Fireside Chats

Oh, hello there...! If you're reading this, then I'm either not as good at hiding links as I believed myself to be, or you simply have too much time on your hands! This is my secret little cabin in the forest of Aberra, for me to just casually rant about whatever strikes my whimsy without putting in the effort of writing a formal article. Or in other words a Web diary. At 80+ total pages, I felt this website ought to have a secret area and, well, I wasn't going to hide anything that was going to be particularly interesting. Enjoy, or don't. Probably the latter.

I'm still working on this page's design, but I guess it doesn't matter if it's done or not if no one ever sees it! (:

Feel free to get comfy and enjoy the cozy pixelated fireplace, which I stole from this defunct Geocities site with the help of Gifcities. No one here but you, me, the plants, and my green Evil Eye imaginary friend.

23/12/22 Update: Alright, I may as well just up and admit that this page has amounted to nothing more than a trove of morbidly depressed stream-of-consciousness ranting that I don't feel safe saying "publicly" or to anyone I know. Also, I got curious and checked to see if anyone has ever actually found this page, and it looks like all but possibly one or two hits came from bots. Just as well. Predictably, not even the bots were able to get into the exceedingly pointless second hidden page nested inside this one. Also just as well.

Macula's Maze lore for anyone who cares: This page is meant to be my cabin in Aberra, and its proximity to the Wildcat Den is because there exists a permanent doorway between both of our worlds in that forest. Although Macula can go back and forth at will from anywhere, less magically-skilled beings have to physically visit either the forest at the start of Macula's Maze, or the Wildcat Den forest, and purposefully fall asleep and astral project, which will allow them to physically teleport to the other world if done right.

Black Christmas

22 March 2023

I search through my server logs every once in a blue moon just to see if anyone ever found this or the other hidden pages (there's now a third and actually fairly easy to find one on the Doom Reminiscence) and I still can't tell whether a few people have or if it's just bots. It was a mistake hiding the page through a method that is so accessible to crawler bots, but ah well. Either way, I figured I should write something up just in case someone checks this place.

It's that time of the year again (my birthday), and I am finding my sentiments about the whole thing shifting yet again. When I was a child, of course, it was a magical time when I'd get to eat candy and cake and get presents and get to see all of my relatives. By my late teens, I began to grow disillusioned and nervous about my trajectory in life, and my birthday became something more akin to an ominous booming clock, announcing just how much time has already ticked away. Reminding me that the race has begun 10 minutes ago and that I haven't even gotten my pants on, let alone gotten to my car, started it, and started driving like the other racers.

Moreover, for a myriad of reasons it took far longer than would be expected to get my first job, which made the ritual of gift-giving something is now permanently unpleasant for me, due to being unable to properly reciprocate it for so long. In retrospect, I believe my initial loathing for birthdays was due to them having turned into a damning reminder of all of my failures. I also grew to resent seeing my relatives as we drifted apart and saw each other less often due to the odd way my brain works; essentially if I do not interact with anyone for long enough, my brain "deactivates" them, and then I basically have to build the fact that they exist up again in my brain, which always vexes me.

None of this was anyone's fault but my own, of course. My parents and relatives were always nothing but accepting, compassionate, and friendly despite my shortcomings. I still remember my father having to coax me out of bed on my 22nd birthday and reassure me after I complained to him that I have nothing to celebrate because I'm a complete failure.

As the years went on, I became increasingly hermetic and nihilistic and stopped finding any enjoyment in or purpose behind either my birthday or any other holidays. While I can understand finding jubilation in having survived another year in centuries past, where children routinely starved to death and adults would either be killed in a war or die relatively young from disease, this is no longer the case. There is nothing remotely astonishing about someone surviving another year unless they are quite ancient, and certainly nothing so surprising that it must be celebrated twice a year (New Year's and birthday.)

Without revealing things that I am not comfortable putting out there, I now find myself in a more melancholic and dire place in my life than I have ever had the misfortune of treading before. In this new world, the booming clock that birthdays and New Year festivities represent has once again taken on a hopeful meaning, albeit a rather morbid one. The hope now comes from knowing that I have one less year left to experience in this world before I expire and either go to Aaru or disappear forever, never to feel so much as a twinge of melancholy ever again. Each birthday/New Year's is essentially another tally mark in the cell of a prisoner, reminding them they are one step closer to freedom.

