Saturday, January 31, 2015


I am not so sure!

Sunday I utterly failed to go to that birthday party. So far I have utterly failed to go to anything involving groups of people, strange places, and long distances. (Actually not very long distances, 1.5 hour drive according to the map app.)

Monday I went to the flipping MRI all completely drugged out of my mind and I *still* had a full on panic attack inside the machine and had to get pulled out screaming and clawing at the thing, less than 30 seconds in. Not so good!

Tuesday I went to the dentist again all drugged out of my mind and successfully endured ages of dentistry, including the first half of a root canal, I guess? I have a tooth that's half gone and spackled up and hurts like hell, though it didn't before I went in. And a prescription for pain meds that make the dog worry about me when I take them. Like he actively comes and sits on me to make sure I'm okay.

On the way home from the dentist I accidentally bought a couch and then pushed it three blocks home on a dolly. Most of this is extremely blurry and I probably wouldn't remember it at all except that there's this couch. I do have a vague memory of trying to push it in the front door and having an older couple stop and help me. But all the rest of the completely implausible events are just not there.

Like, how did I cross the busy street behind my house with a full size couch on a dolly? Did I push it up the sidewalk or up the street? How come none of the four throw pillows fell off the whole way? At what point should I be worried about this?

But I also went by the neurologist's office and told the nice boy that I freaked out in the MRI and needed an open one. The MRI tech gave me the name of a place and I called them. I love that I'm so functional while absolutely out of my mind on these drugs.

I took two benadryl plus the max allowable amount of the panic pills and still had the worst panic reaction ever, so I don't know what to tell you about that. I'm super claustrophobic. I'm wearing a slightly smallish sweater right now and it's making me edgy. Slightly smallish means it's actually my size. The MRI was smaller than my size, pinned my arms tight to my body down to the wrists. I don't know how anyone wouldn't freak out in that thing.

Isn't it great I can walk to all these things? I wouldn't dream of driving.

Oh, I remembered the throw pillow thing. I went back down there pulling the dolly behind me--I put Gawain's extra collar and leash on it to pull it along behind me. And I brought the world's biggest L.L. Bean bag with me to carry the throw pillows home. And I took Gawain dog with me too, of course, because why not?

I'm a little worried about all of this because this week I have to go see the lovely psychiatrist in Beaverton, and then the next day I have to go to the open MRI, which is not as close as all the other things. I can certainly walk there. It just might take a while. And I can walk home by way of downtown and get lunch or something. I could ride my bike! It's like riding a bike!

Given my 100% failure history of going to scary things far away, you see my concern. AND I have plans to go to the Powell's in Beaverton and sell those boxes of books that have been in the car for months because it's like .2 miles away from her office and I'm always too scared to drive up to the Powell's in Beaverton.

Trying to explain that is difficult. I tried on the phone with D. the other day. Like, I don't want to rake the front yard because there are people out there. They are the nicest possible people. I'm not actually afraid of the people doing anything or saying anything. I just don't want to go because there are people. See? No, you don't, do you?

I did go to Ikea twice in the past year, which says something or other, because that is quite clearly a large place full of people and with extremely limited exits, but Ikea is familiar, I guess? The only times I've gone out of town have been to Ikea. Wacky!

I don't know. The psychiatrist can figure it out. That's her job! I just have to show up. I think I can probably manage that. I'm leaving super early to get to the bookstore and have time to decompress and drink tea at that terrible Starbucks where I actually filed a complaint with the company because the workers were being so ridiculously obnoxious to everyone. Probably they don't work there anymore. Oh! That was the other thing I went to! Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's talk in the Beaverton Powell's! Good for me!

Portland feels like this bizarre dream zone, and I don't know why. Like driving around there is so confusing and disorienting to me. I'm fine driving in cities, for goodness sake. D.C., L.A., Seattle, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco. I lived and drove in all of them except New York, because you'd have to be insane to live in New York, I'm pretty sure. *More* insane. So it's not the city of it. Maybe it's just that it's so unfamiliar? But so was New York and that was fine.

Anyway it's not that unfamiliar. I used to drive there all the time, from here. I have no idea. I'd be a lot more comfortable driving around Seattle right now and I only lived there for a year in the 90s.

So anyway!

