Friday, August 18, 2017

crying is contagious


I had been trying to get in touch with a neighbor's contractor for damages done to my property by his crew.  I was getting nowhere and finally called the city inspector.  He didn't want to be put in the middle understandably but promised to have the contractor call me.

He knocked on my door, and I went outside, prepared to hear excuses.  He started with that, but then I threw a curve-ball and started crying.  I didn't mean to (I hate crying in front of people), but it's been a rough week/month/year/life.  He completely changed his tone and became more authentic.  And then he pitched that curve right back to me.  He started tearing up, too.  Life has been hard for many of us.

So there we were, standing on my front porch, sweating like animals, talking to each like compassionate people, and casually pushing away tears.

We are still negotiating a fair compromise, but I'm hopeful.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

the year is 17776 (not a typo)


A friend sent me this link to a quasi-space opera, or maybe it's merely science fiction once I read more.  I'm only partially through it, so no spoilers please.  Apparently it's updated frequently, but I'm not sure of the interval.

It's really weird and all over the place.  I'm still on the fence if I like it, but it's certainly different and interesting.  Plus I love that it comes out in installments.  And I always like to encourage reading other people's writing when it's well done.

Go read, and tell me what you think.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

did he just put on an evening glove??


I watched my alternate mailman start to put my mail in the mailbox, stop himself, and start putting on what looked to be a glove.  At first I thought he was delivering biohazardous stuff (what did I order recently?), but those purple-blue nitrile gloves aren't that long.  It was blue and went way past his elbow.  Very long and elegant.

I watched him pulling it up for a good extended minute.  It seemed excessively tight and hard to maneuver.  I finally realized that it was some type of elbow compression sleeve.  Maybe to keep the sun off?  Maybe to prevent mailman's elbow? 

He finished with the cuff and eventually delivered my mail.  I'm way too nervous to see if it's a biohazard...

Sunday, July 9, 2017

it's not phantosmia


The last few times I ran my dishwasher I smelled something burning.  Which is never a good sign, especially if it's imaginary.  Yes, that is a migraine symptom to have olfactory hallucinations.  I don't typically have that, so I investigated further.

Recently I had cleaned out my dishwasher filter and apparently not snapped it firmly back into place.  That resulted in plastic parts sliding onto the heating element and melting.  Nice.

I attempted to correct the alignment and tested it again.  Nope.

Rather than berate myself for fucking up my dishwasher, I researched how to fix it properly.  I think I did finally, but I'll test it again a few more times to make sure.

As much as I'm mad at myself for damaging part of my dishwasher, I'm ecstatic that it's not me who is (further) damaged.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

eat, pray, and cry (not necessarily in that order)


I went to Totoro's memorial service, and I cried a lot.

I had debated whether to wear non-waterproof mascara.  I consulted one of my makeup expert friends, who tried to be supportive of an amateur such as myself.  It was much easier to concentrate on makeup choices beforehand than my grief.  I successfully distracted myself from backing out of going.  A friend offered to go with me, which was very sweet, but I decided to be strong and go alone.

I walked into the church, the same one where I had attended Totoro's husband's memorial service previously.  It had been their church, although she hadn't been a fan of going anymore.  I think she'd attended mostly because he'd wanted her to, and it was expected.

The Priest claimed her as his own, of course.  Fortunately, I didn't get smote down for my blasphemous thoughts.  I sat in the back, just in case a fire broke out on me.  The Priest went on and on about her piety and how saintly her church lady friend was who'd helped her.  Still no smoting, even when I recalled a different reality from what he'd named.  I know he was saying all that righteous stuff to comfort her family.  I hope it worked.  I'm always envious of people who find comfort in religion.

When he started reciting Psalm 23, all I could hear was Samuel Jackson from Pulp Fiction.  I know it's not the same, but I always think of that scene when I hear it.  "Say 'what' one more time!"  As an aside, still no smoting.  Perhaps God has a sense of humor.

There was a picture on an easel, of her smiling.  Every time I looked at it, I cried.  It was a fantastic picture of her happy nature.  She would have been pleased.  We sang some songs and said a few amens.  I mumbled along as appropriate.  Mostly, I cried into my tissue and tried not to smear my non-waterproof mascara.

I greeted her family and offered my condolences.  They thanked me for coming.  It was all very proper.  She'd have been proud of them.  They invited everyone to stay for food, but I'd had enough church and crying for one day.  I made my apologies and bailed.

Crying somehow builds up an appetite, so I came home and filled up my heart with Russian sour cream and ruffled potato chips.  And Milka Daim for dessert.  And then I went to bed to fend off a migraine.


