My User Manual, Part 1: Things I Like in People

I’m still having repetitive stress issues, and as such not really able to be that good at posting at the moment, even with dictation software (dictating just isn’t the same as writing). In lieu of fancy new posts, I’ve decided to do something I’ve been thinking about doing for a while, and post a copy of my user manual here. I had meant to do some updates to it before doing this, but without being able to produce any new complete writing at the moment, and without really having the stamina to edit it entirely with dictation software, I’ve decided that sharing the idea is the important thing (and, anyway, even without any update, it’s still probably 98% accurate).

I highly recommend writing a user manual to yourself as a way of communicating basic wants and needs to partners (and, really, even friends, though mine is written with kink/relationship/sex partners as the intended audience). I’ve really enjoyed having one, and having the conversations that have taken place as a result of having one. So, without further ado, here’s the first part of mine, the Things I like in People section (hope you enjoy):

Things I Like in People

While a lot of this is written in the context of the kinky and sexy side of things, pretty much all of these apply in some way to all contexts, from vanilla to kinky, from platonic to, “Oh my god, it’s full of sex!”

Intelligence:

I like intelligence. I like listening to people talk intelligently about things, I like being stimulated and challenged intellectually.

Vulnerability:

I like people who aren’t afraid to talk about the things that they’re afraid of, or to talk openly about sensitive feelings or emotions.

Candid Self-Deprecation:

This goes hand-in-hand with vulnerability: confidence is sexy, and genuine confidence goes hand-in-hand with being able to accept and admit to personal flaws and limitations.

Reciprocity:

I tend to pursue what I want. If I want any sort of a relationship with someone (from friendship to life partner), I tend to go after it. This can be in the sense of asking to hang out or play, or in the sense of expressing interest in whatever sort of relationship. I am, however, much more comfortable doing this kind of thing when it is reciprocated. If I’m the only one of the two of us consistently asking to hang out or play or this or that, there’s a good chance I’m going to lose interest in you. Pursuit of any sort of relationship with someone has to be mutual to be satisfying. I don’t enjoy “the chase”. If I have to chase you, that means you’re running away.

In particular, if you want to communicate to me that you’re interested in spending time with me, here are some particular things to keep in mind: I like it when people take the initiative and try to arrange specific time together every now and then (e.g. “Would you like to hang out this Friday after work?” is preferable to “We should hang out sometime.”). I appreciate it when people recommend new times to spend time together after having to cancel a date (e.g. “Sorry, I can’t make this Friday, but would Sunday work?”).

Think about it like sex. It’s great when someone says they want to kiss you, but the compliment loses its impact if you then kiss them and they don’t kiss back. The distinction between, “I want to hang out sometime.” and “Lets do Friday.” is the difference between “I would like to kiss you.”, and actually kissing back.

This applies in simpler ways, too. I like being undressed about as much as I enjoy undressing people. I tend to like being kissed about as much as I like kissing. I like fucking and I like being asked to fuck. Et cetera.

Communication Skills:

This cannot be overstated. Communication is vital. Lack of communication skills is generally a deal-breaker. Buying into Guess Culture is generally a deal-breaker. I’ll go for clumsy directness over the more traditional fumbly roulette guessing game any day.

Curiosity:

Curiosity is one of my biggest turn-ons, especially when you’re curious about me or about yourself. If you want to know how the cogs turn in my brain, and you ask, my desire to sex you is likely to skyrocket.

Self-Confidence:

This one is tricky. I like self-confidence, but there’s a fine line between sexy self-confidence and overbearing self-confidence. Sexy self-confidence tends to allow for that whole candid self-deprecation thing as mentioned before.

Passion:

Being passionate about your work or goals or saving the world, etc, etc: super sexy. Watching people talk about the things they are really, really interested in as though those things are the most magical, sexy, interesting things in the world: hella sexy.

Saying What You Want:

This goes hand in hand with communication skills, but is one step past. It’s not just important to be able to communicate well, it’s important to use that skill proactively. Tell me what you want to do. Put my hand where you want it to go. Ask if you can put yours where you’d like it to go.

Saying What You Don’t Want:

Basically the same as saying what you want, but equally important. Being able to say no is a prerequisite for being able to say yes. If you can’t say no, I won’t ever know if you really want to do the things you say yes to, and I’ll get insecure about that very quickly.

Care with Consent:

I enjoy asking to do something more than I enjoy making a move, and I enjoy being asked to do something more than I enjoy having moves made on me. Those consent is sexy posters are 100% on target. Consent is sexy. Asking is sexy. You know why? Because feeling safe and respected and making others feel safe and respected is really fucking sexy.