Last night I took the dental pain pill because holy goodness does that tooth hurt like it's about to explode out of my face, and then instead of dithering and playing games on my phone while watching Agents of SHIELD for the umpteenth time, I got a tremendous amount of sewing work done while watching Agents of SHIELD for the umpteenth time, with my dog on my lap. I ripped out the hems on one side of both legs of six pairs of those colored jeans that are all too short. They will remain too short but will no longer be too wide, once I take them in. That's a project for today.

Also I cut the interfacing from the back seams of two giant quilts that have been in progress FOREVER. One is ready to be pressed and basted to the backing. The other needs to be sewn the other way.

Huge progress. Huge! I don't know why a pain pill from the dentist would cause that, but there you go. Evidence of constant extreme agitation that prevents my usual activities, I guess! Whee!

I'm excited about my day off and have been indulging tremendously already with the Not Working. I have plans! I'm hoping to take in all those jeans, because they fit again, even through an evening sitting in the comfy chair, the ultimate test of comfortable jeans (SO AWESOME, GO ME) and finish doing my dang taxes, which I started then stopped because blaaarrrrrrgggghhhh.

I may get to the quilting. Basting is fun, with my little basting gun. Takes a lot of crawling around on the floor and fending off housepets, though. I got the flannel backing last week. Progress, man! I love it! Finishing things! Fixing things! Making things not have flappy legs!

Today might also be a good day to print a lot of things. We shall see. The binders are assembled and I have the three hole punched paper and a new print cartridge. I'm all set up to go! Printing things I've written is flipping awesome because I can see the mountains of work and it's suddenly very pressing to edit and rewrite and rework and finish finish finish.

I've gone back to my old ways of making just a bowl of veg for dinner. Why did I ever stop? Cook a pot of veg, eat a bowl of veg, and you're done. And I'm all happy and full. And apparently fit into my jeans again. I'll make, like, green beans. The freezer has neat rows of green beans, corn, peas, squash, and spinach. I kind of just rotate. Yum.

I think it's time for a delicious bean burrito for lunch, don't you? I know! No cheese, though. I can't be trusted with the pepper jack. Know thy weakness is what I say. Addictive medication, not the slightest problem. Pepper jack, no self-control at all.

Friday, January 23, 2015

A few more

I thought of a few more -uit words last night. Suit was one of them. Now I can't remember the rest, alas.

Inuit, intuit, fruit, quit, pursuit, suit. What else was there?

Anyway. Lo! I have just been feeding the cat pancakes on my desk! Cats like pancakes. This just in.

My old fancy keyboard feels very weird since I use my new fancy keyboard all day every day for work. And the mouse that is like a squished ball. Both wireless. I told you they were fancy. I got them last fall when I could not stand the terrible standard keyboard or the wires it rode in on. Nor the mouse. Pain! Squished ball mouse is awesome.

Today I'm all Ahhhh! Go go go! Except I don't need to go anywhere or do anything and I already did all the work I could possibly do, and then some. I designated legatees for my wee little baby 401K in case I totally croak! They made me do it. It's very weird to see my niece and nephew written down all legal-like that way. Plus they would much rather have their aunt!

I miss those little bunnies something fierce.

I am growing vacation time so I should get to go see them some time. Unless I go to this MFA program that I'm totally planning to do, but planning in such a way that I look the other way and hum, all lum de dum, what MFA program? It's local for the summer residency, but up at the corner of the state for the winter residency.

I'm so much more able to cope with things like that now. Brain chemistry! What a heck of a thing! Yes, I'd have to board the animals and stay somewhere that is else, plus sitting in a room with other humans all day for a week. But I could totally do it now. I'm just trying not to trigger panic or anything, so I pretend I'm not thinking about it at all. La la la la la! I have to apply soon. La la la!

I'm just having a lot of fun lately. Let's do a 2000 piece puzzle of Van Gogh's Starry Night incredibly slowly while watching season two of Agents of SHIELD over and over and over! Okay! Let's make pizza! Okay! Let's work out with hand weights and then run on the trampoline with my little pedometer on my waistband! Okay!

In sum, I'm DOING things. Things! I am doing them! Ooh, I even called up a psychiatrist today. My rules for doctors in general:

1. no white men
2. women preferred in all cases
3. international women preferred in all cases
4. if men, then men of color or ideally international

JUST BECAUSE, okay? I admit I don't really deal with white men in positions of power AT ALL. I don't like them. Unless they're gay. Then they're okay. So straight white men = no, I guess is what I'm saying.

