Detail oriented

While cleaning up a pile of paperwork (yay executive function! yay me!) I came across a time sheet from my previous job.

The close-up reads as follows (because I know you’ll want to know):

11:59 planning
12:00 smoke break/lunch
12:31 put phone call through
12:34 create new email address
12:37 put phone call through
12:38 figure out problem with content management system of client
12:42 create CWP [planning app] for client
12:47 add new image to website for client
13:00 figure out problem with CAV [car app] for client
13:13 put phone call through
13:18 put appointments in calendar
13:23 smoke break
13:29 discuss CAV [car app] with coworker
13:38 put phone call through
13:40 create Google Analytics for client
14:01 help coworker
14:04 help coworker

The reason the entries are struck through is because at the end of the day I added up the time spent on particular tasks, in order to enter them into the administrative system. Because that was counted in 15 minute increments. And as you can see from the detailed view, I logged everything minute by minute.

What do you mean, detail oriented? My employer wanted to know how much time I spent on separate tasks and on different clients. So I showed them. Every employer would love to have someone like me.

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Some things cannot be unseen

So.

Erm.

There’s this engineering company in the Netherlands.

And one of my coworkers once remarked that their logo.

If you look at it upside down.

Looks a bit like a pooping dog.

BAM-hoofdkantoor-logo

So I cycled past one of their construction sites today and there was this sign.

And I said “POOPING DOG!” Quite loudly. And it made me giggle.

And then I had to really focus to not keep on saying “poopingdogpoopingdogpoopingdog” all the way home.

Yeah.

I know.

Being weird is fun. 😛

Just for the lol of it

It’s not only autistic people who have trouble reading body language cues or make really awkward social mistakes.

Making new friends on the underground

John Mayer and Kanye West failing the high five hug

Ryan Seacrest trying to high five a blind man

I don’t want Taylor Swift to hug me either

No comment needed

Lowfive fingerwiggle shakebump?

Ouch

Knee pads are a sensory nightmare

This is why I never high five anyone

Too many choices, so she goes back to clapping. Good girl.

Get out of my face!

Source: Buzzfeed

Rijsttafel revisited

Last week I wrote something about rijsttafel and why it’s a perfect meal for picky eaters. I couldn’t find any good pictures in my stock photo subscription so I decided to team up with my friend Robin because he’s a really great photographer with a passion for food photography. 🙂

We had some great fun presenting all the different dishes (and of course eating all the food afterwards)!

Yay more pictures!

I’m getting addicted to taking pictures for the blog header! It’s a really nice challenge to look for things and colour schemes that would suit the overall blog theme. No rainbows this time, though.

This is the roof of the new bus station behind Amsterdam Central Station. The coloured panes will eventually spell out “Amsterdam CS”, I think. They’re not finished yet. I especially like the blue sky in the background here.

Close-up of a basket full of lobelia at the beer festival last Saturday.

Close-up of the multicoloured ficus plant I have in the front window. No idea what the official name is. It’s still alive and with my plant caring skills, that’s saying something.

The stained glass window in my living room. One of the reasons why I fell in love with my house.

Close-up of the Moroccan lamp in my hallway.

One of the pages from “The Ballooning Adventures of Paddy Pork” by John S. Goodall. One of my favourite childhood books, together with Eric Carle’s “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and Dick Bruna’s “The Apple” (click on bekijk trailer, Dick Bruna is awesome).

Playing with pictures

So I’ve finally gotten around to creating some header images to liven up the place.

Some flowers I bought last Wednesday to celebrate one week of not smoking. I edited the photo quite heavily in GIMP to get the vibrancy of the colours, because apparently my camera hates vibrant colours and makes everything look washed out. The flowers are really that beautiful shade of orange/red. Although of course a lot depends on your monitor as well.

Picture I took some time ago, cracked safety glass. You can’t really see it here but when it’s in the header, you can see small colour refractions especially on the right hand side. Plus I like the spidery pattern.

Spices! Well, I love to cook, especially Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food. I really like the textures and colours in this picture, I wish you could also smell it!

