wow

Apr. 4th, 2007 10:45 am
luciab: (Default)
I just got a surprise.... a book I read was much better than I expected. I remembered liking Guy Gavriel Kay's work in the past but the last one of his I tried to read was.... well, awful, at least given the mood I was in at the time. I'm never sure how much of "great" or "awful" is my mood and how much is their skill. Anyway, I saw his new book Ysabel on the new book shelf at CAM and picked it up on the basis of pleasant memories of his earlier work and skimming the blurb. Started out well enough that I stayed up till 2 last night reading it. That's not as late as it sounds since I was up till midnight watching The Shield and doing homework during the ads. This morning I finished it and was nearly in tears. And really, that's a lot. What makes my eyes prickle would be a two-box-of-Kleenex event for some people who aren't as butch as me about crying. The main character is a teenage boy, and Kay did a good job of making him seem real. The main plotline is... beautiful in a terrible, epic sort of way. Really caught me off guard; I've been reading pretty run-of-the-mill mysteries. Good but nothing to make my head spin around. Part of this was leaving the mundane world for the fantastic for a bit.

I got the latest incarnation of That Damn Paper submitted. I got as much as I could done and finally realized that I was bone dry, no ideas left. Hadn't done everything she suggested or even as much as I had hoped but just didn't care any more. I wound up sending a note along with the paper saying that I knew it wasn't my best work but was the best I could manage, what with migraines and concern over Eogan's illness.

Today I need to get to the nearest university library... or, wait, this set of questions is all about pop music and such so I'd be willing to bet it's all available at CAM. Yay!! Much more doable AND pleasant.

I'm having trouble juggling even the few things that I'm trying to multitask right now. Like washing dishes, paying bills, and doing homework. In addition to the migraines I told Mother that I've got a bad case of "short-timer's disease" and I am totally not kidding. Concentration is right out the window. Sped along, I might add, by the contractors putting in new light fixtures in the hall outside my door. The studio is along that wall so I hear everything. Sigh.

Back to one of those tasks.
luciab: (Default)
I've been battling a migraine for.... I dunno, a week?... now. Sometimes it's worse, sometimes the imitrex helps, sometimes it fades in and out. It got enough better last night that I went to State to the Design Library and to the main library to do some reading for This Damn Paper. I think the reading helped; at least I have a somewhat firmer grip on what the theoretical job is all about. I took another imitrex before bed hoping the migraine would be gone this morning. Ah, vain hope, tantalizing as ever, and still duplicitous. It wasn't too bad though, till the high school marching band percussion competition started up at the school next door to the apartments. I had to abandon the studio with its comfortable chair and big-screen computer and flee with my laptop to the living room, which has the sole advantage of being on the far side of the building. That drops it to a dull rumble, at least. I've cobbled together a working arrangement that I hope will serve till the little buggers finish drumming and tinking on their xylophones (which is like a thorn in the brain every time I hear it, as opposed to the blunt caveman-club of the drums.)

I'm hoping I'll be able to cobble together a paper by tomorrow night. That may seem like plenty of time for a five-double-spaced-page-paper, but I'm not feeling sanguine since I don't feel I have a really good grip on what I'm doing. Not to mention the effects of the migraine and/or the meds. I was concerned enough last night that I wrote the teacher and told her the situation; she probably thinks I'm crazy for being so concerned so "early" but I wanted to let her know in advance just in case, instead of five minutes before the paper's due.

One interesting side effect of this paper is that I've been having these wild-assed fantasies of going to conferences all over the country-- ALA in DC in June, the art librarians conference in Baltimore the week before that (guess you're supposed to go early and do both) and suchlike. If I were looking for a job anywhere in the country, it'd probably be well worth my while. If I knew how to do that sort of networking, that is. The conferences that sound like more fun, though, are the ones that are actually in the topic I'm supposed to be librarian for (in this theoretical world), like art books and graphic novels. Heh. And I can see the looks on the faces of my imaginary managers when I turn in a request for reimbursement to go to Burning Man. Hey, it's all art, right?
luciab: (comma sutra)
Not an exciting day. I suppose I should be grateful for that. Not a particularly good day, either. I woke up at 5 with a migraine, AFTER taking an Imitrex last night before I went to bed, because I could feel it starting even then. I only slept 4 or 5 hours, and that includes feeling the migraine every time I woke up. I wanted to take a nap this morning after the second Imitrex kicked in but the caffeinated coffee I took for medicinal purposes foiled that scheme, except for dozing off for a couple of minutes while I was reading whatever bad book I had in my hand. At least I know that author isn't worth checking out again.

Before I forget it, I wantI have an appointment to thank [livejournal.com profile] wakeupmagy for her recommendation awhile back for a treatment for cold sores-- I got some l-lysine at Whole Foods, and damn! That stuff worked, literally overnight. I forgot to take it with me when I went out the next day and the swelling came back a little, but it was pretty much over with. Yay for that!

