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December 4th, 2013
out of cope
I am not doing very well. I was just hanging in there, waiting for things to get better, just enough better that I'd have enough energy to take some actions to actually make things better. Spending the day in bed, mostly, because I'm not sleeping well because I have to get up every couple of hours to change my tampon. Managing to make tea. Managing to feed the dogs without bending over. Worrying about finding something to eat, getting the sidewalk shoveled, getting more tampons and toilet paper and clean laundry when I run out.
I got up to have another cup of tea and set my bite guard on the table because I was just going to drink my tea and then put my bite guard back in and go back to bed. But I got interrupted by sudden gushing from the nether regions. When I got back from changing my tampon -- you know where this story is going, don't you? -- I discovered the little dog chewing pieces off my bite guard.
Now I can't stop sobbing. I should call the dentist and see if she can fix it, but I don't have a car and if I did I couldn't leave the house because I would bleed all over everything and anyway I can't make a phone call because I can't stop sobbing.This entry was originally posted at http://boxofdelights.dreamwidth.org/234660.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
December 1st, 2013
The daily assignments challenge is so far beyond my means it's not even a stretch goal, more like levitate myself to the moon goal. But this modification from china_shop
is something I might be able to do:
Give me a topic, and at some point in the next few weeks I'll ramble about it. It can be anything from fandom-related (specific characters, actors, storylines, episodes, etc) to life-related to pizza preferences to whatever you want.
My rambles will probably be brief, or not, depending on the subject.
Also, I reserve the right to decline prompts that I don't feel equipped to meet (or if I feel I will only speak negatively on something, I might ask you for something else).
Topics: you can get an idea from my tags/from the stuff I usually ramble about/from things you maybe wish I talked about more but don't. Lurkers, passers-by, etc, all welcome -- don't be shy. :-)This entry was originally posted at http://boxofdelights.dreamwidth.org/234205.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
November 28th, 2013
away from her
Thanksgiving dinner was good. Mungo, Neal and me, for probably our last family Thanksgiving for a long time. We had our traditional Greek Pizza. The dogs had dog food, except Newt demonstrated that he could generalize stealing apples out of the grocery bags at my house to stealing apples out of Neal's backpack. (He is a clever dog when it comes to food. He discovered, all on his own, that green tomatoes on the vine are food.) We made baklava for the first time, from a very simple recipe
except we added pecans and sunflower seeds to the walnuts. It was excellent. I think we're going to try to make vegan baklava for Christmas, when Nixie is here. Any advice?
Then Neal and I watched Away From Her
, about a woman with Alzheimer's entering a long-term care facility. I picked it out at the library because Sarah Polley, but it was specially poignant for Neal because his mother is going into that kind of facility Sunday. Well, not quite that kind: Neal says, either Canadian nursing homes are much nicer than American ones, or movie nursing homes are much nicer than real-life ones. We both liked the movie a lot until the end which... huh? If you've watched it, why do you think it stopped there? If you've read the story it's based on, Alice Munro's "The Bear Came over the Mountain", how does it end?This entry was originally posted at http://boxofdelights.dreamwidth.org/233981.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
November 18th, 2013
white elephant gift exchange
Have you participated in a white elephant gift exchange
? Did you enjoy it? What did you enjoy about it? What rules did your gift exchange follow? Can you articulate any unspoken rules that everyone followed (like "don't gift a puppy"), or describe an occasion when an unspoken rule was broken?
My book group does this every year. I don't remember whether they started it before I dropped out, but it is the kind of thing that, when faced with, I generally find reasons to be elsewhere. Because it is the kind of thing that has rules, but nobody will tell you what they are. But this year, someone other than me was brave enough to admit to being made uncomfortable by not knowing what the rules for an acceptable gift were.
The six of us who attended November's meeting talked it over, not very successfully. Some people participate in more than one of these, and were more willing to talk about how it works (or doesn't) in their other group. One woman mentioned someone giving broken venetian blinds. One woman said that, in her other group, a sex swing got regifted every year. One woman mentioned receiving a shoebox full of hotel shampoos and lotions, which, she thought, was not intended as a joke gift. One woman who wasn't present at November's meeting was mentioned as always spending too much *and* adding homemade cookies.