Friday, July 7, 2017

can you hear me now?


How about now?  How about when my phone shuts off by itself?

My cell phone spontaneously shut off once or twice while I had it, but it restarted again, so I didn't bother calling Support.  Until it happened two times within a week.  Which happened to be the week after the warranty expired. 

I called in and spoke with a really nice woman, who patiently walked me through some troubleshooting steps.  I had already tried the obvious ones.  Obviously.  :)

She finally transferred me to Level 2 Tech Support, but as these things do, the call got stuck in limbo, and I hung up after 5 minutes of listening to a weird beeping.  I waited a few minutes to see if she would call back.  Nope.  So, I decided to call in again and ask nicely to be transferred like I was supposed to.  Nope.

My second call did not play out as nicely as the first.  To put it bluntly, the man was a jerk.  And I may have been a smidge irritated.  He wanted to go through all of the steps again.  And when I refused and asked to be transferred to Tech Support, he got his feathers ruffled and said he was Support.  His solution was to go nuclear and do a factory reset.  I wonder why I refused.  Dumbass.

What he didn't know is that while we were speaking, Kitten meowed to come inside, and I distractedly let her in.  In my defense, I hadn't had to deal with this in months, so I forgot.  She came running in with a live baby iguana in her mouth.  Which she promptly dropped in the dining room.  Below I have a blurry pic that I took whilst arguing with Mr. I Know What I'm Doing.

Just then, another call came in, which was Level 2 calling me back.  I tried to politely hang up with Mr. Ego, but he wouldn't let me get in a word edgewise, so I hung up on him.   Yes, it was rude, but I didn't want to miss Level 2.  She was also awesome and very helpful.  Mr. Dumbfuck didn't like being hung up on and tried calling me back several times.  He also sent a childish text message with grammar mistakes.

Ms. Level 2 Awesome was super nice and tried a few other things before suggesting the problem was my phone.

While talking to her, the fucking lizard came running at me.  I did the adult thing, and ran into my office and shut the door.  Because why would a lizard run under a door when it has a giant scary predator chasing it?  But I'm jumping ahead.

As I'm troubleshooting with Ms. Courteous Competence, I see Kitten's paws under my door trying to get in.  I assumed she wanted attention.

Because it was one week out of warranty, Ms. Amazing did an override to get me a free replacement.

I hung up happy and opened my door to see Kitten come rushing in and look behind my filing cabinet.  Uh oh.

And that's when I realized THE FUCKING LIZARD WAS LOST IN MY OFFICE!

Kitten is a bad-ass though and promptly found him and disposed of the evidence.  Mostly.


Kitten adding chaos to my already stressed day

Monday, July 3, 2017

B17 - Bingo!


I'm trying another science experiment on myself.  An acquaintance swears by this, so what could possibly go wrong?

I did some preliminary research years ago but never followed up on it.  Apparently Vitamin B17 (aka laetrile) from apricot kernels has the capability to kill cancer cells more readily than healthy cells.  There are lots of articles which argue both sides.  Obviously, I'm ignoring the naysayers for now.

Vitamin B17 is a natural cyanide-containing compound that gives up its cyanide content only in the presence of a particular enzyme group called beta glucosidase or glucuronidase. Miraculously, this enzyme group is found almost exclusively in cancer cells. If found elsewhere in the body, it is accompanied by greater quantities of another enzyme, rhodanese, which has the ability to disable the cyanide and convert it into completely harmless substances. Cancer tissues do not have this protecting enzyme.

I realize that sounds like bullshit, especially when accompanied by 'miraculously' but I've tried other medically-accepted treatments and been very dissatisfied.  I'm being careful about my consumption and hopeful that it becomes a successful part of my skin cancer prevention regimen. 

I'm assuming that my current depression is related to migraines and memories and not cyanide poisoning.  I guess we'll see...

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

the heavens have been crying prolifically


Which is nice because I can't.  Crying is a migraine trigger.  Go fuck yourself, Universe.

It's been raining for days here.  It stopped for a day or two to let us catch our breath, but it started again.

Kitten is feeling flummoxed.  She goes out every morning for her yard time.  When it was pouring, she checked the front door, the back door, and again to the front door to weigh her options.  She would come back inside very damp but feeling better.  On the really stormy nights when tornadoes were a risk, she crawled into bed with me.

On drizzling days, she barely hesitated.  This cat needs her outdoor time.

