Monthly Archives: June 2013

June 28, 2013

June 27

At Chris’ house in Fairbanks. He has an uncanny connection with silence: like a yogi. We share the same birthday (but he was born in 1987). I got a wonderful HOT shower (a luxury in this hard-scrabble town).

I am getting used to all ways of living… in small doses. At a previous host’s house, the dogs spend their days outside in the dirt and their nights on the couch. I kicked them off the couch for two nights and slept well. I grew increasingly comfortable–as were my sweet hosts–with that outdoorsy style of living. I felt immune to and unaffected by the tiny, harmless bugs which began to share my body.

It was very hot yesterday when I arrived at Chris’ house, and I experienced the bugs as unwanted lodgers. Inthe  Chris’ rarified, intellectual atmosphere of Chris’ home, my discomfort grew acute, while at the previous hosts’ house, living with dogs and their attendant parasites felt normal and natural.

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Becoming a Healer

Requirements: patience. careful observation of people. understanding the search for love. sense of humor. self-love and care.

I know that everything I need will come to me; I only need to follow.

In An Unexpected Light (1999), Jason Elliot writes:

“…the moment you commit to a journey it takes on a unique life of its own, which no amount of agonizing in advance can foresee.”

I think it’s the same with healing as with travel. And, I guess, with life.

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My Questions:

Is being overly-polite unhealthy? It certainly seems (to us Aspies anyway) to be a form of lying. Surely not being “authentic” or true to oneself. What is the balance between politeness and authenticity?

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Fairbanks:

Fairbanks – 30,970 (Alaska’s 2nd largest city)
Fairbanks North Star Borough – 96,888
State of Alaska – 663,661 (42% reside in Anchorage)

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Anchorage:

A diverse wildlife population exists within urban Anchorage and the surrounding area. Approximately 250 black bears and 60 grizzly bears live in the area. Bears are regularly sighted within the city. Moose are a common sight. In the Anchorage Bowl, there is a summer population of approximately 250 moose, increasing to as many as 1000 during the winter. (~~Wikipedia)

Anchorage Municipality, Alaska

Want more? Browse data sets for Anchorage Municipality
People QuickFacts Anchorage Municipality Alaska
Population definition and source info Population, 2012 estimate 298,610 731,449
Population definition and source info Population, 2010 (April 1) estimates base 291,826 710,231
Population, percent change, April 1, 2010 to July 1 definition and source info Population, percent change, April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012 2.3% 3.0%
Population definition and source info Population, 2010 291,826 710,231
Persons under 5 years, percent definition and source info Persons under 5 years, percent, 2011 7.5% 7.5%
Persons under 18 years, percent definition and source info Persons under 18 years, percent, 2011 25.7% 26.1%
Persons 65 years and over, percent definition and source info Persons 65 years and over, percent, 2011 7.6% 8.1%
Female persons, percent definition and source info Female persons, percent, 2011 49.3% 48.1%
White persons, percent definition and source info White persons, percent, 2011 (a) 67.6% 67.9%
Black persons, percent definition and source info Black persons, percent, 2011 (a) 5.9% 3.6%
American Indian and Alaska Native persons, percent definition and source info American Indian and Alaska Native persons, percent, 2011 (a) 8.2% 14.9%
Asian persons, percent definition and source info Asian persons, percent, 2011 (a) 8.4% 5.6%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander persons, percent definition and source info Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander persons, percent, 2011 (a) 2.1% 1.1%
Persons reporting two or more races, percent definition and source info Persons reporting two or more races, percent, 2011 7.7% 7.0%
Persons of Hispanic or Latino Origin, percent definition and source info Persons of Hispanic or Latino Origin, percent, 2011 (b) 7.9% 5.8%
White persons not Hispanic, percent definition and source info White persons not Hispanic, percent, 2011 62.1% 63.7%
Living in same house 1 year & over, percent definition and source info Living in same house 1 year & over, percent, 2007-2011 77.9% 79.3%
Foreign born persons, percent definition and source info Foreign born persons, percent, 2007-2011 9.1% 6.9%
Language other than English spoken at home, percent age 5+ definition and source info Language other than English spoken at home, percent age 5+, 2007-2011 16.8% 16.2%
High school graduate or higher, percent of persons age 25+ definition and source info High school graduate or higher, percent of persons age 25+, 2007-2011 92.1% 91.4%
Bachelor Bachelor’s degree or higher, percent of persons age 25+, 2007-2011 32.3% 27.2%
Veterans definition and source info Veterans, 2007-2011 30,874 71,861
Mean travel time to work (minutes), workers age 16+ definition and source info Mean travel time to work (minutes), workers age 16+, 2007-2011 18.6 18.2
Housing units definition and source info Housing units, 2011 113,467 311,201
Homeownership rate definition and source info Homeownership rate, 2007-2011 61.4% 64.3%
Housing units in multi-unit structures, percent definition and source info Housing units in multi-unit structures, percent, 2007-2011 34.8% 24.4%
Median value of owner-occupied housing units definition and source info Median value of owner-occupied housing units, 2007-2011 $276,200 $235,100
Households definition and source info Households, 2007-2011 105,123 252,920
Persons per household definition and source info Persons per household, 2007-2011 2.66 2.67
Per capita money income in the past 12 months (2011 dollars) definition and source info Per capita money income in the past 12 months (2011 dollars), 2007-2011 $35,580 $31,944
Median household income definition and source info Median household income, 2007-2011 $75,485 $69,014
Persons below poverty level, percent definition and source info Persons below poverty level, percent, 2007-2011 7.8% 9.5%
Business QuickFacts Anchorage Municipality Alaska
Private nonfarm establishments definition and source info Private nonfarm establishments, 2011 8,428 20,1191
Private nonfarm employment definition and source info Private nonfarm employment, 2011 144,136 254,9961
Private nonfarm employment, percent change definition and source info Private nonfarm employment, percent change, 2010-2011 -0.6% 0.1%1
Nonemployer establishments definition and source info Nonemployer establishments, 2010 19,149 53,284
Total number of firms definition and source info Total number of firms, 2007 26,726 68,728
Black-owned firms, percent definition and source info Black-owned firms, percent, 2007 2.5% 1.5%
American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned firms, percent definition and source info American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned firms, percent, 2007 5.7% 10.0%
Asian-owned firms, percent definition and source info Asian-owned firms, percent, 2007 5.3% 3.1%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander-owned firms, percent definition and source info Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander-owned firms, percent, 2007 S 0.3%
Hispanic-owned firms, percent definition and source info Hispanic-owned firms, percent, 2007 3.1% S
Women-owned firms, percent definition and source info Women-owned firms, percent, 2007 30.2% 25.9%
Manufacturers shipments definition and source info Manufacturers shipments, 2007 ($1000) D 8,204,030
Merchant wholesaler sales definition and source info Merchant wholesaler sales, 2007 ($1000) 2,914,025 4,563,605
Retail sales definition and source info Retail sales, 2007 ($1000) 4,482,714 9,303,387
Retail sales per capita definition and source info Retail sales per capita, 2007 $16,096 $13,635
Accommodation and food services sales definition and source info Accommodation and food services sales, 2007 ($1000) 933,301 1,851,293
Building permits definition and source info Building permits, 2012 532 9941
Geography QuickFacts Anchorage Municipality Alaska
Land area in square miles definition and source info Land area in square miles, 2010 1,704.68 570,640.95
Persons per square mile definition and source info Persons per square mile, 2010 171.2 1.2
Persons per square mile definition and source info FIPS Code 020 02
Persons per square mile definition and source info Metropolitan or Micropolitan Statistical Area Anchorage, AK Metro Area

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At Chris’ house. He played the piano for me this evening. Peaceful and beautiful. I am loving it here, and, interestingly enough, I find that people are welcoming me with open arms. And I am just really enjoying surfing here.