And also, because when you’re nervous, and you decide to be brave and ask permission for something, it’s like saying, “You are worth the work that I am going to do to be brave enough to say this”. There are few greater compliments than that.

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Repetitive Stress Update

I’m still dealing with repetitive stress issues. It’s hard to tell how they’re going. I have the option of working from home or going into an office at my current job. Last week, I worked entirely from home, because the office was closed. This week, it’s open again, and I decided to go in like normal yesterday, which seems to have been a bad idea. It’s harder to take effective breaks when you’re working sitting in an office, and where I felt like things might’ve been taking a turn for the better over the weekend, I feel like they got worse yesterday.

It’s incredibly difficult not to catastrophize about things like this. That is, not to think about worst-case scenarios. At the moment, I’m working about 20 hours a week and able to roughly break even on expenses. There is an indeterminate chance that if I were to increase my hours of working, my repetitive stress symptoms would get worse. There is a lesser, but still nonzero chance that they will get worse even at my current rate of work. If this happens, my options for employment are pretty limited. Nothing that involves a significant amount of typing, sitting all day, getting too much exercise, or stress in general is a very good option. As a result of this reality, and some complicated personal life stuff, I’ve been pretty on edge the last couple of days.

Life feels like a waiting game, and I’m waiting to find out if I’m fucked, professionally, or not, without feeling like I have much, if any, control over that, myself. There’s little that’s more frustrating than that sense of complete lack of control.

I’m examining a couple of other options for employment in addition to my current job. If my symptoms do manage to slowly get better, and I’m able to add another part-time thing to supplement my current income, I won’t be in bad shape. Although, at some point, I would very much like to be able to work full-time as a programmer, and these repetitive stress issues beg the question of whether or not that will ever be possible.

It’s a reality of these things that when you feel like you’re improving, you feel pretty good, and when you feel like you’re not, you feel like everything is completely out of your control. I’m feeling mostly the latter right now.

Threesome Retrospective

In a delightful and entirely unexpected turn of events, my Valentine’s Day this February 14th was kicked off with my first-ever threesome. I’ve decided, both because I like remembering it and because I enjoy processing the interesting little details of things like this, to write a little retrospective post. This is the part where I warn you about explicit details and such. WAAAAAAARN! There, you’ve been warned. Now, onward to the threesome story!

I’ve been wanting to have a threesome at some point for quite some time, but people and circumstances never lined up quite the right way at the right time for it to happen before now. That they lined up the way they did this past week was as unexpected as it was sudden.

I had planned to spend some time with a friend of mine I hadn’t hung out with in a while (who we will call John). What I had expected to be just me and him hanging out ended up, via a series of unexpected circumstances, as a hangout with me, him, his wife, a friend of theirs (who, incidentally, is the only non-poly character in this particular tale), and an unexpectedly-stranded-in-the-area couchsurfer they had agreed to put up for the night (who we will call Jane — at this point, you can probably guess who the main characters in this story are going to be).

The hanging out, itself, consisted mostly of snacking on edamame, making dinner, chatting with everyone, and Jane and I flirting with each other a lot. Good people, good conversation. There was some talk about poly, in particular, which I always find interesting. After dinner was completed and consumed, hanging out moved from the kitchen to the living room, and conversation and flirtiness continued. A little while later, John and Jane were in the kitchen as I was walking by, and Jane called me in and basically point-blank asked me if I wanted to have a threesome with them. I replied in the affirmative.

The actual threesome didn’t happen until much later in the evening, and the time in between is a bit of a blur. I remember making out with Jane in the kitchen a bit, I remember watching Iron Sky with everybody (which, if you’ve heard of it, is exactly as bad as you think, and, if you haven’t heard of it, is exactly as bad as my implication that it’s exactly as bad as people would think will probably lead you to think), and cuddling with Jane throughout. I’m not exactly sure what time the movie ended, but given that the next time I was conscious of the time was about 5:40 in the morning, it was past midnight (which, though we didn’t realize it at the time, meant that the festivities commenced on Valentine’s Day).

When the movie ended, the non-threesome-participating folks went to bed, and John went upstairs for a bit, leaving Jane and I to fool around and start the boundaries and testing status conversation (which, incidentally, is always nicer to have with people who are informed about STIs in general, and in this case people were). John rejoined us to finish up that conversation, we all moved into a bedroom, and the fucking commenced, with special guest appearances by a violet wand, an njoy pure wand, and a Hitachi Magic Wand.