Anyway I have a line on a Romanian woman psychiatrist which would be absolutely perfect. I keep hitting roadblocks like there are only 6 in my insurance within a 10 mile radius. Who knew? This one is 15 miles away. There are only 7 within 20 miles. How about that?

I hope this one works out. I am bananas about Romania. Ovid moved there! Also it's completely freaking awesome! Also it's a huge Bronze age area of interest, which means huge area of interest for me. That whole area there. Oh boy! And I had a friend from Romania and a student from Romania. She gave a great presentation on the Roman presence there, which, hello, is why it's called Romania. And the language! Don't even get me started on Romanian! And my friend's family is from there. On and on!

I get excited about Romania is all. But anywhere would be fine, truly. I see someone got their MD in Bangalore, I'm all over that.

Plus when you live in white land like I always seem to, it's much easier to get in to see international doctors because so many people avoid them. I win!

Maine and Oregon are super white except for Native Americans. It's true. It's coincidental and against my preference but I like the pretty rural areas with a city within decent distance.

I'll tell you what else I like. Within five hundred yards of my house are: my doctor, my dentist, my eye doctor, and the neurologist I went to see. Also two coffee shops, two little restaurants, two big restaurants, and probably dozens of therapists. Also churches, if I needed one, which I don't.

Anyway I'm waiting to hear back from the psychiatrist's office. Friday afternoon, not too likely.

Next week I'm in the terror zone because of a) birthday party for someone I haven't seen in 22 years, a point in my life at which I weighed literally half what I weigh now, b) an MRI, c) major dentistry. All in the space of three days. In case you find me curled up and quivering by about mid-week.

But two of my Online Job iterations are ending Monday, so work levels will drop precipitously, which should help.

There are two things I want to acquire, but must be cautious and sensible about them. One, the thing that lets you watch Netflix and everything on your tv. Two, the thing that counts your steps and monitors your heart rate and whatnot. Apparently my heart rate is highish? Must do more aerobic exercising! Hence the trampoline.

Yesterday I managed to make my blood pressure crash out entirely, to the point where I couldn't walk, which was seriously Not Awesome. Apparently if you exercise a lot after eating you can do this. I had chicken and broccoli for lunch and then vacuumed the house instead of sitting around like a potato. Then the dog insisted on a walk. So I was staggering around the park, sitting down on benches and tripping over grass.

Not awesome at all. But now I know what causes it so I can avoid it. Woo!

My landlord came by yesterday and fixed the bedroom heater. He was delighted with my wall of tools and how I have everything all right there, like the little vacuum and a flashlight next to them. Also I got to show off the glossy white deck, which truly is gorgeous, even all muddy like right now. And we got to share neighbor stories, which was very fun. He said I'm very good to them, which was so sweet! I do love living here, even with the occasional negatives like raccoons on the roof and assholes next door. But you will have to pry that gas fireplace out of my nice warm cozy hands, I tell you what.

And it's all fixed up so nice! I have a room with my bike on a wind trainer and my elliptical set up with a tv and dvd player on a shelf! And a cozy office with a daybed! Plus imagine moving now that I own all this crazy furniture. That gives me pause for sure.

I did check around just to see what's out there and everything was WAY more expensive, even in terrible locations. I have a super sweet deal here! Isn't that great?

It's awesome to check the data and discover that in fact yes, you are doing great. I love that!

I do feel very lucky and secure and happy about things and able to cope and whatnot, which, since nothing has actually changed, is probably also attributable to the brain chemistry via pharmaceutical intervention. Yay!

I just have to get through these three days of terror and I'll be all right. A little gappy in the tooth region, alas. But this is the tooth they knocked loose when pulling those others back in the terrible dentistry place in Maine, where I had nitrous and anti-anxiety meds and still got traumatized because they were BUTCHERS and cut a giant slice in my gum as well as destroying a perfectly good tooth. Jeez! Even biting an apple or cheese pulls this tooth loose every time. Goodbye! The good part is that it'll come right out no problem, unlike the others. That's the worst, when they've got one knee on your chest and are pulling with giant pliers using both hands and making grunting noises like they're hoisting sails in a hurricane.

I may be exaggerating a tiny bit there.

And then we'll start talking about dentures. Holy goodness. "Where are my teeth?" I'll say. It's the road to cyborg life, I tell you what, once they start replacing pieces with technology. My mom has robot knees and robot teeth!

Humanity's children are coming

Whoops! Dog walk time. Got to go get all wet and muddy! This weekend is going to be wet muddy yard work time, too. The flowers are all coming up and it smells like spring out there. Oh boy!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Forward or back!