I am normally quite good at finding hopeful and reassuring words to soothe myself or any other people who are distraught for any reason. However, when my mother had a fatal stroke that ended her life, I recall being so utterly broken that the only source of relief I could find to grab onto was knowing that I only had so many hours in the day to go through before I could retreat back into my cave and drink myself into an utter stupor. Oblivion drinking, some call it. A temporal suicide. Ferverently drinking because the only relief left to find in life is wholly escaping from said life altogether.

Indeed, last New Year's I actually uncharacteristically celebrated the holiday purely as an "excuse" to stay up late chugging down as much hard liquor as I possibly could for an extra long and deep period of oblivion. It is fitting that the day we are supposed to herald as the end of a previous era and the beginning of a new one is also the day it's considered socially acceptable for people to be up at 3 in the morning drinking rum out of a large and nearly empty bottle. It's cathartic to get wasted enough that you can not only finally stare your demons right in the eye, but also cackle nihilistically at them. It doesn't let you move on from them, but it's a start.

I originally meant to pen many of these sentiments around Christmas-time (hence the name of this entry) but simply did not have the heart to do so. However, considering my birthday and New Year's have nearly the same meaning to me these days (the only difference is the former fell on a weekday and as such I could not drink until I wake up in the evening the next day ;A;), I figured I may as well use this as an opportunity to get it out.

It's likely nothing, but I may as well take this as an opportunity to note that I have been experiencing chest pains for the past few months (for the record: I am not "vaccinated"), which had initially gotten me pondering on whether my sentence is about to be commuted. To that end, I have ensured that both my domain name and the VPS hosting are pre-paid well in advance. After much rumination, I also appointed my best friend Anthony2 as an IRCOp and the successor of KoshkaIRC so that he can lead it if I fall. No one else shares the values I seek to uphold on the network as much as he does, nor are they anywhere near as reliable.

I am not delusional enough to believe that I matter in any remotely meaningful way, but I have somehow managed to create a space where several dozen very cool people (and also, myself) can socialise and have fun, and I do want to keep that going for as long as possible.

Moreover, the process of coming to terms with my own mortality and accepting it has led me to become increasingly concerned with preserving things that I cherish. Among many other things, I could not help but notice how much important computing culture is only preserved by a single website (plenty of examples can be found on my Links page), often a website whose original instance no longer exists and that only survives in archived form due to the charity of another webmistress/webmaster. Given this, I want my website to also survive for as long as possible so that the subjects I have waxed on and worked to preserve on here can also live on.

But I realise that this is to be its own rant altogether. Until then...

Tired of Societal Treatment of Suicide

28 May 2022

I'm so sick of entertaining this idea that suicide is some unspeakable horror or ultimate taboo. Societal treatment of suicide is abject bullshit that is based on two factors: the fact that society wants to keep its constituents alive no matter their actual feelings but they spent resources on rearing and raising them and want a return on their investment, and the fact that people very rarely actually care about helping each other but don't want to be open about it.

To see the truth of these words, one only needs to look at what resources actually exist for suicidal people. Those resources are forcible institutionalisation where a person is quite literally abducted, drugged, imprisoned, and then made to foot the exorbitant bill for their own abuse, and hotlines of uncaring and even outright abusive volunteers. Oh, and online if you hint at being suicidal you'll get bots sending you shitty platitudes and suicide hotline phone numbers. Life-changing stuff. I've been unable to look at myself in the mirror for 15 years without feeling disgust and self-loathing, but that was before a Reddit bot told me that I shouldn't seek a permanent solution to a temporary problem!

I hit out at this in my pro-suicide article but I'll say it again, what kind of bullshit argument is that? A temporary problem? Well, just about everything is a temporary problem if you frame it the right away. "You're depressed that your family died? Don't worry, give it 50 or so more years and you'll croak and will never be sad about this or anything else again!!" Next time I get a bad flu I'm going to just lie back and take it instead of utilising treatments. Why would I want a permament solution to a temporary problem?