A close-up of my bookshelves, one of many many bookshelves. I have a bit of a book problem. But who cares. These are pretty close in height and all paperbacks and I loved the progression of colours so that was a nice shot to take.

A close-up of my window sill. I have some vases and things standing in my window sill because I read somewhere that women are supposed to collect knick-knacks and put them in random spots to “make the space more personal”. So I’ve been experimenting with that. It seems to reassure visitors and I like the colours but it is a bit of a mess. The hands belong to a very pretty wooden statue from the 40s or 50s that I inherited from my grandmother. The number of times I’ve knocked that statue down and broken its neck… Clumsy, me?

I think the books and the window sill are my favourites because. Well. Rainbows. I really am helpless when it comes to rainbows. That’s why the gay pride flag is so awesome. And why autistic pride day is so awesome.

Social scripts: a play in one act

Or, what happens when a co-worker wants to ask you a question about something work-related but feels the need to have some chit-chat first.

Co-worker:
hi, had a good weekend?

Autisticook:
yeah sure, you too?

Co-worker:
can’t complain, 2 nights north sea jazz and 2 birthdays on saturday

Co-worker:
so yes 🙂

Co-worker:
you done anything fun?

Autisticook:
north sea jazz, great!

Autisticook:
who did you see?

Co-worker:
err… do you have an hour or two?

Autisticook:
hahaha

Co-worker:
Friday Roy Hargrove, Diana Krall, Seesick steve
Sunday Nynke Laveman, Javier Limon, Marcus Miller, Ben Harper, Bonnie Raitt, and Sting

Co-worker:
all never seen before and all very awesome

Co-worker:
and some bits here and there from other artists

Autisticook:
yeah that’s how it goes at north sea, that’s what makes it fun 🙂

Co-worker:
indeedy

Co-worker:
you’ve been?

Autisticook:
i went when it was still in the hague but haven’t been to rotterdam yet

Autisticook:
so it’s been a while

Co-worker:
ahhh, i haven’t been for years either when it left the hague but it’s more fun than i thought even though ahoy [the venue, ed.] is so massive

Co-worker:
so simply go 🙂

Co-worker:
i had a question about that ftp issue…

What follows next is meant to be a funny explanation of how I process social cues, a bit like a fake anthropological article. It’s not meant to be taken 100% seriously although the tips and tricks will very likely work in real-life situations. If you can’t laugh at yourself, what’s the point? However, from some (non-autistic) reactions it appeared I was too subtle in my humour, that’s why I added this explanation. If confusion persists, I might have to resort to colour-coding the funny bits.🙂

I’ve developed my script for dealing with “how was your weekend?” because I noticed that answering truthfully wasn’t a socially acceptable option for me. Apparently neurotypical people get very uncomfortable when you say “I played computer games” or “I read a book” (well, actually 3 books).

Note the first strategy in line 4: deflection. Mostly, people who ask about your weekend do so for two reasons: because they think it’s the polite thing to do and because what they really want is for you to ask them about their weekend. So, deflect the question back to the other person.

Sometimes they don’t take the hint and will ask you again, as in line 10. In that case, deploy the second strategy: ask them specific questions about something they casually referred to in their first answer. In this case, I could have asked whose birthdays, and get them talking about their family or their friends. I picked North Sea Jazz because I have some specific knowledge about this so it’s easier to ask questions that will keep the other person talking. You can even volunteer some information but only do this if you’re absolutely sure about how it will be received. In this case, I mentioned I had been to North Sea Jazz as well because I know that people like having shared experiences (*). However, I didn’t mention that I stopped going because the crowds and the noise drive me bonkers. That’s too much information.

Keep on doing this until the other person gets to the question that prompted them to start a conversation or until they walk away. Neurotypical people don’t have hyperfocus and have a low boredom threshold so it usually doesn’t take too long. Good luck!

(*) Edited to add: This is only true for general locations or actions. If it’s talking about specific experiences that trigger an emotion within the NT, they will think you’re selfish for trying to focus the conversation on yourself. A safe course of action would be to keep on asking the NT questions or to only agree in short sentences like “Oh, me too!” or “I know exactly what you mean” when you’re not sure of the emotional content of the experience.