I'm having a battle with my hair. I want it out of my eyes. My bangs or the front or whatever grew in so long that it covers halfway down my eyes, even if I keep on doing that adolescent hairflip to fling it back.

So I've been trying to apply various types of hardware and software (headbands and goop) to make my dang hair stay out of my dang eyes. And failing! Quite miserably!

The issues is: my hair wants to go forward. Which is fine except that's where my eyes are. This effect is even more dramatically pronounced when I try to use a headband, which pushes my hair straight back. Whatever is not pinned down by the headband flips itself forward OVER the headband. Conflict!

I'm sort of compromising by trying to go sideways. Like, bobby pin the floppy front over to one side. I look like 1973 which was not my favorite even when it *was* 1973. I suppose in 1973 I actually had longer hair and part of it pulled into a side ponytail, come to think of it. So I look more like 1976, a banner year for horrible blunt cut side parted hair pulled back with, yes, bobby pins. 

There are appalling pictures of me and my sister with the same hair, the same year.

So anyway. 1975! At least today with all the rain I have curly curly fronds boinging everywhere. 

That is the drama in my life lately. Hair falling in my eyes! Oh the humanity!

I've made splendid progress acting like a grown up human this week, getting to bed on time, getting up on time, working all day at work things, cooking good healthy food, the whole deal. And like a real grownup I got put on cholesterol medication. When I think of all the cheese I didn't eat, it just, ooh, makes me mad. Passed up on cheese! Cheese I can never get back!

There's like a half a pound of gouda in the fridge right now. Mmmm. It's been there since before Christmas. That is the type of holiness we're talking about over here. No, I lied, I just forgot about it. Forgetful holiness, does that count at all? No?

Secretly, it came down to this: either lose some weight or go brassiere shopping. The choice was obvious! Anyway so I've lost a bunch of weight blah blah blah and I'm all sleepy and boring and righteous and nearly out of Kahlua anyway!

Last night I ran wild and sat at the dining room table working on a puzzle with Agents of SHIELD on the tablet next to me and I had a glass of Kahlua. And stayed up until 11! Oh, such behavior!

Here's another sign of how exciting things are: I get Monday off for Martin Luther King day! Wheeee! I am truly psyched. I worked a million hours this week, much more than usual. I had this extra workshop to do that took a lot of time on top of that, too. 

Yesterday I also read Lauren Myracle's book Shine, a truly amazing book that everyone should read, especially if you're not from small town America. Though of all the places I've lived, Williamsport is the only one that approaches the town she wrote about. Appalachia, man. It kills you dead. Just the sheer number of guys I knew who died while we were in high school is a nightmare. Mostly suicide, some car accidents. 

I make lists in my head quite a lot for who knows what reason. Yesterday I tried to remember all of the teams in the English Premiere League for no particular reason. (Sorry, Aston Villa and West Brom. I got all the rest, though!) One list is Guys Who Died. It's odd because of course they're stuck in time, so the memories get more and more outdated. Ugh, stay alive, people!

Other lists, but please do not think I'm bananacakes! Or think that if you want, that's okay. 

1. words ending in -age
2. Anglo-Saxon verbs
3. all the states (an easy one)
4. my old addresses (pretty much impossible)
5. people I like(d)
6. excellent books (practically infinite)
7. Farscape episodes (harder than you'd think)
8. Wonderfalls episodes
9. things I could do tomorrow if I wanted to
10. delicious things to cook

And so on. It's rechanneling a mild tendency to fret into productive or at least cheeful areas. 

It's also why I'm making AWESOME PIZZA today! Mmmm. The dough is rising, the spinach is cooked, and now I just have to remember what the heck else I was going to put on it. I think I forgot or nixed sausage or pepperoni, though now I'm regretting that very much, even though it'll be fabulous without it. 

We shall see how the ongoing Battle of the Hair goes. Forward! Backward! Forward! Sideways! My hairline is the line of scrimmage. I think in the end bobby pins (the curvy coppery ones) will be my absolute best weapon. Though I had a LOT of fun with the sculpting putty and the various gels and goops that I got. Redirect, hair! Redirect!