It’s funny, the little things that you notice that you never would’ve anticipated, but that seem utterly obvious in retrospect. Since John and I are both predominantly straight, the threesome consisted mostly of he and I interacting with Jane. As a result, it was harder to tell if I was doing a good job at something than it usually is.

In my head: “Oh, a happy noise, whatever I just did must’ve been a good idea! But I didn’t really do anything different that I was doing bef-OH! John is doing a thing; that makes way more sense!”

Lesson learned: when you’re working with a co-conspirator, you’re never as sure whether it’s a you’re-doing-a-great-job noise, or a they’re-doing-a-great-job noise.

I was, also, over the whole course of the proceedings, nervous (although having fun). I imagine that’s largely inevitable at your first threesome. Nervousness worked out the way it usually does where my bits are concerned — that is, my bits were uncooperative until the nervousness dissipated, in a manner that I feel is best illustrated by the following conversation:

*sexytimes start*

Me: Alright, Penis, ready to have some fun?

Penis: FUCK YOU, YOU’RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME!

*a while later, sexytimes stop and sleep is attempted*

Penis: I AM SO READY GUYS WHERE IS EVERYONE?!

… GUYS?

John had left to sleep on his own at that point, but Jane was amenable to continuing to forgo sleep after the above abrupt change in the bits-climate. As a result, we pretty much didn’t get any sleep at all, and walking upstairs was significantly more difficult than it usually is the next morning. Funnily enough, I didn’t really mind.

I learned some things about myself during all this. I learned that my heterosexuality is significantly more flexible in contexts like this, which I’ll have to remember in the event of any future similarly-configured threesomes. I also learned that I’m prone, to an extent, to get insecure about performing as well, sexually, as the other people involved in things like this. With respect to this tendency, I think the combination of fun, laid-back personalities in this particular threesome was close to ideal — we were all basically just friends hanging out and fucking, which had an ameliorating effect on my insecurities. I also found that I enjoy the male-male-female configuration as much as I thought I would. Two-on-one is a fun way to play the game.

In terms of chronic pain, having sex is always a striking experience for me, because it drives home the point of just how neurological my issues are. There is zero question in my mind that almost every time I have sex, including this one, I get way more exercise than I am normally capable of getting without a significant increase in pain. The last time I tried to take this, experimentally, to its logical conclusion, and get more exercise, though, I ended up with injured shoulders, so I’m not really sure what to make of the whole thing. In this case, the experience didn’t have a particularly significant impact on my level of pain one way or the other, which was nice.

I wish I were able to write a more detailed, sexy play-by-play story of how everything actually proceeded, but, first, I don’t really know how to write like that, and, second, I really only remember it in little disjointed snippets. Holding on to Jane while John used the violet wand on her so I didn’t get shocked myself (I’m not actually much of a fan of electricity)… John describing and then executing the ins and outs of the pure wand, and then having me give it a whirl… making out with Jane… fucking… grabbing a breast, only to find that someone else was already on it… trying to figure out whose arm that was… making out with Jane while John fucked her from behind, and feeling the impacts travel through her body… almost crushing my glasses… having PIV sex with Jane after a brief period of failing to sleep, the feeling of holding on to her for better thrusting leverage… showering with them in the morning… expressing my enthusiasm for Jane’s butt by writing “BUTT!” in the condensation on the bathroom mirror…

It was a pretty good time, overall 🙂


Addendum: I love poly. Conversation with the wife this morning:

me: Hey, I’ve been meaning to ask you, just to make sure, that you were cool with everything that happened the other day. Both in the sense of the threesome itself, and in the level of flirtatiousness beforehand. I got the impression that you were (author’s note: we’ve known each other for a while, so this was a very strong impression reinforced my my confidence in both her and her husband to have been able to communicate any potential objections at the time, or I’d have made sure to ask her point blank at the time), but wanted to give you a deliberate opportunity to say if there was anything about which you weren’t
her:
I’m totally okay on all fronts
me: cool :-)
her: Except the fucking on the blankets instead of the sheets!
I mean.. c’mon. Now I have to wash those too.  :P
me: hahahahahahahaha
her: But otherwise, totally okay on all fronts. :D

Sex and Significant Figures

A while ago I took a course in user interfaces. One of the most interesting things I picked up from that course was about making diagrams for user interfaces. Let’s say you’re designing a website. It’s not a bad idea, before you get to the actual coding, to make a mockup of the site, to see how it looks before you implement it, and get some other people’s opinions. Here’s the interesting question: what do you use to make the mockup?

