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Sep. 17th, 2013

Entertainment vs. Paranoia

Time for an actual Serious Business post. Well, not exactly all Serious Business, but it is a serious subject for me.

People who know me tend to get pretty irritated with me around Halloween, since I have to be extremely careful about any scary movies I watch, since that sort of thing can set off a paranoia attack for me. In general, I do pretty well with avoiding stuff I know will make me into a frightened, wary, hyperventilating mess, but other times I get cocky and think I can handle things I can't. Some friends of mine talked me into watching Paranormal Activity with them a few years ago, and it was a huge mistake. I spent the next week sort of half-in, half-out of rationality, and jumping at shadows and constantly looking out the window. I felt horrible about it, since I really upset my friends and because, well, having delusions sucks. But that's not really my point here- the point is, there are things I know can set off an attack, and horror films are one of those things. Interestingly enough, even though my paranoid delusions tend to be along the lines of “everyone and everything is out to get me, the black helicopters are coming! HOLY SHIT!” I can watch political thrillers and movies where the premise is some crazy guy murdering the shit out of everything with no problem. Zombies tend to be okay too, and I've never had a problem with Lovecraftian horror. What really sets my issues off is paranormal- ghost stories especially. I don't really know why that is- stuff that you'd think would actually tie into the delusions doesn't bother me most of the time, but you put a ghost up in that shit? One-way ticket to Looneyland for me.

Anyway, the point is that I'm not particularly fond of Halloween now that I'm grown. It's less about candy and more about scaring the shit out of everyone now that you're adults, and I kind of hate it. It's not a huge issue, but I do tend to feel a bit more... I dunno, jumpy? around the month of October. It's partially why I could never get into Supernatural, the television program- the pretty men didn't do enough to counteract the scary that messed up my health issues. I can't even really read online creepypasta either, since it does the same sort of thing.

So with that in mind, it's been a bit weird for me lately. I've been listening to the Welcome to Night Vale podcast which I was initially heavily warned against. However, that's a humorous horror podcast done in the style of HP Lovecraft, which has never been a problem for me. So, with that in mind, that I can handle that, I watched the Sleepy Hollow premiere last night on FOX.

I liked it. I liked it a lot and I intend to watch the next episode next week (and then the day after that, Agents of SHIELD).

Normally this is the sort of thing I can't handle. I will admit to feeling mildly uncomfortable during the Headless Horseman scenes and the bit with the freaky trees, but more in a “huh, that's weird and a bit scary” way rather than a “HOLY SHIT GET THE GUNS AND LOCK THE HOUSE DOWN!” kind of way. A few years ago, I don't think I would have ever even gotten to the “HOLY SHIT!” stage, I would have probably started fighting imaginary attackers.

It's a stupid thing, but it feels like a huge step forward for me. I'm probably not going to rush out to by a ticket to the latest Paranormal Activity, but I also feel like being able to watch this show is a step forward. For a long time, I thought I was going to have to spend the rest of my life tiptoeing around certain things, and possibly missing out on a lot because I didn't want to go bugfuck insane. I'm probably never going to be the go-to person for ghost stories, but I'd like to think I'm getting a bit better. Maybe I'll get to the point where I don't have to carefully consider whether or not watching a new television drama will send me into a panic attack.

This has been your once-in-a-while PSA on Life with Paranoia.

Jan. 13th, 2011

Tinfoil hat time

Today I was just doing my usual Internet surfing (which, if you know me, probably involves copious amounts of things that many people might find... alarming or yuk), when a program popped up in the background and started scanning my computer. Now, I don't mind if it's my antivirus software scanning my files, looking for bad programs, but I'd never noticed this program before, and it moved me into a new network. Apparently it was something installed by the university to track my "updates," to make sure I had the correct Windows service packs installed on my computer. I'm sorry, but no program that should be checking to see if I've gotten the correct Microsoft updates should be going through my documents. Especially because updates don't go where you usually put documents. Maybe if you're weird and put documents in your system files, but that's not how I roll. Documents go in "My Documents" where they are supposed to.

Of course, knowing me, I immediately become paranoid that the government/university/creeper down the hall is checking on my files and watching what I'm doing. Which isn't acceptable. I mean, it's awkward enough knowing that the university basically has access to everything else in my daily life, why should I let them go on a stroll through my personal files? Besides, it would be very awkward trying to get an IT  job later when the IT people know about my tentacle yaoi folder. Or my sixteen gigabytes of image macros. Or the content of some of my documents. That could prove to be quite embarrassing if it got out that I was the one with the scary hard drive. 

Anyway, to stop the snoops from going through my stuff, as soon as I realized what was going on I went and disabled it. I guess they weren't expecting a paranoiac IT student to be on campus and to know how to stop programs from having access to their system. I guess they were banking on people not going "WTF!" when a random program starts scanning their system. Unfortunately for them, I am the kind of student that would wonder what the hell was going on when programs start doing stuff without me starting them, or me setting them up to do things on their own at some point in the past, AND I'm a paranoiac IT student with the skills to stop Mr. IT Guys from going through my stuff.

Although if they did find my Rule 34, I almost kind of hope they were fapping to it, because that would be fucking hilarious. I've got some sexy shit in that folder.