What wild times will I get up to tonight? Read another book? Work on the puzzle some more? It's a puzzle of the north rose window of Notre Dame, so it's flipping impossible, but I like that sort of thing, at least until my eyeballs fall out of my head from staring at 500 nearly identical puzzle pieces. And it's much cozier over by the fire in the comfy chair with the dog and cat and a book. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Epic hair

It's growing! It is! It grows faster than the average of .5 inches per month, THANK GOODNESS, because we're at this horrible length right now where I can't wear it down and it's too short to look any kind of decent pulled back. It's appalling. 

So when I went to the store (boy was I out of food) I got some more hair bands and bobby pins and barrettes and things. Oh and gel. Like I have the slightest idea what to do with gel. Also I'm quite convinced that gel is essentially napalm, without an ignition source, thankfully. 

I know rather more about napalm than you might expect for reasons that don't need to be discussed. Anyway! Look over there! What an appalling hairdo!

I just watched all of The Bletchley Circle. Netflix suggested it, I do not know why, but they were super right because it's awesome. It's these women who worked as codebreakers during WWII who then get sent out into regular life and are bored and feel useless, whereas they made a huge difference during the war. So they fall into catching criminals, sort of against their will. It's all incredibly vivid 40s clothes and hair and everything (and postwar grimness) but I'm a big fan of that.

Agent Carter hits a lot of those same exact buttons, come to think of it. I ADORE Agent Carter! When is it on again? I'm terrible with days of the week and planning for tv since I never ever watch it. But I will! When Once Upon A Time comes back and Agents of SHIELD, I'll watch those. And Agent Carter. And Bones. Four shows! Madness!

I'm failing miserably at getting up on time, oh, woe. I won't even say how late I keep sleeping (or just staying in bed) because it's terrible. I have an early meeting this week and also an early doctor's appointment another day, so I have to get my act together. Like NOW. 

I don't even know what happens in the morning. I set my alarm and I think it goes off but I must just shut it off. I mean, I've tested it and everything. I just don't get up. I don't really have to but as of tomorrow I'll have a third again the workload so really I will need to, as of, well, RIGHT NOW.

Honestly. Get up, get a shower, get to work. Like normal. Must get going on that!

To be perfectly honest, the terrible hair situation is hard to deal with. It looks awful, all day, every day. Either it's flopping all over the place or it's pulled back and sticking out in tufts. Hence the hair napalm. And I got hair spray. Imagine! I have some hair tools around somewhere, too, like a curling brush (not relevant yet, I don't think) and one of those flatiron things. I suppose I could tame the tufts with that? 

It's a difficult situation because a) I really don't care, but b) it's appalling, so I should. It's appalling enough that it makes me stop upon leaving the house and put a hat on. I have hats! I think I should also sew some stretchy headband things. Every single one sold in this world is too small for me and pops right off the crown of my head. It's true, they're all the same size, and that size is too small. It's not even like, "Oh, this is uncomfortable." They squeeze themselves right off my head. 

Gosh, I just ran a lot of errands and resolved so many tensions thereby! More frozen squash and spinach, absolute staples of my diet. More chicken breasts to put in the freezer, another major staple. Naked juice, mmm! Cat food! Dog biscuits! Soap! Hair napalm! Headbands! A calendar! A tank of gas! It was down to nothing and had been since, ooh, early December. I never drive anywhere. 

I forgot: eggs, teeth cleaning bones for the dog (his after walk treat), butter, and I do not know what else yet. 

Very good timing to go to the store accidentally during a major in-state football rivalry game. It was eerily quiet out there. I got to park right by the store! And it was so un-distracting to have the store empty, I remembered nearly everything!

The things I forgot were not on my list because I forgot to put them on my list.

Did you know they make curved bobby pins now? And short bobby pins? They're very cute. 

I'm going to have to do a hair trim because it's longer at the sides than in the back, or something. I don't know, it's growing in and needs to be kept trimmed. I will be SORELY tempted to whack the whole mess off with scissors when trimming. Must stay determined! Very important! For I do not know what reason, actually, because who cares? I care enough to want it to grow in, but I'm not sure I care enough to put up with this mess for long enough. We shall see!

Anyway with a plastic headband pulling it all straight back there's a definite 1940s postwar vibe going on. And it makes this nice crest or something above my forehead somehow. That might be more 50s but it sure is nicer than having to deal with bangs, the neediest haircut there ever was. In a year it'll be awesome. Until then, oof. 

The doctor put me on massive doses of vitamin D again. Apparently my levels completely bottomed out once more. No wonder I've been feeling so terrible! Low vitamin D makes you feel awful. I'll get the rest of the results when I see her, but that was low enough that they called and told me to start taking huge doses of it right away. 