You could draw on paper, with a pencil. You could make something sharp and professional-looking in, say, Photoshop. You could also go with one of the many simple mockup tools that exist online. My first instinct, when faced with this question on a project, was to use one of the nicer looking online tools. Something simple to learn and use, but fairly realistic-looking. In reality, I might have been better off scribbling in pencil on a piece of paper. What I didn’t know at the time is that you get very different feedback on mockups depending on how precisely they mimic the look of the final product. A sharp, professional-looking mockup will get feedback that is much more nitpicky about the finer details, where a pencil drawing is more likely to get feedback on the basic layout.

I find this phenomenon reminiscent of The Uncanny Valley. The more precisely human something looks, the more alarming the tiny discrepancies between it and actual humans are. In the same way, the more precisely a mockup mimics the final product, the more we notice tiny discrepancies between the mockup and the ideal final product.

I also think you can draw some interesting parallels between this phenomenon and certain aspects of human interaction. For example, I think that there is a manner in which a decision about whether or not to hook up with someone can work in a way that parallels the above phenomena. It is often the case, in my experience, that people are more comfortable having proportionately lower standards about sexual partners in contexts where it’s likely to be a one-off thing with a person they’ll never see again. I propose a hypothesis (that readers are encouraged to challenge): that part of the reason for this is that if you know you’re never going to know very specific details about a person, those specific details matter less.

Say, for the sake of example, there is an ideal type of person for you to have sex with. Consider whatever combination of factors you deem important (looks, personality, intelligence, humor, etc.), and let’s assume your ideal combination of all of these traits is represented by the number pi. 3.14159… etc. Now, say you’re at a party with a bunch of new people you’ll probably never see again. You don’t have a whole lot of time to actually get to know people very well. So, let’s say anyone you have conversation with you can get to know out to two significant figures, and you meet a 3.1. Brilliant! As far as you are capable of discerning at present, this person is an excellent match for you. Your actual requirements for an ideal sex partner are far more specific than you could hope to detect on a first meeting at a party — they are exact out to, say, six significant figures. And, in fact, it’s possible that a 3.07 (which this person you’ve met could be), for example, would be sufficiently removed from your ideal as to be a very bad match for you.

But, hey, it’s a party and you’ll never see them again, so what the fuck, right?

If you were likely to get to know them much better than that, I think there’s some chance that you’d be more picky. At least, I’ve seen people operate this way, and I think I would operate this way under certain conditions as well. If you know someone to more significant figures, you may be pickier about smaller details (since you can, at that point, see the smaller details) in the same way that people are pickier about simulated humans the more realistic they look and pickier about mockups the more precise they are.

There’s a lot of oversimplification in the example I presented, of course, but I think it’s an interesting thing to think about.

Oh, and also, on a completely unrelated note, I’ve passed my one year blogiversary, hooray!

Depression Contributing Factors Analysis

Here’s hoping that the trick to beating this bout of depression is going to be better strategizing. Identification and analysis of issues contributing to my current bout of depression to follow.

The last couple of weeks have been difficult for a combination of reasons. The repetitive stress is the obvious thing. Filling the time that I used to spend on the computer has not been particularly easy, and worrying about whether or not the time that I spend on the computer for work is still going to be too much has not been fun.

The next factor, I think, is that now that school is over, I don’t feel like I have anything in particular to be working toward. It’s nice to not have the added stress of grades and homework and such, but now that I’m more or less fully in the real world, I feel less like I have meaningful things to accomplish. In a way, I think that it’s possible that I can’t really be happy unless I’m saving the world in some way. The blog helps with that. I like writing about social justice issues and such when things strike me. And I like being able to share what it’s like dealing with chronic pain and depression, because I think that helps by increasing general understanding of what it’s like, and by making other people who suffer from similar things feel like they’re not alone. I know reading about and talking to other people dealing with similar shit has helped me in the past.

I think I need more than just the blog, though. And I’m trying to arrange to have more than just a blog to be helping the world with. Next week, I’ll be doing some volunteering for a local LGBT group. I may also at some point volunteered to be an organizer of another similarly progressive local group.

