Sunday, July 31, 2011

Living with it

Despite fearing logging on and seeing nothing new, I did so tonight and found a shiny new comment and four followers where there was once only one. And I know for sure one of them isn't just commenting here for the sake of getting me to go over to their blog because, well, it's not public. So before I start, thanks for the support and I'm sorry I ditched this gig back in April.

Before I start, let me say a few things: this is me unedited. Most of what you see in this blog is filtered down, looked over, read through, and basically processed. You know, except for the massive pile of vulgarities (which will be absent from this one I assure you.) Also, before we go on, I have to say that this one isn't going to be all that funny. Yeah, this is a soap box piece and yeah, it's really vain to write one of these this early on but this is how I'm feeling and this is what I'm going to go with.

Living with ADD can lead to interesting stories (go read Hyperbole and a Half (another blog) if you want to see more of those), but it's not all fun and games. I've said it before, this stuff is serious. It may not be as serious as autism or down syndrome, but it's certainly more than just, say, a phobia. This is something that will come in and dominate and even alter the course of your life.

Symptoms range from absentmindedness to developing a bloodthirsty obsession with things which frustrate you. It gets hard to deal with at times.

My mom tells me a story of when I learned to tie my shoes. We were at it for three hours because I could not pay attention long enough. I've had one teacher believe that I was mentally challenged (to the point of referring me to special ed). It's... not always easy.

So how do you live with or better yet, how do you tell your kids how to live with it? Well, there's only one real thing that can happen: You've got to be patient. And when I say patient, you've got to learn to be even more patient than anyone else. You're going to learn to go too fast because you're afraid to lose your concentration or of going too slow, plus that's what you always do--go quickly. Unfortunately, this is just going to cause you to commit more errors. What you need to do is the opposite, you need to take it slow and make sure that you're right. Now, second guessing yourself leads to severe anxiety and you should really try and avoid that because anxiety leads to obsession which is another distraction which is, well, another part of a massive feed-back loop which comprises ADD.

So the best thing to do is to make good habits. ADD people usually do well with habits in my experience. Once you develop it, it becomes hard to get distracted and forget it because it's already something you're doing before you realize it. So habits are good. They'll help you a lot.

The second thing to do is actually to get into the habit of stopping and taking a breath when you feel flustered. If this means inconveniencing people a little, fine. Better you get your nerves under control or your mind on track than to screw up and inconvenience them more. If that's going to be a problem for these other people, alright fine. They clearly are taking for granted something you lack and that's sad but sometimes, people need a second to get it all together.

And the third thing you need to realize is that it gets better. Most people out grow their ADD, although people like me haven't and probably won't, a lot will. Even if you don't outgrow it though, it gets better because you get better. Just being diagnosed with it lets you know what you're up against. It gives you something to fight and become better at. And you know what? I've actually got a strangely crazy good memory for what does break through the ADD barrier, the reason for that being--in my belief, my memory adapted to the lack of focus by just grabbing up everything that came across. I can surprise people who think I'm not listening by listing back to them everything they just said purely for the fact that I barely caught a whiff of it and my memory went ahead and filed it away.

It gets better. You live with it long enough and it gets better. I know, I know. I stole that phrase from the gay-tolerance movement. But it's still true. Anyway, that's all I have for right now. I'm going to make an effort to write more of these but this will probably be the last serious one I'll have for a while.

Thanks again to my subscribers.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Vidya games

My experience with videogames started in my early childhood when visiting my grandparents who (at the time) lived about five to ten minutes away. My grandparents had often babysat my cousin while my uncle was away on trips or just getting his life figured out. During that time, they (my grandparents) bought him the original NES console and racked up an impressive amount of games, many of which would become classics.
This was an awesome introduction for me, a kid growing up in the 90’s when most of the classic gaming platforms were starting to adapt and evolve. With my cousin’s help, I was introduced to a world of pixilated satisfaction… and crippling addiction.

This is what Fox News actually believes

The Christmas after I turned five, my parents got me my own Super Nintendo (SNES, Super NES, Super Famicom, whatever.) I would have that very system until I was in middle school. By that time, I’d gone through almost every generation of Game Boy from the original to the DS, and I’d even purchased a PSP despite having an iPod. And a DS. And pretty much everything else the PSP was ever good for (seriously, all it was useful for was mobile internet and even that gargled balls.)