One woman advocated for doing whatever pleased you, taking into account the fact that everyone else would be doing whatever pleased them. One woman, who had been trying to express how bad it can feel to receive a box of crap, especially when you have put time and thought into a nice gift, felt that the discussion had portrayed her point of view as selfish.
I would love to hear from a wider network, if you care to post a pointer to this.This entry was originally posted at http://boxofdelights.dreamwidth.org/233124.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
November 9th, 2013
Also had really annoying phone conversation with my doctor who decided to take that opportunity to reopen the question of why I was not taking statins. "Why is it," I asked her in return, "that in all the times you've told me I should be taking statins, you've never mentioned any possible side-effects? You've never talked about the pros and cons, only the pros." :
"Oh," she said, "well the only likely side-effects are some people get aches, and sometimes they just can't tolerate them." And then she went into her rant about American diet and American cholesterol levels and she used to see two heart attacks a year but now she sees two a week and so on. And I just sat there and listened to it. I got distracted by the rant, and forgot about my question, which she didn't even pretend to answer, which was not
"what are the side-effects of statins?"
My question was, why
didn't her recommendation to take statins come with information about the pros and cons in the first place? Does she really think it's okay to only give me the information that supports her decision?This entry was originally posted at http://boxofdelights.dreamwidth.org/232792.html. Please comment there using OpenID.Tags: don't be interesting just post
, i hate doctors so much sometimes
So, I have lots of fibroids, and also an abnormal endometrium. And an appointment for an endometrial biopsy. Since the ultrasound tech can only talk to the radiologist, and the radiologist can only talk to my doctor, all I know is that the endometrium is abnormally thick; if there are other abnormalities, that info did not filter through to me.This entry was originally posted at http://boxofdelights.dreamwidth.org/232559.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
November 7th, 2013
One thing that fills me up to overflowing with love and pride for this child of mine is that she can acknowledge when she has done something racist. It hurts her self-esteem but she doesn't let that hurt stop her from perceiving the truth. In email earlier today, she wrote:
Umm I was waiting for the bus and there was this man in a giant trench coat and what google tells me is called an 'outback' hat smoking a pipe, with a blonde, blue eyed, clean looking toddler in a stroller. And I was trying to imagine him smoking in the house with that kid, and had difficulty.
I find it hilarious/disturbing that the toddler's blondness and blue eyes get classified with "clean looking" as reasons why its innocent pure lungs should not get dirtied up with second hand smoke.
And she replied:
WOW I am so racist that's so annoying. [...] At first I was like 'no, it wasn't the kid being caucasian that made me think this...I was just including those details to give you a picture of the scene' but there are plenty of other equally extraneous details I did not mention.This entry was originally posted at http://boxofdelights.dreamwidth.org/232264.html. Please comment there using OpenID.Tags: mothering
November 5th, 2013
So, a thing I said in comments was that I prefer naked contempt to thinly-veiled contempt because it's easier for me to deal with. The veil works on me like a matador's cape, confusing and distracting; I can't really come to grips with the fact that someone keeps disrespecting my decision and my right to make a decision because it's so, it's so... so distracting! the way they say "Respectfully," every time it happens!
What about you?This entry was originally posted at http://boxofdelights.dreamwidth.org/231937.html. Please comment there using OpenID.Tags: don't be interesting just post
November 4th, 2013
dr appt was had
I got a flu shot and an appointment for a vaginal ultrasound to look for fibroids yay. Last time I took my blood pressure at the grocery store it was 112/82. When the nurse took it it was a bit high, which it always is -- but what do you expect when you measure my blood pressure right after you have me step on the scale? Then, when the doctor took it it was 150-something over 90-something, which is actually not bad for immediately after talking to this doctor. My last two visits with her, it was 170-something over 100-something when she took it.
I have talked to her about the specific things she does that ring my alarm bells but it doesn't seem to make any difference. She questioned me, as usual, about my employment status and my employment prospects and my employment history. I gave the same answers I always give. She repeated my answers back to me with a questioning inflection. I would be able to believe that her intentions were friendly if she didn't repeat what I said back to me with a questioning inflection!