Is it the long, cold, lonely winter and now the amazing, remarkable hot weather (it was 90 F. today) that makes these folks so darn friendly and warm? Is it that I am getting used to surfing and enjoying it more? And being a better, more relaxed guest?

As I say to my hosts (and I make this very obvious in my Couchsurfing profile), when I’m at your house, I am home. I have no where to go back to. Of course, I do think of New Orleans as my home off the road, as the place I want to go to die (and live, when I am no longer travelling ALL the time).

For now, every house/apartment/trailer/etc. I go to is home. Wherever I hang my hat is home. Amazing! I NEVER in a million years thought I would live a wild, carefree, happy life like this. I am living my dream.

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Here’s what I wrote on Facebook today:

MONOGAMY DOES NOT WORK. Not exactly a news flash; we all know it’s a fact, and studies all over the world are proving this to be true. Having sex with just one person for your whole life? Many people–especially men–have affairs and they don’t talk about it (so it SEEMS like monogamy is working). Gay men are the most likely people to have sexual affairs outside of their primary relationships and to openly talk about it. They are honest about their needs. Can you be honest with yourself and with your partner about your needs? Have you repressed your needs because you think they are “wrong” or “bad”?

And another posting I made today:

Most societies provide innumerable opportunities for men (especially) to have secret sex. I know this for a fact because I was involved in providing some of those services. Ha ha. The partners of these men (and women) NEVER KNOW ABOUT IT.

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This blog is like an open journal. It’s my thoughts and feelings and ideas, etc. and I share them with others.

Yesterday I told my new Aspie friend, Heather, that I didn’t see her at River City Cafe because I don’t look around at people. I mentioned being an Aspie, and that’s when I found out she, too, is an Aspie. Then, Heather said something about how she was shy. I agreed that I am shy, too.

Later I realized that I’m not “shy.” That’s just a word I have learned to use so I don’t hurt others’ feelings with the REAL reason I don’t look  at people.  The real reason is that I don’t care about most of the people around me. Unless I am going to meet them or if someone looks/acts/talks in a particularly interesting way, I am not interested in them. Why should I be?

I am not playing the social games most NTs are playing. We are like creatures in an aquarium: the fish are not playing with the snails, are they? No. They don’t play in the same way, and they are probably not very, if at all, interested in each other. They don’t hate each other, but they don’t like each other much either.  Indifferent.

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Got up about 4 am (birds singing all night long! wonderful!). Meditated and did yoga and stretching.

I understand that “fertile Gaia = chaos.” Everyday, when I wake up, I throw down a handful of pick-up-sticks (metaphor) and create my day. Or I re-create the self (small “s”) I had yesterday (with all its attendant likes, dislikes, abilities, disabilities, etc.) and go from there.

Day time (waking life) is like a memory with surprises: I create each day, I build it, on what is left-over from yesterday. And so, predictably, within half a minute (or less) of waking up, the new day is stale, old, routine, stifling, dull, and oppressive. Its demands are frightful, and its repetitiveness is numbing.

Yet every day things happen that I don’t expect and could never have planned for. That’s what’s new, and that’s what makes life interesting. We don’t have to HOPE this will happen; it will always happen. That’s the nature of life: fertile and chaotic. Creation and destruction.

Dreams are so different from waking life. Last night one of my dreams was about two people with polka dot pants and explosions. Ha ha.

June 26, 2013 (2)

June 26, 2013

From now on, learning to be a healer will be a main focus in my life. My sense of the mystical fits in very well with Native American beliefs. (Note that my belief in The One Eternal Soulmate is reflected in the Hindu statement about the Divine Marriage: that it may be found in physical form.)

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Here are the first three pages of:

Native American

~~Kentucky Hospital Association

info.kyha.com/documents/CG-Native_American.pdf
GUIDELINES FOR HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS INTERACTING WITH AMERICAN INDIAN (NATIVE AMERICAN; FIRST NATION) PATIENTS AND THEIR FAMILIES
BACKGROUND & INTRODUCTION
Health care providers need to have an understanding of and respect for a wide spectrum of beliefs and religious preferences of their Native American patients in order to provide optimal care for them. As the population of Native American increases, health care workers including physicians, nurses and chaplains will more frequently encounter Native American patients who
require contact with the health care system. The information in this document is general and is applicable to all communities of Native Americans. In the United States, there are more than 500 nations of Native Americans, each having their own separate customs, language, culture, set of beliefs and religious practices. There is no single “Native American Religion”, or church
hierarchy. There is no central figure like Moses, Jesus, Muhammad or Buddha, nor is there a central holy book in Native American Religious tradition. It is an oral tradition that is passed down from generation to generation, based on certain guiding principles that are internalized
from childhood and are an integrated part of each person’s life. Following the sacred way does not separate life into segments, it is seen as one.
There are two and half million Native Americans living in the United States and Canada with over 100,000 residing in the metropolitan Chicago area. There are many Native Americans who follow traditional customs and spiritual beliefs. There are also many Native Americans who combine their traditional set of beliefs and religious practices within the framework of
Christianity and would want both traditional and Christian religious traditions while in the hospital. Chief Seattle said,
“Our religion is the tradition of our ancestors—the dreams of our
old men and women, given them in the solemn hours of the night by the Great Spirit, and the visions of our tribal chiefs—and is within the heart of our people.”
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RELIGIOUS BELIEFS
There are many ways of expressing ones spiritual beliefs and they vary widely from region to region and from Nation to Nation however there are certain basic concepts or ideas that do occur in most Native American Religions.

