My First ASMR expierience

ASMR, or autonomous sensory meridian response, has little to no research on it because no one funds it. No one cares.

So I have no idea why certain sounds like whispering, brushing, soft jingles, rubbing, and tapping cause me to experience strange sensations in my head. It’s very hard to explain. At first, my brain feels like something is grasping it gently. Then certain areas, like my scalp and forehead, feel like they’re being grasped more tightly. Then the areas begin to create a sensation between tingling and vibrating. This is all gentle though.

In fact, it feels good.

To those who don’t experience these sensations after hearing certain sounds, this description sounds like at this moment, I’m sitting with several IV’s attached to me, my heart monitor blaring to everyone that I’m alive- and nervous, and every five minutes a nurse named Diana comes in to check on me.

But I don’t. Sorry.

Anyway, I’ve watched a video that triggered my ASMS a couple days ago, and now, I think Miley Cyrus said it best. I can’t stop.

I’ve actually kept this a secret, because ASMR videos on YouTube include roleplaying, certain sounds that turn on these sensations… it’s almost like porn. Everyone has different triggers, different preferences, and always feel a bit… er, satisfied after watching these videos.

My triggers come from paying attention to these sounds and being reeeelaaaxxxeeed. It helps to being focused, breathing, and quite. These videos are made to cause these sensations, relax the audience, and some are especially made to aid people in falling asleep. ASMR people claim that these videos help them manage anxiety and control panic attacks.

 If you’re wondering if you can get these ASMR sensations, I put one of my favorite videos.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1KEXaX_Nd0&feature=c4-overview&list=UUn622AJ6EcQLwpltrYJR8lw

And remember, relax. I dare you to tell me how it went and if you experience any other weird sensations from random things… because we’re human, and we’re weird.

 

My Unrelated Other Self

My geometry grades have been going down the drain recently (and the 29-year-old high schooler isn’t necessarily helping ((If you’re wondering who I’m talking about, I’m talking about my geometry teacher. I mentioned him in my First Day of School post.))) so I’ve been going after Google search after Google search for some help.

I’ve read some articles in Time before (Nerd Alert!) about Khan Academy and the founder’s vision to transform the education system all over the world. He’s pretty darn ambitious. YouTube videos that sound so natural with his easy-going voice, a website that is like the accurate version of Wikipedia (free!), but actually useful, and graduating from Harvard and being an intellectual hoss.

Halfway through one of his YouTube videos, my ADHD spoke up and asked me, “GOSH, what’s his name? Is he Morgan Freedman’s cousin or something?”

And of course, me, not being perturbed by hearing “voices” in my head, replied right back, “I dunno. Let’s ask Google!”

ADHD and I were instantly blown away. His name is Salman Khan. ADHD and my name was supposed to be Salma, but my dad misspelled it when he registered me as an alive baby. He had a crush on Salma Hayek, but that’s beside the point. I got stuck with Selma instead. I was planned. My name was not. And ADHD is a good speller.

But then it gets weirder. Just like his name was off by one letter from mine, his birthday is a day off from mine. October 11th. My birthday is October 10th. By now, ADHD is taunting my OCD side, which usually likes to hang in the corner of my mind until it sees that a picture frame is crooked.

“Heeeey! OCD! He’s off by one!” ADHD called out. OCD started cussing out ADHD, in alphabetical order.

Then it gets even weirder that I’m starting to doubt if this was coincidence. His parents come from different countries, and he was born in America. He might be racially confused like me.

My mother comes from Mexico, which then made me born in the U.S.

Then ADHD goes, “You’re kind of a good impromptu speaker.”

“True. I hope I sound like him, too. Calm, relaxed, cool, collected.”

“It’s calm, cool, and collected. Stupid.” OCD chimes in.

So he’s probably my unrelated other self. We have some weird, too-similar qualities. Maybe he’s my adult parallel. I always wondered how my life would be if I were born a man (since I am a feminist and I do ponder at gender issues pretty often). I guess I’ll let Salman Khan answer that for me. I would’ve gone to MIT and Harvard, changed education in a positive way, given a TED talk, married some girl (I don’t feel like researching her), and teach knuckleheads school things and save their lives for a while until they find something else to not “get”.

So thank you, parallel unrelated self. You’re pretty awesome.