The thing is, I know it's all bullshit because I've been in the "if you really want to die, you'll never mention it for fear of someone stopping you" camp for half of my life. Only in the past few years have I been brave enough to voice my distress to people who I thought cared about me, and no one gave a shit. I was either brushed off or told that I need to just "stop being a b***h". I suppose if I blow my head off, it'll be impossible for me to be a b-word else any longer, or anything else for that matter. Problem -> solution.

Now, I would not even remotely fault anyone for not caring whether I live or die. This is one of the chief reasons I have never made a cry for help in real life (aside from one occasion where I could not hold it in any longer and told my father how much I wanted to just die and never feel anything again while my mother was dying). I come home from work and half of the time I have to take a nap just to have the energy to text chat with people online. Who am I to expect people with a spouse, children, and real life friends and amicable relationships with their relatives to fit "talking suicidally depressed autistic dude out of his crisis" into their calendar?

This idea that anyone who commits suicide is selfish, or a b***h, or weak, is absolutely infuriating. Some suicidal people do indeed have people that care about them, and some even commit suicide to spite people who love them, but I am hard-pressed to believe that they aren't a minority. If anything, for many suicidal people, the fact that someone would be sad about their departure is the only thing keeping them alive.

On my end, I plan to tuck myself into bed the moment my father (who is quite elderly) passes away. He was actually planning to disown me a year ago for my alcoholism, and some cruelly egotistical part of me still wishes I had ended things before he had a change of heart. I came extremely close to doing it during that period and only backed out because I wanted to dispose of my hard drive and online accounts beforehand.

I remember a quote from a man named Robin Williams saying something along the lines of how the most depressed people are the ones that try the most to make other people happy because they don't want others to feel the way that they do, and I can relate strongly. I'll never forget how physically painful it was to be moments away from taking my own life, feeling that no one in the entire world cared in the least about whether I lived or died. I get deep pleasure in making other people happy with kindness because I deeply desire for them to not have to go through that.

Whenever I hear some ignorant piece of shit brow-beat suicidal people (very brave to attack people who have such little fight left in them that they actually have a negative balance in their account) for being weak or selfish, I wonder if they would be willing to voice these accusations to one of the countless combat veterans that commit suicide every year. "You're just weak, you need to do something to toughen yourself up, like attending boot camp! Maybe you should stop your narcissistic self-loathing and do something to sacrifice for other people to make yourself feel better!"

I'm not a combat veteran and have done nothing to even remotely deserve being compared to them, but I am a very sensitive autistic person and I have been through things that have severely traumatised me, to the point where I have daily emotional and psychological difficulties. I've long accepted that there is no hope of me living a "normal" (ugh) life. I am already so different from the average so as to be in an alien in everything but physical form, the trauma and its many profound psychological effects are the bucketful of icing that is threatening to collapse the entire cake into a pancake.

I don't have a diagnosis, but every single online test I've taken has indicated that I have more personality disorders than I lack, and I believe it. The Autism and Personality Disorders article was easily one of the most enjoyable articles I ever wrote here because it was such a journey of self-discovery for me personally. No one has any clue how much I have to mask, even despite being openly autistic.

I can and do pick up on the most minute signs of rejection and completely meltdown inside in response to them. My mental soldiers are swarming the suburbs and furiously rushing confused families into nuclear bunkers at rifle-point because someone thought they saw a bird in the sky. I'd make a metaphor about how a mom & pop shop owner would fight much harder against a thief than Wal-Mart would, but in this case it's more akin to a mom & pop shop owner who has repeatedly grown destitute to the point of nearly starving to death, all due to thievery.

Suffice to say, if I so much as see a patron stick a hand into their pockets, I dart for my .50 calibre machine gun, and leave thinking about the consequences for the next day. Shredding an innocent woman into bloody confetti for checking to make sure that she brought her wallet with her may be a downright psychotic action, but the only thing I was able to think about in the moment was my need to not be robbed blind yet again.

At this point, I am trying to leave something behind before the time comes to say goodbye. This whole website is an effort to preserve, to build, and to entertain. I am making sure that this place is paid well in advance so that the website and the IRC server/IRC bouncers and whatever other services I may come to offer will hopefully stay operational for many years after I stop being operational. I have had the blessing of helping and inspiring a number of people, and I cannot express how good that has made me feel, every single time one of them has deigned to let me know. I hope I can continue to be of some use even after I'm gone.