I was an impetuous woman yesterday. My iPod, upon which I have come to rely, wouldn't turn on one time too many. If modern gadgets can have loose connections, I swear this one did. It worked, it didn't work, totally at random. It was fine yesterday morning, but in the afternoon, no dice. Having recently received a check for three months of disability from the state, I said tohellwithitall and stopped at the Apple store, which just happens to be conveniently located between the Book Repair lab and my house. Convenient, eh? I was originally lusting after the cute little Nano, but when I realized that the regular size iPod provided three times as much storage space for the same price, I abandoned "cute" in a heartbeat. Screw cute, give me more music. And just like the nice man at the store promised, it "recognized" almost all the music on my computer as being mine, or assumed since it was on there, and it was bonding for the first time, it must be okay, or something, and loaded everything. Except one Lyle Lovett song, for some bizarre reason. Just the one song. So I've been playing with my new toy, which of course led me to play with my iTunes and set up some more playlists and such. Fun.

I have an appointment on Saturday with a doctor to see if I'm disabled enough for Social Security, which as we've already discussed, I know I'm not. Still, I'll play their silly games and go. As I said to someone this morning, I have no idea whether this guy will give me a cursory once over before telling me "Nope" or whether he'll examine me in excruciating detail before saying "No."

A mental health professional recommended yesterday that I only work halftime instead of full time, in the interest of not provoking the migraines to greater heights. Since the disability guarantees me a certain amount of income whether I work or not, (as long as it isn't the job that made me sick in the first place-- not bloody likely!!) that makes a great deal of sense. I think getting out and working some will help keep me sane(r) but I hadn't really considered all the ramifications of this whole disability thing. I have been blithely assuming that I'll be able to do a less stressful job as long as I keep taking my Imitrex, but there's no real guarantee of that, or that this will be less stressful, for that matter. Maybe it'll be the same amount of stress but in a different way. Joy! It's given me a lot to think about. In between thinking about the papers I have to write, and the random other assignments, and of course, most important of all, squeezing in time for a scroll blank or two for Coronation. I mean, let's keep our priorities straight here.

Now that the Imitrex has kicked in, I've had lunch and a couple of winks of nap, I think I feel alert enough to work on one of the random assignments, so I'll start writing now.
luciab: (Default)
Saturday was a great event. If I hadn't been so exhausted I could have used another hour or two to shop and look around the displays more than I did. I pretty much focused on C&I and judging.

I was most particularly pleased with the display table by [livejournal.com profile] harleenquinzell and [livejournal.com profile] zihuatenejo. I don't even have to specify which half of zihuatenejo because both of 'em displayed stuff. Wistric surprised me by arranging a galliard in my name and then humming it for me-- the tune sounds an awfully lot like "My Old Kentucky Home," in fact. This is his first calligraphy, and I found it pretty impressive for a first shot.

Needless to say, I was also exceptionally happy with the works displayed by my apprentices. They each displayed their most recent works-- Livia's Court Baronetcy scroll for Maddalena and Geoffrey, and Sunneva's GoA scroll for Letia.

It was just generally a fun day-- I got some serious snark time in with some old friends (for some reason I seemed to have been in a seriously snarky mood) enjoyed the displays and the excellent lunch. There was also an illuminating discussion (Ha! I crack myself up!) on period painting materials, that now has Sunneva and me wanting to do research. And lord, when Sunneva does research, just stand back. (Heh. I can't wait to see what she finds; maybe I should just stand back, too.)

The drive was fun, too-- the household went up together and we thus had plenty of time to solve the ills of the world, or at least to snark about them. (Again with the snark.) Talent, discretion, AND snark: I have chosen SO well.

Sunday..... sigh. I think I'm taking a cold. I first chalked up Saturday's sore throat to allergies, since I forgot to take my pill in the morning. And I have sneezing fits about once a week, so yesterday morning's wasn't unusual. But the fact that I took an allergy pill and my throat is still sore, and my eyes watery and my head feels like it's stuffed with cotton (including the thinking ability part, not just the pressure thing) fills me with dread. And dismay. Ick! The dreaded dismay!

Back to positive news, though.... I've booked my flight to see [livejournal.com profile] anonamys graduate in June in Seattle. My daughter, the Doctor of Physical Therapy. Yay! I'll be out there for six days; we're going to see the EMP and the new public library among other things. Oh, and the Japanese garden, and probably the Fremont Troll, too. And maybe Gas Works Park; as I recall it's pretty close to the Troll. Damn, I'd better quit planning this or I'll have a month's worth of stuff to do in six days. But for some reason, I've wanted to review pics of the sundial at Gas Works several times and can't find the photos I took ten years ago. Yes, I'm a librarian and we're supposed to organize things, but (a) I wasn't a librarian then and (b) I've always been better at being organized at work than I am at home. I'm sure there are about 8 rolls of excellent pictures of Seattle and environs around here, in a very safe place.

