Tomorrow morning I will drop off 69 hardcovers or trade paperbacks (including various graphic novels and some manga); 46 mass market paperbacks; 7 children's hardcovers; 9 children's paperbacks; and one really nice illustrated version of Anne of Green Gables that might go for a higher price.
A bunch of these books were things people gave me that I never actually wanted -- this accounts for at least a dozen books on writing, plus some weird Christmas gifts -- and some others were things I picked up thinking I'd read them but never actually got around to and which are readily available through libraries, but an awful lot were from my latest bookshelf-pruning expedition. I don't think I have ever cleared out this many books at once.
But Vicky has been experimenting with a life-decluttering philosophy whose gimmick is that rather than looking at items and asking if you want to get rid of them, you should pick each item up in your hands and ask if holding it brings you joy. If the answer is not a firm yes? Ditch it. So I did.
I mean, I still have somewhere between 500 and 550 volumes of fiction, some graphic novels, some manga, two shelves of "I'm going to read this someday, I swear!", and my nonfiction bookcase which I really need to sort through one of these days. I used a fairly low threshold for joy. But there were a surprising number of books I'd been keeping more or less because I'd always kept them, rather than because I liked them or had any intention of ever rereading them, and I decided that that was a dumb reason. Therefore, out they go, and may they find a home with someone who will love them properly. :-)
Next up, decluttering my clothes!
After I post this, I'm going to call the Cancer Center about getting more pain killers. I don't want a lot, not like what they gave when I asked for more after my gall bladder surgery (I still have about fifty tablets from that, and I can't get rid of them legally because the only thing to do with them is to turn them in a police sponsored take back and I can never get to those). I still have seven pills, which would get me through today and tomorrow, but I don't want to call during the long weekend. There will be someone on call all through that time, but I'm not sure when our pharmacy will be open. It's not much good to have a prescription if I can't fill it.
One of Cordelia's good friends who started at her school last year was in danger of not being able to come back because of transportation issues. Her mother is starting a new job and won't be able to pick up her and her brother (who's going into 5th grade) after school. The original plan was for them to take the city bus home, but the district changed the time that school ends, so they'd have to wait about half an hour for the next bus, and their mother doesn't consider that acceptable (and, really, it wouldn't be when it gets really, really cold). The next idea was to have a cab pick them up every day, but the school won't allow a cab to pick them up actually at the school. They'd have to walk somewhere else to meet it. Not too surprisingly, the other mother is not thrilled about having her kids walk to a church parking lot or street corner and stand there, waiting for a cab.
I didn't know exactly what the problem was because I was getting my information from Cordelia. I just knew that there were logistical difficulties that might keep her friend from coming back, so I emailed the other mother and said that we're available as a drop off point well before school starts and wouldn't mind extra kids after school most days (Cordelia and I have some medical appointments that might be a problem). She emailed back to ask if her kids can catch a cab from our house. I have no problem at all with that, so the other two kids are probably going to walk home with Cordelia every day and then wait here for a cab. For the days when Cordelia and I (or just I) won't be here, I don't mind giving Cordelia's friend a key so that they can wait for the cab inside, assuming that's what their mother would like to do those days. I did explain that, right now, my schedule is kind of up in the air due to not having the pathology report yet, but I think we can make this work.
The public library has found five of the seven books we returned last weekend that never got checked in. I'm hopeful that they'll find the other two soon. One of the remaining books, one of Cordelia's, is due this weekend and can't be renewed, so finding it quickly would be a good thing from our point of view.
This month, I think Scott and I will actually use up all of our minutes on our cell phone plan. We got a notice last weekend that we'd used up half of them already, and we're likely to spend a lot of time talking to people in the next couple of weeks. I have no idea how expensive an overage would be, and I'm hoping not to find out, but people do keep calling and talking forever.
I want to do something to Cordelia's cell phone so that it stops buzzing every time someone makes a post to her Google hangouts. That tends to start very early in the morning and continue until fairly late, and it wakes me up. This morning, the dratted thing buzzed about every thirty seconds for fifteen minutes before I gave up and got up. Cordelia has commented that some people will post the same thing over and over again until someone else finally responds to them. That sounds pretty rude to me, but what do I know about adolescents and their social interactions?
