Sunday Funday

Well. We were planning to go to an Air Show today; it’s been years since I saw the Blue Angels perform, and my husband and his friend have never been to one. (My father was nuts for airplanes, so I was drug to a bunch of air shows as a kid/teenager.) Buuuuuut it appears to be raining all day today. So I’m staying home and finally reading Red Clocks (it’s due tomorrow!) They haven’t decided whether they’re going or not, but I know my husband is leaning towards no.

In other news, The Washington Capitals won their hockey game last night, so they’re up 2-1 in the Stanley Cup series! I know very little about hockey, (my game of choice is American football) but it’s always fun watching sports games with people that actually care about the game, and my friends sure care! So watching the game was a lot of fun, and I’ll probably be joining them to watch Monday as well!

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Happy Pride Month!

This month is Pride month, and while I’m only an ally, the vast majority of my friends are some flavor of LGBTQIA+ so I always like to spotlight minority representation in my reads! I’ll be trying to put up more pride-related books this month, but you can always go through my backlog (I have noted intersectionality and own voices books where I knew about them):

Tomboy Survival Guide (nonbinary/trans, trans author)

Radio Silence (asexual)

The Clothesline Swing (gay, Syrian, Refugees)

Girls Made of Snow and Glass (lesbian)

The Merry Spinster (various, but mostly playing with gender, trans author)

Queens of Geek (bisexual)

Bright Smoke, Cold Fire (nonbinary side character)

Reign of the Fallen (bisexual)

The Rules of Magic (gay side character)

That Inevitable Victorian Thing (bisexual, intersex)

Six of Crows (gay)

(These should all be under my GLBT tag, too.)

Looking forward this month, I’ll be talking about The Dirty Girls Social Club (lesbian, Hispanic), Island of Exiles (bisexual, non-binary), As The Crow Flies (queer, black, queer black author), The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue (bisexual, asexual), and Ellen DeGeneres’ third book, Seriously…I’m Kidding (lesbian and lesbian author). Hopefully more, but those five are what I should be getting (or have already picked up) from the library!

My Book of the Month selections this month also include a lesbian romance (When Katie Met Cassidy) and another book labeled “LGBTQ+ friendly” so I think it might have a plot twist involving a character being gay. (The Book of Essie.) (Update: It did.) Lots of LGBTQ+ books coming up this month!

Happy Pride Month!

Sunday Funday

alternative aip cookbookWell. It’s been a week. I haven’t talked about it much, but I’ve been on a very restrictive diet since the beginning of April. I have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and Hydradenitis Suppurativa, two auto-immune diseases, so after reading up on it for several months, I decided to take the plunge and start the AutoImmune Protocol, or AIP. And it’s been amazing! I’ve had so much more energy, and I haven’t been sleeping the days away (or falling asleep face down in my book!) I haven’t had random nausea, or heartburn – so many problems relieved by this diet. Even the brain fog has receded a lot.

I’ve been using these two cookbooks – The AutoImmune Paleo Cookbook and The Alternative AutoImmune Cookbook. They’ve been great, and the recipes are delicious.

But. It’s very restrictive, (no gluten, dairy, nightshades, legumes, eggs, seeds, nuts, grains, soy, and as little sugar as possible) so last weekend I experimented with reintroducing a couple of things. Cheese, mostly. It took a couple of days to react, and when I did, it was with the chronic fatigue. Which, of the symptoms I normally have, is honestly the easiest to deal with. So I’ve spent much of the last week sleeping instead of reading! I’m glad I had spent the last month or so reading faster than I was posting reviews – the backlog I had saw me through this week of inactivity. I’m getting better again, which is good because I have quite the stack of library books to get through!

americanfamilyTomorrow is Memorial Day, and I always have mixed feelings about the holiday. My husband served five years in the Marines, and a lot of people like to thank him or me for his service on this day, and it bothers me because I feel like Memorial Day is the day to remember those who DIED fighting our wars. And my husband is very much alive. (Thank the gods.) Thank him on Veterans Day. Or some other day. It’s also just that I spent five years afraid he wouldn’t come back to me, so whenever the military and its sacrifices are being celebrated in the media, I want to crawl in a hole and hide. That said, if you’re looking for a Memorial Day read, check out An American Family by Khizr Khan. When he talks about his son’s death I had to put the book down and ugly cry for a while because that is every military spouse’s absolute worst fear.

In happier news, I’m going to be attempting a Pride-focused Instagram photo challenge this month! If you don’t already follow my Instagram, you can find me at @goddessinthestacks. This is the challenge I’ll be trying to post along with!
Pride Bookstagram Challenge

Sunday Funday

Yesterday was my birthday! I’m 36 now. (Ack!)

Today we’re going to go see a friend of ours play Beatrice in my favorite Shakespeare play, Much Ado About Nothing, and I am VERY excited about that!

This coming week is Finals week for my husband, and then he’ll be done with school until the Fall, so I’m looking forward to him being a little less stressed over the summer.

We went to the 3rd annual ComicCon at my local library, where two of our friends were cosplaying Jedi with the 501st and the Rebel Legion – consequently we also picked up six more books, because we were at a library and that’s what happens!

Had a pretty big thunderstorm roll through the area last night, and the weather forecast says we’ll get plenty more this week, which I’m looking forward to. I’ve always loved thunderstorms and wind and rain. I could do without the tornado watch, though!