Focusing on Nature helps me to grieve and put things into perspective.  I'm just one tiny story out of 7+ billion on one rock among countless others.



pictorial graph for non-scientists

pictorial graph for scientists

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

grief is an ocean


I'm borrowing an anonymous quote from the internet:

"I wish I could say you get used to people dying.  But I never did.  I don't want to.  It tears a hole through me whenever somebody I love dies, no matter the circumstances.  But I don't want it to "not matter".  I don't want it to be something that just passes.  My scars are a testament to the love and the relationship that I had for and with that person.  And if the scar is deep, so was the love.  So be it.

Scars are a testament to life.  Scars are a testament that I can love deeply and live deeply and be cut, or even gouged, and that I can heal and continue to live and continue to love.  And the scar tissue is stronger than the original flesh ever was.  Scars are a testament to life.  Scars are only ugly to people who can't see.

As for grief, you'll find it comes in waves.  When the ship is first wrecked, you're drowning, with wreckage all around you.  Everything floating around you reminds you of the beauty and the magnificence of the ship that was, and is no more.  And all you can do is float.  You find some piece of the wreckage and you hang on for a while.  Maybe it's some physical thing.  Maybe it's a happy memory or a photograph.  Maybe it's a person who is also floating.  For a while, all you can do is float.  Stay alive.

In the beginning, the waves are 100 feet tall and crash over you without mercy.  They come 10 seconds apart and don't even give you time to catch your breath.  All you can do is hang on and float.  After a while, maybe weeks, maybe months, you'll find the waves are still 100 feet tall, but they come further apart.  When they come, they still crash all over you and wipe you out.  But in between, you can breathe, you can function.  You never know what's going to trigger the grief.  It might be a song, a picture, a street intersection, the smell of a cup of coffee.  It can be just about anything ... and the wave comes crashing.  But in between waves, there is life.

Somewhere down the line, and it's different for everybody, you find that the waves are only 80 feet tall.  Or 50 feet tall.  And while they still come, they come further apart.  You can see them coming.  An anniversary, a birthday, or Christmas, or landing at O'Hare.  You can see it coming, for the most part, and prepare yourself.  And when it washes over you, you know that somehow you will, again, come out the other side.  Soaking wet, sputtering, still hanging on to some tiny piece of the wreckage, but you'll come out.

Take it from an old guy.  The waves never stop coming, and somehow you don't really want them to.  But you learn that you'll survive them.  And other waves will come.  And you'll survive them too. 
If you're lucky, you'll have lots of scars from lots of loves.  And lots of shipwrecks."

 and one more anonymous quote:

"Losing someone is not about 'recovering' or 'healing' or being okay with the fact that they're gone; it's about learning how to exist in a new reality without them."

Friday, May 26, 2017

RIP Totoro


My neighbor Totoro died last night.

Her son told me in a text as I was driving to the gym on my lunch break.

I was already feeling like shit because I had slept poorly all night.  My bed was a wreck, with sheets askew, and pillows strewn everywhere.  I woke one of the times with a migraine.  I rolled over to the side and got an Excedrin from the nightstand.

About 20 minutes later, I rolled to the other side and got a triptan from that nightstand.  Yes, I do have meds and water on both sides.  Sometimes it hurts too much to make it ALL the way to the other side.

I managed to get the pain down to a dull roar and decided a light gym workout might do me good.

Up until I got the text telling me that my friend had died. I read it at a red-light.  And started crying as the light changed to green.

I know that she lived well into her 90s and had a long, full life.   But she was sweet and fun, and I liked being able to walk next door to visit with her.  She wasn't as happy towards the end.  She was miserable and in pain, with little hope of ever getting better.

Death is usually for the best by then, but it still hurts to know I'll never talk with her again.


Thursday, May 25, 2017

fucking mouth-breathers


I listened to a podcast at 5am when I found myself unable to fall back asleep (thanks, Kitten), and I learned why mouth-breathing is bad. 

I was barely awake and snuggling with Kitten, but it seems the gist is that breathing through the mouth causes all kinds of health concerns and even serious problems eventually.  The nose is perfectly evolved to give us the correct ratio of oxygen, blah blah blah, and breathing through the mouth screws up that ratio causing problems.

Of course there's a lot more science behind that and exercises to do.  And now that my anemia is gone (YIPPEE!!), my breathing should be functioning better.

Every time I've tried meditation by focusing on my breathing, it's made me tense because I focused on my breathing, and it became stressful.  Now that I have an idea of the science behind healthy breathing, maybe I will try again.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

bending my reality


I write so many fantastic posts in my head.

While I'm driving.
While I'm walking in nature.
While I'm daydreaming in a meeting.
As I'm falling asleep.
When I'm in the shower.
When I'm lying in misery with a migraine.