•     The Great Spirit, Great Mystery, Great Mysterious (Wakan Tanka {Lakota}, Gitchi Manitou {Algonquin}, Orenda {Iroquois}, Maheo {Cheyenne}, Taiowa {Hopi}, Tam Apo {Shosone}, Ussen {Apache} among other names) is a great power that is a part of all creation—in the wind, the water, the plants, the trees, the animals, the stones, in the sky, friends and strangers. This power cannot be imagined in a human form for it is a universal energy that is attuned to all of nature (plants, animals, earth, and humanity). All of nature, including human nature, is the Creation of this great power. The Great Spirit informs all of life and the traditions and rituals are meant to connect humans with that power. The Great Spiritcannot be seen or touched; it is present in the cycles of life such as the continuing change of seasons, day and night, growth and death, movement of sun, moon and stars. Most Native Americans whether they keep traditional (i.e. old customs and spiritual beliefs) or more modern (United Methodist, Baptist, Roman Catholic, etc.) do share the common belief that there is one Creator of the heavens and earth and that all parts of creation (plants, animals, and humans) are created equal. This is emphasized further by the equal respectgiven to all parts of creation. Native Americans also believe that our Creator is never punishing or mean, but is a loving and just Creator. The Great Spirit is full of a joyous, wondrous and magnificent love that encircles all that desire.

•     The Creator’s Spirit is alive and in all things in the universe. Everything that can be seen or touched is “alive” with the spirit, or breath.
The Creator’s Spirit actively affects human lives
in ways that can be both good and bad. Mother or Grandmother Earth’s spirit nourishes and sustains life, and it is there that people return after death. Mother or Grandmother Earth is to be respected and given thanks for the life it gives to sustain creation. All forms of life depend on all others. The words Mitakuye’ Oyasin expresses this thought which means all of creation are my relatives, we are all one, “we are all connected and whatever
happens to the Earth it will happen to the children of the Earth.” (Chief Seattle). Lakota Holy Man Black Elk states, “Peace…comes within the souls of men and women when they realize their relationship, their oneness, with the Universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the Universe dwells Wakan Tanka, and that this center is really everywhere. It is within each of us.”
•     Each individual is called to “walk in the sacred way or to walk in beauty”. This means to live in balance and harmony with the universe and spirit world. Each person finds their own sacred way by seeking the sacred through traditional teachings, prayer, vision quests and or dreams.
•     Morals, ethics, values, beliefs, culture, customs, religious and sacred traditions are passed on through an oral tradition and through ceremonies. Cultural identity, understanding and bonding takes place through rituals developed by tr ibes over many centuries. Some of
these may include dancing, singing, drumming, prayer, worship, feasting, purification rites, fasting and physical ordeals. An example of this would be a singer coming to the hospital with a hand drum in order to sing a prayer song.
•     There are medicine men and women, singers, shamans, and healers who have been given a special gift by the Great Spirit to help mediate between the spirit world and the earthly world for healing, spiritual renewal and for the good of the community.
•     Humor is an important part of the sacred way because two-leggeds (people) need to be reminded of their own foolishness.
•     The theme of “One Mind” is one that runs through many Native American tribes.
•     Decisions will be put off if agreement cannot be reached. Dissention will dictate that one needs to proceed with caution and take time to reflect in order for everyone to come to “one mind”, “one accord” and/or “one decision”.
•     Community and relationships are important. Family includes m
any extended family members and friends and/or an entire clan. Elders are respected and listened to when decisions are being made.
•     Balance is an important concept. Illness occurs when life is out of balance. “Koyaanisquatsi”—life is out of balance.
BELIEFS RELATED TO HEALTH CARE
Health, for the individual Native American and/or the tribe or family, depends on proper actions and interactions with the spirit world. Well-being or wholeness comes about through walking in harmony with the forces of nature and the universe. Illness is a sign of having fallen out of step with those forces thus causing disharmony in spirit, mind and body. The most important
element, the essence of our being, is the individual’s spirit and for wellness to occur the spirit must be considered. For this reason, a Native American with a broken leg, for example, may seek treatment not only from a physician to care for the physical injury but also from a medicine
man or woman to care properly for the spirit. C. Locust in the article “Wounding the Spirit: Discrimination and traditional American Indian belief systems” states: “Treating the spirit is the process of finding out why the broken leg occurred, understanding the event in a spiritual
rather than a physical sense, and then beginning the process of changing whatever it was in the body, mind, or spirit that was out of harmony enough to warrant a broken leg.”
Many traditional Native Americans believe that illness comes from supernatural forces. Examples are: the Cherokee believe animal
spirits bring illness when hunters do not pay proper respect; other tribes believe illness is caused through an individual’s bad actions; Iroquois believe illness is caused by unfulfilled desires and dreams; Inuit believe illness can be the result of sins committed by ancestors; and others believe illness occurs through contact with evil spirits. Serious illness may be the result of “soul loss”, in which evil spirits, especially those of the dead, capture the sick person’s soul when it is out of his or her body during sleep. A diagnosis of soul loss denotes critical illness. This patient may have a wasting disease, be
delirious, unconscious, or in a coma. Curing takes place through rituals that restore the sick person to balance and harmony. Health and healing are built on the foundation of relationship and the interconnectedness of life.
Native Americans consider healing a sacred calling. If one is called into healing ministry one must use that gift to help others. Native healers use healing places and natural means to cure people during illness. Healing power comes from the natural forces of the earth, which can be
reached through the saying of prayers. During times of illness many Native Americans will call upon a medicine man or woman or shaman. In
most cases the medicine person is also considered a holy person because it is the belief that they do all of their healing with the Creator’s help and guidance. Many Native Americans today will call upon both modern
medicine and traditional healing ceremonies to achieve wellness.
GENERAL BELIEFS AND PRACTICES (INDIVIDUAL PRACTICES MAY VARY)
To Walk in Beauty,  a concept from the Navajo tradition is an important phrase. It is included in prayers as well as using it as an honored phrase in parting. It does not mean that you should see beautiful things around you. Beauty means to live in balance. This balance includes a circle containing our parts – body, mind, heart and soul. Another circle of Beauty would be community, family, plants and animal, brother & sisters. And yet another circle includes earth (mineral) air, water and fire. There must be a balance…a oneness with all parts, the ones listed above and our traditional spiritual self with the universe. This is a must. Picture a perfectly weighted mobile. That will represent all parts walking in beauty. Now place a weight on one of the strings. The mobile is out of balance. This could represent our lives
during an illness or crisis. The doctor may remove or fix that problem. But still we shake as the mobile does. We need the spiritual person to make everything right to restore the oneness with all so we may Walk in Beauty again.

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June 26, 2013 (1)

June 26

In dreams, I do whatever I want; in everyday life, I obey the dictates of my mind-body and my society/culture (plus whichever society/culture I am visiting). My lessons from both dreamland and my waking life inform me and are making The New Me.

Last night I watched “Snatch” (Brad Pitt movie) two and a quarter times while Brenna and David were out playing Ultimate Frisbee. They came home and we ate moose burgers (David had been part of the hunt and butchering that moose) and watched another old movie.

I’ll leave soon for the local bus. I’ll be meeting Elliot to chat, and then I’m going to Chris’ tonight at 7 pm. They are both Couchsurfers. I’ll get to know Fairbanks a little today.

