Battle Simulator. I am up to date with my work things, in a way I was totally not this time last year, and I am continuing to imbibe and enjoy ale in a way that I wasn't last year too. I recently went to that beer festival I referenced in my last post and that went very well indeed.


The lovely chilli infused red ale from
Siren Craft Brewing Company in the gigantic
tipi. It was really very nice before lunch.

I had the Ace of Citra from Brewdog to
accompany my pork and beef burger.
It was up where I used to live, I sampled some twelve ales (in thirds) and enjoyed the vast majority. I like stouts rather a lot, apparently, and a US brewery called Founders made a really good Imperial Stout at 10.5% ABV - lovely and thick and creamy. I highly recommend it if you see it. And there was a really good chilli infused red ale too, very much my kinda thing. It ought not to have worked, being a bit strong on the spice side and thus far from thirst quenching, but it really did and it wasn't that I was drunk or too far gone to notice. It just actually worked. Which was nice. There was some kerfuffle with a sensor telling me I had a puncture when I didn't but that was pretty minor and I had a good chat on the way home whilst charging with other EV owners - something I had heard happened but have never experienced - and that was really nice. Once again I ruminated on the fact that I could have taken a nightie and no one would have noticed or cared but I didn't because I am me and I don't do that sort of thing.

There's some really good sartorial reviews, if you want to know that sort of thing, published at a blog I have discovered called Project Shandy (there is some meta-connection that my good friend will know but it is sufficiently removed that I don't mind sharing the link here for people who like a well-written look at clothing for people who like expressive clothes). The recent posts on jackets and skirts have made for interesting reading actually and I am not ashamed to admit that. Not even on the usual "ooh, that would be titillating to wear" front either - I realise that I do just like the clothes, you know?

Hello, an animated picture of some ale I
like. But I recommend it. Worth a pop!

Very grapefruit and peach. Very worth it. 6.5%
My family have reacted in ways that have been predicted for the most part to the news above, but not entirely. Twas my Father that pushed most for division on whether or not we were planning a third, my Mother seemed quite excited (after she'd shown me her new car, the wonders of video phones) but, as Tilly pointed out, if my Mother is the source of the autism that makes sense. Her husband is currently winning in the number of grandchildren box and this gives her something new to talk about that is relatively positive. My Father is still smarting from when we told his wife first about our second - something he considered insensitive. It was revealed about three years later that this was because of the still-born baby his wife had had with him some five years previously about which he had told me nothing until the point three years after we'd announced our second. So, insensitive because I broached birth with someone still grieving over an event that I had never been told had happened, because that is how my Father operates. For those keeping score, he's the NT one. I often, these days, say I don't understand neuro-typical people, this is the sort of thing that makes me say that. So, yes, he was less enthusiastic and I can't totally blame him, trying to play nice and in-out with family is harder than with work because I don't have immediately pressing tasks to be getting on with or a way to politely fuck off from the conversation having dropped the news like a time bomb.

There's not a lot else to relate at the moment. Things are mostly positive, mostly. Some underlying issues but they are underlying, which is a change, and even Tilly seems mostly happy.


Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Get Better

I recently rediscovered Scroobius Pip. There you go.


Unrelated images hoah!
Also, Heartgear on Deviantart (apparently) produced the kind of comic strip experience I wish I'd had when I was younger. Hell, when I was at University would have done. You can find that strip's first episode here, and it's well worth reading through a couple of times. First just to see the story, which is pretty good actually, then to read the commentary along side, which is pretty illuminating. And then a third time just to see what was done again. After that, well, you may or may not return. I was amazed by it and I still am. When I consider what I could have done and did not, well... Anyway, yes, there are also videos by the artist and they are also worth a watch, though they were less immersive than the comic strip. Trust me when I say that the strip is relevant to our interests and that it gets better.

Work has begun again and things is mostly fine. I'm struggling to get work done away from work, despite having moved to a charge at home model for my EV (so no more driving out to the local service station for a rapid charge where I always thought I would get work done and then totally didn't, which increased the stress levels last year), but it is early days yet. Tilly is doing well giving me space and time which makes me feel a bit guilty as I am still just as shit as ever at doing that sort of thing back in a meaningful sense.