And then I get back to a place to write them down, and they're gone.  I sort of have the gist of it but lose the magical syntax.  Or I lose the nerve to say some of these things (out loud) in public.  Or I think who really gives a fuck what I have to say.  Some days I get discouraged and want to give up.  What's the point?

But then my hubris kicks in, and I think maybe I can be an inspiration for just one person.  So I keep going.  Because, let's be honest, the alternative sucks, too.

In my mind, I'm a fabulous conveyor of ideas and emotions.  In my mind, I'm a role model for resiliency.  In reality, I'm neither. 

Until I bend my reality to fit what I want.  In my reality, I'm the best version of me.  And you're the best version of you.  You're welcome!


Monday, May 8, 2017

maybe I can outrun it


If I tell myself enough times, I almost believe that I can live a normal life.

If I go enough days without a migraine, I almost believe that I can live a normal life.

And then (if I'm lucky), five days go by without a migraine.

Then one hits me hard like last night.  And I remind myself that I'll never live a normal life.

I was mostly having a regular day, and my head went from zero to 60mph in about 20 minutes while I wasn't paying attention.  Okay, so I kind of knew it was there, but it was later in the evening, so I thought I could outrun it by falling asleep before it got bad.  Sometimes sleep can abort a migraine.  I tell myself that lie so much, that I almost believe it.

I decided it was bad enough to suffer through an injection and get faster relief, rather than a pill and wait soooo long.  I hit a vein.  Blood everywhere.

It's morning, and I know I should medicate again.  It's been three hours, and it's still mild.

Maybe I can outrun it....

Thursday, May 4, 2017

self-editing is the sound of the future


It was much easier to write on my blog when I knew that only strangers (and I) read it.  I've been using it as a form of therapy, a place to organize my thoughts and emotions.

Lately, friends and family have told me that they read my writings, too.

Which makes me start second guessing myself and self-editing.  In fact, it took me days to decide to  publish this post.  I mentioned this to Einstein (my friend, not the dead physicist), who pronounced this very Gödelian.  Yes, I did need to look that up.  No, I'm still not entirely sure what I read.  See why I call him Einstein?

(Speaking of, did anyone start watching Genius on National Geographic?)

Anyway, now I'm hesitant to write about my deepest thoughts, like my intermittent depression and anxieties.  I'm not reaching out for help here.  If I had wanted to talk about it, I probably would have texted a "hey" because I'm descriptive like that.  :)

Feel free to talk to me about what I write, but I reserve the right to ignore you if I'm not in the mood.  Also, if you make a joke about my despair, I doubt I will find it humorous.  Tread lightly please.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

seasons greetings


I think I successfully seasoned my cast iron pan.  Over the years, it lost its seasoning, which I know isn't supposed to happen if taken care of properly.  I finally decided to remedy that.

I scrubbed it with salt, then soap and water, then salt again.  When it was finally clean, I baked it in the oven for almost an hour with coconut oil.  I used it this morning to cook a steak, and it worked perfectly.


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

all in


My garbage collector picked up my trash can with the automated arm.  And threw everything in, can and all.

I was sure he was going to drive away with it, but he got in and fished it out.  Ewww.  Now, I'm hoping it will rain and wash off the goop.

Friday, April 28, 2017

counting down


Apparently I'm still alive.  Holy fuck, what a bad yesterday and night I've had.  I have enough meds in my body to stop a small rhino, and the pain is down to a 2 (on a scale of 1-10).  This monkey on my back turned rabid.

It's #NationalSuperheroDay today.  I think we all know my superpower at this point.  I'm a #MigraineWarrior, of which there are unfortunately too many.  I can fight through pain, deal with neurological oddities, and make it look easy or even invisible.

My office floor is soft.  And the ice-pack is cold.

One more day in this work week.  I can do it.

Seven more hours of pretending to be happy and positive.  I can do it.

Three more mandatory meetings before I can go back to bed.

I can do it.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

fight the Rebellion


As I walked into my neurologist's office, I wondered why they'd added a LOUD television in their waiting room.   I was as cranky as a disturbed hibernating bear.  And five minutes of that TV made me even crankier.  Who knew that was possible?

I think I've been having migraine prodrome symptoms for the past few days.  These are the signs that a migraine attack is coming soon.  Like a hurricane warning.  Lights seem too bright.  Noises are too loud.  Smells are too strong.  And I'm fatigued and cranky.  My gym session suffered yesterday because my muscles were noticeably weaker.  And my endurance was lessened.