Scott's sister is planning to come down today, and we'll go to lunch together, probably at Panera. She said she'd try to talk her daughter into coming because she thinks Cordelia is more likely to enjoy lunch if her cousin is there. That's not actually true. The two girls have very little in common these days. They don't dislike each other or anything like that; they just kind of fail to connect. Cordelia sort of likes the idea of going out for lunch because it's something different, but she also doesn't like it because none of her friends will be there and because she won't be able to read while she eats.
I asked Scott last night if we had enough leftovers to feed us dinner tonight. He didn't say yes or no. He just said, "We'll be fine." I pressed him a little, and he got cranky. I pointed out that I will have the option of going to the grocery store while his sister is here. I'm hoping that "We'll be fine" means "yes, we have leftovers," but I really don't know.
I finally killed yesterday's headache with Amerge. I woke up with a headache again today, and once again, Amerge helped. I really hope I don't wake up that way tomorrow because I'm out of Amerge. I called in a refill, but I may not get that until fairly late tomorrow.
I had Scott take a look at all of my incisions last night. Everything apparently looks fine, and I'm pleased by that. I'm looking forward to showering tomorrow because I'll be able to at least let water run on my incisions. I need to check to see when soap is allowed. It might be at one week, or I might have to wait longer. The booklet of instructions I've got is long, and I end up searching for a while to find whatever small bit of information I need. Scott has an app on his iPhone that gives all of that information, but that's with Scott at work. The Cancer Center has apparently not bothered yet to get an app made for any other kind of smart phone.
I have successfully gotten socks on for the first time since the surgery. I think I'm still going to need help with shoes though as bending to tie those will press things together that I really don't want to put pressure on. I have no idea if Cordelia will be willing to do that. I don't see why she wouldn't be, but who knows? I expect Scott's sister will help if it comes to that.
Yesterday, I pulled all of the dirty towels out of the bathroom and put them in a basket near the door. My intention was to have Cordelia or the cleaning lady take them downstairs and wash them, but I forgot. The cleaning lady very carefully removed all of the towels from the basket, folded them, and put them away in the cupboard where we keep clean towels. That cupboard had been empty, so everything in there afterward was dirty, but Scott didn't believe me when I asked him to wash those towels, and he tried to discern, by looking at each towel, which was clean and which dirty. When I shower, I'm supposed to use a new, clean towel every time. Not being able to trust that the towels in the cupboard are clean will be a real difficulty, so I'm not sure why Scott was so unwilling to just wash all of them. It's not as if that would mean more than one load of laundry.
I called back to protest that my appointment had been scheduled eight months ago. Eventually got to talk to a person, who agreed that my appointment existed and I should not have gotten that phone call.
I don't know what I'd have done otherwise; the reason that I agreed to wait eight months for an intake visit was that I won't go to Associates in Family Medicine, who still employ Dr Steven B. Tippin (*spit*).
I was just thinking about Dr Tippin (*spit*) the other day, when someone posted about the problem of having to present the correct affect in order to get medical care instead of being brushed off as a hysterical woman. Women, of course, are always untrustworthy; pregnant (or menstruating, or premenstrual, or menopausal) women doubly so; and then there's Hysterical Hispanic Syndrome, which is endemic here in Colorado. So of course when I noticed, near the end of my first pregnancy, that the baby's movements were decreasing, I made sure to stay calm and serious as I described it to Dr Tippin (*spit*). He appeared to take me seriously. He asked if there had been a sudden drop-off. I said no, it was very gradual[*], but clearly decreasing from one week to the next. He listened to the baby's heartbeat for 15 seconds, multiplied that by 4, and told me everything was fine.
My mom, who was an ER nurse, said that the doctor must have dismissed my concerns because I seemed like a hysterical pregnant woman. I said no, I had been very careful not to. My mom didn't miss a beat: she said the doctor must have dismissed my concerns because I didn't seem concerned enough.
