univacgrl: (Default)
2017-09-16 04:35 pm

Dreams, a comparison

I stopped taking melatonin a while ago, it being the only thing I could point to that was making me have hugely disturbing nightmares all the time. (I couldn't pin them on watching tv zombies because "The Walking Dead" was on hiatus. But I still have vivid dreams all the time.  Melatonin just pushed them past 11 and into high prime number territory.

So recently I dreamed I was at a party having a conversation with Amanda Palmer, who I pretty much only know of from Twitter (and that she's married to my favorite author, Neil Gaiman.  Well, I was mostly listening to her talk because that's mostly how I roll at parties, but whatever. So we're sitting there having a conversation and Gaiman walked up and drunkenly kissed my forehead like he was delighted to see me there before dashing off with Palmer.  It was -- nice? Unexpected? Certainly flattering, because Gaiman really is my favorite author and when I try to describe his online persona in my mind the best word I can think of is "avuncular". And I have more proof that my brain does know how to play nicely sometimes (even if nice is mostly composed of misguided wish-fulfillment).

Last night was another story.  D & I were on a self-guided tour through New York City looking at shrines left where people had been killed defending civil rights in the current political environment.  They were set up like little altars, with candles, fruit, and flowers placed in front of pictures of the deceased, and all inside of elaborately decorated open cabinets, like the Day of the Dead kind.  First off, how fucking morbid is that? Thanks, brain, you fucker.  Secondly, I only know New York from movies and television. One short wait in the airport while catching a connecting flight to Vermont does not a visit to New York make. Thirdly, someone had been hanging huge dildos from several of the shrines, so it was a fight to see these memorials and not dissolve into giggles and tears at the same time.  There was another element that kept popping up at all through the dream, mostly around the shrines: plain white envelopes with my first name hand-written on them, all in block capitals, all in blue ink.  Each time I saw one I was utterly convinced that it was there for someone else, and in one case, someone dead. Big cities have lots of people with the same names, New York probably especially so.  But I kept seeing these envelopes everywhere.

On waking, I couldn't stop thinking about the envelopes.  They were in a dream I had, with my name on them, and yet even in my own dream, I could not accept that someone wanted to communicate with me.  Like, way to shirk that whole being-a-person thing. The abnegation runs deep here, obviously.  It's not like I haven't been walking around feeling like there's a me-shaped hole masquerading as a human being. Ain't nothing going to fill that emptimess, so why should it be there at all.

And i just feel so so bad that I don't even have the courage to reach out, even in a fucking dream. 
univacgrl: (Fraser Wings Back)
2017-06-14 11:16 pm

A prison for oneself

 I've had several "I've been here before; I know the way out" moments in the last week.  I can only hope that sharing my experiences are helpful and not a burden to others.
univacgrl: (Default)
2016-11-20 08:22 pm
Entry tags:


During my last trip down to see my parents (aka check on how my dad is doing) my mom kept mentioning that I should take her credit card and go get my hair cut and colored. My grey roots are about an inch, inch and a half long right now and they're pretty prominent against my dark hair. And letting regular maintenance cuts slip for so long meant my hair was already halfway down my back. Mom saying "take my card and buy yourself X" seems to be her way of showing affection maybe. As if spending her money on myself would make up for the times she's been abusive or all the neglect. It was always so "fun" to go visit for the holidays, with the promises that we'd go do things together.  These things always turned out to be waiting for her to get back from work (always hours late) so we could go run her errands,

Dealing with my mother has always been difficult for me. She's sweet as pie to strangers, but as family we get the full brunt of her concern trolling.  She harped on my hair all three days and wouldn't take no for an answer to me taking her card home with me. Because in her words  "you need to get that hair cut and colored."  D had been down dealing with them for a few days a few weeks before, and seemed to confound her controlling behavior by not arguing with her about anything and just going with the flow.  Remembering this, I took the card back north with me.

So after many false starts and promises to myself I'd go, I actually went in to Fantastic Sam's on Thursday.  As I sat in the chair I said "I have a question to ask you and I really want you to tell me the answer is 'no'." My stylist was cautious but she nodded. My question was  "Will you take a credit card from me with someone else's name on it?" as I shook my head.  She laughed and said "Well it doesn't match your id, does it? So, no"  There was some awkwardness when she expressed annoyance about how "those protesters were just making things hard for everyone else just trying to get to work" and I couldn't let it lie.  The conversation died at that point, but after she was asking me how I wanted my hair cut, things got interesting.

I was just going to get my usual long layered bob, but the subject of pixie cuts came up and I mentioned I'd always wanted one.  The stylist, Danielle, said "Or you could have a half a pixie like mine" and showed off her cut. The top was very long, but the sides and back were shaved very close, with a v in the back.  With the top down it looked like any other "normal" cut.  When I saw it I could feel my eyes go bigger, and the first thing out of my mouth was "Can I do that?" My inner voice was saying Of course you can do that; it's your own fucking hair!  The stylist asked me if I was sure, because she was down to give me that cut. And I was.  All the while when so much of my hair was coming off I kept thinking "fuck the patriarchy" and "it's like wearing fancy underwear under regular work clothes" and "this hairstyle is just for me, not to please anyone else's expectations."  I kept thinking of Charlize Theron in Mad Max and Eleven from Stranger Things. (There's video of her getting her head shaved for the role and it's great seeing her embrace it.)  

The other stylist was obviously looking after her two young daughters, who were helping out by sweeping and doing a few other tasks.  They both came over and watched as all that hair came off my head.  There was so much hair on the floor afterward, the girls swept it up and Danielle made an enormous heart out of it on the floor.  

So now I have some extremely short hair with a curtain of "normal" hair that can fall over it if I feel like being blending in.  The blendability is important, because I had a sudden flash of feeling that women who don't conform to a certain standard of femininity would be one of the first groups to be interned in Trump's America, like in The Handmaid's Tale.

