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Showing posts from May, 2016
Richard Cytowic's Big Book o' Brain Things is beginning to annoy me. All the technical neurology is fascinating and useful, but he keeps poking at things and getting interesting results, then wandering away and forgetting about them again, probably because they're not strictly synaesthesia and therefore not romantic enough.

z. B.: A suspiciously high proportion of synaesthetics report that they have a crap sense of direction and/or some variety of crippling inability to decipher maps. So do I, sort of. I'm neither ignorant nor dyslexic here; I can read the map, and I know perfectly well what it says. My memory isn't pixel-perfect photographic -- pretty much nobody's is -- but it is eidetic, and I can retain thumbnails of stuff I look up on Google Maps just fine. The problem is that I have a hell of a time orienting myself in 3D space using a 2D representation. I have the snapshot image and I know I need to turn east on Main Street, but fuck me if I know whether …

Saturday Serial: The Count of Monte Cristo part 22

Saturday Serial: The Count of Monte Cristo part 21

One of my commenters suggested I read some of the synaesthesia research published by Richard Cytowic, so of course I immediately went and got basically everything he ever wrote -- well, the books, anyway; I haven't been through the papers -- through the Boston Public Library system. (To steal a quote from Moggie, I don't know how to like things casually.) The Central Library is under construction right now and I am a lazy bastard, so if I want specific volumes I just put a hold on them and have the librarians pull them for pickup. Wandering aimlessly through the shelves is for when I want something to read but don't know what. Boredom is a known hazard with me. The library card has joined my T pass, ID, and debit card in the phone case, as part of the minimum possible set of items I might need to keep myself out of trouble at any given moment -- I can't go anywhere without a music player, which means I can't go anywhere without the phone, which means I can't go…

Saturday Serial: The Count of Monte Cristo part 20

Hi, everyone. How are you? I'm alive-ish. I've just wrapped up a project that I'm extremely proud to have been a part of, and nobody died or even caught on fire. Which was a minor miracle, since I've spent the past couple of weeks living mostly on Sudafed. It is spring now, which is my allergy season. I can deal with gooey eyes fairly gracefully, but the sinus ick can get very unpleasant if I don't stay on top of it. If I let all the snot accumulate, it gets harder to clear out, and things start to swell, and overall the entire insides of my face get angry at me and make my life unhappy.

Fatigue has also been an issue lately. I don't know what's wrong, precisely, but since I don't have limbs dropping off without warning, it's not an emergency, and it'll take me three months to get a doctor to talk to me about it. I'm not sure what I think that's going to accomplish, either. I suspect they're going to shrug and tell me 'do less st…
For those of you who aren't local or weren't able to come see what I've been up to lately, I present here the first two plays in the Mrs Hawking series, Mrs. Hawking and Vivat Regina, written/directed/produced by Phoebe Roberts. I've just performed at Watch City in Waltham; this footage is from Arisia 2016, where they were kind enough to have us in the main ballroom and point a bunch of cameras at us. Credits should be in the video somewhere, but I'm the redhead in blue with the brass fireplace poker and accent of questionable provenance.

(Before any of the Brits complain at me: That's intentional. I inquired of the playwright, and Mary's family is originally from Yorkshire, but she herself is an Army brat, unusually literate for someone of her station, who grew up mainly with the other Army brats in India. So the accent is generic "Northern" with all its glorious Danish-Viking Øs, plus some very classist and mostly-unsuccessful attempts to make h…

Saturday Serial: The Count of Monte Cristo part 19

It took me an embarrassingly long time to realize that thing with the songs and the colors was in fact what other people call synaesthesia.

There are two broad classes of synaesthetes: Projectors and associators. "Projectors" perceive the synaesthetic experience to be outside of their own head, superimposed on the literal experience that brings it up. "Associators" perceive the synaesthetic experience to be inside, visible to 'the mind's eye', but not physically applied to the literal experience of whatever is coming in from outside. An associator looks at the Wednesday heading on the calendar and "knows" that Wednesday is feminine and solemn; a projector looks at the Wednesday heading and "sees" that although the print is physically black, it is simultaneously also a bright scarlet red. Now that I know the difference, when I read pop-sci articles I can usually pick out which kind of synaesthetic experience the interviewee is talking…
I need to get myself some better drugs.

Sadly, the only trustworthy person I know who has any LSD needs to find a new supplier, and most of my friends, while perfectly lovely people in most respects, are idiots when it comes to chemistry. I'm sure they can tell me what they think they have, but none of them actually know, and if any of them have ever properly tested the interesting stuff, I will eat my hat.

I can declare this interest in getting high openly, because I'm a freelance whatever, and a writer. There's a reason they don't drug test writers. It would be counterproductive. I've technically shown up to work high before, albeit it was because I was sick and NyQuil knocks me on my ass. Reactions are generally split between 'you're hilarious' and 'jesus, go home and go back to sleep'.

I would have gotten wasted in college like everyone else, but through most of my college career I had shitty friends that I didn't want to get tipsy in fr…