The third factor, I think, has to do with spending time with people. There was a second half to that Needing People post that I never got around to writing. I think I touched on it briefly in the Being Smart post. I like spending time with interesting, passionate people, but I don’t meet a whole lot of people I find interpersonally satisfying. Historically, it has always seemed to me that I’m more deliberate and proactive about friendship than most people. I’m not sure that this is accurate, but it has been my impression. My best guess at why this is that it has to do with that not-finding-most-people-satisfying thing. There are just too few people in the world that I find interesting for me to be fulfilled with only the people that happen to stumble across my line of vision on a day-to-day basis. This leads to two issues.

The first issue is simply that I have trouble finding people who interest me. The obvious solution is to go out and meet people more, but that’s complicated by the fact that I’m very limited in the things I can go out and do socially. Too much exercise is bad, and too much sitting is bad. I can work on going to more kink or poly events, which sometimes helps. But I also find that those events, for whatever reason, have a higher-than-usual proportion of Really Awkward People That I Have a Hard Time Being Around, which can be difficult.

The second issue is that I often feel like, even with the friendships that I find that I am interested in cultivating, I am generally the person who is more proactive about getting together. Sometimes, I feel like the vast majority of my friendships would end if I stopped calling. I don’t think that this is because people don’t care. My leading hypothesis is simply that most people get along fine interacting with the people they encounter day-to-day. I’ve had times in my life where that was proportionately more true for me, and I’m pretty sure I ended up calling people less when it was. I’m not really sure what recourse this leaves me, though. I’m not sure there’s any way to make friendships that seem like they would end if you stopped calling not feel shitty.

Also contributing in a somewhat lesser capacity than the above three factors, I’ve been working on applying for health insurance over the past few weeks, which has been stressful, and managing the amount of exercise I get is still incredibly frustrating. I don’t seem to be able to build strength or endurance lately, and my shoulders haven’t been the same since I injured them in May.

Really, at the moment, my most important goal is to fill up some of this spare time that I have, and fill it up with things that both feel meaningful to me, and won’t aggravate any of my current physical issues.

Now that this is down on paper, I’m going to let it percolate through my brain for a bit, and see if any solutions present themselves. I highly recommend this style of enumerating contributing factors to anyone else dealing with depression. It has at times been very helpful for me.

Feelings Are Complicated and Dynamic, Who Knew?

A while back, Greta Christina wrote a series of ‘Grief Diary’ posts about dealing with her dad passing away. One of the things that she talked about was judging herself for her emotional reactions. If she was feeling really down, she’d feel like she was overreacting, and when she had periods of feeling alright, she’d feel like she was callous and unfeeling. Reading about this was really helpful for me.

It was helpful for two reasons. First, because I experience exactly the same thing when I’m dealing with tough shit. Knowing that it happens to other people both helps me feel more normal, and helps me to say no to those judgy impulses when they happen. Second, it made me recognize another very similar thing that I do in circumstances where I’m dealing with tough shit or depression.

For some reason, I’ve grown up with this idea in my head that if you’re feeling bad about something, that bad feeling is your whole emotional state until you feel better. And vice versa, that if you’re feeling good, that good feeling is your whole emotional state until you feel bad about something. Say, for example, I’ve just gone through a breakup. One might reasonably assume that I’d spend a while feeling shitty about things following a breakup, and I would. But, sometimes, when I experience those in-between moments of feeling okay, of joking around, etc., it makes me feel like the feeling-bad-about-stuff emotions were disingenuous somehow. How can I still be feeling bad about things, if I can have these moments of feeling fine, or good?

I think a similar thing happens on a broader scale with people, including myself, who suffer from depression. During my more serious bouts of depression, there is an extent to which I’m prone to think of Depressed Me as The Real Me, and Not Feeling So Bad Me as somehow not really me. It’s easy, when you’ve been dealing with depression for a long time, for it to end up feeling like an integral part of your identity.

The reality in all of the above cases is that feelings are more complicated and dynamic than those perspectives allow. You don’t always feel just one way at a time (a good example of this that comes to mind is, in the context of poly, people feeling both jealousy and compersion about a partner’s other relationships at the same time), and having fluctuations in mood, even during periods of intense stress and/or depression, is completely normal. A period of feeling really shitty is no less valid because there are periods of feeling alright about stuff in between— because you managed to have fun, joke around, forget about the problems for a little while, whatever.

This is another of those revelations that, for me, feel trivially obvious in retrospect. I’m not sure why it took me so long to, first, realize that I was thinking this way, and, second, realize that it was a ridiculous way to think. But there it is.