Must do research and find out what causes that, other than living in the rainfall capital of the world and avoiding the sun the rest of the year, too. Oh no, do I have to get a sun lamp thing? I will if I have to. 

I really feel like watching Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day now. What a fabulous movie! One of my favorites. Go ahead, Netflix, amaze me some more with your recommendations, because the Bletchley Park series was fantastic. 

Friday, January 9, 2015


Today I had to get up super early to get blood drawn at an 8:00 appointment. That meant setting an alarm for 7:00 (Beyonce!) so I could get a shower and walk over in time. The animals were befuddled and the dog went right back to bed.

They could not get blood out of me, unfortunately. I never warn them that I'm a hard stick because I think that just stresses them out. But they figure it out the second they look at my arm and say things like: "Are you sure you have veins?" And then I get to say things like, "The Red Cross told me not to come back!" Which is funny and true. My arms are much worse now than they were then, too. Eek!

So they stuck me three times and then sent me to the hospital to the lab, where I just was on Monday, and guess what? If I'd thought to bring the paperwork I could have had it all done then. Blargh! It took two more sticks in the lab before she got blood out of me. And then she took like three extra vials just in case, because there were a million tests to be done and she wanted to make sure. Good call!

I have no idea what all the bloodwork was. Monday's was some kind of genetic thing about allergies and asthma that the pulmonologist requested. He was awesome. I had the best time talking to him. This time it was like a shotgun approach from the new doctor, checking for basically everything, I guess. 

It's entirely possible, and I will tell the doctor this when I see her next week, that something dire is going on in my innards. Things feel very odd and wrong in there. And I mean like there are extra organs or something. It's pretty extremely uncomfortable and just started up in the past month and a half or two months. So of course I thought it was from Thanksgiving and Christmas and cookies or whatever, until I discovered it keeps going on even when I eat nothing at all, like today. Plus major nausea and whatnot. Feeling extremely full if I drink a short glass of juice. 

So anyway, that will turn out to be nothing at all now that I've typed it out loud. Or just extra holiday fatness, maybe? Here's hoping!

I had to fast 10-12 hours for the tests this morning, so I hadn't eaten since dinner last night, maybe around 6:30. Which should have been fine because it's a block and a half to the doctor's office. But then they sent me to the hospital, and after that I went to the post office, because there's this awesome pretty path along the creek straight there, and then to the library, just up the hill, because that was closed Monday. There's a little cafe in the library so I had a bagel and some tea and then checked out a bunch of books on Edwardian England.

The reference librarian was torturing me. The search system is useless. Like, I typed in Edwardian England and nothing came up, which I knew could not be true, so after a dozen different tries in various configurations I had to ask him. He did some other kind of search unavailable to the masses and read out titles in this infuriatingly slow voice, including (of course) everything that had nothing whatsoever to do with what I was looking for.

Me: "I'm looking for nonfiction on small town life in Edwardian England."

RL: "The royal family during World War II."

Me: "More like small town life?"

RL: "Victorian trains."

Me. "Um."

RL: "Racehorses in the 1950s."

Me: "What if you just point me to the right number and I'll go browse?"

RL: "The real life Upstairs Downstairs."

Except it went on twenty times longer than that and he wouldn't give me the slip of paper with the numbers on it. Seriously testing the patience.

When I finally got the paper, I found several excellent books on the shelves that he hadn't mentioned, so that's okay. They were titles that wouldn't come up in the search, which is why I wanted a number to start from so I could browse. For example, The English Countrywoman from Tudor times to the Victorian age. It's a little early but the Edwardian era begins when Victoria died so it'll do. Anyway practices do not suddenly jerk to a halt on a particular date, usually, unless it's because of a law being enacted or something like that. (Even then!)

That reminds me of my serious upper level medieval women class, the one I taught at Willamette. That was an AWESOME class. I got them reading all sorts of original texts, thank you, my awesome history professor at Oberlin whose name I've forgotten! (Ahem.) We were reading some laws and someone said something about how x couldn't have happened after that because it was made illegal.'s easy to think that about the distant past, but of course it's not true. Speeding is illegal now. Murder is illegal. Rape is illegal. Shooting unarmed black teenagers is illegal, but that doesn't stop anyone, just to pick an example at random.

Colish, her name was Colish. Martha? Marcia? We said Professor Colish. She was the master of the orignal texts! I got permanently hooked. 