 

Getting In A Car With A Stranger

For years and years and every breathing year, my family have told me not to talk to strangers, to call them if I need anything, to never be alone with a person I didn’t know without anyone else knowing I was with them.

Today, just a few minutes ago, I threw it out the window.

And risked my life.

It’s raining heavily, a huge surprise for Texas. I had to wait and wait for the bus (it comes half an hour after school ends). At first, I waited in the rain with a guy friend until he got onto his bus. Then I snuck inside and waited. I called a friend from an old school, and she was with a mutual friend of ours. She was obviously busy, and the three-year-old inside me occurred with the thought that I could’ve been that mutual friend right now had I not moved, had I not been forced to leave the family I made for myself. And the three-year-old began to tear up. I was crying. Humiliated, emotional, and embarrassed, I told my friend that I needed to go. If she knew I was crying, she would turn it into a therapy session and I would’ve cried more and more, and I would’ve ruined the party mood for her and the mutual friend.

I hung up the phone and threw my backpack on hastily. I couldn’t stand the probing eyes of classmates as they watched me be emotional.

So I began to walk home since the bus wouldn’t be coming in another fifteen minutes. It was still raining, and my flats with a good five inches of my jeans were soaked. I slipped on the mud if I didn’t walk on the road’s boulders (the weird white things that little kids like to walk and balance on). The back road I was walking on led to my neighborhood, and it was also the road several buses, faculty, and a couple of students used to get out of the school since the main entry was always jam-packed. Several cars and buses passed by, and even one car filled with students sped up and drove into a puddle near me. Had I not moved a bit faster, I would’ve gotten more wet than I already was. The thought of turning around and waiting for the bus made this walk seem like a waste of time, so I kept going.

One white car, seeming like it was made in the 90’s, stopped though. I closed my eyes. Shit. This was the beginning to yet another kidnapping movie. It almost felt like the high school version of Taken.

Instead of hearing a manly voice, I heard a sweet, southern accent.

“Do you need a ride, sweetie? I go to Champion (my high school).” She said.

One part screamed at me to tell her that no, I was fine. That my mom was waiting for me at the end of the street. That I could finish the walk. That my house was closer than she thought.

The other part told me that my feet were cold, and come on, she did go to my school. I could tell by the parking permit sticker she had on her windshield. She was a senior.

“Yes,” I said in a small voice. She opened the door to the passenger side. I found her backpack thrown where my feet would go, and a hairbrush and several little junk-nothings on the inside compartment of the door. I sat down, avoiding her backpack and buckled my seat belt as she began to drive.

I should’ve taken the license plate number.

“What’s your name?” I finally ask.

“Kayla,” She says.

“Oh. I was thinking, ‘if it’s a dude, don’t get in the car.'”

She laughed. “I’m not a dude.”

“Um… I live in the neighborhood here. That’s why I decided to walk. Just keep going straight, please. Thank you so much for giving me a ride.”

“It’s fine.” She said as she drove. After a few more directions, I was in front of my house.

I opened the door. “Thanks!” I said gratefully. “Do you want me to pay you for gas?”

“No, hon, it’s fine. You’re welcome.” She said. I closed the door, and she drove away.

I know that she could’ve used her gender to an advantage if she were a criminal. Just a girl helping out another girl, right? Too weak to kidnap me. She’s nice. Nice Southern hospitality, right?

But she didn’t. I don’t know what fueled her kindness, but I’m sure thankful for it. I’m now warm, fed, and dry in my bed. Thanks, Kayla.

But I still can’t believe that I broke a very big, societal rule: don’t get in a car with a stranger. And I did. I hope to return the favor one day, though.

The Beast

 Suddenly, I realize where I’m headed. After hours and hours of fingers that grasp me, choke me, and then release me- the ultimate shaver of torture is taunting me as the powerful tentacles carry me to the last seconds of my life.