Let me just say before I end this rant, I very much don't want anyone reading this to pity me. I don't deserve anyone's pity, nor do I want any of it. Yes I'm a suicidal mess, I am far from alone in this wretched modern world. The news alone is filled with anecdotes vastly more tragic than my own, and that is despite only a tiny fraction of tragedies actually making it to print.

Not long ago I read a news article about an autistic teenage girl who was raped on two separate occasions and it just completely broke me, even after all of the shit that I have seen. When I hear about horrors like this, I drift towards wanting to commit suicide, and then drift towards wishing I could erase this entire miserable, wretched world from existence to spare all future suffering.

Ignorant anti-nihilists dismiss viewpoints such as mine as childish, yet I never hear them express any coherent reason for why. It is the same sentiment that people use to justify opposing vegetarianism. Who cares if other living beings are undergoing unimaginable trauma and torment? All is well in my world, and that is all that matters. The philosophy of a proto-human primate that sought to make a half-hearted effort to glamourise its selfish priorities.

Gender-Related Rantings

08 April 2022

I cannot stand the mainstreaming and normalisation of transgenderism. The fact that these ideas actually forced their way into people's Overton windows, and at such breakneck speed, is simply unreal. I try my best to tolerate transgender individuals, even if I find it to be viscerally disgusting, because I know what it's like being a minority that people are hardwired to be repulsed by, but there are certain things that I simply cannot bring myself tolerate.

Most concerns about transgenderism come from a place of worrying about the safety of women when it comes to perverts that use it as an excuse to invade women's private spaces, which is something that I fully understand and is also my main source of disdain for this practice. However, I personally am now beginning to harbour an ever-growing paranoia in regard to expressing myself and being who I naturally am, because my preferences and mannerisms are so in tune with what is traditionally considered feminine, that multiple people in real life have come to the conclusion that I am actually a "she".

I suppose I can understand how this would occur. I do not enjoy speaking about myself in real life, which leads people to come up with their own ideas of who I may be. I also sit in a traditionally feminine way because having my legs together is more comfortable due to the deep pressure it provides, and tend to have my hands together to comfort my anxiety. I also have a habit of being, perhaps excessively, polite and respectful because I can feel people's moods strongly in meatspace and do not enjoy making anyone feel bad.

There is also the fact that pink is my favourite colour and quite a large portion of my wardrobe and decorations. It makes me happy seeing it, and I enjoy being able to see it by having it everywhere I can, societal associations of the colour with femininity be damned.

Nonetheless, although I do not harbour any misogynistic beliefs (quite the opposite, if anything), it is wholly mortifying to me to be unironically referred to or addressed as a woman. Even if I were transgender, which I am not, I would not desire to be treated or referred to as a "she" because there is no actual way for a person to transition from one sex to another. The only choices one has is to live as their birth sex, or live as a mutilated and drugged up freakshow modification of their birth sex. This is not transphobia, but basic science.

This all leads me to a very uncomfortable place. I have spent a very long time, essentially the majority of my life, denying my basic nature as a sensitive and feminine INFP for fear of being abused for it, and have only begun truly embracing and actively being who I am. Safe as I may be from my former boogeyman, I now find myself in the crosshairs of an equally frightful one.

I suppose I could always address the subject the next time it comes up. However, quite frankly, the idea of explaining to my IRL acquaintances that I am not in fact a transgender woman and that autism simply affects my perception of gender to the point where I have adopted some very socially questionable mannerisms and behaviours because I never felt the need to conform to societal gender norms, is less appealing than the idea of having a heart-to-heart conversation with someone while we're both sitting on the loo and defecating.

Struggling to Relate

07 April 2022

It's so painfully alienating being neurodivergent to the point where I have no capability to connect with the overwhelming majority of people. I am autistic, which already makes me struggle to relate with 98% of the population, and them to relate to me, but in my case there seems to be something "deeper" than that. It's a phenomenon I have spent a lot of time ruminating on, and the best way I can describe it is to just say that I feel as if the entire real world is just this awkward metaverse that everyone puts an incredible amount of stock into, for reasons that are utterly beyond my comprehension.