I've been virtually attending the Migraine World Summit, and one of the speakers suggested taking an Aleve during prodrome.  There's no research on it yet, but the half-life of Aleve is one of the longest, so he suggested it might be helpful in staving off the pain.  I took an Aleve the next morning when I woke still feeling out of sorts.   And then half an Excedrin.  It's been a few days, and no excruciating head pain yet.  Yay!  But still prodroming...

Back to the doctor's office.  I inquired why the TV, and was told they would be programming it with their own ads.  I hate loud advertising.  I especially hate loud advertising when I have a migraine and can't switch it off. 



Tuesday, April 25, 2017

showing off


I hate when I'm showing off for absolutely no one by cracking my egg one-handed, and I drop some shell in.  I blame the chicken for laying a weak egg.  

Yes, I was making Wendycoffee.

I've modified the recipe somewhat.  Now, I put the cocoa powder and cinnamon in with the coffee grounds to brew for 5 minutes.  I've also stopped adding molasses and cardamom.  Because I'm lazy.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

my mango colada


Mango colada (my own creation), which is quite tasty:

mango
coconut cream
passion-fruit bitters
crushed ice
and rum, of course

mango colada

I like pina coladas & getting caught in the rain


It's been raining all night and all day, supposed to be about 5 inches.  [Obligatory "that's what she said"] 

I've gone on two walks in the rain so far today.  I adore walking in a drizzle when I don't care about my clothes or my hair getting wet.  It was nice and cool out, and the birds were out enjoying the weather, too.  I was surprised to see that the local park was crowded.  People are crazy.  

I'm ready for a pina colada now.  Sadly I have no pineapple.  Perhaps a mango colada might suffice.


 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

unhappy hour


I went out for Happy Hour last night and didn't love it.  I had been looking forward to it all week because a bunch of my martial arts classmates and gym buddies would be there.  Plus, after a REALLY horrible and anxiety-provoking week (yes I did have a sip of rum for breakfast one morning to calm my nerves), I had some great news Friday afternoon and wanted to celebrate.

I suppose my expectations were already too high at this point.

I drove across town in rush hour traffic to a place with very limited, metered street parking.  Yay, my favorite.  :\

After passing by the bar twice (without actually seeing it), I found a relatively safe parking spot where my abysmal parallel parking skills were put to the test.  Only 5 short corrections later, I was in.  Success.  Now, to get out without getting hit.  I then got to the meter and discover it took quarters only.  Welcome to 2002.  I got back into my car to figure out what to do when I remembered my emergency quarter roll stash for this reason.

I threw a bunch of quarters in the meter and went off in search of this hole in the wall.

Dark and LOUD.  Because I was driving and not having an anxiety attack, I wasn't drinking.  I greeted several people warmly, posed for photos, said WHAT? many, many times, and ended up watching the Bulls Celtics NBA Playoff game on the giant TV.

What's the point of going out to socialize if no one can hear each other?

I left after a couple hours of watching my friends deteriorate into drunken behavior and was so happy to get home and climb into bed. 

Friday, April 14, 2017

there is still kindness in strangers


I went for a walk yesterday, partly because I need the exercise ever since my martial arts dojo was closed, and partly because I wanted to play Pokemon Go.  I have a usual walk that I do, but I felt more energetic, and it was a gorgeous day, so I extended my route.  This took me along more roadways than I prefer.

I hadn't planned on seeing anyone, so I wasn't really looking my best.  My hair was pulled up and shoved into a massive lump on the back of my head, which was now windblown and messier.  And, I had no makeup on.  A woman waiting at a red-light yelled out of her car window and asked if I was okay.  Was I sure I didn't need help?

It was late afternoon.  I was sitting alone (battling Pokemon on my phone) and had no visible scars or blood.  Yet, something must have set off her inner watchdog.  At first I waved, signaling I was fine.  That's when she asked if I needed help.  I finally yelled back that I was okay and thanked her.

I can only imagine what a bedraggled mess I appeared.

My first reaction was embarrassment that she had called attention to my disheveled state in front of a line of cars, while I was engaging in nerd activity.  My second reaction was gratitude that there are still people out there willing to help strangers.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

feeling accomplished


I made my cranky mailman laugh this morning.  That wasn't an easy feat, no matter how funny and cheerful I am.  I could hear him swearing and muttering several houses away.   Poor guy.  No wonder he always takes aim at my garbage cans.  Maybe I should put them out every day to let him release some stress.  Or bring snacks next time I see him.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

fun being a tourist


We had gorgeous weather this weekend and decided to be tourists in our own town.