At the next visit I evinced more distress. I reminded him that I had brought up this concern last time. I said that the baby's movements had continued to dwindle, gradually but persistently, in strength and frequency. He listened to the baby's heartbeat for 15 seconds, multiplied that number by 4, and told me everything was fine.
At the next visit, Dr Tippin (*spit*) yelled at me for not knowing that the baby had stopped moving forever.
That's Dr Steven B. Tippin (*spit*), still practicing with Associates in Family Medicine in Fort Collins, CO.
I do realize that Dr Tippin (*spit*) was yelling at me to drown out whatever small noise his stunted shriveled conscience was still capable of making, but you know that moment in Prince Caspian when Susan has to acknowledge that she saw Aslan, she knew they were going in the wrong direction, she didn't fight for what she knew because... she doesn't even know anymore, but something feeble? That's me.
[*]If you are ever pregnant and worried about whether the baby's movements are decreasing, do kick counts. http://www.countthekicks.org/faq/
At Cuddlebuggery, megsaysthings has designed covers for Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Cycle books and talks about her design choices. Unusual, gorgeous fanart!
xkcd is conducting a survey, AKA "a search for weird correlations".
"Nobody’s Damsel Study Looks at Modern Female TV Characters and the People Who Love Them".
"'Hannibal' inspired fans to turn cannibalistic art into real-world dinner parties". [Spoilers for the finale.] "Hannibal is the only TV show whose food designer (a niche role at the best of times) has a cult following. Painstakingly drawing and then sculpting every one of Lecter's meals, Janice Poon always found a way to make the most horrific murder scenes look delicious. / Perversely, many viewers found themselves wondering how to replicate Hannibal's menus at home—although maybe with a vegetarian option and less handling of raw offal. Like James Bond's cars or Sex and the City's shoes, Hannibal's kitchen exploits became aspirational viewing."
smallfandombang signups are open.
Via musesfool, "Jings and Other Things: How Combat Informs Character, Cultural Progress, and Vice Versa", which musesfool describes as "some excellent meta about how bending has changed between AtLA and LoK, and also across the seasons of LoK, and how that illustrated story and character development." (As she also notes, it's gif-heavy.)
And via a few people, beccatoria posted "The Legend of Korra: Deliberately Deconstructed", which I've only barely started in on as it's a 10,000-word essay.
(wildpear, this is the link I mentioned to you!) siderea has a thoughtful post called "On being a beginning music student".
"Dinosaur Feathers Discovered in Canadian Amber".
"Growing-up for goths: Punks grow out of it and ravers stop raving. Why do goths just carry on? Sociologists can explain".
--One of several articles I've seen going around about this: "The Internet Was Created For Cat Street View". "Created as a tourism promotion by Hiroshima prefecture in Japan, the Cat Street View map reminds us that there are different points of views to explore, specifically those of our benevolent feline overlords."
--"Splashed Watercolor Paintings By Tilen Ti".
--"Women Are Coloring Their Hair “Opal” And The Results Are Mind-Blowing".
--"Japanese candy artisan opens new store below Tokyo Skytree with exclusive sweets".
--"An Adorable Confectionary Scene Depicting A Family of Cats Fishing for Their Dinner at the Dinner Table".
--"Mexico's Conarte Library Gets a New Dome Shaped Bookshelf You Can Sit In".
--Some really impressive balloon animals.
I woke this morning with a headache, and I'm not sure what to do about it. I can't take Tylenol because that's in the stuff I've been taking all week. I suppose I could take naproxen; it's probably been long enough since the surgery to be safe. I just... I worry that that will make the bruising worse.
I tried another one of my romances from the library last night and gave up after a few pages. The story and characters might or might not have turned out to be interesting, but I ran aground on one thing-- Unless she's married to a duke, the daughter of a duke in Regency England is not a duchess. This particular character was unmarried and still referred to as a duchess. The whole thing annoyed me because, judging by the number of books this author has in the library catalog, she's popular and has written a lot. That's fundamental research fail. I mean, this is something I know, and I've never researched English titles or the Regency. Even Cordelia knew.
Cordelia says that, so far, she's not too bothered by love triangles in her reading. She's not fond of them by any means, but, each time one has come up to date, she's picked the right character in terms of who the heroine will end up with. I don't know how she'll feel if the character she doesn't like ends up as the romantic partner.