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I told a bunch of young Native People sitting in the sun in the downtown park (with metal Eskimo sculpture), “The Gypsies are in town.” I kept walking and sat in the shade. I sang rather loudly to my iPod music. Some Caucasians were sitting near me, eating lunch. I had my eyes closed and didn’t watch their reactions (which, I think, were negligible).

Two older Native men were sitting a little ways away. I tried listening to them with my inner ears. This is what I heard them say to me (after I had been singing for a while): “You are a healer; you don’t have to sing out loud. Focus on healing people.”

Pretty soon, Elliot, my CS host this coming weekend showed up. We talked and then parted. I had gotten my message from the two Native men.

In Native cultures, a “singer” is a healer. From now on, I shall look at people with the serious, inner eyes of the healer. I feel protected and as though I have the assistance of other healers around me. I think someday I will recognize them as easily as they seem to recognize me.

Being a healer means taking responsibility for myself and learning to take some responsibility for others. This is the “service” part of the spiritual journey.

Healing is not outwardly centered; it is inwardly centered. It is not directed by others; it is directed by my inner Self, my guardian spirits, and Pachamama (my  personal protector who chose me during my Ayahuasca journey last winter in Venezuela).

I don’t feel any sense of “loss.” I haven’t given up anything. My Self, the “I,” is intact, and, because I am whole, I am eligible to become a healer. I have finished healing my Self. Now, I have to learn how to heal others.

All these beliefs (above) are all spiritual–and “invisible”–in the style of Native American religion/culture (see Wikipedia selection below). Most Westerners don’t follow this path; it is the path of most Native People around the world.

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Native American Religion

Native American religions are very closely connected to the land in which Native Americans dwell and the supernatural. While there are many different Native American religious practices, most address the following areas of supernatural concern: an omnipresent, invisible universal force, pertaining to the “three ‘life crises’ of birth, puberty, and death”, spirits, visions, the medicine people and communal ceremony.

Native American spiritualities are often characterized by animism or panentheism, with a strong emphasis on the importance of personal spirituality and its inter-connectivity with one’s own daily life, and a deep connection between the natural and spiritual ‘worlds’. Their lives were steeped in religious ceremonies often directly related to farming and hunting. Spiritual power, they believed, suffused the world, and sacred spirits could be found in all kinds of living and inanimate things-animals, plants, trees, water, and wind. Through religious ceremonies, they aimed to harness the aid of powerful supernatural forces to serve the interests of man. In some tribes, hunters performed rituals to placate the spirits of animals they had killed.

Native American religions tend not to be institutionalized but rather experiential and personal while still being communal. Individual asceticism through sweat lodge ceremonies and other events along with rituals make the understanding of Native American faiths and religions by non-Natives, problematic at best. Native American religions tend to be carried out mainly in a family or tribal location first and are better explained as more of a process or journey than a religion. It is a relationship experienced between Creator and created. For Native Americans, religion is never separated from one’s daily life unlike Western cultures where religion is experienced privately and gradually integrated into one’s public life. Conversation about theology and religion, even within their societies, is extremely limited but to live and breathe is to worship.

For Native Americans, a relationship with God is experienced as a relationship with all of creation which interestingly, is ever present and does not require an institution or building. All of creation has life. Rocks, trees, mountains, and everything that is visible lives and is part of creation and therefore has life which must be respected. Achiel Peelman suggests that, “strictly speaking, Amerindians do not believe in God but know God as an intrinsic dimension of all their relations.” God is known indirectly through an awareness of the relationships or links between various aspects of both the physical and supernatural realms. Spirituality of the Native Americans makes no distinction between these realms; the living and dead, visible and invisible, past and present, and heaven and earth.

Most adherents to traditional American Indian ways do not see their spiritual beliefs and practices as a “religion”; rather, they see their whole culture and social structure as infused with ‘spirituality’ – an integral part of their lives and culture.

~~from Wikipedia

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June 25, 2013

July 25

Beware!  RANT IN PROGRESS.

God, I hate it when anything even APPROACHING flirting (which, as an Aspie, I don’t do) happens between me and anyone. It totally grosses me out and freaks me out. It’s almost always NTs who freak me out this way. They seem to flirt a lot, and their attempts to do it with me is so sick. They are “players.” Gross! In a cafe (like now) I literally turn my chair so I am not facing them (it’s usually a man). I have a big problem (who wouldn’t) with men’s Big Egos, and I definitely don’t want to flatter them AT ALL.

Plus, NTs completely misinterpret Aspies’ behavior. This alone is infuriating. They also think they are the center of attention and that they SHOULD be the center of attention. It’s freaky; they are super weird!

NTs seem to need to set the standard of behavior wherever they are. That’s why we don’t allow them at GRASP meetings: NTs try to take over and make the meeting “normal” according to their NT standards (which they think are “right” and superior).

I guess it’s pretty obvious that I’m angry about NTs behavior, but it’s to be expected, considering the  conflicts inherent in Aspie-NT relations. NTs very actively (though covertly) censor Aspies’ public behavior. We do not meet their standards for what is right and acceptable. “Inappropriate” is what they call our behavior. Aspies are introducing a new definition of what is “normal” behavior and NTs (who have always been “on top,” socially) can’t stand it.  How do they stand themselves?

The current Aspie-NT dynamic is exactly the same as Gays introducing new standards for marriage. The traditional people hate it. The whole Disability Rights Movement dealt with “Normal” people’s dislike of anyone who is different from them. NTs can not think outside the box; they don’t even know there is a box. They call the box NORMAL; everything outside it is abnormal and wrong. Bad. They need to be flattered and admired, and we Aspies and other autistics don’t do it.

I want everyone to know:

that SOME NTs get mad at us Aspies (both in public and in private) for not “acting right” and not giving them (and other NTs) the kind of social attention they want and have come to expect. It is well-known that Aspies experience this all the time. NTs (especially those in the social mainstream) are famous for being bullies. Bullying can be subtle; it can be overt. But for us Aspies,  it’s always there.

I am on the far end of the autistic spectrum. My Aspergers is almost invisible to most people (especially since most people don’t know a thing about Aspergers except all the supposed “social deficits” they have heard about). So when I act or react in non-NT, Aspie ways, these people are shocked and personally offended. And I am castigated for not obeying NT social directives. Since I’m not one of them, NT expectation that I conform to their needs and their prerogatives is absurd in the extreme.

Try being yourself and doing your best when you have this kind of negative social evaluation going on all the time and with you as the target.

My usual tactic is to ignore them . I treat these particular NTs as irrelevant (because, to me, they are irrelevant) and very dumb (which they usually are). The thing is that I don’t care about them, and they can’t accept that. They also can’t accept that we may be smarter than them and/or more creative.

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Prerogative:

  1. A right or privilege exclusive to a particular individual or class.
  2. A faculty or property distinguishing a person or class.

The “class” I am referring to (above) is Neuro-typicals. There is a new word for NTs, but I forget what it is,  don’t know who is using it, and am not sure if I will use it.