I am close to concluding that I'm not going to have a really bad, miserable sort of cold; not a winter but something more closely akin to a cold snap.... still stuffy and watery, but not too god-awful. The fact that I have about half a migraine means that the two things add up to one viable call-in-sick-day for the volunteer gig, I think. Not a good idea to spread the contagious part all over the public library. I may be able to drag myself out to the grocery and drug store (I'm completely out of some basic things like milk and soup; hard to feel like I'm taking care of myself when sick if I don't have soup.)

I do need to do some research, though, so I'm not sure how to best accomplish that. Go be contagious all over the little design students at State? Oops. I'm oozing evil again.
luciab: (Default)
Unpleasant day. I had a list of things I needed to do, including several phone calls. It can be hard to get myself organized enough to make phone calls, so that in itself was no small feat. Then I woke up with a migraine. Not a killer one; just enough to make me put a little extra caffeine in my usual mix of caffeinated and decaf coffee. A couple of hours later it was edging up on feeling like I had an icepick in my eye, so I took my Imitrex. By then I was totally devoid of ambition..... and had learned that my microwave has died AND my Mac will only exhibit the blue screeno of death. Took me a bit to be sure that's what it was; it has cute little icons, unlike the Windows blue screen of death. Thank god for conspicuous consumption and one person having two computers. Heh. I'd forgotten how bloody convenient having a microwave is, though. Heat up a single serving of soup-- no problem. Heat it up on the stove-- get out a pan and stand and stir so you don't burn the damn thing, and keep checking to see if it's hot enough. Tedious. Can you say spoiled? I knew you could.

I did get myself together to call and make an appointment to get the stitches out of Molly's neck. Sadly, I was so disorganized I said yes to the first time they mentioned, which is smack in the middle of the afternoon and makes it extremely difficult to do any of the other things I'd like to try to do. Aw, who am I trying to kid? I have no ambition to do anything today anyway. All I want to do is sleep. Too bad about the microwave and the Mac and the laundry and the fact that I have no jeans to wear tomorrow.... sigh. Maybe I can get myself over to the secondhand store that is two blocks away and buy some jeans. Heh. Although that may be beyond me too.

While waiting for the Imitrex to kick in, I read this morning. Blessed books. What would I do without reading? The author in whom I am presently engrossed is Charles deLint, who writes what is known as "urban fantasy." It's magic/faerie stuff in a modern setting, sometimes urban, sometimes not. The books of de Lint's that I like best so far are "Seven Wild Sisters" and "Medicine Road." These are both about the same family; in the first one they live in the mountains, and the second one is about two of the sisters who play music professionally and are travelling. I'm starting "Forests of the Heart" right now and am really liking it.

ugh

Jan. 28th, 2007 05:14 pm
luciab: (Default)
So. On Saturday I had class, and found out more about our first assignment, due in two weeks. I'm still not feeling like I have a good idea what I want to do. There has been some sort of problem with the Blackboard program through which my other structured class is offered, but it's now apparently working again, and there's homework on there, too. And on Tuesday I have a meeting scheduled with the librarian in charge of the Preservation department and thus the Book Repair section where I'm doing my practicum. I'm trying to get my notes and pictures of what I've been doing and learning organized and printed to show him. In other words, the homework part of the semester has kicked in with a vengeance.

On Friday I had a sore throat but yesterday it was okay. Today it's sore again, and my eyes are dry and my nose is runny--and I have a nagging migraine, to boot. I've been trying to listen to music while I work on the practicum stuff, but since I'm using a graphics program as well as Word, trying to play music on the computer too has slowed things down so much I had to abandon it. Too bad, because it was helping to keep me going.

Tomorrow I am volunteering at the library; last week I did lots of running, shelving, moving around. If this really is a cold as I suspect, tomorrow is going to be most unpleasant.

This is just SO not shaping up well.
luciab: (Default)
Interests Collage! )
Create your own! Originally Written By [livejournal.com profile] ga_woo, Hosted and ReWritten by [livejournal.com profile] darkman424


I had a nice weekend, mostly scribal. I actually didn't do any scribing, but Livia and Sunneva came over on Sat to work, and I consulted. I'm excited about the work they're doing-- very nice. Livia came back on Sun because she's got a hot project and is really working on some new techniques while still trying to make a deadline. In looking for materials to help her, I realized what a sad shape my scribal shelves were in, so spent a few hours straightening. I still don't have everything in tip-top shape like Sunneva does, but there's a huge improvement. Still stuff I can't find anywhere, though. Sigh.

I woke up yesterday with a migraine and was afraid for a while it was going to be bad, but some caffeine and sitting up for a couple of hours helped. I even got some studying done. Woot! By the time Livia got here I was in good shape. We went shopping to replace some of the things I couldn't find here; I'm glad the weather wasn't as bad as predicted. At least not in my part of the world. It may have gotten ugly a few miles from here. Weird weather patterns around here.

