Question of the day.

Do you ever talk to yourself, or sing?

My answer:

Oh yeah, I talk to myself a lot and in different languages. It’s genetic, as my Mum’s the same, so we say we have such rich inner lives they’re spilling out, but my Mum has it worse, because she often thinks so loud that she doesn’t even know she’s thinking aloud and doesn’t realise that she’s just said what she was thinking, which leads to weird situations, but she doesn’t even care. But then when someone happens to be around while she’s spilling out her mind unbeknownst to herself, she is either very surprised and thinks that the other person must be a telepath, or accuses them of eavesdropping. It also seems like she has the same problem when she goes running, she has earbuds on when running and always thinks about loads of things and often finds that people look at her in a strange way, so she thinks she must think aloud while running too. It’s quite strange that someone would be so unaware of it but it’s funny at least from the observer’s perspective. I try to have more control over what’s spilling out of me and in what circumstances, and I don’t even have to try too hard as I’m way too blocked to do that so spontaneously, unless I just don’t know that someone is around, or happen to be extremely deep in thoughts, and then sometimes weird situations happen to me too, in such cases, but that’s really rare. I also talk to Misha and so if anyone ever happens to overhear something they also often assume I’m talking to myself. But, to avoid weird situations, since I can’t always know for 100% if someone is lurking around, and to practice my languages, I prefer to speak in other languages than Polish when talking to myself. And so my default language for talking to myself these days is ENglish, but I also talk quite a lot in Swedish and swear in Finnish. I also routinely have discussions with people on the other end when for example listening to something, like a YouTube video, a radio programme, whatever, even when reading things sometimes on the Internet but with speech synthesis, not in Braille, the more engrossing it is for me the more likely I am to do that, and voice my opinions, regardless of that the people on the other side are not going to hear them. With this I don’t even restrict myself so very much to when other people in my surroundings can’t hear it. 😀 Sofi picked it up from me and she also has discussions like that with her favourite YouTubers, for example, of which she has many.

I also sing to myself sometimes but it’s mostly in specific situations. I often sing for Misha when we are in my room. I seriously don’t know, perhaps it’s just me being megalomanic or something (although I don’t think I sing that extremely brilliantly, I just have musical hearing and can sing in tune and that’s it), but to me it looks like he likes when I do that and he relaxes himself and is listening very intently, so even if it’s just an impression, I typically do that when he’s going to sleep or when we’re having a cuddle time, he needs that sometimes, usually after a long time of being on his own, he’ll come and want to be petted and cuddled, and then I sing him to sleep, or when I have a feeling he’s sad or something’s wrong. I seriously think Misha’s not indifferent to music, and not only because he gets scared by very loud music. I also sing when I’m in desperate need for some background noise because of the sensory anxiety and there’s no other way of getting it. It only works so-so, but so-so is always more than nothing. And sometimes I just sing when I feel like it and when I’m alone but that’s pretty rare, I used to do it more.

You? 🙂

Question of the day (13th August).

Hi people! 🙂

Do you read or watch TV before falling asleep?

My answer:

I always read before going to sleep. I also listen to the music before I fall asleep and while I’m sleeping, as that helps me with anxiety and also I just like it this way. I read on my PlexTalk, and have a sleeptimer on, so that the book doesn’t keep on going or at least not too much when I’m already asleep. And in the background I have my iPhone quietly on, just enough so that I can hear it, either playing music on Spotify or some radio. If it’s radio it’s either playing some station which plays only music, and such that I really really like, and there are only few stations whose music I’d love so unreservedly, or, more often, it’s just talk in one of my favourite languages. Sometimes I also listen to some podcasts in bed but that’s rather if I’m not planning to go to sleep just yet.

How is it with you? 🙂

Question of the day (11th August).

Let’s talk a bit about our daily habits.

What time do you wake up?