This year, Cordelia's school is no longer allowing any cars to drop off or pick up in either parking lot. The city requested the change because the whole thing was seriously snarling traffic and would prevent emergency vehicles from getting through if they were needed. I haven't looked particularly closely at the plan because it doesn't affect us, but my impression is that they've designated places several blocks away as drop off/pick up points. Either the children will walk from there on their own, or the parents will have to park and walk with them. In the afternoons, older children (3rd grade and up) will be allowed to walk to the pick up points on their own, but parents will have to walk in to get younger children.
The school emailed out a form that everybody's supposed to fill out that specifies exactly what a particular child is supposed to do after school. I looked it over and emailed them back to point out that there's a very obvious option that's been completely omitted-- There's no option for children to walk home on their own. I really doubt very much that Cordelia's the only child who both lives close enough to walk and is old enough to do so on her own. As long as they let her exit the front of the school (there was a while last year when they didn't, and this year, due to ongoing construction, it's no longer possible to walk around the school from the back to the front without a considerable detour that would probably leave Cordelia getting to the crosswalk after the crossing guard has left), she'll be fine. There is another option for crossing that street at a light, but it involves adding about four blocks to the walk.
Cordelia got her homeroom assignment yesterday. She'll have the teacher she knows from last year, the one who taught English and social studies and moved up to teach 7th grade this year. Most of her friends will be in that class, too. One of her friends may not be coming back because her mother may not be able to drive her back and forth this year. I emailed them to offer that they could drop her off here as early as 6:30 and that she could come here after school most days (Cordelia's medical/dental appointments might get in the way every couple of months). I haven't heard back, so who knows?
They haven't given us the school supply list yet. Last year, there was a long list. This year, however, they've said that the district will provide everything each student needs *and* that a supply list will be coming soon. I just don't know.
The Mirror Empire (Worldbreaker Saga, #1), Kameron Hurley.
Both first volumes of trilogies, both featuring bloodthirsty vegetation, and both on reserve, so they're now back at the library and I am writing this from memory. I intend to read the second books in both series, and then that's probably the last thing they have in common.
Stranger is YA, post-apocalyptic California (Los Angeles specifically from the blurb, but I was unclear exactly where the story was taking place), multiple povs, nifty worldbuilding and diverse cast. Ross Juarez, a loner and prospector who's found a book that the villain wants very much, seeks temporary refuge in Las Anclas, and ends up – somewhat reluctantly - becoming part of the community. Other events and relationships play out among the locals, triggered by his presence, and tensions within and without the community build to a climax.
( No real spoilers. )
The Mirror Empire is bloody epic fantasy, with a very appealing hook; magic workers have powers dependent on which satellite is ascendant in the sky, normally predictable enough; but, rarely, the dark satellite Oma rises and those who have an affinity for it can open gates between worlds. Obviously this story is not set during one of the quiet predictable periods. The multiple worlds is another thing uncommon in epic fantasy, and Hurley does some neat things with the doppelgangers it produces.
( No major spoilers. )
7 Simple Things You Can Do Right Now To Make Your Computer Run Faster the sad part is is how carefully most people would follow each and every step, then write me to complain that 'it did not work', to 'fix my computer' and to 'send me an email when it's done', with not even so much as a 'thank you' attached to any such request. Welcome to my life.
Yes, I am (still!) such a bitch, and no, I don't know why I run such a nice (most of the time; I have these moments, though) blog for the very folks I skewer for lack of computer know-how and overall savagery (people don't seem to realize I'm polite. I will at least start off that way. If you don't, I do tend to stand on ceremony, so things can turn icky kinda quick). I love most of my readers, but I have always done this! 'Here's how you do it - oh, yes, you're welcome', then *under my breath* 'OMG I only run this blog because wow, just wow...somebody's got to do it...dear Lord'. It's certainly never done much for my self-esteem. Well, a few times it did. Mostly when AOL was closing websites down left and right and I wrote stuff that helped people get files off about-to-be-unplugged servers and taught myself FTP and how to mirror websites all at the same time.