It flashes before me. I grew up in the woods, around giggling children and streaking sunlight. They would hug me, lean against me, whisper their numbers before saying, “Ready or not, here I come!” Then bigger children started to arrive. My neighbors whispered that they were greedy “adults” that never returned our kind, or never bothered to introduce more of our kind to let us at least be comforted at the thought that we weren’t the last ones left on Earth. The children started to disappear one by one, and the adults brought roaring beasts. My neighbors screamed at me to take care of their children as the beasts overpowered them. Their cries of pain echoed through the Earth until they faded into the air. Gone. Then one day, I couldn’t look after the small, vulnerable children because I suffered the same fate. I was handed off into multiple beasts. Beasts that roared, beasts that hummed, beasts that wounded, beasts that smoothed. Each were taunting in their own way, each took a piece of me until I was slim and fragile. Despite my weak state, a black disease was forced into my head, my heart, and all the way down to my end. After that, I was sealed off from fresh air. I wasn’t alone, though. Eleven others were with me, and one by one, they all told stories similar to mine.

Then one day, fingers took me out, and I learned of fresh air again. This time, though, a beast wasn’t handling me. It was a creature, one like the children that used to hug me and tell me of their adventures. This creature didn’t talk much. Sometimes, its’ voice would echo through the air and into a black box. Other than that, the creature grasped me, choked me, and released me for a chance to breathe. The black disease slowly flowed out of me with great reluctance, but it’s so thick that I might never get better.

Suddenly, the creature let out a breath of frustration, and it stood up. Its’ tentacles were smoothly carrying me to a beast. I knew this beast. Three others that were let out before me screamed as the beast gurgled. However, the beast whispered something to me.

“The secret is to relax,” it said.

“What?!” I demanded.

“Relax,” it went on, making me doubt my sanity, “and this won’t hurt. All I’m doing is sharpening you.”

“What are you?!” I sputtered out in disbelief. The beasts never, ever spoke to me.

“I’m a pencil sharpener. You should know that by now; you are a pencil.” It replied.

“What? No! I’m a tree!” I protested.

“You were a tree. You’re a pencil now.” The pencil sharpener told me as-a-matter-of-factly. Suddenly, my end covered its’ mouth, and it began to gurgle.

Relax. Relax. Breathe in. Breathe out. You’re not here. You’re with the children. The sunlight is warming you. Relax. 

Then the black disease was flowing out of me again. The pencil sharpener was at the other side of the room, grinning at me.

“You did just fine, Pencil!” He called out. “You did just fine!”
  

Misconceptions About Latinos

 My last article regarded a gender issue I practically didn’t agree with, and I figured I might as well hit the race button as well since my growing frustration in my Spanish class practically inspired me to write this.

1. Everyone’s Mexican. That’s the equivalent of saying every Asian is Chinese. China isn’t the only country in Asia just like Mexico isn’t the only country in Latin America. There are Guatemalans, Puerto Ricans, Hondurans, Dominican Republicans, Brazilians, etc. There’s a vivid array of nationalities in Latin America that you’re squashing down by assuming everyone is Mexican.

2. Our favorite beer is Corona. And all Americans love to eat burgers (forget the vegans and vegetarians. They love burgers too.)

3. We enjoy crossing the border. Please understand that, just like your ancestors (even Native Americans), we came to the United States out of necessity, not out of pleasure.

4. We all speak Spanish. Brazil speaks Portuguese. Someone who looks dead-beat Latino might be third generation, and they probably don’t speak Spanish. Language is more of where you grew up, not where you come from. (If that makes any sense.)

5. Mexican is a language. I was ready to slap my friend when she said, “You speak Mexican, right?” Instead, I smiled and said, “You speak White, right?”

6. We’re all illegal! Umm… no.

7. We love spicy foods. I can’t even eat chips and salsa.

8. Our women have big breasts and nice butts. Not all. Some have taken after the Spanish genes (and occasionally Asian*) and come out A cup or flat chested (heh heh. Me.), or have a smaller butt (my sister.)

9. We all speak one kind of Spanish. There’s regional Spanish everywhere. I keep getting into conflicts with my Spanish teacher because she speaks Castilian Spanish, and I have Spanish from Mexico mixed up with Tejano twang. There’s British English, Australian English, American English, etc.

10. We’re drug lords, pimps, construction workers, and maids.

I put a star after “occasionally Asian” because the tribes that were in Latin America around Columbus’s time traveled from Africa, through Europe, and mingled around in the northern part of Asia before making their way down to Latin America. So if you see a Latino that looks Asian, you know why.

What are some common misconceptions about your race that get under your skin? I’m kind of curious to hear about y’all.