And if she didn't ask me the same questions every time even though my answers haven't changed in years.
At least this time she did not ask, "Don't you ever get tired of not working?"This entry was originally posted at http://boxofdelights.dreamwidth.org/231832.html. Please comment there using OpenID.Tags: don't be interesting just post
, i hate doctors so much sometimes
November 2nd, 2013
Walking along Boulevard René-Lévesque from the train station to our hotel, I lagged behind Mungo. (short legs, old feet.) So I had a clear view of the guy in business casual, carrying a laptop, standing on the corner. Mungo stopped, put his foot up on a low wall, and bent over to retie his shoelace. Laptop Guy approached Mungo, looking him over. Then he noticed me giving him the Maternal Eyebrow of How Dare You. He sprang back just as Mungo stood up. Mungo noticed the guy jump back, and thought he might have been trying to pick his pocket. I suppose business casual would be good camouflage for picking pockets. Or maybe Laptop Guy was a reporter, waiting to meet some teenage street artist for an interview? But my first impression was cruising.
Laptop Guy, it's half your age plus seven, or you're a creep. And I don't mean the age you fondly imagine when you gaze into the mirror.This entry was originally posted at http://boxofdelights.dreamwidth.org/231450.html. Please comment there using OpenID.Tags: don't be interesting just post
October 30th, 2013
I got flowers, chocolate, a balloon, a phone call from my daughter who is trying to get her visa in order for a trip to Russia, a very nice dinner out with my husband and son.
I wish I could also have some pause in the old meno. (I have decided not to cut-tag for gross. I have heard the argument that I should treat disgust at menses as kindly as I would arachnophobia, and I am sorry, but for my own well-being I need to reject every way I was taught to feel shame at having a female body. No hard feelings toward anyone who decides to stop reading what I write, for any reason.) I don't even understand how this is happening. I'd have thought the uterine lining needed some time to build up before it began shedding again, but I've been bleeding from August 6 to August 29, then September 5 to September 22, then October 6 to 15, and October 20 to who knows. And most of those days have involved chunks and containment vessel failures.
I've been doing this for forty years already. I am so done.This entry was originally posted at http://boxofdelights.dreamwidth.org/231080.html. Please comment there using OpenID.Tags: don't be interesting just post
October 29th, 2013
So Mungo and I did go to Canada and also returned thence. We are both confident that Mungo could be happy and get a good education at either U of T or McGill. I liked Toronto much more than Montreal, but that may not be much of a compliment to Toronto: I'm not a city girl.
In Toronto, I got to spend time with bcholmes
, and em_h
took me to the Royal Ontario Museum, which is a really good museum. I felt envy when the tour guide at U of T mentioned that U of T students can visit the ROM free on Tuesdays, but then I remembered that they're college students, they're never going to have the time to go.
B.C. said that, among Canadians, Torontonians are reputed to be cold and standoffish. They seemed polite and kind to me. When Mungo and I were on the bus-to-subway step of our journey from the airport to the hotel, I was saying to Mungo, well, here's the subway, but how do you make sure you get on the right train, one that's going in the right direction? An airport worker who had ridden the bus with us said, "There's only one direction from here." Which was a relief.
It is difficult to decide when to talk to strangers. On that subway ride a school group of nine or ten year olds got on. One of the girls grabbed the pole next to me. One of the boys started playing with her hand: he moved her thumb so that it was pointing upwards, instead of wrapped around the pole, and then pulled her hand off the pole. She shook his hand off and grabbed the pole again. He moved her thumb so that it was pointing upwards. She shook his hand off with a sound of annoyance. He started moving her thumb again. "Hey," I said kindly but firmly, "she doesn't want you to."