More unrelatedness
I think I've related already about reading Aspergirls and it struck me then, and afresh today, that much of what is described in there has a bearing on my own lived experience. The article that I shared in my last post about staying in the closet resonates here too. I find it fascinating that a book in which the Aspergic author points out the inherent dispensation of culture by Aspergic people, and makes a case for gender being mostly constructed by society, suggests that there are gender differences (and all of them seem a tad forced, like the author doesn't quite believe that there are but has been told there are and has no evidence to the contrary). Also the whole androgyny thing, yes, I can relate with that more than I can with the idea of being fully dysphoric. I mean, I'm not saying I wouldn't like to try but that's just it, I would try. For that reason, whatever else is going on with my gender, I cannot speak for nor about the struggles others undergo on these points.

I read Robot Hugs today, all about consent castles, and that made me a little sad inside. I suspect that's a function of my own naivety in romantic relationships. It seems that loads of people, and our culture, expect a great deal more adventurousness than seems to actually occur within relationships. Or, and this is equally possible, people don't talk about it and so appear equally staid. We had some friends up over the summer and I recall that Jeremy, for twas he, had disclosed to me back when deciding whether, in his words, to "take the risk" of falling for his now wife that she had offered to do "whatever he wanted" in the bedroom. Occasional unguarded remarks suggest that this is something they still do after two children. Now, I'm not suggesting that I would want what he has, I wouldn't, but it does contrast starkly with my own lived experience. But a lot of things do.

Anyway, yes, work is going fine at the moment, despite low grades, and we'll see how the rest of the week goes. I'm heading back to where I used to work for a beer festival this weekend, which could be very nice indeed. I mean, I'll be in drab, but beer is beer, right?

Animated caption from the internet. Sorry, no attrib.

Monday, 29 August 2016

Discussion Points

We did go to Conkers where they have a barefoot walk and
I actually did it!

Did I ever mention that I like going barefoot?
There have been lots of thoughts. First of all: it is now clear (if it wasn't already abundantly obvious) that both of my children are on the spectrum. The Girlie, though it was perhaps shielded a little, is most definitely Aspergic and, quelle suprise, so am I. Now, bear in mind, none of this is official. Yet. But it is rather clear that these things are pretty much able to be taken as truths from here on in. No more wandering around that point and musing on it - I'm pretty confident that I have a big aspie family.

This is largely, I feel, the result of my genes and this probably comes from my mother. That doesn't mean much, but it's a chain of causation.

Okay, she has shoes on, but let's face it: that's the ideal
right there.
This has repercussions for the central theme of this here blog about my feelings, and my children's likely feelings, on gender being something that is hard to define. It's why I am mostly happy with the concept of gender being fluid and individual. Because, as far as I know, it is. There is the physical sex, true enough, and that may not tally with what's going on elsewhere in the brain chemistry or the psychology. And I am fine with that, in case that wasn't obvious either. It brings to mind an article that a friend of mine shared quite a while back now, on which they were asking for discussion - discussion that I feel is necessary. Certainly this article (link here) brought many things that I think I think already to the fore and made them plain. It is why I am glad that there are people out there who can write so that I'm not left flopping on the shore of basic thought like some fish left behind by retreating tides.

And this has very much been my teaching desk. Right
down to the abandoned food receptacles piling up in my
professional space.

I tidied it in the first few weeks of the holidays. And my
room. We have desks in the office too. It was quite the
revelation.
What else? It was a frenetically busy year that has just been, my academia-focus knows no bounds, even in my dating systems, and it's only recently that I've had time to fill out and just... well, be. We moved the Girlie into the bigger room quite recently, which took much huffing and puffing, and has resulted (for the moment, at least) with my 'dressing' wardrobe in a less accessible position. But, then, I haven't been dressing much lately anyway. Indeed, not since the last post on here in, what, June? The bout of depression, and that is what it was, that started about this time last year seems to have finally lifted - in that I can no longer imagine what it was like living under it, so that seems like a good sign. Now all I have to do is do some actual work to prepare for the new school year and I'm dandy. To that end I spent £65 on a pair of shoes for work today. This from someone who had spent £40 last year and thought that excessive - and then suffered because the shoes were slightly the wrong size and squeaked when I walked for the whole dang year. I'm looking forward to some comfortable brown shoes, the right brown mind you, that won't squeak when I walk. We'll see.

Needless to say, I bloody loved it.

I even ended up dancing to Go West which is one of my least
favourite tracks (due to it being over-played). It works better
live I think.
I went to see the Pet Shop Boys at the Opera House in Covent Garden with my father, that was a good night, and even got to sample some ales. Though my father remained his usual self - apparently he hated the last time we saw the Pet Shop Boys live at the Proms, which was something I did not know. Also, he wanted to know how I chose the ales I wished to try, my answer that I simply went with what I liked the look of was not well received. He's planning to retire, more at is wife's suggestion than his own idea, and worried about what he will be if and when he does. My father has been a workaholic for as long as I've known him but his present worries about identity are, again, more like his wife than him. I'm not sure that bodes well for him, if I'm honest.