I find that I am frequently bemused by the relative skills of authors. I haven't learned how to analyze writing the way I was taught to analyze art and architecture (though, lord knows, I've forgotten most of that.) I used to sort of think that if a book didn't actually suck but I still didn't particularly like it, the insufficiency was mine. Now I am more likely to believe that the author lacks some spark, even if I can't articulate what the problem is. It is true, though, that sometimes I'm just not in the mood for a particular author, so maybe it's a shared problem. Or maybe they're B+ or A- books instead of A+ books that I couldn't put down if I tried. I read a couple of books this weekend that were decent, and in at least one of them the characters seemed to be reasonably complex, intelligent people, but the book didn't leave me craving more. Then sometimes there's a character that is totally unlike me, shares few if any of my values, but the book leaves me literally hungry for more. Then there is the author I've read lately whose words and sentences are put together well, and the dialogue is reasonable, but his MESSAGE is so damn heavy handed. Maybe it's not message, exactly, but all his books are about personality integration, for want of a better description. People are always losing parts of themselves and having to get the parts back together. What makes a book really good is one of life's imponderables, I guess. Maybe I should just hope that's the most serious problem I have to deal with for the next few years.

I actually finally have some homework reading to do. I've been making notes and collecting scraps of materials to include in a notebook for the Practicum. I'm going to try to remember to take my camera tomorrow, too. Document the hell out of stuff from here on out. I hope. If I don't pull the spacey routine I did this weekend and forget every damn thing. Oops.

yum

Jan. 14th, 2007 08:21 pm
luciab: (Default)
I've been in a cooking mood today. Or rather, I've been in the mood for fish chowder for several days, and for fried apples for a couple of weeks, and today I got around to making them. I'm playing around with the apples-- I added cinnamon, raisins, walnuts, and slivers of orange peel, along with a liberal splash of Harlequin brandy..... rather tasty, if I do say so myself. For the fish chowder, I found several recipes online and sort of used a little of this one, a little of that one. I made the low-fat version, so it isn't as luxurious on the tongue as it might have been, but it, too, is tasty.

I had a migraine yesterday, and took a pill before class. Still had it last night and when I woke up this morning. The really unusual thing is that I was able to take a nap today, and it was gone when I woke up. Yay! Of course, now I'll never get to sleep tonight, but damn, it's nice to not be in pain. At least I'll feel good while I am awake!

Hrm.

Jan. 8th, 2007 12:18 pm
luciab: (Default)
Well, let's see about an update.

I actually got email last night from the friend from my teen years that I saw in Richmond when I was there. I didn't really expect that. I wish I could feel like I could relax and trust him, instead of watching every word I say. It's not that I care what he and his family think, but my mother really does care, and she still lives there, so I can't tell him anything that Mother would be unhappy to have broadcast all over the tiny town. Nothing like a little paranoia to keep you on your toes. It's too bad, too. It'd be fun to have someone to visit when I go back to Richmond. He's so.... seductive, though not in a sexual way. Not with women, anyhow. He's just fun to talk to and always draws me out. I've read the emails two or three times each before sending to check for potential revelation of anything that shouldn't be revealed. Sigh.

I had a very scribal weekend-- had a little workshop for a friend on Saturday; she's never scribed at all and wants to begin, and she invited two others who are intermediate level. It made it rather confusing for me, since I thought I was going to be doing all basic beginning level stuff. And on Sunday I had a play date with [livejournal.com profile] zihuatenejo and [livejournal.com profile] harleenquinzell. I painted some and we looked at potential scroll layouts and new calligraphy hands. Fun.

Today I was looking for something in an older entry and found that [livejournal.com profile] syaldia had asked for the recipe for the Peanut Butter Pie and I hadn't seen the request. So, herewith, the recipe behind a cut. Recipe )

I haven't taken any migraine meds for probably a week. I had a bad migraine one day but decided to tough it out-- I think there will be a lapse between short-term and long-term disability coverages and I figure I'll need the meds a lot more when I'm in class than I do when I'm sitting here with nothing to do. Hasn't been too bad otherwise. I hope I can get the rest of the information I need for the paperwork soon; it's making me buggy worrying about it. Erk.

Wow.

Jan. 5th, 2007 12:21 pm
luciab: (Default)
This article has a ton of information about migraines. Yep, it's Wikipedia, about which I have expressed doubts in the past. I still would not use it as a source for serious research, but I see that it can be very helpful. Way down at the bottom of this article, it not only lists herbal and alternative treatments, but in many cases gives statistics on efficacy rates. I have noted three different possibilities that I want to try. The thing I found most impressive in this article is the info about the costs of migraine-- how many people have it, how much time is lost, etc. Helps quell the suspicion that I'm just a wuss. (Insert sheepish grin here.)