I joked when I went to a new (to me) gym that it had different gravity there, making the weights heavier.  Which led my workout partner and I to talking about the genius Latvian man who built his home out of multi-ton limestone bricks.  By himself.  And he was smaller than I am.  Or perhaps he had alien assistance.  There are so many entertaining theories that one can easily spend time sifting through them.  Or read straight from the man himself.  Personally, I can't wait for the Dan Brown novel!

Anyway, we made the trek down to Coral Castle, which I had wanted to see since I was a little kid.  I had fun and learned a thing or two, which is also enjoyable. 

Afterwards, we stopped at a Cuban restaurant, and I accidentally elbowed a cop.  The booths were small, and I have long arms.  He apologized to me first.  I was impressed how fast he tried to de-escalate.  Of course, I apologized right back.

I ended up getting a hellacious migraine on the return drive.  I did an Imitrex injection as soon as I got home.  Fun always has a price.  :\


Map of the grounds

Where he slept.  Did not look comfy

analemma (learned a new word) sundial





















African Redhead Agama (learned of a new exotic invasive species)










Friday, March 31, 2017

end of an era


My father decided he no longer wants to live here.  He left last week, and I miss him already.  I feel very alone now, with no safety net.  I went from having 10+ family members living nearby a few years ago to only one.  And he's too busy for me.  I saw him at Christmas.  I may see him again at Thanksgiving.

The good news is that Pop learned to text, so we can more easily keep in touch.  But it's not the same as having lunch with him every week. 

The even better news is that my health has improved, and the anemia has stayed at bay.  It's amazing how several pints of blood can make me feel so energized.

Now, I need to work on my laziness and social anxiety, so I can go out and meet people.

Baby steps to the elevator, Bob...





Sunday, March 12, 2017

mental illness monsters


I was talking to a young woman about her new tattoos, and she told me that she wanted to acknowledge her mental illnesses (she had a few diagnoses).  Therefore, she was getting the corresponding monsters tattooed on various parts of her body.

The original artist of these monsters created them to raise awareness and to manage his own illness better.

They say names are powerful.  Perhaps anthropomorphism is also powerful in letting us reign in our out-of-control thoughts.  In the spirit of that, meet my two monsters, Depression, who thankfully hasn't been haunting me much lately, and Anxiety, who has.  Go fuck yourself, Anxiety.


Sunday, February 26, 2017

may the bridges I burn light the way


I sort of made tentative plans to go out with a casual friend last night.  I wanted to hang out with her, but I wasn't that excited about the chosen activity.  Mostly because it was so far to drive, and it would end up being a late night. 

I've turned into quite a morning person the past few years.  I'm up bright and early around 5 or 6am, which means I'm tired by 9 or 10pm.  That said, I can stay up later, but I need a really great reason.  And I don't want to drive a long way home when I'm sleepy.

I felt like an asshole texting her back and saying no.  That said, I was so relieved to be asleep by 9:30pm.

Why is it so hard to make friends at this stage in my life?  I have more confidence than ever, so it should be much simpler for me to say "hey, you seem fun, let's hang out." 

And yet I don't. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

wabi-sabi


Or learning to love my scars.

For those of you unfamiliar, it's a Japanese term which doesn't have a comparable English one.  It means finding beauty in imperfection.  It's usually used for nature and objects, but I'm appropriating it for my body. 

I need to change my perception about my flaws, especially as I get older and acquire more of them.  A flaw makes something more interesting.  It gives us respect for impermanence and fragility.  A core Buddhist belief is that wisdom comes from making peace with the constant cycles and transitions of Nature.  If we're skilled enough, we can spot the eternal in a fleeting moment.

I'm not that wise yet, but I'm taking a few more steps along that journey. 

I am magnificent because of my imperfections.

Friday, February 17, 2017

shower thoughts


I was having serious shower thoughts while washing my hair (which can take some time).  Apparently, the shower is a common place to access our genius lounge and is great for Eureka moments.

Anyway, I was thinking more about that predictive API.  Perhaps my writing style varies so much because it's written by an infinite number of Wendys from parallel universes??

Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

how old are you?


Or should I say how old do you appear online?  I used a predictive API that says it "accurately predicts psychological traits from digital footprints of human behaviour."  Essentially it guesses your age and gender from your writing. You can either use a Facebook page or snippets of text.

Having lots of my writing at my fingertips, I tested various posts of mine.  Most concluded male gender.  (I'm assuming because of my colorful language.)  The more emotional posts were labeled female.  My age range went from 20s to 40s.  Does that make me immature or charming?  :)

I kind of like knowing that I am unpredictable.