Generally, I'd agree that an adult who has no relationship to a particular child should probably leave them alone. I don't know that I was right to butt in in this case. But, I thought, if I were that boy's mother and the adult in charge didn't see what was going on, I would want me to say hey, I understand that exploring your power is an essential part of growing up, but that person is just as much a person as you are, so her desires are objectively just as important as yours are, and in this case her desires trump yours because that is her hand
I guess that is why I am not a city girl: when you don't live in a city, you don't have dozens of interactions every single day with people who have no relationship with you, so you don't have to think about this sort of thing so much. It is tiring.This entry was originally posted at http://boxofdelights.dreamwidth.org/230911.html. Please comment there using OpenID.Tags: don't be interesting just post
October 12th, 2013
I seem to have lost my phone. Normally this would only be inconvenient, but I am going to Canada in a few days and need to stay in touch with my son when we go in different directions, also communicate with the people I'll be seeing there. Do coffee shops generally have free wifi in Toronto and Montreal?
If you were my phone, where would you be?
ETA: Found! It was resting on a ledge between the headboard and the wall, which kept the phone securely hidden from sight. Since I was smart enough not to turn the ringer back on after leaving the library, it was also safe from discovery by sound!This entry was originally posted at http://boxofdelights.dreamwidth.org/230439.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
October 1st, 2013
Mungo and I are going to Canada, to visit U of T and McGill, from October 16-22. We're going to fly to Toronto and take the train from Toronto to Montreal and back. I haven't booked hotels in either place yet. Do you have any advice? Price is the second most important consideration, after being able to get to and from the respective campuses. And the airports and train stations.
Would any of you like to see us while we're there?This entry was originally posted at http://boxofdelights.dreamwidth.org/229260.html. Please comment there using OpenID.Tags: mungo
September 26th, 2013
has arthritis. Only in one elbow, but that elbow is so crudded up I am surprised that he has only just started limping. Also his allergies, which improved a bit with the grain-free food, have flared up again. Are allergies and arthritis related? They're both described as inflammatory, but is that just a metaphor or are similar things going on at a cellular level?
• What are you reading?
The Child's Child, by Barbara Vine. Getting into the head of someone whose actions seemed insane, seeing how it all made sense from their point of view, is something Ruth Rendell has always been good at. But in this book it feels like she literally isn't even trying. Here's the protagonist (who is getting a Ph.D. in English literature) describing the conscience-violating and out-of-character action whose consequences drive the rest of her story:
What it came down to was, I shouldn't have done it. I could have said no to him and sat up and hugged him again. Now I have forgotten why I did do it, but not forgotten that I did.
That's it. That's all she can tell us about her thinking.
• What did you recently finish reading?
Still Alice, by Lisa Genova, for library book group. This isn't really a novel; it's more a What To Expect From Early-Onset Alzheimer's article dressed up to look like a story. Wholesome but dreary. Do people really find information more interesting when it is presented by two characters as-you-know-bobbing at each other?
• What do you think you’ll read next?
White Horse, by Alex Adams. Jacqie says she likes to pick something a little creepy for October.This entry was originally posted at http://boxofdelights.dreamwidth.org/229002.html. Please comment there using OpenID.Tags: aiko
, don't be interesting just post
September 20th, 2013
another reason for blanket podfic permission
(Note: this is not addressed to anyone who has already decided not to offer blanket permission. Your decision is yours. If your reasons satisfy you, that is good enough for me.)
I'm signing up for a fic fest, for which I am offering to podfic. I'd like to check the "any" boxes, because I am willing to read anything. (I have read Berenstain Bears books to make people happy. I am willing to read badfic if it will make you happy.) But, however willing I might be, the only way I can be sure not to default is to only check the boxes for which there is at least one >1000-word fic available.
It is time-consuming but not difficult to check AO3 for fic's existence, but I don't know whether the fic is available for podfic unless I write to the author or the author has a blanket permission statement. And I'm not going to bother people to tell me whether their fic would
be available if
I got a request it could fulfill!This entry was originally posted at http://boxofdelights.dreamwidth.org/228720.html. Please comment there using OpenID.Tags: don't be interesting just post
September 14th, 2013
Captain Awkward had a column on this...
Nixie is enjoying being at UIUC. She is really excited that she can go to a psychology brown-bag (where someone presents their research) every! day!