Why Christianity Rubs Me The Wrong Way

 I’m going to make a fairly unpopular confession: I’m religious. So maybe not so religious as others to the point to where all I listen to is Christian music, refuse to say “Oh My God” when I see a hot guy across the room, or say “God Bless You” before saying goodbye, but I’m alright. I pray before meals and going to bed, read the Bible weekly, and teach others about what I believe.

 And religion is something controversial. It’s this never ending tug of war with multiple ropes tied at one point. Even some people have no idea what they believe in, so they kind of just stand there and watch everyone else fight.

 I agree with pretty much everything I believe in, though. Virgin until marriage, life is the choice, make love not war, treat others the way you want to be treated, and so on. Except the fact that I (here’s another fairly unpopular confession) kind of consider myself a feminist.

So when someone tells me, “The wife must be submissive to the man in marriage,” I begin to fumble in my seat. Submissive? That statement just set back Women’s Rights two hundred years. I’m not going to listen to anybody just because they happen to be born with a penis and I, a vagina. Then they try to retaliate and say, “But the man must love his wife the same way he loves himself. He won’t force himself to do something he doesn’t want or can’t do, he won’t beat himself up, and so on. But the woman must be submissive to the man.” 

It also doesn’t help that I come from the dreaded Mexican macho culture, and my worship is done in Spanish, so…. it’s constantly repeated and emphasized when marriage is mentioned. Do they mention men must be the breadwinners? No. Do they mention men must help out women in the housework because women were made to be companions, not maids? No. Do women have to be submissive to her man? YES. SHE MUST SUPPORT HIM IN EVERY DECISION HE MAKES, EVEN IF SHE DOESN’T LIKE THE WAY HE LOOKS IN BLUE BOXERS.

Okay, so I may have added the blue boxers part, but they might as well say that too while they’re at it. I mean, seriously? It’s not fair that someone has a right over me just because they happen to be male.

While we’re at it, I just happen to be smart because I wear prescription glasses.

I’ll tell you who else wears prescription glasses. Lindsey Lohan. And those glasses still don’t stop her from running over multiple people.

So that’s the part I don’t like. I should’ve seen it coming, though. Religion IS a male-dominated aspect of life, so men say whatever the hell they want, because in the end, they’re going to wear the blue boxers no matter how many times their wife tells them that the boxers are way too old.

I still choose to believe that women are capable of everything and anything. If women are born with the capacity to shove a seven-pound sac through a small hole after nine months of puking and swollen knees, they are pretty unstoppable, just like Lindsey Lohan’s car.

 

The Complications of Having a Friend of the Opposite Sex

So let me tell you, I got some guy friends. And they make life awkward in general. Why? Just why? Because society makes it awkward. (This is written as if you’re a girl and you have a guy friend, but it goes both ways. Sort of.)

1. Everyone assumes you two are dating. Then you have to awkwardly say, “We’re just friends,” and pray to God that he doesn’t think you two are more.

2. But 9 times out of 10 he does. Everyone says they see it in his eyes when he talks to you. Apparently, eye color and a pupil aren’t the only things that can be seen in people’s eyes these days. Noooo. Eventually, though, you have to face the reality that usually, guys only hang around you because they have a slight hope that maybe one day, you’ll wake up, and realize that you’ve wanted him all this time.

3. But you don’t until you’re jealous. Until he begins to speak of another girl, or when you see him just casually chatting up some chick with frizzy hair, you suddenly start to realize, “Why is he talking to her? Uh oh. I know that laugh. SHE NEEDS TO QUIT MAKING HIM HAPPY! THAT’S WHAT I’M SUPPOSED TO DO!” And then? And then you realize, “Wait… I want to make him happy?”

4. There’s always that touch barrier. You don’t have the same freedom to hug, hold, or say sweet nothings to him as you do with a friend of the same sex. Why? Because you don’t want to give him ideas. Because you don’t want to ruin the friendship, but there’s always that part of you that always wants to hug him and jump up and down when you’re excited.

5. You’re the weaker one. So you can’t play mercy, arm wrestle, football, or anything that’s kind of fun. You’ll pretty much lose unless you use your seductive powers (which, you’ll still technically lose.)

So that’s my list so far of why it’s complicated to have a guy friend. So my question of the day is: what do you think is complicated about having a friend of the opposite sex?