I was raised to learn and obey NT rules. My adoptive parents were NTs and social outcasts, so all this was VERY important to them. The result is that I am very aware of NT needs and demands, but I am having to learn to ignore them in the process of becoming myself/Self.

I understand the NT longing for social approval and popularity. In high school I and another girl were voted most friendly people. We were both overweight, and the boys certainly weren’t going nuts over us. Underneath, I was insecure and dying for approval and love. Sick.

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The smartest, sanest, wisest people I know never get involved in ridiculous interpersonal stuff, like judging others’ behavior. They don’t have the need to perpetually interact with others. They don’t take things personally. They remain objective and detached. “Compassionately detached” (from a Couchsurfer’s profile). It’s a beautiful thing.

I am so glad Jane Britton was my best friend until mid-high school and her fling with Sandy (Sullivan?) from down on South Street. Jane’s  parents sent her off to pricey, prestigious Dana Hall in Wellesley, the next town. Not only was Jane brilliant, she also was an independent, creative thinker. I adored her and she adored me: Best Friends.

Early on, I learned that Jane’s way was the way I wanted to go. Late,r Martha Tracey joined our little walk-to-school group. She was never the close friend Jane was, but  Martha was also a genius who didn’t give a shit about what the popular kids were doing or all the games people played in high school. Jane and Martha were outside and above it all.

Jane and Martha were much smarter than me, and so ever since I was very young, I KNEW where I stood intellectually: smart, but not genius. That was fine with me.

When I became a high school cheerleader (and was subsequently invited to join all the sororities that had ignored me for three years), my fellow classmates thought I had changed. Some of them called me a snob. But it wasn’t me who had changed; it was them. Their opinion of me had changed. They thought I had become one of the In Crowd. The truth was that I was just as much of an outsider as ever. In fact, being closer to–but not one of–the In Crowd made me unpleasantly vulnerable to that group’s abuse of social outsiders.

Many Aspies have an above-average IQ and vast amounts of creativity. Especially gifted Aspies can’t escape the notice of NTs who are seeking public attention, social validation, and status. (Aspies are usually seeking anonymity not notoriety.)  NTs don’t know what we are doing, but they don’t like it, and they get mad at us.

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NTs  never grasp the fact that Aspies are focused on our own, individual, special interests. For example, when I’m online and very focused on what I’m doing, I don’t give a rat’s ass about what I’m wearing, my body language, or my manners. I’m working, and I’m happy. I will conform just enough in public to be polite, but not subservient. NTs have a different standard: it’s very important to them to look good and act right. Like mediocre followers, NTs and mainstreamers refuse to risk social disapproval or censure by standing out in any way. They prefer to conform, and, once you start conforming, it’s hard to turn back.

The risk of striking out on your own is being laughed at and ostracized. That’s difficult for someone who only values themselves as much as other people do. Their whole world is “out there,” an external locus of control (as they said in psychology classes); there’s no “in here,” no Me who is strong enough to stand up to and resist the group. Groups fight the loner, the rebel, and the maverick. The group’s cohesiveness and existence depend on conformity.

NTs can be very nice people–and this is valuable if its sincere–but they are uninteresting because they have no real solidity. They float around, responding to every trend and passing fancy of their society. Their apparent flimsiness appears–to us–as moral weakness, grovelling, and mental dullness; it leaves a bad taste in the mouth of most Aspies. It’s as though NTs don’t know what’s going on around them, but they slavishly follow it anyway.

I have many NT friends, and I truly love some of them. But the social gaffes and personal faults of other NTs  (not my NT friends, of course!!) are totally unacceptable and inappropriate (ha ha: back at cha). They are always playing games, and I don’t feel sorry for those people. They are just idiots masquerading as role models. And what’s really infuriating is that they think WE are playing THEIR GAME! It’s so insulting. And, on top of it all, they distract us from our foci.

Unfortunately, the Aspies who don’t or won’t recognize that they have Asperger Syndrome are some of the worst offenders. As with Gays who are still in the closet, these Aspies enforce the NT social/moral code very strictly, and they strongly censure anyone who doesn’t adhere to it religiously.

Wikipedia:

A censure /ˈsɛnʃər/ is an expression of strong disapproval or harsh criticism.Among the forms that it can take are a stern rebuke by a legislature, a spiritual penalty imposed by a church, and a negative judgment pronounced on a theological proposition.

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I slept on the couch last night. Dreamed of a little black dog (Brenna and David’s Zoe). The previous night I dreamed I killed a man. It was partly an accident and partly intentional. I stuffed his body in a trash can. I knew someone would find it; I was paralyzed with fear and guilt. It was horrible! I was so glad to wake up.

I don’t really like middle and upper middle class thing (and certainly not anything “above” that)  because their whole thing is about status and not losing status. TI have in the past few days heard a couple of people demonstrate this insanity. One person said that he grew up “middle class… almost upper middle class.” Another person said that her ancestors long ago back in France “were quite influential.” Do we ALL need this kind of ego enhancement? It’s ugly, and it makes one’s shallow need for love/admiration so transparent.

Last night we watched the movie Seabiscuit. It was awesome. Makes me want to have a lot more to do with horses.

Keith Richards in the Documentary Movie (in six parts) based on his book LIFE.

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Do not care if people think or say bad things about me, like that I’m stupid or ugly or perverted or deranged or degenerate or anything. I am wild; let all these people go.  They aren’t my people.

Brenna says the people in Alaska who are conservatives ar Libertarians. All they want is to live out in the woods and be left alone.

from Wikipedia:

The Libertarian Party is an American third party that reflects the ideas of libertarianism. The Libertarian Party was formed in Westminster, Colorado, in the home of David Nolan on December 11, 1971. The founding of the party was prompted in part due to concerns about the Vietnam War, conscription, and the end of the Gold Standard. Although there is not an explicitly-labeled “left” or “right” designation of the party, many members, such as Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson, say they are more socially liberal than the Democrats, but more fiscally conservative than the Republicans.

In the 30 states where voters can register by party, there are 330,811 voters registered as Libertarians. By this count the Libertarian Party is the third-largest party by membership in the United States and it is the third-largest political party in the United States in terms of the popular vote in the country’s elections and number of candidates run per election. Due to this, it has been labelled by some as the United States’ third largest political party. It is also identified by many as the fastest growing political party in the United States.

June 24, 2013

June 24

I am visualizing (while “meditating”) that I am releasing my thoughts  from all parts of my body (not just my brain). It’s a fun concept, very relaxing, and, when used in public, opens me up to other people. Since I know how to redirect/rebuff UNwanted attention, I love this new openness because, otherwise, I naturally (or probably unnaturally) close up to people.

When did I learn this weird behavior? Is it a result of early rejection as an Aspie? Being a social outcast–German family–when I was growing up? Adoptee insecurity? What?

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At Fred Meyers in Fairbanks West, trying to download some songs onto my iPod, but they’ve made the free WiFi so slow here that I can’t do it.