Unless of course it's at my favorite restaurants, where everyone knows exactly what I will order.  :)

Monday, February 13, 2017

I made a mess of things


Search: How to remove contact cement from fingers

That would have been a good idea to type in BEFORE I had sticky cement all over my hands.  I didn't want to glue my mouse, keyboard, phone, etc.  So, I searched through my utility closet and found Goof Off.  Note to Self: Don't spray that indoors.  Also, buy more because a 10 year old can doesn't work that well.

I cleaned off most of it.  Enough to use the vast power of the internet, which told me to use acetone.  Perhaps it's just me, but maybe there should be a note on the cement bottle telling dumb-asses like me to think ahead because drips happen and then somehow it's all over both hands.  :)

Nah, who needs warning labels?  That's what makes life adventurous and fun. 

Plus, now I can play with peeling off the remaining contact cement throughout the day when I get bored.

Friday, February 10, 2017

new cables


I know everyone gets so adamant about next-day delivery, but there's something to be said for old-fashioned, week-long delivery.  I forgot what I ordered and had fun opening boxes, like it was Christmas!  Plus it provides my mailman with exercise when he has to get out of his truck to carry the package to my door.  You're welcome! 

I bought more of my favorite hair-styling gel, Kinky-Curly Curling Custard Gel.  Because of course I did.

And a couple of household items.  And then I needed to add something inexpensive to get free shipping because I'm a dumbass and fall for that every time.  I ordered three cables in pretty colors, which are extra long so I can relax wherever, while I'm charging.  I already opened the pink one before taking the photo.  It's working swimmingly.


Thursday, February 9, 2017

addendum to my science experiment


A concerned reader (who am I kidding?  We all know it was Einstein) sent me an article explaining ethylene's effects more fully.  It lists avocados as producing ethylene but not sensitive to it, which is perhaps why my experiment failed.

And no I haven't gone back to my food friends to let them know of their mistake.  I would want to know if it were me, but it feels rude to correct people who are generally way more knowledgeable than I in this area.  Perhaps their avocados are susceptible to the Placebo Effect.  :)


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

I will not fall today


I can feel the dark edges creeping in.  I am feeling overwhelmed by life's entropy.  I know I will get sucked back into the mire of my negative thoughts.  I feel the inevitability of darkness and depression. 

But today I will be strong, and I will fight it.  I will do extra self-care.  I've made plans to exercise and have lunch with a friend.  I will pamper myself the rest of the day.  And tell myself pretty lies.  I will make course corrections every time I feel my wheels drifting into the void.

I will fall again.

But not today.

Monday, February 6, 2017

science experiment


I bought some avocados at the store which were rock hard.  I asked some food people, including but not limited to Einstein, how to ripen them faster.  He said leave them on the counter.  They said put them in a paper bag on the counter with either a banana or an apple inside because the ethylene gas from the fruit would ripen the avocados faster.  I made a joke about how they were trying to poison me with lethal gasses and they didn't understand my humor and replied seriously that it isn't lethal.  Sigh.

I dutifully put two avocados in a brown paper bag with an apple.  And because I'm me, I left two outside of the bag, also on the counter, as a control group.  Every day I checked them to see which softened first.  Wouldn't you know the two outside did?  Oh well, I was pleased not to have to eat all four at once.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

conflicted


I learned yesterday of a woman in my online migraine community who suicided because she was all done hoping.  There's only so much hope that can override days, weeks, years of relentless pain.  Finally, reality sets in, and we realize that hope is false.  It doesn't apply to us.  

I don't know whether to be sad for a wasted life of someone who could have done great things if only the pain weren't there, or to be content that her pain is gone now. 

It's so easy to fall into the 'if only' trap.  And so hard to adjust one's life-goals to reality.  No, I didn't get my PhD and have a brilliant career in whatever.  I quit graduate school and took a path of less stress, less challenge, and less recognition.  But, the Migraine Monster's interminable pain and loss of hope haven't driven me to suicide yet, so perhaps it was the better path. 

I mentioned this to a casual acquaintance and he told me he was dealing with an employee going through similar circumstances.  People may logically realize that migraines hurt and are difficult, but it's almost impossible to quantify the emotional toll over years and decades  -- dreams and relationships which have withered away.  

Please don't judge.  In these two (and so many more) instances, suicide was not a 'permanent solution to a temporary problem' (I hate that fucking judgmental expression).  It was a permanent solution to a permanent problem.  Don't belittle our lifelong pain and emotional suffering because of your guilt or inconvenient grief.

