Saturday, May 6, 2017

Saturday, May 6th, 2017 12:38 pm
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On Thursday and Friday it was just Tanya and me. Thursday was much warmer so we went to the bigger playground in the morning and to the school one in the afternoon. She actually liked sitting there a bit and watching kids play basketball. It wasn't too bad as long days with a toddler can go - at least she actually listened to me when it was time to leave the playground and I didn't have to drag her off, as often happens. Yesterday (Friday) it was raining all day so we were just home. I cooked her soup and cutlets, but mostly we were playing. And in the evening we Skype Bear at his work. She had nice long 2.5 hour naps too, so I could watching a bit of TV as my books are not inspiring me to read too much.

And there is a lot of TV to catch up on. I still need to watch "Supernatural" but mainly I just find watching The Great British Baking Show on Netflix very relaxing as I don't need to think at all. (And I do get inspired from it - I made custard for the first time). Sense8 also started yesterday, so I will make my way through that - for now much slower than Season 1. Bear got me "Bad Moms" on DVD so at some point I need to actually watch it.

I did watch a movie a few weeks ago - over two days with Bear as a date we watched "Moana" which I loved very much. Medusa came to visit me from Massachusetts from April 17th to 20th. And it was so fabulous to see her. It's been three years and it was great to just pick up on our usual dynamic. (I just wish I could go in the city with her, but the playground is as far as I will walk lately) She got me hostess gifts, although that was totally unnecessary - but I got Moana as a DVD and as a CD, Neil Gaiman's "Norse Mythology" and "13 Clocks" book. So Bear and I finally watched "Moana" - I've seen select scenes and songs, courtesy of YouTube since Tanya watched it, but as a whole movie it worked very well.

Oh, and one thing I wanted to mention from the past months. A while ago I wrote to this researcher in England who studies aphantasia. He emailed a month or two ago that a writer and a filmmaker from New York were looking to interview some people with aphantasia and if I minded if he would pass my email on to them. I didn't mind. So last months they contacted me and we sat up a Skype interview last Saturday. It was quite fun to talk to them about it since I find different perceptions of the world pretty interesting. They are writing a character with aphantasia and wanted to understand the details a bit. One thing I found interesting was when I mentioned that I don't taste if I just think about food, I need to actually be eating something to taste. And they asked about how craving works with me. I do crave things but probably not to some intensity. I haven't had any pregnancy cravings, really - just anti-cravings (I don't like the idea of eating beef for some reason).
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I'm procrastinating on grading Paper 2. I signed up for Folder Review for next Thursday to give myself extra time, but it seems my brain still prefers a little pressure and closer deadlines. I have been productive in working on the discussion questions for class and on the midterm question. I also finished reading The Buried Giant. And if I start grading tomorrow with six papers a day, it will be done on time and everything without too much anxiety. But I really should grade now. But, of course, I will procrastinate a little more by writing this blog.

I'm been social over the last couple of days. Even got take out, which is rare lately. On Sunday, Bear, Tanya and I went to visit my friend Marianna and her daughters Galya (4) and Idalia (18 months) in Queens. We just spent a lovely afternoon at her place, watching our kids play, ordering Nepalese food - which for me also included some Miso Soup and Sushi so it was a mix with Japanese, and just generally having a relaxing day. It is really fun watching Tanya and Ida interact. They mostly stare at each other, trying to figure each other out. But they do play near each other and there is interaction. They are two days apart. Ida is taller and much more compact, with more weight on her. And she has a big sister so she is better at interacting with other kids. Tanya is ahead in speech. Both adorable. When we first got there Galya made them hold hands and they did that for a while starring at each other. I told Tanya to pet Ida's hair, and she loved doing that. Marianna told Ida to give Tanya a kiss and a hug, and she did that. Tanya's bewildered face was priceless. And it was great to see how much Galya has grown since I last saw her a months and a half ago. She was more in control in her own space and guided play between all the kids.

Bear also had a chance to show his new virtual reality programs. It's really, really cool. He has headgear and is using a smartphone. He recreated his office at work, his grandmother's house and is working on the creepy program of a person being in a coffin. But it is pretty amazing. I get a little nauseous moving around his grandmother's old house, but it is still ridiculously awesome. He promised me to build a beach scenario where I can just sit and stare at the waves. Since I'm non-visual, with a blind mind's eye - it's called aphantasia apparently - it's the only way I would be able to actually see the beach if I'm not on it.

Speaking of aphantasia, [personal profile] zhelana linked a great article about it. This one. . It was really fun to read and be a little bewildered on how others can't even imagine how we with aphantasia think. It never occurred to me that not seeing Bear's face when he's not around me is a disadvantage. It's not like my feelings for him would disappear if I can't see him. I really enjoyed reading it and then I contacted the scientists running the study on aphantasia at University of Exeter. I was just excited to put my experience and reflections on paper. I first realized I was unusual three years ago. I just didn't realize how rare it is. I got a response the next day and filled out some questionnaires too. Apparently only 2% of population are extreme cases like me. Many others have "weak" inner eye but not totally blank.

My friend Yeva came over yesterday (and we ordered some Uzbekinstani food), and I talked to her about aphantasia. One of the questions on the questionnaire was to count all the windows in the house/apartments and describe how one did it. Yeva could not imagine how I could count all the windows and remember what my bedroom looks like without seeing it in my head. I just do. I know exactly where everything is; I don't actually see it if I'm not there. It turns out that she can also hear sounds and taste things if she thinks about it, like imagining a garden with a waterfall. I can't hear anything that is not real not can I taste something that I'm not eating. I can imagine a garden but not see it nor actually hear the waterfall but I know what it should sound like. I just find all this brain stuff fascinating. But I really didn't realize how rare my blind mind's eyes is. I don't feel deprived or anything though. I never known anything differently. I remember faces and details really well.

Baby is crying. I'm going to go soothe her and take it as a sign that I should go to sleep. She's abetting my procrastination!


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