Choosing New Hobbies with a Shitty Body

I’m officially finished with school now, and have a part-time job that is, assuming the repetitive stress doesn’t get in the way too much, sufficient for me to pay the bills. This means I have more free time for myself than I’ve had in quite a while. Combined with my attempts at minimizing computer use (in order to avoid exacerbating the repetitive stress symptoms), this means I have some open time that I need to find ways to fill. So I’ve decided I need a new hobby or two.

I imagine most people, when choosing new hobbies, tend to just try and think about something they enjoy doing and see if they can find some time to do it. For me, it’s a lot more complicated than that. I can’t add a new hobby that involves any significant amount of exercise, because if I don’t keep to the fairly strictly defined exercise regimen I’ve worked out for myself, it’s very likely that I will either injure myself in some way or do something to exacerbate my chronic pain symptoms. I can’t add a new hobby that’s going to involve typing, because I already have enough trouble limiting my time at the computer as it is (dictation software is the only reason that I’m able to blog right now). I also can’t add anything that’s likely to involve similarly consistent repetitive movements, because my history demonstrates that I’m very prone to developing repetitive stress issues with things like that. Drumming, for example, which I love to do, is unfortunately largely off the table for me as a regular hobby. If I practice drumming in significant amounts, I get repetitive stress symptoms in my wrists, arms, and the knee of the leg that hits the bass drum. Additionally, I’m likely to exacerbate my back pain by sitting for long enough to get a good practice session in on the drum set.

So, the process of choosing a new hobby is largely an elimination game. Juggling? Fun, but, realistically, both a repetitive stress and excessive exercise risk. Biking? Excessive exercise risk. Fire poi? Excessive exercise. Knitting? High risk of sufficient sustained sitting to exacerbate back pain. Learning an instrument? Repetitive stress risk.

As you might imagine, this is an intensely frustrating game to play. But it’s also absolutely necessary for me. For the moment, I’m toying with two ideas. First, learning some harmonica, an instrument that I think holds a proportionately low level of repetitive stress risk. I don’t enjoy it as much as I enjoy playing the drums, but I’ve been learning to enjoy it more. Unfortunately, the reality of my situation is that I don’t have the luxury of doing the things that I already enjoy – I have to try and predict what things I’m likely to be able to learn to enjoy as I do them. So far, my level of affection for the harmonica as an instrument has been progressively growing, so I guess I’ve got a decent instinct for making those predictions. The second idea, which I’m actually rather proud of, is experimenting with learning more rope bondage.

I’m proud of the rope bondage idea because it fits very neatly in the Goldilocks zone between too much movement (overexercise) and not enough movement (e.g. sitting for too long leading to increased chronic pain symptoms). Also, while a lot of the movements that you make when manipulating rope are fairly similar, they aren’t as uniform as with something like typing, playing piano, etc. Rope is one of those things that’s intrigued me for a while, but never sufficiently for me to really take a serious stab at learning it in depth. I think it’s something that I might potentially be able to enjoy very much, though. So, for now, I’m experimenting with giving these two things a go. Time will tell if my predictions of relative levels of risk/enjoyment will hold or not.

Here’s hoping.

Experimenting with Dictation Software

Decided I can’t go that long without writing, so I’m trying out some dictation software. It’s been interesting so far; I didn’t realize that voice command or dictation software had gotten as advanced as they have. They’re pretty snazzy.

It’s throwing me off to be talking to type rather than using a keyboard — my thoughts aren’t coming out as smoothly as they usually do. That said, I’m really glad to be able to be writing at all, even if it is in an unfamiliar medium that’s throwing me off. Strangely, so far, think it might actually be improving my writing a little, because it’s forcing me to think about my wording and punctuation more deliberately.

The past few weeks have been deeply frustrating for me. I’m now officially finished with school, fucking finally, and have time to focus on work and personal projects, and just as soon as I’ve gotten to that point I’ve had a recurrence of the repetitive stress issues that prevent me from being able to do those things. It feels like life is determined to dangle good things in front of me, and then snatch them away at the last minute possible.

So that I can go on coding for my job, I’ve been trying out some ergonomic alternatives to normal mice and keyboards. Not sure how well they’re working yet, but here’s hoping. The idea of not being able to complete a normal workday of coding is kind of frightening, given that I don’t have a lot of other options for income right now.

Anyway, I think that’s all I’ve really got for now. I wanted to give people an update and get a chance to do some actual writing now that I have some means to do so. If this software works well enough for me, I may be able to get back on a regular posting schedule without adding any additional strain to my wrists or forearms. Here’s hoping.