This is your friendly reminder that so many people are hurting, even if they don't show it.  Please be kind to each other.

Friday, February 3, 2017

groove is in the heart


I'm happier lately.  Little things make me smile again.  It's so much easier being upbeat when my pain levels are down and my energy levels are up.  I'm still not at 100%, but I'm optimistic again, which feels so good.

This isn't to say that all of my problems are gone.  I continue to have plenty.  Rather, it feels like I'm me again.  I'm sure I'll stumble and have setbacks, but I'm enjoying my positivity while I have it.

Get up and happy dance with me.  :)



Friday, January 27, 2017

I'm also a Dolphin


Or maybe a Bear.  Originally, I thought I was a Lion, but I took the quiz a few times and didn't get Lion.  What the hell am I talking about?  My chronotype, of course.  It's a way to classify people by their sleep needs.

After 5 tries, I got Lion!  I'm definitely not a Wolf (aka Night Owl), though.  :)

It seems like this is more scientific than I'm portraying.  I think I just suck at taking these types of quizzes because I'm always over-analyzing the questions and answers.  I'm curious what others think of this quiz and their respective classifications.  Let me know...

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

I am the Intrigue


I did one of those silly personality tests, which I'll link here, but I caution you against using a real email address.  I got bombarded with 'Hey sign up now' emails afterwards.  They did honor my unsubscribe request, so that's a plus.  And I used a lesser email address just in case because I wasn't born yesterday.  :)

All that said, it was fairly accurate.  I have a combination of Passion and Mystique, which sorts itself out as The Intrigue.  I don't mean to bash this woman's livelihood because some people may find it very helpful indeed.  She promises help with resumes, etc.  I didn't sign up for that because I wasn't at all surprised by the outcome.  I've heard that some people are a bit confounded.

I find it somewhat amusing that most (all?) personality tests use only positive adjectives.  It's nice to think we're always fantastic people, but I know I have my flaws.  Passion tells me I'm wonderful to be around and inspiring blah blah blah.  I think they could probably add annoying if one isn't in the mood for excessive enthusiasm about whatthefuckever.  :)

And my Mystique tells me I'm independent and minimalist, which I also know can be annoying as fuck if one wants to see behind the logical facade.  I've had more than one person ask me to be extra verbose, when I opted for succinctness. 

The two descriptors almost seem to be opposites of each other.  As if humans aren't easy-to-categorize, simple creatures.  Ahh, well, know thyself.

Monday, January 16, 2017

HAPPY NEW YEAR!


Remember how I thought two weeks ago was the one of my worst weeks ever?  It got bumped down the list.  I don't want to go into detail, partly because (despite me writing my life on a public blog) I am quite a private person, and partly because I was thankfully unconscious a lot due to extremely strong meds.  After several days at the hospital, I was deemed well enough to go home under the care of one of my sisters, who flew in specifically to help me.

SPOILER:  I am writing this as I sit home alone and unattended for the first time in over a week and feeling better than I've felt since before Christmas.  I had enough spoons today to wash, condition, and style my hair (somewhat, let's not get carried away).

Sixteen days later, I'm almost ready to have a fresh start for a new year.  HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

ho lee fuk


I have had one of the worst weeks of my life.  So much pain.  Migraines upon migraines.  Pain to the point of my body almost passing out.  Breaking out in sweats.  Vomiting and weakness.   Fatigue and lethargy.  

I've barely been eating because pain is an appetite suppressant for me.  And going downstairs wears me out for a good 30 minutes, therefore I obviously wasn't expending many calories.  Swearing and writhing on the floor in pain in waves must be some type of HIIT exercise though.  I hope so because my current exercise routine went all to hell.

I took two showers sitting down to wash my hair because I had run out of spoons.

Many things ran through my brain during the moments of intense pain, as well as the hours of recuperation each time.  A particularly oblivious person once said to me how nice it must be to lie down so much because of all the thinking time I get.  Pain and suffering tend to slant the line of thinking.  I wondered how many villages I had murdered in a past life to deserve this intensity and duration of pain.  

I listened to many audio books on my 'vacation,' with my phone permanently on Do Not Disturb.  Somehow my cat didn't understand that I couldn't move to accommodate her routine.  So every morning during a respite, I would drag my sorry ass downstairs to take care of her, and usually switch out my icepack.

I had been one of those assholes saying "Fuck 2016," pretending that all my problems would magically disappear from one day to the next because of an arbitrary date.  Denial is lovely.  Until the truth can't be denied.  Fuck you, 2017.  Is it 2018 yet?