Beer for illustrative purposes
We've also had a new fireplace put in. Tilly's writing work has taken off, she now is a freelance writer for reals. So we can save for a wood-burning stove and we've had a fireplace put in. It looks rather spiffy, actually, and is quite exciting. And yes, we seem to be getting on as a couple and things are mostly fine since the last post. Whatever that means I don't know, but things are better than they have been and certainly beyond the nadir of the events leading up to this time last year. She even bought me flowers for our anniversary so no complaints from me. I've been drinking rather a lot of ale and reviewing it, hence leaving this place fallow for so long, and now I seem to be getting back on an even keel on the internets.

So much so that I'm back posting on here and that can't be a bad thing, right? All that is mostly good stuff and augurs better for the coming year than I think I can report at any other time toward the end of August (no, I'm not going to check).

So, that's it for this entry and I look forward to getting back in touch with people, I feel like I've been away too long.

Not a curtsey becasuse, fuck yeah, this
is summer!


Sunday, 12 June 2016

Sing Hallelujah


Colour me surprised.

Pictured: not Sink the Bismarck
After the soul-searching of the last entry, Tilly decided that she would "stop being angry at me" and accept that I was unlikely to change because I am Aspergic. Furthermore, she has decided to stop hoping for all the things that neuro-typical people offer. This has accompanied a change in our relationship to a more positive physical note. I'm not complaining.

Yesterday I was off examining, so I need to get on with that now and will post here even less than of late. But I was welcomed home. I even got presents that were appreciated for a change. There was a lovely brewdog beer shop there too, it was London, but I eschewed buying ale on the grounds that it was a bit expensive. Rare, but over-priced even for that, though I am now ruing the fact that I didn't get some Sink the Bismarck in - it's an ale that has 41% ABV, making it the strongest ale in the world and beating a German brewery who brewed a 40% ABV ale (hence the name).

That's not the point. The point is that things have improved. And that this state of affairs is not down to anything I have done or not done. Like most things, it is out of my control.


Tuesday, 7 June 2016

New Dress

This isn't it, but it's the closest I could
find. I now own a skater dress in these
colours. Yay?
First things first: I bought a new dress. It was a whole English pound and it looked good. As you'd expect for something that cheap it is far from flattering, trying it on makes me look less good than normal in a dress and that is saying something. Still, it's new and it was very cheap, part of me is made happy by the fact that I bought it and the fact that I got it home without any awkward questions. Yay? Interestingly, several people commented positively when I was in the shop that I must be spoiling my lady and that I deserved a reward. Ah, if only they knew.

I also seem to have surfaced a little bit from the deep dark hole I've been in since sometime around last summer. I'm not totally out, of course, but I am actually doing things again. I did some work recently and I even planned ahead. Two mornings in a row now I have woken and risen from bed with my alarm and got into work at approaching the time I would like. Still a bit later, but closer than I have been since Christmas. I've even made three new lessons. I made some new lessons! I like making lessons, it is fun, and I haven't really done it properly in ages, so that was nice.

Ale has been drunk and reviewed, again, and that is nice too. I feel like I have a hobby again. It may close to addictive behaviour, maybe, but I suspect it's harmless for the moment, provided I don't go mad. I've even stopped eating so much junk so that my flab has stopped exponentially increasing. I mean, it isn't in retreat yet, but it has at least stopped expanding. Also, I read this comic, worth a look.


A while ago now, it seems, I was taken to task, rightly so, on my apparent relationship with Tilly. I had much to mull over. What follows after the line-break, then, is the result of that mulling.

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Asperger's

If I felt like that, rather than punished as I do,
then this whole thing might actually be a
positive for me. Of course, it's hard to know what
the model thinks in this picture but I choose to
believe that it was consensual.

I recall an argument that claims that anything
in the BDSM genre is harmful regardless of
consent and thus should be banned.

Eh, what do I know?
There has been a significantly darker tone to my musings of late and it has got progressively darker over the last week. I have been playing music on repeat and having headaches from the pressure inside my skull. I even managed to get a discussion with Tilly on Friday night (when I had arranged tentatively to speak with a friend online) and air some of my concerns over our relationship. I thought I was making progress, I really did, and even making it clear that the most recent degeneration of our physical relationship was down to her and not me, for a change. After all, part of the litany over the last years has been that it is I that undermines and destroys any attempt that she makes in the physical department. But, as I pointed out, the spiral away was started at the end of last July, when all was well and I was being positive, and not afterward.