So anyway. My research is for writing fiction. I had this amazing idea one morning when I was lying in bed and not getting up despite the late hour and my awakeness. The house is very cold and the bed is very warm, especially with dog snuggled up to me. It takes serious willpower or need to pee to roust me out of there. Anyway the idea was set right then, like 1902 or so, because it needed certain things. 

I have said too much! Or not enough, actually. But still, plenty!

So of course I checked out far too many YA and research books and stuffed all forty pounds of them into my backpack and trudged uphill, passing up my planned lunch out because I was absolutely reeling.

I've been reeling the whole rest of the day. I did my work and then immediately conked out on the daybed with the dog for hours and hours. I just got up and took him for his walk. And a lovely walk it was! Until he tried to eat a standard poodle.

I did not go buy food or go set up my new insurance with the pharmacy and get them to renew everything with the new doctor. Those are pretty much essential things. Maybe tomorrow! The reeling meant that horizontality was key. I don't know what the fuss was about the fasting. I don't normally eat anything that time of day because I'm asleep. I didn't fast for longer than usual. When you sleep as long as I do, fasting happens every day. I go 12 hours without eating regularly. Because I'm asleep. Plus I don't eat in the evenings usually. That puts me from about 8:00 to noon or one the next day. 

Nothing better be wrong in there, I tell you what. 

When dog and I came back from our walk, the cat was in the armchair by the window, watching for us. When he saw us coming, he jumped down from the chair and came to the door. My cat is a dog! My dog is a cat! My cat was raised by my old dog and my current dog was raised by my cat. It is all cultural overlap in our house.

I spend so much time with the two of them that when I look at humans they look really monkey like to me. I mean, apelike. Like apes. Which of course we ARE. With the long arms. I'm more about the horizontally oriented type of beings in the day to day. With fur. And of course we all share the trait of sleeping half the day. So much sleeping going on over here at any given time!

I suspect this will be an early night despite the major napping. We shall see!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Lack of cool

Because my refrigerator croaked! I sort of knew it was happening over the course of a couple of days but didn't grapple with it because it was too terrible to deal with, or something? Anyway I had to admit it was happening when I opened the freezer door and a tray of ice cubes fell out onto my foot, entirely liquid. Ugh! All of the food in the freezer had to get thrown out. It was frozen one day and then mush the next. Warm mush. Ew.

The back room is doing well as a cooler, keeping butter and egg (I only have one left) and cream and veg comfortable. They were going to bring me a fridge on the 2nd, but then the plan changed to Sunday, but then also the fridge place was going to call me to schedule delivery and that has not happened yet. So who knows?

At this point, it's not urgent. Except I kind of wanted ice for New Year's Eve for my Kahlua. But although the ice trays out in the yard are frozen solid in the early hours of the morning, they are not frozen solid in the evening. Obviously I just need to drink Kahlua for breakfast! 

I did try it with cream and I don't know how anyone can stand that. It's like melted ice cream. Kahlua needs to be thinned waaaaaaay down with ice melt. 

The only real change not having a fridge is that I have to go to the back room every time I need a cool food. And I don't make anything that will cause leftovers. That's a good policy in general, to be honest. Except with soup. You don't really make one bowl of soup at a time. I'm waiting to make soup until we have refrigeration again.

Oh! I got set up on Hulu to watch this season of Once Upon a Time and it was awesome! Except Hulu is seriously NOT awesome. There are commercials between every act of every episode, which is bad enough, but they are the same commercials over and over and over until you want to scream. I went back and watched more Agents of SHIELD on Netflix, where there are no commercials, and still flinched at every act break. Augh!

Also nobody has this season of Agents of SHIELD. Not Amazon, Hulu, Netflix. I could buy it for $24 but that seems a bit steep for ten episodes. So I'm flummoxed. I hereby predict that at some point I'll overcome my reluctance to part with that money and get it on iTunes or something. Because if I'm paying money, I'm not just going to stream it. 

Vacation is almost over so that might actually happen today. Who can say?

I've had a glorious vacation full of delicious sleep, mostly, and lots of excellent streamed tv, and I did lots of reading. I cleared out so much stuff that needed to get sorted and organized! And I recycled just a ton of paper that had been hanging around, not just old bills and things, but old instructions for appliances (WHY?) and printouts of knitting patterns off the internet from approximately one million years ago. Long ago enough that printing something off the internet seemed like a good idea. Dude! Plus cleaning out the closet and getting rid of a ton of things.