My answer:

Really hard to say. It’s different almost every day, or at least every few days. It depends on which timezone my brain clock is at the moment. As you may know if you’re a regular reader of my blog, I have a problem with circadian rhythm, probably mostly due to that I am blind and don’t have any light perception or anything so my brain is probably permanently confused whether it’s day or night, but I’ve also learnt that pituitary is in some way responsible for controlling circadian rhythm – not sleep-wake cycle as such I guess or I’m not sure about this particular thing, but circadian rhythm in general, in any case, it could be relevant since I have hypopituitarism, and mental health surely plays a huge role with sleep problems as well. – Whatever is the reason, that’s how my brain works, and I’m mostly okay with it at the moment, of course it can be annoying but I am now having the luxury of being in charge of my own time at this point so I can usually decide when I need sleep and when trying to sleep doesn’t make much sense so it’s better to stay up and do something constructive. I used to supplement melatonin but it would work only to some extend, meanwhile giving me loads of vivid nightmares. I have a PRN sleep med which helps and I try to have some kind of a sleep-wake schedule at least in theory, something to aim to I’d say, but what probably makes my sleep problems worse is also that I’m not the best at sticking to sleep routine, but also I don’t want to be too obsessed with it as that could get more stressful than helpful long-term I guess. So that being said, my waking time shifts depending on my current circadian rhythm, and my circadian rhythm seems to depend on a lot of things, external and internal, I guess I’m not even aware of all of them, funny thing is also that with my sleeping and waking times, my need for sleep also changes kind of in cycles and sometimes I feel the need to sleep a lot, and sometimes I feel rested after just a few hours and get lots of energy at night, or don’t sleep at all.

With my “ideal” sleeping schedule, I try to wake up at 7:30, because I’ve figured out after some experiments that it seems to be a generally optimal time for me, though as I said, it can look different in practice. I have an alarm – previously on my PlexTalk, now on the iPhone – and I try to stick to it when possible, but when I’m not asleep say by 3 AM I just turn it off so it doesn’t wake me in case I will fall asleep until 7:30, since usually falling asleep that late I’ll also probably need to sleep a bit longer than that, or when I feel very sleepy and it goes off I just turn it off, go back to sleep for however long I need and don’t care, unless I have somewhere to go or something really important to do on time. Also when my depression is particularly bad, sleep is my best friend, as long as I can get it, and then I turn into a real sleep escapist if only I can do it and have no plans, and turn the alarm off altogether, and turn it back on again when I feel more motivated to actually live or when it’s really necessary for me to get up at a specific time. At the moment though, I’ve been sticking to my normal waking time since a few days and I like it, though my falling asleep time is later than it should be in theory so I’m not getting a whole lot of sleep but I’m not feeling it really.

How does it work for you? Do you have any sleep routine at all and if so, are you good at sticking to it? 🙂

Question of the day (3rd April).

Hey people! 🙂

Do you like to buy physical copies of CDs or download the digital version? Or do you only download the singles? (or do you just listen to the radio or something?)

My answer:

As I wrote in my answer to an earlier question of the day, I don’t have a CD player right now and I don’t listen to CD’s anymore. I have two main ways of listening to music these days. First I use streaming services – for me it’s Spotify because I find it the most accessible, most of all I like that they have an accessible desktop app, and it’s Swedish, haha. – I have a bit of a love-hate attitude and relationship with Spotify and streaming services in general. I love them because they offer a comfortable, easy and relatively cheap (or even free if you like even lower sound quality and enjoy the ads) access to loads of music and if you need it, and have a lot of devices, you can listen to it pretty much anywhere you are, and stuff like family subscription plans are helpful, in our house three people have Spotify and it’s handy to be on a family plan. Also I really like that you can discover a lot of other music which is very handy as well if you are picky and won’t fall in love with every other song playing on the radio. 😉 I hate it for the low sound quality, even though I understand that it’s not possible to be higher since millions of people are listening to music at the same time and Spotify doesn’t want to be sluggish. I hate it because, in practice, it only supports those artists and music labels who are already famous and popular. I mean, I’ve discovered a lot of great, barely known, niche artists from niche genres thanks to Spotify and I’m very happy about it, the list includes my last faza/music crush Gwilym Bowen Rhys and a lot of other great people, but from the moment you open Spotify and look through their browse tab, their own ready-made playlists, features like those regional filters for specific countries that they have or however they call them, you’ll be flooded by loads of mainstream music that you’d have easy access too otherwise as well and that you most likely already know either by name or have heard their songs, or both, or if yoou haven’t heard of them they’ll soon go viral anyway and every radio station will be playing them, or if that miraculously will not happen for this or that reason, they still make very easily digestible music and very much in line with what is currently most popular thanks to the media. And, okay, there is some good mainstream music out there, there are artists who are famous for a reason and are really talented, but it’s sad that artists who are lesser known, also those who do not want to go viral or whose music simply isn’t fit for that despite being really great and good quality, or who are independent and self-producing or something, and who could potentially make much more money on the music and be noticed by more people, are so little promoted by streamers and it’s all intentional and purposeful action, despite that with the possibilities that those streamers have, they could really transform the music industry, the way people listen to music, make people more conscious, more selective, and show them some good music, promote it so that those who don’t know much more beyond the charts and what has been popular throughout the last couple of years/decades can find something more that they would like but don’t know that they would like, because they don’t know it exists and where/how to look for it, and what they would actually be into. Of course if you are interested and determined and want to, you’ll find such underappreciated artists on Spotify and great music that they do not feature on their own playlists, but you really have to be interested yourself and most people just want to listen to something, are not interested in digging too much and have no time for that which is absolutely understandable, so they’d have to get it shoved in their faces to be able to notice that there is also other music and that it exists. It’s a shame that so many people just listen to what is forced into their ears by radio stations or other such and that those “trend setters” decide for them what they are supposed to like, instead of that people could actually choose what to listen to on their own, and decide on their own what is their favourite kind of music. It feels like brainwashing to me and makes me think that one can’t really be a self-aware person when they don’t know what music they truly like, but just takes what’s lying nearest to them. I don’t blame the individuals for that though because that’s how things have been for ages and we are used to listening to music this way. I also hate that those less popular artists aren’t paid enough as a result, I mean not as much as they would be paid if someone bought their album, and I feel it’s not fair whatsoever, but as my Mum rightly says the words justice and fair only exist in the dictionary. 😀 Not to mention that some independent artists are not on Spotify whatsoever despite making lots of great music, for various reasons.