That was the lovely thing about this blog...I didn't know jack when I began, only how to write, and when I look back at most of my 2005-2006 entries - especially the hideous intro - I realize I didn't even know how to do that. I simply talked myself into making a blog and eventually got good enough at it to be accused of working for AOL...multiple times, by so many people I've lost count (most commenters to this day seem to work from the assumption that I _am_ the [blithely sarcastic] face of the company). But I didn't know anything. Google was my link to an informal online college/business school/writing workshop/opinion mill/how-to bonanza that helped me put a lot of the pieces together. I knew less the last time I wrote an article than I did the next time. I think writing and running it helped me more than it ever helped anyone else.
Here's a short list of some other skills I picked up just by running my first (and pretty much only) niche-topic blog:
- HTML; how and why to not hotlink; why RTEs suck
- CSS; more HTML; basic page arrangement; refreshed my memory on something called a 'paragraph', which amazingly enough keeps text from presenting as a solid wall of black on white
- why web cookies suck and how to block them (this was sort of a big deal in 2005, the knowing of how to block cookies -there is so much more stuff now to block you could write another entire blog just on that...OMG *light bulb*)
- Oh, and eventually I even learned how to cancel AOL! Which was what the blog was supposed to be about before it wandered off-topic for another four months or so, only to go suddenly on-topic again the following spring when AOL hid all their online info on how to cancel an account. That's when my commenters taught me an incredible amount of google-fu, and I taught myself how to read response headers, what a redirected page meant, what a 404 looked like and why I was seeing it, what a 301 redirect was doing and how archive.org worked. Not bad for one article about one stupid thing AOL did. Also briefly made me web-famous because it grew into one of those most-read articles on article-sharing sites, which was kinda neat.
- How to reverse-engineer software, which I'm not supposed to talk about because it breaks AOL's TOS. I broke all the TOSs. With AOL's pile of crap, not as hard as it might seem.
- Moar CSS. There can never, ever be enough CSS! Just ask my trolls. Around this time I also set up my first website (running Wordpress) with the intention of one day putting Anti-AOL on it.
- That Wordpress is one huge pile of security risks referred to as 'plug-ins' that I would eventually abandon to return to social media, as it was back then. Got tired of seeing more people trying to break into my site than actually use it; got tired of constantly patching and trying to unbreak backend code. It's a bitch when your entire website resolves into one broken line on your home page that won't allow another thing to display. Ultimate control also means ultimate abandonment, and ultimate ability to both break shit and have it broken. While I bristle at the relative nanny state on shared sites like DW, I do really like to break shit. I probably need someone like Denise (or seriously, anyone - it's the figurehead factor that counts more than the actual person) to stop me from just randomly breaking shit simply because I can.
- What clickjacking is. Considering I shut my site down over it in 2009, it was important to understand why hundreds, if not thousands, of people were pissed off so I could know exactly why I leaving. It really did only take that. I don't think LJ enjoyed losing me - by then my blog was a huge traffic driver, probably in the top 100-500 blogs (depending on what day it was and what news I was breaking, exactly) (and this predates the Russian-owner move that allows you to track top blogs now in a nicely arranged list) and for a while I didn't enjoy it, either, but I've made my peace with it...sort of.
- Why you really shouldn't host your anti-company blog on a soft-porn server like IJ (for the record: I have nothing against soft porn. It's just the wrong venue for what I was doing). They're for porn, duh. No, seriously...I did not know that. I just thought "Oh, it's like LJ" *shrug*
- Ditto tumblr-like sites, anything connected to Google...in both my on- and offline lives I've moved too many times, but moving around online has taught me a lot about Where Things Go. (Moving around offline has taught me nothing.)
- Moar CSS! Now there was CSS3 and HTML5 and oh my. Mind you I never use either on Anti-AOL, but I've had to teach myself to stay current in case I ever do yank Anti-AOL off Wordpress.com. In which case I will only ever yank it over here and completely redo its style sheet. Again.