I sorted and organized everything under the bathroom sink before the break, but it sort of feels like it should count as the break. Logically. Let's conflate!

There's a million little things I got done that are hard to enumerate. But it feels wonderful that they're done! 

Mostly I slept a lot, though. I'm not even kidding. SO MUCH SLEEP. I have to try to shift that back so that I can get up early enough. The various knockout pills make it so that I'm absolutely not going to be able to wake up before X amount of time has passed, so it's imperative to take them EARLY enough to make mornings a possibility. That's the hard part. Taking them early enough. Because once I take them, that's it! It's all over!

It seems so simple, but then it's like 11:00 at night and I'm having too much fun to want to stop. With the reading and the knitting! Or a soccer game and knitting! Or tv on the ipad and knitting! 

The chain mail headgear came out awesome except the increases on the crown were too fast and too many, both. I should probably rip it out, once I've finished the next one where I do everything right. Aha! Instead of setting ten increases, I set five. And I keep flattening it on top of my head to see when it's big enough. Tough call to make! The fabric of it is stretchy and the long cowl drags it down, so normal hat sizing wouldn't work. It has to be smaller than that.

Designing knitted things is ridiculously fun. It's three dimensional and mathematical and completely goes by feel. I'm super good at spatial relations and translating that into knitting stitches and increases and whatnot. 

Also, who pointed this out? It's always hats. I'm like the hat specialist. I'm certainly going to sell this pattern on Ravelry once it's done. The chain mail tunic is ridiculously awesome, too, but not exactly rocket science to figure out.

Wait. Are you ready? Look!


She looks a little put upon but that's to be expected, when your parents make you put something on so they can take a picture, no? I did NOT knit the hat. It came from Think Geek. The beard is all part of the hat. I know, I was going to knit the dwarven battle helmet and I had the pattern and all, but it never really worked out. (Secretly the pattern is kind of terrible, shhh.)

I wish this wasn't a blurry cell phone picture. 

Here's another one, equally put upon looking. Hee. 

When I made them all viking hats with white wings and long blond braids, everyone got one, so the same went for the dwarven helmets with beards. One for the boy, and one for the girl, of course!

I also gave her hair chalk and a charm bracelet kit, in case you're worried the poor child only got a great big bushy beard from her aunt for Christmas.

Hee hee hee hee hee......I have to knit up her brother's chain mail, come to think of it. It's easy, just hellaciously boring. Which means I have to go to the library first! Hurray! 

I guess I should say I totally failed at going places and doing things over vacation. Whoops! I didn't really budget for all of the astounding amounts of postage I had to pay to mail presents, so there wasn't money to go anywhere much. But also I didn't really want to. That's another whole issue. And there's the utter lack of people issue. Last time I was with people: Thanksgiving. See. That's a problem that I need to work on solving. It is not as easy to acquire people as you might think! Especially when you don't want to go anywhere to begin with! That is where they keep the people, see. Out there. Which is why I don't want to go. Well, that and bears. 

What you have to do is overwrite the bad people experiences with good people experiences so that there isn't this "Aiiieeee! Bears!" reaction to the people. But that means actually somehow causing there to be good people experiences, which is impossible without people. See the problem?

I feel like the solution will be looking in different places. Like if this were shoes, and I kept going to the same shoe stores and having terrible experiences, I would go to different shoe stores until I found one where I had good experiences. Right? Change your approach. Since I'm currently doing nothing at all about people, any change should be better than nothing.

Meanwhile, I have to make the BIG decision about my house. The lease is up in mid-March. The rent is too high for me, but I am pretty comfortable here. 

Negatives: rent, all the people outside constantly, too much traffic, asshole neighbor, constant barking because of dogs going past, wildlife in the walls and attic, people looking in my damn windows all the time, unheatable rooms, expensive heat because no insulation, no storage space, owners won't do maintenance. 

Positives: no pestering from owners, fenced yard, safe area, best location ever, washer and dryer, good closets, gas fireplace, good neighbors on other side, cool in summer, close to library, park, post office. 

I'm sorely tempted to look at places like Independence, which would be so much cheaper. I could save up to get my own place much faster if I didn't live here. Saving up is glorious. Rent might well be the deciding factor. Well, rent plus the insane cost of heating this leaky sieve full of possums. It's always tempting and easy to stay put but not always the best option.

If I were giving someone in my position advice, I'd say: It doesn't hurt to look. Okay!