I'm not saying my downward spiral was caused by that change, I don't think it was, but it didn't help and does not. Nor is my mood a cause of the downward spiral of our physical relationship. Tilly was reluctant to face up to this, though she conceded the dating of it and the manner of it (being down to her rather than me). At least, she did to a point. She shared that she had been reading about ASD and Asperger's and relayed some of the things that she had found from wives who had AS husbands. Following the end of the conversation, nothing really resolved and much depression, I looked these up myself.

And what I found.

One thing my reading confirmed is that Grayson Perry is not
aspergic. It has also reminded me that most healthcare
professionals believe that cross-dressing is tied to the idea that
the cross-dresser is an autogynopheliac.

I'm not.

For the record, I find most things about me a complete turn off.
So, full disclosure here: I am very likely suffering from AS and I am very likely, therefore, the worst kind of unreliable narrator. Virtually every piece I found recommended that the AS sufferer recognise that the criticisms their neuro-typical partner made of them were real and take responsibility for them. In short, the AS sufferer must understand that they were, in a nutshell, the cause of the negative vibes in the relationship. I read posts from wives of AS husbands who said they rued the day they'd met their husbands and would recommend anyone dating someone with AS to run away right now. I read self-help blogs that proliferated with articles about AS people are incapable of affection, romance, emotion and love. I read advice that said that there was no point trying to be romantic with AS husbands (or wives) as they would not notice. I found countless references to AS sufferers in marriages approaching sex as wanting a lot or not wanting it at all but only advice on how to deal with the latter (as, apparently, the former isn't an issue to people). And, in all of this, the only advice to the AS person was: "suck it up, your brain is different, now fix it".

I got a bit upset.

Apparently.
I complimented Tilly today and shared that this was something I, as an AS person, shouldn't be able to do. Tilly paused a moment before replying. Apparently I can't do it. My compliments seem forced or 'off' and never sound sincere. Indeed, none of my compliments sound natural or complimentary. So, saying that Tilly looked nice or was wearing a pretty outfit or even commenting on playing chess like I did, these are all comments that end up making Tilly less likely to feel wanted and loved. Silence was just as bad. The end result being that she feels lonely and unloved most of the time and thus more inclined to disappear off on an evening or else not particularly inclined to be romantic to me. There was no point, so the articles suggested and Tilly reaffirmed, in offering me any compliments or trying anything romantic as I wasn't likely to spot it or, if I did, I would be unable to reciprocate or offer any inducements to continue.


AS people are also likely to be emotionally immature, said many of the links and articles that I read, that would equate to wanting more physical contact but as a child rather than as an adult. I would want someone to care for me like a mother rather than a romantic partner. I would be unable to offer anything romantic unless it was part of my current 'project' which would end with marriage. Suddenly I was minded of Tilly's comments to me that what I expected from our relationship was emotionally immature and like a teenager. Countless blogs and posts and experiences from women with AS partners spoke of their husband being an extra child - something that, again, Tilly has often commented on with me. Sex with these partners, when it occurred, was likely to be mechanical and all about getting to an end point - there would be no playing around or experimentation. Which... well, part of our discussion on Friday included the gem that Tilly did not see the point in being playful or experimental in bed because it was all about the end result and "an efficient use of the time" before children burst in or we were interrupted. The "quickest and most efficient" method of having sex, so Tilly told me, was "bog-standard missionary" and "there's no point in anything else" because "it's not enjoyable, it's not fun and it might not work".


When I raised that I wasn't interested, necessarily, in orgasm for myself this was used against me later - when talking about how I was frustrated that stroking her hair or holding her hands like she enjoyed rarely resulted in anything being done back: after all, that would be 'going further' and thus invalidated my earlier point.


Since Friday we have snuggled twice in bed at night. It's been nice. But, as there's "no emotional connection" and AS sufferers don't know how to bridge that gap, so my reading tells me, there's no hope of anything else. We agreed that we couldn't spare the time to spend with one another to make it work properly because there's no way to get anyone to look after the children. I pointed out that left about a decade until they were old enough to look after themselves. Tilly opined that there was no point as nothing she would do would ever be good enough. I returned that, no, once a month was not good enough but the sex was fine. Tilly took that to mean that the sex wasn't good enough and proof of her point.


I want to suggest that maybe Tilly has AS traits too but that seems somewhat churlish. In the meantime I suppose I have all the porn the internet has to offer and time most evenings to indulge. Ale in hand, curtains drawn and alone.