I’m preparing to walk over to my next hosts’ house: Brenna and David. I’m a little nervous because they seem like mainstreamers (–they may be interesting and probably nice folks, but very different socially than me and my Gypsy crowd). (*See note below.)

I am observing the mostly straight-haired, white, sedentary crowd while listening and bopping to my iPod music. My hair is wild and “bushy” (i.e., glorious).

(Over the next few days, I went into Fred Meyers–now one of the Kroger empire’s stores–with my iPod on and sang out loud to the songs–not real loud, but loud enough that people looked at me. I didn’t look at them, I just shopped.)

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*As usual, I was wrong about these wonderful people, Brenna and David. They live in a funky, little, “dry” (no running water) cabin and have seven dogs (six of whom are sled dogs and a cat, Simon). These are active, busy, outdoorsy folks work at regular jobs and still have time to take care of their animals and do scads of other things.

Brenna and David are very loosey goosey (relaxed) and friendly as hell. Their food is my food (they said). They have an outhouse (sweeeeet, except when the guy from the cabin up front is home and drunk and using the outhouse). Within fifteen minutes of being here,  I had a water jug (“honey bucket”) for my nighttime pee fest —that’s how easy they are to talk to.

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I think most/many Caucasians here in Fairbanks (and all of Alaska that I’ve seen on this and my previous visit to Anchorage and Palmer a few years ago) are very conservative. Here’s what’s NOT part of their everyday (and/or public) culture: walking, singing in public, lightness, humor, friendliness (it’s the kind of friendliness where you have to talk to someone first and then they are friendly). People here live a hard life (with the deep cold), and it’s reflected in their stony faces and serious demeanor.

This afternoon I walked along uncrowded streets (remember: no one walks here;  mostly trees on both sides) to get over to the Fred Meyers store. I had on my iPod and was singing at the top of my lungs. One old man smiled at me; a woman in a car turned her face away so she wasn’t looking at the mad, old lady, singing, of all things!

Unconventional behavior completely throws many of the folks I’ve encountered on the street in Alaska. One man in a car glared at me when I was taking my time crossing the street (I had the right of way) as he was turning the corner; he was visibly peeved that I was taking my time (and that I was listening to my iPod, I think).

Alaska is a good state for curmudgeons who don’t like any social change– iPods and other new gadgets make them angry. These are the people who cling to the past, and they exist in every culture and every historical period. They love to complain.

No one up here has given up smoking in bars. They consider this wild and practically revolutionary behavior. It’s one of their statements of independence and rebellion against the government. These Caucasians (who ARE the government up here) are a bunch of misanthropes who imagine themselves to be real frontier types: rough, tough, and superior people. It’s an absolute crock of shit.

Most of the people I have met up here (the Couchsurfers) are not at all like that. They are the liberals, the artists and musicians, the inventors and creative types, the Travellers and tourists (yeah, tourists can be OK). But I know that they are a minority up here in Alaska. The Caucasians, I was told, dominate (are the majority) “wherever there are roads” in Alaska. In the Bush (no roads), the Native People and Inuit dominate.

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I am actually doing yoga in the late afternoon (before dinner) in whomever’s home I’m in.

Brenna and David are divinely harmonious folks. Their home and yard are busy  centers of typically Alaskan life. Excellent energy. Brenna is an adoptee from Korea. She was reunited with her birth-mom a few years ago.

It has gotten very pleasantly warm. Even the other day, when the temp was in the low 80s, Alaskans think it’s unbearably hot. Today the temp is in the low 90s.  I like it. Love it, in fact.

The people who really love it up here enjoy, and even prefer, winter. Brenna is one of these people. She and David are mushers; they hunt (David can butcher the meat), fish, and ski (including being pulled by a dog while on skis:);  they have two active bee hives and get honey from them.

God only knows what other stuff David and Brenna do: garden? can and freeze food for winter… (I think they said they do that). write novels? make and play musical instruments? produce movies? carve totem poles? run marathons? international spies? publish a magazine? They’re a busy, happy couple who met over a frisbee on their first day of college in Texas: Brenna’s a veterinary assistant, and David is a youth counselor at the local Presbyterian church.

Summer Solstice, June 21, 2013

June 21

I took Gay Bolden’s little van, True North, from Delta Junction to Fairbanks this morning. I am at the main library downtown now, waiting for Amyth to come get me after work.

Here’s what I wrote about Sondra Winters in my reference today on Couchsurfing:

Sondra had a real “message” for me. She is a divine inspiration because she is so honest–no games here! And yet Sondra is also extremely kind, polite, gentle and non-critical. These are the lessons I have been longing for years to learn and to put into action, but I didn’t know how to do it. Sondra gave me the bridge, the recipe. The key was being able to do all this while being true to oneself. Thank you, Sondra, from the bottom of my heart, for so much more than the beautiful quilt-covered bed.

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I sincerely feel that this morning I made a real breakthrough spiritually. Today, on the Summer Solstice, I rediscovered ME  (the I, the Self, my spirit, my soul). I now know listening to my inner voice is the whole ball of wax.

Here are some of the many notes I made while awaiting the van this morning at the IGA store in Delta Junction:

Distractions include worrying, thinking, food, picking at my nails, keeping busy, power, status, money, etc. Without distractions I can hear the “voices” (my own “I’ spirit voice is the loudest) in my head. THAT is my God, that is my foundation, eternally.

Perhaps my night fears as a little child were the fear of this loud, inner “voice.” I don’t know, but I know it has scared me for years, and I have done everything I could to drown it out. Why? Perhaps to become “me” (little me, not ME, the soul) in this lifetime… To fit in… To create/imagine a life in the material world… I am not sure. I think I will understand this someday.

Everyone is looking and listening for their own inner voices. Most of us just don’t know (for a long time) what it is we are looking for. Or at least, I didn’t know. “Who Am I?” was the question I kept asking myself; the answer does not lie in the material world or the physical self.  Listening to my inner voice gives me the AUTHENTIC ME.

What I understand now is that if I am criticizing, judging and seeking to change others to be like me, I can not hear my inner voice. And, equally, if I am criticizing or judging myself, I can’t hear my inner voice. Changing myself (my physical mind-body) is always a goal because I am working on becoming a better person.

Thus, to accept and love and be kind to everyone WHILE RECOGNIZING that I may like some people better than others is fine and natural.

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I want to love others without judging them. I want to have humility and be kind without compromising for one second being true to my Self.

“Revolution is internal.” (Gogol Bordello)

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Freedom means: letting it all go; no worries.

We Aspies are changing what is considered “normal.”

I don’t want to “live in others eyes.” (quote from a book I’m reading) That means I don’t want to live according to how others see me.

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Dad, Karl John, was a smart man with a low IQ. (Little education.) I have seen that this can make people angry (probably very angry if they are actually smart people). Dad was very angry WITH ME because I was smart, getting a good education, having excellent care (including medical and dental, etc.), taking trips to Europe, had a higher-class friend (Jane Britton), and HE was financing it all! I don’t blame him. On the other hand, it wasn’t my fault.