In book-related news, a couple of weeks back I happened across a link to a journal by Scott Lynch ("The Dork Lord, on his Dork Throne.") The journal was interesting enough that I bookmarked it, even though I'd never heard of him. I Googled him, of course, but didn't recognize any titles. But lo! When I was at the library yesterday, I saw one of his books on the new bookshelf-- The Lies of Locke Lamora. (I hate the title-- it sounds like either an old Western or something set in Scotland. Weird.) I scanned a few paragraphs, enough to see that it didn't suck, and checked it out. I'm about a quarter of the way through it now, and am really enjoying it. It's about a boy who is orphaned and becomes a member of a thieves guild; the setting is medieval-ish, with discreet touches of "alchemical" this and that-- not really as cop-outs, but just there. I'm having a hard time not just curling up with it and saying "To hell with what I'm supposed to be doing today!"

I'm doing a tiny little scribal workshop tomorrow, and one of the things I need to be doing today is prepping for that. I've put together a list of pangrams, aka abecedarian sentences-- those that have every letter of the alphabet in them. For afficiandos of the form, the ideal would be a sentence with each letter used only once, but this seems to be difficult if not impossible if you use only real, standard words. Since I'm doing this in an SCA sort of context, I tried not to use obviously modern ones that included words like "jazz." I was going to stick to the shorter sentences, but some of my favorites are longish.... "The dark risque gown makes a very brazen exposure of juicy flesh." "Justly vexed, the queen exiled the calligrapher who spattered black sumi ink on her fuzzy dog." And my own addition to the list: "Crazy buxom wenches in black velvet gowns poured liquor in a jiffy." I know, I know, it isn't PC. Life's a bitch.

Okay, time to get back to work. Ta.

miscellany

Dec. 28th, 2006 04:22 pm
luciab: (Default)
I spent yesterday in bed, I suspect recovering from the Kentucky marathon. I had the worst migraine I've had in forever-- right up there with, and maybe worse than, the one I had Christmas day. I would get up to check email, eat, and use the facilities, and that's about it. As long as I didn't have to move my head I could distract myself from the pain and wooziness. Lots of non-head-moving yesterday. I didn't even feel well enough to go to the library, even though I was out of fresh stuff to read. Fortunately, I have begun to collect books that I like well enough to re-read, and yesterday I binged on Tony Hillerman-- I read 7 books. I'd already read them, so I didn't have to pay a lot of attention to details. It had been a long time since I read the early ones, though, and it was interesting to note things like how many books there were before he mentioned Leaphorn's wife, or before Leaphorn and Chee worked together. As you might expect, the cats were thrilled to have me back where I belong- in bed, petting them.

Today I'm doing much better. I've been shopping and to the library. I've been reading the Sandman series, and I'm up to book 9 now. I don't recall the title, but I think book 4 was far and away the best. I also went to the grocery-- for several days I've had a dish called Pot au feu on my mind. K used to make Julia Child's recipe for it. It serves over a dozen people if you make her recipe, so needless to say, I'm not doing that. It calls for a beef roast, pork roast (or was it ham?) a whole chicken, and kielbasa, boiled together with lots of vegetables and served with several sauces; he usually made a mustard sauce, a tomato-cream sauce, and maybe a white sauce. I have absolutely no idea why I've been drooling over this recently, but I have, so I got a tiny round steak, a thick pork chop and a pound of kielbasa, and I'm thawing a couple of chicken breasts. I got onions, potatoes, carrots, parsnips and a turnip, and I'm going to throw it all in a pot tomorrow with some stock, and let it cook all day. Oh, man, I can't wait. I just finished eating dinner and I'm already hungry for it. I see from this article that Julia's recipe varies noticeably by adding the other meats, and I had forgotten that K put in a bone, chopped in half so the marrow is accessible. I'm gonna skip the bone. In fact, I can't find the recipe he used, so I'm kinda winging it altogether.

On a more serious note, I was concerned when Molly Ivins' column wasn't updated after Nov 23-- I'd check every Thursday when it normally appeared. Today I googled her name and read what Wikipedia had to say, never dreaming they'd have anything as recent as this in her bio. I was wrong, though; the article notes that she was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer in 1999, and had recurrences in 2003 and 2005. She is taking off the month of December for another session of chemo. Send prayers, or white light, or whatever goodness you believe in, her way, please.
luciab: (Default)
Well, let's see now. The cat's out of the closet (see Friday's entries if you missed all the fun.) I got the laundry done this morning, and that took some time and money, what with rugs and about three weeks worth of clothes. I was about down to wearing my prom dress to class. And Brigida came over last night with the magical wand of vacuuming and now the house looks SOOOOO much better. If you need any cleaning done, she's the one to do it. And the last paper's done. It's.... ummm.... 24 pages and he only asked for 10-15. I've written to ask if that's okay. I think it will be; some teachers are really picky but he's pretty agreeable, and it's all good stuff. I'm very pleased with it. It's amazing how much it helps to back off for a few days and go back and read it again.