Perhaps it's just all of the ostracisation and abuse I went through as a child that taught me to isolate myself from others and causing me to miss stages of development, or perhaps I simply am wholly different from the rest of the species. I don't know. I feel as if this website is the only way I have ever truly bared my soul to anyone, short of bonding with my cat. I don't think I am even capable of doing that in a face-to-face setting. Baring my soul via a goofy 90s Web design format, or through an IRC conversation, is no doubt quite eccentric to most people, but it's home for me.

It's a sentiment that seems to pervade everything, as if I have a peculiar form of schizoid personality disorder that only extends to my "meatspace" self. I receive all manner of praise IRL for various things but it hardly ever means anything to me. Meanwhile even a quick note of appreciation about my website envelopes me with joy and sticks with me for a long time after.

Hearing my name, something "social skills" teachers claim is music to anyone's ears, means so little to me that I don't feel as if I even identify by that name. "Koshka" is my "real" name, as far as what actually feels real. I'd get it legally changed, but I don't want to taint my "real" identity with my meatspace one, nor deal with the stigma of going by a female name. I'm sure it has raised a few eyebrows among fellow Russian speakers, that I go by the female form of "cat" instead of the male one. This is partially because it is the default form, and partially because it is meant to be a tribute to my deceased cat and best friend.

I've never had a real meatspace friendship and I doubt I would get anything out of it even if I did. I'd love to have a relationship but I can't realistically imagine it would work. It'd be akin to a relationship with an intelligent being that originated on an alien planet and just happens to be sexually compatible with me. I quipped in an early Babel article that the only way a relationship would work for me is if the woman was so autistic and/or schizoid that our coupling was more of a crime family than an actual family, and I still seriously stand by this claim.

The sexually compatible thing is largely meaningless anyhow since I have no actual desire to have sex with anyone. Quite frankly, I find humans as a whole to be quite repulsive in a great many ways and am grossed out by comparatively non-intimate phenomenon such as shaking hands or having anyone in my personal space. I can't imagine being naked with anyone and doing any of those things.

I strongly dislike the term because it feels like a tumblrina term invented by people who want an excuse to feel special, but the term "demisexual" seems to describe my situation quite well. I used to feel sexual attraction towards people sometimes when I was far younger, but I have consistently only felt true attraction towards (a select few) people who I have gotten to know enough to get a good feeling of, and admiration for, the way their minds worked.

Looking in from where I am, it seems to me that neurotypicals have entire layers of communication in meatspace that I simply do not process, anymore than a blind person processes sight. I see them speaking about utterly insipid topics and suddenly exploding in excitement or jubilation, making remarks that make no sense whatsoever, etc. It's a phenomenon that I am not sure how to even nail down with words exactly.

My sensory issues play a part in this but I do not know how much. I am aware that eating with other people is an incredibly pleasurable bonding experience for neurotypicals, and something that I observe that they partake in at any possible opportunity. I derive no such enjoyment from it because my sensory sensitivities greatly limit the amount of foods that I find palatable, and cause the sounds and smells of eating amongst others to be utterly torturous to me.

Regardless, it's not that I'm some hostile alien lifeform lurking in a cranny and growling at the vile, inscrutable humans. I am perfectly capable of empathy. Plenty of people I know IRL have remarked that I am exceptionally nice and compassionate, and I still swear that I can quite literally feel the moods of everyone around me. Overwhelmingly so, sometimes. I do care about people. I even adore being hugged despite my overall sensory sensitivities (my weighted blanket fulfills this need for me). It's just so difficult to connect with people in spite of it all.

The activities and stimuli that they find pleasurable i find painful and overwhelming. The mediums of communication that are natural for them are uncomfortable and alien interfaces for me. The memes and nuances of their social world are utterly unintelligible for me. And so on. Who knows? With nearly 8 billion people in the world, there may be someone out there that understands and empathises with me. Lamentably, the probability of two people as "antisocial" as myself running into each other has to be truly infinitesimal. Stranger things have happened in history, however.