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Fact is not judgement. I like knowing (and reciting) facts, logic, and being objective.* Having a great college education fostered these abilities. Dad paid for my first two years of college: at Boston College and University of Maine (boarding); Hank paid for my summer session at UCLA (1967) and my two semesters at University of California, Santa Barbara. I was responsible for all the rest of my education (six more schools). I was willing to be poor, and this willingness allowed me to qualify for ample school loans.

*I also like being subjective, psychic, emotional, and having mystical experiences.

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I am loving Alaska, but the society has almost no Gypsies. Thus, I am missing my foundation here. Nevertheless, I do love being here. I think the long, cold winters here beat people down (I know this is true in Nederland, Colorado, where Meg, Sam, and Archer live with Jeramy.)

I was certainly raised by working class parents. One was an immigrant; the other 1st generation German-American. Mom was called a “Kraut” on the streets of Roxbury, Mass. as a child.

I am very at-home with working class folks, yet I have a very good college education, and that’s a difference between me and many of the proletariat. Also, I have defected from the proletariat into the nomadic group, and that’s another big difference between us.

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Nomads and Sedentaries

I am glad that I can be at-home wherever I am. I am not tied to one place, one house, one neighborhood, one town, one family, one state, one country (though I do identify as “American” (American Traveller-Gypsy), or one continent. I am a citizen of the world.

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I am happily settled in at Amyth’s cabin out in the woods outside Fairbanks. The rain has stopped. The woods are packed with aggressive mosquitoes.

Amyth’s brother and sister-in-law, Charles and Anne (from outside Albuquerque, New Mexico) are visiting in their little camper. We all went out for a Thai dinner and Hot Licks’ homemade ice cream. Then, a little shopping at Fred Meyer, and now home and a hot shower (thank god).  I have my own extremely cozy little room where I can escape and have privacy while still being part of the “gang” out in the living room. It’s heavenly, and I really like Amyth. I am so thankful for my Gypsy way of life.

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June 22

Amyth is a real soulmate. She not only gives me confidence (because she is so honest about her struggles), she also makes me feel like I have a real friend, someone to whom I can tell almost everything about myself.

One thing Amyth told me is that compassion is about recognizing that all of us Sentient Beings have the same needs. We all go about meeting those needs in our own different and unique ways, and some of these ways are destructive (to ourselves and/or others) and/or unpleasant (and therefore make us unloveable or unlikeable). Thus, we may LOVE everyone and be compassionate toward everyone, but we may not LIKE everyone.

Yesterday, I was writing about this topic (above), and today I asked Amyth about it, getting this wise answer. She goes to a Non-violent Communication group (like the one I went to for a weekend on Maui a few years ago), and this is stuff they discuss.

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Cooking beans that Amyth says she’s had for “a few decades.” They are taking hours and hours to cook! Life is so funny–the things that happen just make me laugh all the time.

One of Amyth’s Non-violent Communication books is Thomas D’Ansembourg’s Being Genuine: Stop Being Nice, Start Being Real. This could be the Aspergers anthem. I was talking about this whole “being ‘nice’ ” thing with Amyth. She agrees that the middle and upper classes do 99% of the oh-so-fake NICENESS in our society. Why? Because it smooths the way for them to continue–and enforce— their social status. It’s a game they play. And it sucks BIG time.

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I think I was over-protected as a child, and I think now I often over-protect myself (out of habit). Bad.

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June 23

Amyth and I went out dancing last night under the Midnight Sun. It was incredible to be out in the middle of the night, dancing at a Native bar and having it be almost as light out as in the middle of the day. The horizon was pink at sunset/sunrise (about 2 am) when we came home.

First we went over to The Howling Dog in Fox. Then we went to The Arctic Fox, a Native bar, and danced our sox off. The bass player in the band was the son of a friend of Amyth’s. It was lots of fun. I had two Buds, and Amyth drank water.

This morning I will listen to the Cajun and Zydeco show on WWOZ (live radio streaming from New Orleans). Then, I’ll continue my search for couches here in Fairbanks, in Denali, and on the rest of my way to Anchorage.

I’ll stay down in southern Alaska until August 1 when I’ll fly to Seattle. From there, I’ll hitchhike to Denver to see Sam, Archer and Megan. Then to New Mexico for a little while. And finally back home to New Orleans. I may have a couch for a month in NOLA.

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Here’s part of the email I just sent to a friend in New Orleans:

I always fall in love with handsome, very young men (as you do with young women). Men my age (and older) almost never appeal to me, partly because they were unaffected by feminism. And also because YOUTH IS BEAUTY.
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Men go through andropause between the ages of 30 and 60. It’s the male aging process. Men lose half their testosterone and experience social and psychological changes during this period. It’s the equivalent of menopause in women.

The best we can hope for… is to not make fools of ourselves in the pursuit of youth, beauty, AND SEX (ha ha). Perhaps we are really searching for ourselves.

I value your friendship. May it deepen. And, forgive me, for seeming to be censoring your statements about your sexuality. I think humor and honesty are two keys to life. I like it that you were honest about your penis and it’s status (ha). Never feel badly about doing that, please–not with me, anyway.

Making jokes about sex is so fundamental to Southern California and New Orleans culture. I love that. And who knows? I may just feel the NEED to give you another blow job someday.

Love and hugs, Bunny

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“I’m just getting  stressed by people being here. I wish they would leave.” My CS host said this to me today. I am one of the “people being here.” Two other people (her brother and sister-in-law) are also here  so it’s not just me, but it’s sad when someone has to say this obliquely to a guest.

I was invited to stay for three nights, but this host has trouble having people around for days at a time (it’s her nerves). It is uncomfortable for me, knowing that she feels this way, especially since she and I had such a great time dancing last night. I just have to accept that its HER problem and not about me (and this essentially nice woman would be the first one to say that).

I find that people like my host who were abused as children have certain characteristics: attention-seeking, big egos, self-absorbed, depression, controlling, and jealousy. They are not pleasant to be around for long periods. This host knows all this about herself.

June 19, 2103

June 18

I am finally learning how to travel. When I am in these little towns (like here in Delta Junction), I can actually just flow with whatever is going on and still do my own thing. I can pretty much ignore everyone around me (that’s what you have to do when you are constantly moving and being around lots and lots of new people all the time).

This is excellent because then I can TOTALLY FOCUS on what really interests me (instead of focusing on what interests other people and on social manners). When you live in a little town like this one (Delta Junction), you HAVE TO be polite and have social behavior that doesn’t harm or bother others.

It’s what we learn when we are mothering: we can never behave in ways that would threaten our kids. We have to constantly placate others unless we want to make our paths harder and endanger our kids. I no longer have to do that.

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My days now include singing. Every morning (usually, it’s in the morning), I practice singing  songs that I love and that I have on my iPod. They are (for now):

Pledging My Love (Creole Zydeco Farmers)

You Know That I Love You (same  as above)–I have to get Cajun words to this song.