And I'm not exactly eating crow here; everything I've said before about Word is still true, but it only seems fair to say that I am terribly impressed with how well they do footnotes/endnotes. I copied stuff from one paper and pasted it into another, and the footnotes updated and it was oh, so lovely.

Oh, and I haven't had a migraine for... four days now? Maybe longer; I'm not sure. That's downright amazing. Yay!

Life is good.

huh.

Nov. 22nd, 2006 03:31 pm
luciab: (Default)
I just got a letter saying my application for long-term disability has been approved, and will be payable for as long as I "remain permanently disabled for the further performance of [my] usual occupation until the point at which [I] would have qualified for an unreduced service retirement allowance under the retirement system had [I] been able to continue employment." About which I have mixed feelings, as discussed earlier. I mean, it is a relief to know that I can afford to pay rent and such while I finish school. If I tried to live on just this, it'd be a tight thing, but damn, it's a huge help. Still, there's that whole "disabled" label thing. And the guilty feeling that I should not need this, and I should not take it, and I should be able to work and deal like everyone else. Except, remember when I was so excited a day or two ago because I have 8-10 days a month without a migraine? Still true. So maybe I shouldn't feel guilty. Or maybe I should just get a grip.

On a more sobering note, I talked to Mother a couple of days ago. They were worried about me trying to squeeze in a trip home over Thanksgiving, so that's one less thing to feel guilty about, which is always a good thing. The sobering part, though, is that they came home last Saturday and I talked to her on Sunday, and she said Daddy is "still a little confused." As in, she wants him to use the bathroom that connects to their bedroom instead of the one down the hall, becuase she thinks the big opening from the hall to the LR/DR might be too disorienting. She also said they have given him a gadget to help hold the toes of his left foot up so they don't drag and trip him. Apparently, no one has expressed any concern about this to Mother, but Amy mentioned that she's never heard of that as an aftereffect of hip replacement. Those two things together make me concerned that he may have had a mild stroke (or maybe not so mild, if he can't lift his toes up.) When Mother was in the hospital and rehab a few years ago she said she was "too weak" to write and had to print at first, then learned to write again. I thought at the time that sounded like a stroke, but no one mentioned it to her, or else she didn't remember it. Recently, though, she mentioned something about having had a stroke or strokes then. So I'm not totally convinced that their beloved Dr Gillespie, fox though he is, is always totally on top of things, or maybe just not totally open with them. Or they could not understand, I suppose, though they tend to try to keep up with stuff. It concerns me. And there's not a damned thing I can do about it.

So. Dishes await. Later!

well done!

Nov. 21st, 2006 10:43 am
luciab: (Default)
Ah, the luxury of a week with no classes, and a week and a half before the next project is due, though it is a big one, and you WILL be hearing more about it. I also had the luxury of finishing my paper yesterday without a migraine, which was bliss.

This morning, however, I woke up with a migraine again. My mother, back in the days when she was doing stuff like having guests for meals, or people to stay for a couple of days, would always do fine while she was getting stuff ready. As soon as it was done, though, (the meal prepared, the house cleaned) she got a migraine. I think it started about the time the guests were to arrive; I just remember that it wasn't the pressure of preparing that caused the migraine, but it was almost like she couldn't allow herself to relax and enjoy. Or maybe the stress for her was the entertaining and not the preparation? Me, I get 'em when I'm trying to work on stuff, like the four major projects that were due within the last four days. I was therefore kinda surprised when it let up the last day before I was done, and dismayed when it hit this morning. If I start getting migraines while I'm under pressure AND when it lets up, we're going back to the bad old days in a big hurry. And I say "back to the bad old days" because things really have been better the last three months or so: I've had 4 or 5 pills left at the end of each prescription-month, which means at least 8-10 days without a migraine that month. Yay, me! And yes, I say that with both irony and bitterness. But still, 8-10 days is way better than none. So, yay, indeed.

I was also thinking about how I used to be a Type A personality-- always lots going on, doing several different things at once-- and how much I've eased up. Still, when I do stuff I tend to get extremely... shall we say invested? So, if I still have that obsessive sort of tendency but it's about fewer things at once, am I a Type A- personality?

Since the migraine this AM wouldn't let me lie flat, which is all I wanted to do, and I certainly wasn't ready to face a glowing computer monitor, which, after all, is light, I sat in bed and started reading (after taking my meds and making coffee, of course.) I've been enjoying Patricia McKillip's fantasy novels, and I suggest (probably again) that if you like fantasy at all and haven't read her, you should definitely hie your ass out to the nearest library or book store (depending on the state of your wallet) and get some. The ones I've read are stand alone; she has a series but I haven't read it yet. I'm trying not to overdose. The two I've liked best are Ombria in Shadow and Od Magic. This morning, though, I wasn't up to dealing with alternate realities. (No idea why I went off on that tangent, but the recommendations still stand.)