But I'll probably leave it where it is. It'll be 10 years old in another month and a half or so...on Oct. 23, 2005. Because it didn't get its first unique visit until early November, I have some sort of commemoration planned for then (that's right: the commemoration is for my first visitor, whoever they are - and not for the 10-year mark itself - because Anti-AOL did not exist until they saw it). If I have time, I want to do a 10 year post where I upload all the letters and complaints made about cancelling my AOL account (the thing I couldn't do that led me to starting the blog in the first place) and letters from State Attorneys who got involved in the hidden cancel page fiasco the following year.
And I don't have any plans beyond that. When AOL does something newsworthy and I have the time and desire I still write (though I'm just as likely to make my posts on this blog so I can write as I like) but it's just not my every day thing anymore.
This is a tuna chicken noodle casserole recipe my grandmother got from one of her church friends (the eponymous Laddie) back in the day. It was a family staple during my childhood, probably because it is incredibly simple to make.
2 cans chicken noodle soup (condensed)
1 can tuna (preferably in water)
1 cup bread crumbs (soft)
1/4 cup bread crumbs (browned in butter)
Butter a casserole dish. Preheat oven to 350*F.
Lightly brown 1/4 cup bread crumbs in butter. Set aside.
Drain the can of tuna. In a bowl, flake it well with a fork. Add the soft bread crumbs and chicken noodle soup and mix. Beat 2 eggs and fold into the mixture. Pour into casserole dish. Top with the browned crumbs.
Bake uncovered at 350*F for approximately 40 minutes.
(Optional sauce: In a separate pot, heat 1 can cream of mushroom soup plus enough milk to fill half the soup can to use as a warm topping.)
The original recipe says it serves 3-4 people. My mom thinks it serves 4-6. I think it probably depends on what other things you're serving along with the hotdish, though I incline more toward my mom's estimate.
Anyway, the experiment was successful; Laddie's Hotdish is as tasty as I remembered. :D I think in future, though, I will use more bread crumbs to create a slightly drier final texture. I also think my mom is lowballing the cooking time; I baked the casserole for 45 minutes and I am pretty sure another five minutes on top of that would not have caused any harm.
Yesterday I reread The Winter Long (the eighth October Daye book) and started in on A Red-Rose Chain (the ninth), the bulk of which I read today. ^_^ I haven't sat back and reflected on it much, but I feel pretty happy with it. And for people keeping tabs on QUILTBAG representation in the series, we now have ( no names/details, but cut for those who want absolutely NO info going in )
This evening I also read the second American Vampire graphic novel and the second and third Lazarus GNs. I don't think I'll get any more of the former from the library, but I'll try to remember to keep an eye out for Lazarus 4 being released.
What are you currently reading?
What do you think you'll read next?
Probably Sally Green's Half Wild, which I believe will be the first novel I've checked out of the library this year (in my effort to work through the bookcase of purchased but unread books). I bought Half Bad in Toronto in June, and would probably have just gone ahead and bought Half Wild, but a usual problem reared its head: I own Half Bad in paperback, and Half Wild is only out in hardback so far. :/ No point trying to wrestle with the question of a matched/mismatched set when I don't yet know for sure that I like the series well enough overall to want to own the whole thing.
I'm rarely tempted to just switch to ebooks entirely; I don't mind reading them, but I do still prefer paper. But the combined factors of "never have a mismatched paperback/hardback set again" and "(barring tech problems) hopefully never need to wait for a desperately-anticipated new release again" do make it appealing sometimes.
I know I'm just duplicating other people's work here! But I had the energy/focus for coding for once, and decided that re-learning Ruby via the process of making myself a personal Tumblr client was an appropriate expression of my frustration with life. Life and Tumblr.
Dreamwidth, please fix up and document your API, so I can make this thing work for crossposting eventually.
was on vacation for three weeks and family everywhere oh god get away from me aaaaaa. and i still managed to laboriously rstart work on long standing WIPs, so! *forgives self*
-Girl Genius: Sorin/Klaus for a kiss meme (1 736 words)
-ofic: landlord: the mafia fic. (3 285 words)
-Gundam Wing: wolfbrothers (3 333 words)
-BATTLEFIELD TERRA (1 291 words) fucking finished that blocked scene RAAA. ... now onto the... next ... scene... zzzzz.