And I’m just going to leave you with this random thing from the internet that makes me giggle every time I look at it:

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Sunday Funday!

20180428_2044115569726202008085759.jpgIn non-reading related news, I spent Tabletop Game Day playing D&D with some fantastic friends. My husband has been DMing a 5e game for us for a few weeks now, and it’s a lot of fun! I haven’t had a lot of experience with D&D prior to this – I spent most of my teenage years playing White Wolf’s old World of Darkness. (I have almost a complete set of RPG books for that system to prove it – I’ll post pictures of those two bookcases someday. Maybe next Sunday!)

Today we’re going to the Baltimore Farmer’s Market to pick up some basil, Hex kombucha, and assorted other vegetables. We’re eating a lot more vegetables since I’ve gone on the AutoImmune Protocol diet, and I’m feeling so much better! I’ve also lost several pounds already, so that’s pretty exciting.

20180426_140753655079792788893295.jpgWe re-purpled my hair this week, so it’s back to vibrant, gorgeous purple, and I’m LOVING it. We let it go far too long before re-bleaching and dying it again. So glad to have it back to brilliant purple. We dyed it for the first time almost a year ago, and have redone it a few times since then. I don’t know if I’ll ever go back to brown. I was a really pretty brown, actually, but THIS PURPLE IS SO GORGEOUS. So in love with it. I also really enjoy how it makes me stand out among other people, most of the time. It’s helped my self-confidence a lot.

That’s all I’ve got this week, looking forward to the Farmer’s Market and then chilling/cooking for the rest of the day. (One thing about the AIP diet – I do a lot more complex cooking, more often! But really, who doesn’t think pesto shrimp cucumber rollups sound awesome?)

Book Review: Nerdy, Shy, and Socially Inappropriate

nerdy shy socially inappropriate asperger autismNerdy, Shy, and Socially Inappropriate: A User Guide to an Asperger Life
by Cynthia Kim
Nonfiction
240 pages
Published 2014

I’ve been picking up books on Autism since we realized my husband was on the spectrum, in hopes of finding tools to help us manage daily life. He’s too busy with school and work to do much reading these days, so I’ve been doing the research and bringing it to him to discuss. It’s led to some enlightening conversations and we’ve both learned a lot about each other. Cynthia Kim’s blog was one I pored over and read parts of to him, and I finally got her book from my library.

One of the things I noticed most was she details social rules in ways I never would have thought to do – she has a list of seven very specific rules for eye contact, for example. As an allistic person, most of those rules are things I do instinctively, without even really knowing the reason for them. Like, in conversation, looking up or to the side means you’re thinking, looking down means you’re done talking. I read that to my husband and he jumped in, surprised, with “so THAT’S why I get interrupted so much!” I never would have thought to codify that into words, but it’s something I naturally do.

She talks about meltdowns vs shutdowns, which are things we’ve already learned the difference between with my husband, but we’re both eager for strategies to avoid, mitigate, and recover from them. She gave some strategies as places to start, but that’s hard to give general advice on as every autistic is so very different in that regard.

The chapter on alexithymia was really interesting. Alexithymia being an impairment in identifying and describing emotions. It leads to a lot of “Hey, are you okay?” “I don’t know.” “Well, how do you feel?” “I DON’T KNOW!” We’d already been introduced to this concept through her blog, but she expands on it in the book.

Another interesting (and applicable!) chapter was the one on executive dysfunction. (We joke that I am my husband’s personal assistant – I keep his calendar and remind him of important dates/events/homework due dates, and sometimes nudge him to do things if it seems he’s having trouble getting started.)

Kim uses the term Asperger’s in her writing (as well as autism), but Asperger’s has been rolled into the greater Autism Spectrum Disorder since 2013. Very recently there’s been some debate about the Asperger name, as it’s been revealed that Hans Asperger at least cooperated with the Nazis, and possibly was one himself. It’s still used commonly, though, and there is a large community built around being Aspies. Personally, I think using the Asperger term is a little too divisive – it’s basically the same as “high-functioning.” But. I’m allistic and my opinion on the matter isn’t the important one, so. We use autistic for my husband. (His choice, and when I asked his thoughts, he also thinks the Asperger term is divisive and not useful.) There’s a number of Twitter threads and articles on the subject of using or not using the Asperger term, and what it means to the community.

Overall, this was a really great book for learning about how autism affects day-to-day life, and gave us lots of talking points and words for things we didn’t have the vocabulary for. I’m looking forward to tackling the rest of my Autism Reading List.

From the cover of Nerdy, Shy, and Socially Inappropriate:

Cynthia Kim explores all the quirkyness of living with Asperger Syndrome (ASD) in this accessible, witty and honest guide looking from an insider perspective at some of the most challenging and intractable aspects of being autistic. Her own life presents many rich examples. From being labelled nerdy and shy as an undiagnosed child to redefining herself when diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome as an adult, she describes how her perspective shifted to understanding a previously confusing world and combines this with the results of extensive research to explore the ‘why’ of ASD traits. She explains how they impact on everything from self-care to holding down a job and offers typically practical and creative strategies to help manage them, including a section on the vestibular, sensory and social benefits of martial arts for people with autism.

Well known in the autism community and beyond for her popular blog, Musings of an Aspie, Cynthia Kim’s book is rich with personal anecdotes and useful advice. This intelligent insider guide will help adults with ASDs and their partners, family members, friends, and colleagues, but it also provides a fresh and witty window onto a different worldview.