Daddy, Won’t You Please Come Home (Annette Hanshaw [Katie Tait in Whitehorse turned me on to this])

Frank Mills (from Hair [my original a cappella song])

Mirame (in Spanish) and Girlie Girlie (Blondie)

Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (Rodney Crowell song; I like The Highwaymen’s version: Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings)

Better Man (KebMo)

Other songs I sing, but just for fun:

Johnny Be Good (Chuck Berry: the master)

Give Me a Reason (Pink–she’s too good for me to imitate now; song’s hard for me to sing)

Stand By Me (Prince Royce version; I’d like to learn more of his songs in Spanish)

Want to learn:

I Want a Cowboy Sweetheart (any version for now)

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Sherlock (BBC): “Who cares about decent? The game, Mrs. Hudson, is on!”

What is a LOVER? Someone who lets people fall in love with them (and, in fact, encourages/helps people fall in love with them). I did this for many years. It may also be called “flirting,” a rather unfamiliar concept to Aspies. Yet, I think I have been doing this for a long time, but I saw it as loving and being loved by others.

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In Alaska, men-following-their-own-interests (which often means their independent projects and their fantasies of  being  tough guys: hunters, woodsmen, independent and self-sufficient men, etc.) apparently, from what my informants (!) have told me, does not benefit of their families (i.e., wife and kids). These men are living for themselves, and their wives have to pick up the slack. If they don’t, the families fall apart.

Only social outsiders (like me) are truly accepted and trusted by Native People. I hear that the Caucasian majority and the Natives mostly live harmoniously “side by side.” When subsistence issues (hunting, fishing, and Native rights) come up, the communities become divided and fighting occurs.

Katie John who just died in Anchorage was an Ahtna. That’s a branch of the Athabascans. Lucia told me a lot of this on our drive from Tok to Delta yesterday. She used to teach (and live, part time) in Dot Lake, which is one of the many little Native villages around here.

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My story is The Ugly Duckling. I finally discovered that I am a swan and not an ugly duckling at all. I see wild swans on ponds up here. Unbelievably beautiful.

Still taking cold showers. My new CS host, Sondra, lives on her 40 acres in Delta Junction. She’s a construction worker and is (also) building her own house (half of the house was there when she bought the property). Fortunately, no one around here cares how others look. It is decidedly NOT a fashion show up here.

Delta Junction’s army base is some kind of missile defense thing and its population is small. Delta was settled in the 1940s and people here do farming and raise cows. You can see horses here (but not in Tok).

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My favorite CS hosts are often unique people (people who have chosen or been forced into [and come to accept] unusual paths) or artists or social outsiders (or all 3). The Native People (like most minorities everywhere) don’t trust members of the Caucasian majority. Mainstreamers (of any group) are not really accepted by Native People. I am so glad I recognized myself long ago as NOT PART OF THE MAINSTREAM (both by temperament and by the conditions of my birth/childhood).

I am glad to be a social outsider, an American Traveller-Gypsy. This social position has both “good and “bad” consequences (all of which I accept). Opposing any majority always has SOME negative consequences. The benefits (to me and, formerly, to my children and, presently, to my grandchildren) offset any problems and disadvantages.

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Delta Junction, Alaska

  • White alone – 824 (86.0%)
  • Hispanic – 45 (4.7%)
  • Two or more races – 35 (3.7%)
  • American Indian alone – 26 (2.7%)
  • Black alone – 13 (1.4%)
  • Asian alone – 11 (1.1%)
  • Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone – 4 (0.4%)
Some Wikipedia facts about Delta Junction:

The median income for a household in the city was $43,500, and the median income for a family was $58,250. Males had a median income of $50,469 versus $25,750 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,171. About 12.3% of families and 19.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.8% of those under age 18 and 13.2% of those age 65 or over.

17.3 square miles: area of Delta Junction

Population:  958 (2013)

The army base has a population of about 100.

Delta Junction has the highest percentage of Ukrainian people in the United States, with 16.4% being Ukrainian or of Ukrainian descent.

Economy of Delta Junction:

Construction and maintenance of the military facilities, mining, agriculture, tourism and their support industries form the backbone of the area economy.

A railroad spur from Fairbanks to Delta Junction has been proposed to transport material to the missile defense site. This should spur other types of industry in Delta Junction, as the railroad could transport agricultural products out of the area as well as promote tourist travel into the area by rail.

Many people in Delta Junction supplement their food supply by hunting the moose, caribou, Dall sheep and bison in the area, as well as fishing. A few operate small gold mines or hunt or trap fur-bearing animals for extra income.

Delta Junction, like most Alaska communities, has a small airstrip where charter flights are available for sightseeing, hunting and fishing.

Due to limited shopping availability, many residents travel to Fairbanks via the Richardson Highway to purchase goods and services. Though Delta has a clinic, primary medical care is also in Fairbanks.

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More on Delta Junction’s military base (Wikipedia):

Shortly after BRAC was complete, the United States government announced plans to build a missile defense installation at Ft. Greely. The installation was then divided into two parts operated by two different commands — U.S. Army Garrison Alaska and Space and Missile Defense Command. The main post retained the name Fort Greely and is operated by the Space and Missile Defense Command. Outlying range, training and impact areas were absorbed by Fort Wainwright and were renamed Donnelly Training Area.

From 2002 to 2005, Delta Junction experienced an economic boom similar to the pipeline days as Fort Greely became fully operational again and the missile test bed was constructed. National firms such as Boeing, Bechtel, and Brown and Root, as well as regional firms including Chugach opened up offices on the installation, under contract to the government. Construction of the Pogo Gold Mine just north of Delta Junction, near the Goodpaster River, also contributed significantly to the economic fortune of the city. Mineral deposits near Tangle Lakes, south of Delta Junction, will likely result in additional development of mining in the area.

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Definitions of ‘Gypsy’ and ‘Traveller’

The term ‘travelling people’ is one often used in both the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. It can include:

~‘Gypsies’ who may be of English, Welsh or Scottish descent, and who (may or may not: see Judith Okely’s The Traveller-Gypsies) have Romany ancestry. ‘Gypsies’ have a specific meaning for the purposes of planning and local authority law, which is considered below.

~‘Irish Travellers’ who are a nomadic Irish ethnic group with a separate identity, culture, language and history. There are many Irish Travellers resident in Britain for all or part of the year.

~‘Scottish Travellers’ who like Irish Travellers have musical traditions, language and other histories that date back at least to the twelfth century.

~The Roma people who have moved to Britain from Central and Eastern Europe (of which Britain’s Romany Gypsies are members [other British Gypsies are not members of this group: see Judith Okely]).

~People with a long family history of travelling because they work with fairgrounds and circuses (also known as ‘Travelling Show people’).

~So-called ‘New Travellers’. Some of whom may be second or third generation Travellers and/or may have Gypsy ancestry.

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