-demon patrol chapter 28 (896 words)
-kankri/latula/mituna (57 words) (is it complete? the ending feels really shitty to me. urgh. imma sit on it a bit longer to decide.)
it's hard to say i have any real health problems save for chronic malnourishment, at this point. i can't get rid of the arthritis/fibromyalgia, but if you're not living in a small town, you can find things that help that. i can swim every day now if i want, for instance; i can buy a bicycle.
the problem with coming off of something like effexor is that the dangers are twofold: first you have the withdrawals, which feel like alcohol poisoning but also cause the kind of anxiety you WAKE UP with. second you have the fact that you were invariably on it for a reason, and part of that reason is definitely anxiety. i don't feel depressed so much as totally directionless, but i DO feel like my heart is going to pound out of my chest. it (along with the rampant hormones you get when you're not taking anything to control them) has brought back...the Return of the Pure-Obsessive OCD.
this, in case i have never mentioned it publicly (and i'm sure i HAVEN'T, because that's the 'shame' OCD), is the kind of OCD where you're absolutely paranoid all the time that you're keeping secrets from yourself. a straight person will be obsessed that they might secretly be gay; a religious person will be obsessed that they are blasphemous; a schoolteacher will be terrified that they 'secretly' want to molest children. it's your antithesis. it's incredibly convincing, too, because this is the OCD that comes with the images. something like 70% of normal, healthy people have intrusive thoughts, especially people who have just given birth, for instance: they hold their baby, they see themselves, clear as day, throwing the child down the stairs and standing over its lifeless, crumpled body. this is normal and, while it causes some level of anxiety, it doesn't impair function.
but then you have people with pure-obsessive. when i was sixteen i couldn't escape the mental image of brutally slaughtering my mother in a variety of creative ways. no, this was NOT because my mother was a drug addict and i had pent-up rage; at that age i genuinely did not give two shits what she did to me, i thought she hung the moon and i was prepared to protect her to the death from all the horrible people telling me she was hurting me (and because she WAS on drugs and i believed it was going to kill her, and i thought, if she dies, i will also have to die). because i desperately DID NOT want to see her die, because it was the absolute OPPOSITE of everything i am, those images drove me nuts. when i realized how much i wanted to become a parent, all i could see in my head was having a baby and harming it, or raping it. same when i went into childcare.
pick something you love. now imagine yourself murdering, raping, or otherwise harming or abandoning it. these are not passing images. these are visceral scenes that play out in my head. these are insidious suggestions: "maybe you secretly want to kill [x]." since the nature of OCD in general is to take whatever makes you happy and make it a source of anxiety, the nature of pure OCD is to take whatever you are and whatever you love and tell you that secretly, somewhere deep down, you are not that at all. you're something ugly and evil, because you can't control the things you see in your head, and if 70% of the population also has those images, well they must be PERFECTLY SANE because at least they can just wave them away. no, you're sick, because you stop to obsess.
so i have a LOT causing this lately. first i have the simple fact that i went off my meds (for the better, generally) and now i have to deal with withdrawals AND learn how to manage my anxiety with either SAFER meds or NONE. second i have the fact that i am in a stable, happy, healthy relationship with someone who i genuinely love and who, mysteriously, genuinely loves me; the fact that i have developed a much healthier and happier relationship with my family; the fact that i am not planning to die any time soon; the fact that i am looking forward to things; the fact that i WANT things now. classic OCD is "if i don't turn off the light exactly 5 times, my loved ones will die and it will be my fault." pure OCD is, "i cannot stop imagining my loved ones dying at my hands. i've decided to never talk to anyone ever again in case i'm 'secretly' a danger. people like me can't have ANYTHING nice."
pure OCD is being happy, and imagining yourself being unhappy. in pure OCD the compulsion is the thought itself, the rumination, and, of course, the constant googling: 'am i a psychopath?' 'how to tell if you're a pedophile.' '17 ways you might be a serial killer.'
so i'm having a hard time with that. with the help of ele, it's become survivable and i've started sleeping again, but i'm frankly at the point where i am DEEPLY CONSIDERING drinking a cup of valerian root tea every morning (you know, instead of tea that actually tastes good and not like dirty feet). SPOILER ALERT: i have OCD about that too. "AHA. HERBAL REMEDIES. YOU MAY AS WELL DRINK BOOZE BECAUSE YOU'RE SECRETLY AN ALCHOLIC." ...i had to go off coffee entirely. that is definitely not going to help my anxiety.
my anxiety to-do list:
--get some freaking valerian root
--FIND A PURPOSE TO YOUR LIFE. THAT PURPOSE CAN BE KNITTING IF YOU WANT.