The cons are quite heavy, and I guess there are more of them, but anyway, as I said, Spotify is my main way of listening to music despite that, and probably will be for a while yet, because it’s very accessible and easy, and sometimes the easy option is the only practically possible one. And I listen to a lot of music on Spotify these days, or mostly nights actually. Spotify is my main base for discovering new music and being up to date with my most favourite artists that I want to be up to date with, and music from Spotify serves me as a background noise when doing stuff on the computer during the day, unless I happen to be listening to the radio but I’ll write about that later. I also listen to music from YouTube sometimes but that’s not very often, only when there’s something I like that’s not on Spotify, usually something that I happened to discover years ago back when I was using Last.fm as my main source of discoveries and taste-shaping so to say.

As I said though, it really bothers me what Spotify is doing to the lesser known artists, for example those singing in extincting languages. My other way of listening to music is on my PlexTalk Linio Pocket. PlexTalk is a specialised device for the blind which is small, and thus portable, fitting into a pocket, as you can guess, and it can read books – audiobooks, texts – play podcasts, radio from Internet, play any audiofiles in most formats, so music as well, it can also work as a recorder and has a couple other features like a calendar, alarm, etc. It uses SD memory cards so all my actual music that I have for myself is on SD cards. If I like and respect an artist and their music particularly much, I’ll buy their album, or if I don’t like a whole album I’ll buy some single songs in a digital format. It also is very handy to have this kind of music collection because I take my PlexTalk everywhere with me so I can have my own, bought music there with me regardless of whether there is Internet connectioon or not, I can listen to my PlexTalk in my bed, in the car, etc. I can play the music from some other device if I don’t want to listen to it from PlexTalk’s small speaker or headphones but for example my computer speakers which have much better quality. And I know that I’ll always have this music and not just as long as the artist will be willing to cooperate with Spotify. Well except for things like if I lose or break a card or format it by accident, haha.