Instead, I picked up Hardscrabble Road, a mystery by Jane Haddam, (here is a good interview with her) and was immediately hooked. (I do like the books she's written as Orania Papazoglou, too; they take off on romance-writers. Heh.) I've read her work before, and upon starting this one, I wondered why I haven't read everything she's ever written. I think I have gone on Haddam-sprees in the past and read several of her books, but for some reason the name just doesn't spring to mind when I'm looking for something to read. Odd. Anyway, what struck me this morning is how lively and intelligent her work is.

She starts this book with a prologue that's 50 pages long, in which she introduces the people who will be the major players in the case the detective will be dealing with; he is an Armenian ex-FBI agent named Gregor Demarkian. Each character has a very distinctive view point; even the ones on the "same side" in the legal battle are all there for different reasons. Some of them are very witty and make interesting word plays, some are intelligent, cynical, and/or bitter. The ones who aren't so bright are very clear about what they want, how they analyse the world and the goings-on, and how they act dumber than they think they really are to manipulate those around them. There are lovely little details, like one woman who, in her internal dialog, says she has "noun disease" because she forgets the names of things. It's very interesting, then, to meet the characters anew through Demarkian and see them through his eyes instead of seeing what they think they are. It's very well done.

All of which makes me very glad that I can afford to take today and enjoy this book. Never mind that I was planning to do things like dishes, laundry, and color my hair, which is looking distinctly two-toned these days. (At least I had the self-control not to take time for such frivolity before this set of projects was in.) And hell, at the rate I'm zipping through this delight, I'll have time to do at least some of that, anyway.

So. Now you have your assignments: McKillip and/or Haddam, depending on whether you're in the mood for fantasy or mystery. Now go.

grr.

Oct. 6th, 2006 07:13 pm
luciab: (Default)
Tunless boy is playing recorded music, which is a mixed blessing-- when he is playing his guitar at least I know he won't play long; he never does. Recorded, however, can go on all evening. I can't tell what he's playing; it's sort of a droning noise with occasional thumps, because he's considerate enough to not really crank it up. And the next door neighbor has a new dog-- large, by the sound of it, and it is unhappy to be alone, and is alternately barking and whimpering. Which it does much of the time, BTW. And me? I have a cross-eyed migraine and a paper due on Monday, and I'm supposed to be in class all day tomorrow and have demographic research ready, which I haven't done. I am so not a happy camper.
luciab: (Default)
Wow. I've been reading all day, and re-reading, and analyzing, and making notes and working on a presentation, and reading some more. Sadly, I still haven't actually started writing the damn paper. The proposed topic going into this weekend was so broad that it was way beyond the scope of the length paper I have to write, and the thought of trying to condense 12 articles covering a wide range of subjects was completely overwhelming me. At the same time, I didn't feel like I had enough papers on any one sub-group to be able to put together a decent paper. Imagine my relief-- and surprise-- when I looked at my desktop this morning and discovered an article I didn't know was there. I mean, I must have downloaded it, because I really don't believe in download elves, or fairies either, but I sure don't remember it. It's the perfect complement to the topic I really wanted to write about but felt was a little light on sources. Voila! A topic I can handle. And since the paper should include directions we think future research should cover, and areas we feel were insufficiently addressed in the articles at hand, I think I'm good to go. Whew.

Since I'd been reading tons of stuff that is no longer related to my actual topic, I had to go back and re-read whath I'm actually going to use. I have 5 articles on the specific topic, plus one general article of 62 pages that will provide a baseline comparison for the other more specific ones. That makes a stack about 3/4" high.

Anyway, I was reading along and suddenly just hit that wall where nothing makes sense any more. Until this class, I thought that was some sort of failing on my part, so I was relieved to find out that it's a normal part of the learning experience-- the brain can only synthesize a certain amount of information at once. Whew.

I can almost feel like I'll be able to get the paper (due the 30th) and presentation about the paper (due the 26th) done on time, but the case study and final exam on the 27th--- yikes. Haven't started on either of them. If I'd been doing the reading all along, it'd be one thing, but I swear I go to sleep every time I try to read that stuff. I can tell you right now, I'm going to have to eke by on reading the class notes and handouts; no way can I read 250 pages of the most boring crap on earth by then.

Tomorrow I have to call the HR dept where I used to work to see if they can straighten out my insurance card info so I can get more drugs. I have ONE DOSE of my migraine meds left and have had a bad migraine all weekend. I have a prescription, but without the insurance the cost is about $220 for 9 pills (18 doses.) I wonder-- if I have to pay out of pocket because of a bureacratic snafu, will they reimburse me? I'm not holding my breath on that one. Still, considering the alternative-- no meds-- I'll really have to bite the bullet. The other meds might have to wait, but without the migraine stuff all I could do is try to knock myself out (using generic pain meds which don't work that well and make me queasy) which is not exactly conducive to finishing papers or studying for a final exam.