--time to go back to the gym.
--have you considered an anxiety journal?
this anxiety of course is not helped by the fact that i am now in my twenties, and i am clinging to the person i was when i was 17. i don't know why, except that i'm not quite the same as i was, and i view any changes as a threat. i don't want the same things i did. i don't have the same interests. i don't have the same ideas for my future. a psychologist said to me when i was 16 that i was going to have to accept that i wasn't the same as i was when i was 12. i was an anxiety-ridden precocious child and i was a suicidal teenager with an eating disorder. i have to figure out what kind of adult i am. i know the basics (i am grumpy; i have a juvenile sense of humor; i have a complicated religious path; i like to sing; occasionally i write stories about demons), but i have to at least consider something like an education or career path. i'm not having an identity crisis (i think i'm done with those for another 25 years or so) but i'm having what can best be described as the quarter-life crisis so popular among millenials. congratulations: you're an adult and you've built your very own adult family and you have your very own apartment in a major city. NOW WHAT?
Taking the bandage off helped the pain levels in one way and made them worse in another. Basically, the adhesive part of the bandage was pulling in some fairly uncomfortable ways on my skin. Now that it's gone, however, the incision is vulnerable to abrasion by whatever I'm wearing to support my breast. I've got a bit of gauze there now to help with that, but we didn't dare tape it in place, so it's being held there entirely by how I hold my arm. Not ideal.
I don't know whether or not we'll have any visitors tonight. I'm torn-- I want to see people and be social. I also, however, want to shower, and I haven't been getting fully dressed (no shirts) the last few days. I can put on a shirt. I just haven't wanted to. (And, in answer to a comment earlier this week, it's possible that a button front shirt might be easier to put on than an over the head shirt. It's just that I only own one, and that is long sleeved. Getting more would require shopping, either going out and trying things on or ordering online and hoping that what came would a) arrive in time to be useful and b) actually fit.)
I'm wearing the compression top again now. I need to wash the two bras that I've been wearing. I'm just trying to decide what kind of soap to use. We're out of Woolite which would be my first choice. I don't want to go into the basement to get our normal laundry detergent. I could use dish soap, but I'm not sure about doing that. It is soap, but it's designed for a different type of dirt. Liquid hand soap and shampoo seem even less appropriate.
I'm getting more on edge, waiting for the pathology results. My surgeon thought everything would be fine, but I want to know for sure, one way or the other. I haven't reached anything near the point of needing Ativan, fortunately.
I'm also finding that I want very much to read or to watch something but that, the moment I pick something up or turn on the TV, my attention wanders. Assuming I can get myself to pick something up or to turn on the TV at all. I can't even manage to click on any of the fics in the tabs I've got open. They all sound good, but I can't manage reading them. I can't even reread my own stuff.
Scott's parents have said they might come down to visit. I asked Scott's mother to give me plenty of notice so that I can be dressed. I think she was a little boggled by the idea that I haven't been getting fully dressed, but she agreed.
I've been reblogging a lot of Hannibal stuff on tumblr, the good, the squee, the insightful, the humorous, the emotional, the awesome, and the ugly. I've been reading a lot of interviews with cast and crew, a lot of thank you's from show officials and fannibals alike. I've tried to capture the madness that is Hannibal fandom after the #HannibalMicDrop on fanlore and with screencaps. I've done a lot of crying and singing and laughing, and I got into a fight with one of my best friends. I'm not sure it is the best way to deal with #HannibalHangover, but whatever.
( Some of my favourite things under the cut )