The Xbox was definitely a great system, particularly for someone like me who skipped two generations of consoles (and thankfully so, I have a suspicion I’d be a Nintendo guy had I bought those). Honestly, had I continued up with the other consoles I’d probably be more into the whole gamer scene right now. And it’s unfortunate that I didn’t because the gamer scene is just now starting to become really fun to be a part of, and I only get a small piece of that that’s either plastered all over the internet or explained to me by weird friends.

So what makes videogames so awesome? Well, as an ADD child, they were easily able to overwhelm my senses and keep me rooted in what I was doing—most of the time.

I'm looking at you, PGA Tour
  However, it’s strange when I think about my ADD and gaming because many of my favorite games to play actually required patience and careful timing. I was involved into Real Time Strategy for a long time and the only reason I ever gave it up was because the disc drive on my laptop broke, making it impossible to play Rome: Total War.


Friday, April 15, 2011

Well, this post won't win me any more followers

I had something typed up to put here today, except I didn't do the pictures (which were about 90% of the jokes) and so I wound up with this instead. Truth is, I haven't felt all that funny this week and most of that I blame on just having started, no one really commenting, and just generally the fact that I'm turning 21 on Saturday and have been busy getting ready for that. Oh, and I picked up John Steinbeck again. Reading his work makes me feel all intellectual and poetic. That reeeeeeeeeeeally doesn't help my inner-clown.

I'm sorry this post is shit, but I'll make it up to you by showing you something I'm pretty sure no one has yet.

Today was University Day or some such and so there was food and crap and all this loud music. Naturally, the food made me sick as hell and I had a headache as I was walking back to my dorm. Rather than deal with the music, I choose instead to cut through the Union and go around. On my way up, I spotted a group blocking the way to the exit so I ducked through the small display gallery they have where they show off the best of the art-student's work. There, I saw this:

I have no idea what this is, and that's how I know I'm sane. Jesus Christ just look at the thing. You've got a Dune-worm muppet trying to catch a floating cheeseburger while some purple, fish-lipped goon is standing guard with his spear. That doesn't even explain why the alien is playing a strange version of the claw game. Do aliens like the claw game? Are aliens planting them around the world so that their hidden fellows can play and practice for the day when they conquer earth? And who left the windsock in the machine? I mean... whatever that thing is.

All I know is that I suspect the artist who painted this regularly crawls up into a little ball and mutters things about floating food and aliens trying to catch purple people eaters in claw games.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


You know what I like? Squirrels. I mean, who doesn’t like squirrels? They’re furry, they are (admittedly) kind of cute, and they run around like little, anxious bottle rockets jetting from one location to the next as if chased by a pack of wolves. Squirrels are probably the ADHD kids of the animal kingdom.

Speaking of ADHD, what kid hasn’t imagined creating a squirrel army? OK, what male kid? Exactly. No one. At least no one who was fun. Point is, squirrels are freaking awesome.

Fuck yeah
Naturally, being a child who went camping often, I have many stories about squirrels. Hell, some of the stories I have aren’t even mine. I remember watching my grandfather (on my mother’s side) and my dad talk about how squirrels once stole the city picnic down in this small town in Arkansas. Unfortunately, I don’t actually remember all of the details of the story so here’s what I imagine what it was like:

The thing is, squirrel stories are actually only really funny if you were there or, in some rare cases, if you understand the situation surrounding it already. It’s a great aside to mention what one squirrel did, like when my friend came back from Baylor University and talked about a squirrel running up to a table and throwing it’s arms wide open as if saying “What mother fucker what?”

Fuck the Park Service
Squirrels are weird. More than just natural, untamed animal weird, I mean that everything about them is freaking weird somehow. Those beady little eyes that stare at you angrily as you walk past, daring you to go after its stash, waiting patiently for you to leave before scurrying down and resuming what it had been doing just a few seconds prior. And in the spring, they’re everywhere and you just know one day they’re going to realize that there are so many of them and so few of us.

And sometimes when the sun goes down, just in that dim period when there’s too much light for your eyes to really adjust and yet too little light to really see, when everything is already moving and the air is filled with strange noises already, sometimes I hear a little rustling in the distance behind me. Except when I turn to look, there’s nothing there but the little shadow of a tail disappearing into some particularly tall grass surrounding a tree. And that’s how I know; they’re watching me. Waiting. Biding their time pretending to be these cute little animals. And that’s how I know that one day, they won’t be so cute anymore.

First the Acorns, then the world!!!!