Good news is, it finally decided to rain. No thunderboomers, sadly, but rain, breeze, and 80 degrees is better than 102 degrees and no rain or breeze.

So. Enough farting around... I have to do something productive now. Either wash dishes or work on the case study-- "Religion, Politics, and Paris Hilton." Hmmmm. Dishes or Paris Hilton? That's a tough one.

Edit:
Gee, it's nice to have a clean kitchen, and dinner made and consumed. And I decided to live on the wild side and make jello layered with two flavors and fruit in it. Heh.

Oh, well. Now Paris Hilton awaits. So to speak.
luciab: (Default)

What Flavour Are You? I taste like Peanut Butter.I taste like Peanut Butter.


I am one of the most blendable flavours; I go with sweet, I go with sour, I go with bland, I go with anything. I am practical and good company, but have something of a tendency to hang around when I'm not wanted, unaware that my presence is not welcome. (If you were not Peanut Butter you would be Alcohol.)What Flavour Are You?


Hmmm. Leading me to speculate: If I were alcohol my presence might be welcome a bit more often, but I wouldn't necessarily like the effect I had on people. Maybe I'll stick with peanut butter.

Bad night. Killer migraine with nausea attached. The absolute worst part is that my insurance is screwed up again and I have 2 doses of imitrex left, and I can't find the number of the HR person to call.
luciab: (Default)
Damn, and double damn. I sat down a couple of hours ago to read articles for my paper. I haven't had a migraine for oh, maybe three days now. (Oh, the bliss!) But now..... now my back feels like it has walnut-sized knots for muscles between my shoulder blades. Maybe this isn't a migraine... yet, at least. I feel the tension, baby! No, wait... that's supposed to be "feel the LOVE." Oh, well. And I was feeling SO much better after turning in my resignation, too. Positively light hearted.

It's been all warm-fuzzy, the people at work saying they're sorry I'm leaving. And affirmative, too-- agreeing that working 25 hours a week and taking 12 hours of classes = not a good plan. Whew, at least I'm not just a lazy bum.

I hope I can find a better position for reading. And writing.
luciab: (Default)
Last night we had a planning meeting (gosh, doesn't that sound so formal!) to work on the apprenticing ceremony coming up at Midsummer's Twilight Tourney. I don't know how much actually got done, but it was great fun. I fixed breakfast for dinner, and it was quite a hit. I swear we hit that food like we hadn't been fed in weeks. We devoured a pound of sausage (Neese's-- it fries up so crispy!) 3/4 pound of bacon, 2 eggs each, and uncounted pancakes with syrup made from 2 quarts of strawberries, and banana boats for dessert, all in about 10 minutes. Well, okay, it wasn't QUITE that bad, but it was still pretty funny.

Owen was kind enough to carry out the old TV that's been dead for a year or two, but was too heavy for me to get to the dumpster. Yay!

I pulled stuff out of one of my closets yesterday AM, getting ready to give it away. Anyone need khakis or jeans? I have a kitchen garbage bag full. All in good condition, mostly size 16 but a few 18's thrown in. Believe me, the pounds between those and the 10's and 12's didn't go easy.

I've got just enough of a migraine today to wipe out whatever energy I was going to devote to making garb. I just feel drained. Much, much better than being in severe pain, but I'm still not getting anything done. Sigh.

I'm currently reading an Edna Buchanan, which is about all I'm good for. It takes me a while, usually, but sometimes I become aware of the author as being very good or not-so-good. Poor Edna. I would never have noticed this if she hadn't gotten more ambitious; the books she writes with Britt Montero as the protagonist are pleasant and lightweight. Not usually either particularly challenging or so cute that I want to hit her. The one I'm reading now, though, has branched out. She's writing about a group of the people that Britt usually works with, which can be a really cool concept. Lisa Scottoline, for example, has a series about an all-woman legal office in Philly, and different books feature different members of the firm. Each woman has a distinct voice and personality. Edna hasn't quite managed to pull that off; all the characters in this book sound pretty much like Britt. Sigh.

I've also (when sans headache, anyway) started reading the text for one of my classes this summer. It is dry as the Sahara, but I'm hoping that an early start on the reading will give me time to at least figure it out.

Okay, that's it for me. Later, taters.
luciab: (Default)
Let’s just start this entry with a simple declarative statement: I hate making decisions. And we’ll add: especially when I don’t feel good. Sometimes when a migraine is just a distant memory, and depression is nowhere in sight, I can just decide things without a qualm. Most days, however, don’t fit either of those criteria. Read more... )

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Susan Arthur

February 2011

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