Also I do listen to the radio, but that’s rarely for the music. I was hugely into radio as a kid, I mean more like in theory, what it’s like to work in there, changes in specific radio stations over time, lots of such details, that was very interesting to me, and I still do find it interesting but not to such a geeky degree, and I listen much less to the radio right now. First of all I hardly listen to Polish radio stations now, if I do, it is because some programme really interests me. Or because it is playing in the background – in the kitchen, in the bathroom, even in the loo (we have a radio in the loo which turns on and off with the lights and it scares some people or at least surprises them very much when they visit for the first time and go to the loo), I like to switch it on if I’m alone somewhere if I don’t have my Plextalk with me there so that my sensory/silence anxiety is more manageable. – My school friend used to laugh at me that I am such a snob that I only listen to mainstream music and get a chance to catch up with what’s popular and form my opinion when I’m sitting on the toilet, lol, but that’s not the case. Well, not always. 😀 Otherwise, if I listen to the radio, it’s usually some public radio from another country, or in any case a radiostation where they talk a lot so it can boost my language skills. Like today I’m listening to Sveriges Radio p4 Stockholm all day. They do play a lot of music, very normal music, but I mostly just care about the language. Sometimes I like to make radio discoveries though from foreign radio stations. It was very hard for me, for example, to find Welsh language music on Spotify at the beginning of my Welsh language journey. I mean, there are playlists made by people which were helpful but when I wanted to go beyond that and see what’s more, I found it difficult, especially that Spotify’s algorithms picked up very late on my Welsh language mania and I couldn’t count on them that they would give me some further recommendations. BBC Radio Cymru was extremely helpful in that, as was Cymru FM, the latter plays almost exclusively music, with barely any talking ever in between, almost exclusively in Welsh (with some occasional, almost like accidental, Cornish or Breton songs) in a variety of genres but mostly pop, rock, folk and alternative/indie stuff, I’d say. Also I love learning about how different are music trends in different countries, no matter if I’m gonna like them or not, I like to see for example what Swedish songs are currently popular in Sweden, or even English ones that are either by Swedish artists or simply didn’t make their way to Poland to such a degree for some reason. I actually end up liking a lot of foreign pop or hits or stuff, lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Finnish pop in the radio stations. So I’m not such a big snob, after all. I myself don’t think I am at all, because seriously I do like a lot of “normal” stuff, but even Zofijka thinks I’m snobbish.

So, that’s about it, for me. How about you? 🙂

Question of the day.

Do you chew on your pens?

My answer:

Obviously enough – I don’t. 😀 I did, or still do, chew on other things though. I’ve mentioned a few times that when I was a little kid, I had a lot of autistic-like behaviours including stimming, and chewing too. Even later on, when I didn’t have as many of those behaviours or autistic traits, I’ve still had some stims, plus I was a very fidgety kid and had a handful of “soothing” behaviours, or whatever it was. I’ve had a tiny little glass bear when I was in primary, and although it was glass, so maybe it wasn’t the most practical idea, I liked to use it for stimming. I tossed it in my hands when I was bored or something and I often chewed on its ears, when I was thinking about something intensively or was bored. 😀

Nowadays, I don’t rather chew on objects around me, but I very very often chew on my lip. I’ve told you before that I am terrible nailbiter, but I guess my lip chewing is even more addictive. When I was younger I often picked it, but very luckily finally I managed to unlearn it, almost completely, then I tried to at least limit my nailbiting and cuticle picking, and then I started to intensively chew and bite on my lip and I didn’t really notice the moment when it started to be something regular. I try to unlearn it and stop it when I notice it, but the thing is I often just do it unconsciously and then I find myself doing it after some time already. That’s annoying. I do it whenever I’m bored, focusing on something, overloaded, frustrated, stressed out, trying to not show my feelings, insecure, very often. I think that actually I’m lucky because my lips still look decent, they looked much worse when I was younger and picking them, and I’ve never had any major infections of them so far, or any significant bleeding although I can bite it very intensively at times. I even had a situation when I woke up and realised I had to chew on my lip while sleeping. 😀 I’d really like to unlearn it, not only because it’s unappealing for others, unhealthy for me, but also because if your lips are hurting, it’s quite an issue to eat spicy food and enjoy it, he he, and if you eat it then it usually heals slower. But I still hope I’ll someday get rid of it as I got rid of other stuff, it usually happened with time.

Do YOU chew on your pens? Or anything else?

Question of the day.

I have a terrible habit of…
My answer:
…biting/nibbling my nails. I’ve been struggling with it as long as I can remember and nothing seems to make me unlearn it. When I have something stressful ahead, or something stressful that just passed, and I’m alone and don’t have anything constructive to do, I usually end up devastating my nails. It’s something that I usually do while overthinking and overanalysing stuff, it can really help you to quickly fall deeper and deeper in the abysses of your brain. SOmetimes I also do it when I have to focus on something or make up something. Therefore I very rarely have manicure, because well bitten nails with manicure look gross. I thought it might help me to stay motivated and not bite and nibble them, but it doesn’t really help. Therefore I only tend to have pedicure. What terrible habit do you have?