Living in a strange place is uncomfortable, still. It's too humid to run during the day; she's thinking about taking a self-defense class; she'd like to make friends, but that's so easy when you're just dropping by other people's already-full lives; she doesn't have internet at home; one of her roommates never stops talking
Since a lot of what he doesn't stop talking about is how wonderful he is, I thought maybe this was his sad idea of how to impress girls, but he does the same unstoppable monologue with their landlord, who is a man, and the landlord doesn't deal with it any better than Nixie. I know Captain Awkward had a column on this. Do any of you have it bookmarked? Or do you have any strategies to try?This entry was originally posted at http://boxofdelights.dreamwidth.org/228205.html. Please comment there using OpenID.Tags: don't be interesting just post
September 13th, 2013
straw bale gardening
Can you make straw bale gardens with hay that has been spoiled by getting wet, or will the mold be a problem?This entry was originally posted at http://boxofdelights.dreamwidth.org/228031.html. Please comment there using OpenID.Tags: don't be interesting just post
rain called on account of game
Aiko and I learned that our usual walk to the river
is a fair bit shorter today.
Neal's backyard looks like this:
His house and barn are at about the same elevation as the stone quarry shed you can see across the creek, so not in danger of flood.
There's no way to get to the airport today, so he walked down the road to the low point where it crosses the creek and saw:
The barn was holding young alpacas who did not want to be there but really did not want to walk through the knee-deep water surrounding it to get to a higher spot.
Neal and other neighbors offered their pasture and hay, and helped lead the alpacas out. This entry was originally posted at http://boxofdelights.dreamwidth.org/227833.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
September 12th, 2013
This is what the creek at the bottom of the pasture at my husband's house looked like this afternoon:the creeknot the creek
and it has been raining steadily since then.
Mungo is at work now, planning to drive home to my husband's house tonight. I told him DO NOT DRIVE INTO A FLOOD. If you see water running across the road, turn around, stay in town tonight. I know he won't want to because he has no clean clothes here. He is a fastidious boy. Neal says the road between Fort Collins and his house is fine, and if that changes, the county will put up road blocks. They are on top of it.
Neal thinks Mungo's greatest danger is getting stuck in the driveway, which would be really quite inconvenient since Neal is flying to California tomorrow for his nephew's wedding. We'll see if Mungo has learned anything since April
.This entry was originally posted at http://boxofdelights.dreamwidth.org/227405.html. Please comment there using OpenID.Tags: mungo
September 5th, 2013
• What are you reading?
Liars and Outliers, by Bruce Schneier, still.
Fullmetal Alchemist, Volume 2, by Hiromu Arakawa.
• What did you recently finish reading?
The Next Best Thing, by Jennifer Weiner. I was pleasantly surprised that this book contains neither a fat girl who becomes attractive by losing a lot of weight after heartbreak nor an unplanned pregnancy that turns into a Happily Ever After family. However, it contains Romance Miscommunication. She spends two-thirds of the book silently pining for him. Then he initiates kissing, tells her that he has been pining for her, tells her that she is beautiful. They have sex. She has facial scars, so she decides it must be a pity fuck, and:
"Fine! Great! Everything's fine!" Even as I was speaking, and trying to ignore the look of hurt and surprise on his face, I was coming up with a plan. I would pretend that this was a casual encounter, a fling, a one-time-only event. I would pretend that I was a girl who had casual encounters and flings. I wouldn't tell him how I really felt, or how wonderful it had been, there in the water, the slow liquid lapping of his tongue, his hands strong against my skin. Heaven. It had been heaven. And, I realized, with my heart wrenching, it would be a heaven I'd never experience again.
Other than that, it's about working your way up to getting your sitcom produced, and then watching all its character and integrity get erased as various people with more power tweak it toward their idea of marketable. I think Doris Egan wrote a post about that.
• What do you think you’ll read next?
I had better get to at least one of my book groups' next books:
The Player of Games, by Iain Banks,
Sometimes a Great Notion, by Ken Kesey,
Still Alice, by Lisa Genova.This entry was originally posted at http://boxofdelights.dreamwidth.org/227158.html. Please comment there using OpenID.