I'm not worrying so much about the possibility of me killing myself right now as I am worrying about civil unrest turning the entire country into a radioactive wasteland because a petulant man-baby was elected to the highest office of this land.  I thought this year sucked really hard, but I don't feel like there's going to be a next year.
univacgrl: (Default)
2016-06-04 05:43 pm

In Which I Vow to Update the Recipe (and also avoid losing it)

The original writeup is here: http://univacgrl.livejournal.com/229246.html Now it's time to rewrite the recipe so I don't have to do the math and the substitutions in my head at the same time. No ketchup required.

Mexican Lasagna (aka MexiLas)

For the filling:
2 cups of cooked chicken, cut or torn into bite-sized pieces (chicken thighs stand up better to the sauce)
1 package low sodium taco seasoning mix (or about 4 teaspoons if you roll your own) 
1 28 oz can tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup dried chopped onion
8 oz balsamic vinegar (1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 cup water
1 16 oz bag frozen corn niblets 
2 15 oz cans of black beans (or 1 each of black and pinto beans), drained and rinsed

For the structure:
6-8 soft tortillas (soft taco size) or 4 burrito size tortillas cut to fit in the casserole dish
4 cups shredded Mexican cheese mixture (or 4 cups grated your favorite mix of cheeses here)
1/2 6 oz can of small olives (use the whole can if you really like olives)
6-8 oz cream cheese cubed or cut into small portions
2 cups full fat sour cream
Parsley flakes and paprika for garnish

Glass or ceramic casserole dish (9 x 13 inches or larger) (tomato sauce will etch your metal pans and you will be unhappy)
Rimmed sheet pan to put under the casserole dish when it goes into the oven, because it will bubble over and spill

Make the filling:  In a large heavy saucepan combine the chicken, taco seasoning, dried onion, tomato sauce, cinnamon, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and water. Bring to a low boil and simmer for 20 minutes.  Add corn and beans and return to simmering for another 10 minutes.  

Build the lasagna:  Pour 1/3 of the sauce into the pan, then top with a single layer of tortillas to cover the whole surface.  Press gently into the pan. Sprinkle 1/2 of the cheese evenly over the tortilla layer, dot entire layer with olives and dollops of cream cheese.  Cover with half of the remaining sauce and another layer of tortillas.  Press firmly into the pan. Layer the rest of the cheese, then the olives and more dollops of cream cheese evenly over this layer.  Add the rest of the sauce and the last of the tortillas and press firmly into the pan again.  Spread a thick layer of sour cream from edge to edge of the dish as if frosting a sheet cake.  Garnish with paprika. Bake in 350 F oven on top of a rimmed sheet pan for 25 to 30 minutes, or until heated through. Sprinkle with parsley flakes.  Allow to cool slightly before serving in 3" square slices. 

It took me over a week to make this, because life kind of grinds me down, but it's pretty easily broken down into a very few steps.  Cook the chicken, refrigerate it overnight, then debone and shred the cold meat.  This step could be made even simpler by substituting browned ground meat (turkey or pork).  Make the filling then put it in the fridge for a few days, letting the flavors marry and making the filling thicker but easier to work with.  Build the casserole and bake it.  You'll have leftovers unless you're feeding several people.
univacgrl: (Default)
2016-06-04 03:27 pm

Thing a Day: Day Thirty

 I've managed to solve the food problem for several upcoming meals with some concerted effort this morning.  I finished putting together the Mexican lasagna casserole that I'd started last weekend.  I had almost all the stuff  and the filling half made as of last Saturday, but for much of the week it was too much to think about.  Today I got up earlier than I had been doing on these days off (and actually took my medication on time for once) and got to work before I got distracted.  It was a little bit different putting it together, and not difficult, it just took a lot  of energy to overcome my own inertia.  

Day 30:

Once that inertia was overcome, I couldn't stop.  After I got the casserole in the oven I sat down intending to do nothing for a while, but there was a shoebox full of random crap next to my side of the sofa that I suddenly needed to empty as soon as possible. It was stuff taken from near my nightstand with some recyclables and some old mail.  A stray bungee cord took me down to the garage to put away into the toolbox.  Then I saw most of the cordless phones in the stuff bucket (yes, it's a bucket literally has the word "STUFF" written on it in white letters, and it was a wedding gift).  I wanted to use the bucket for used kitchen towels so I decided it was time to reunite the phones.  I chugged back upstairs for the one stray and put them all in their own box.  Since we don't have a landline anymore the box of phones went into the Go-Away pile.  Back downstairs there were more shoeboxes full of bathroom stuff, over the counter meds and the like, and I got rid of all the expired ones.  They went into their trash and the packaging went into the recycling bin. Coming back upstairs to pull the casserole out of the oven I saw a ratty stained burnt and partly melted oven mitt with the Sugar Daddy candy logo on it.  It had been given to me by crazy-ex-cow-orker number two years ago and it's falling apart.  I don't need a reminder of working with a drug addled con artist in my life anymore so I trashed it.

univacgrl: (Default)
2016-06-03 09:55 pm

Thing a Day: Day Twenty-nine

 I have been having trouble with food this week: not wanting to eat, not wanting to eat anything in the house, not wanting to go out to get anything to eat.  It all seems like it's too much to bother with.  I've also had days where I go too long before eating, and subsequently go a little crazy with some sort of disordered thinking.  Usually it's depression/apathy, but sometimes it's anger.  Today was the latter.

Day 29:

I was determined to go down to the garage and empty a box this morning, after spending most of it lounging in bed.  I grabbed a food bar and sent D off to get himself some doughnuts in Pismo for National Doughnut day, asking him not to bring back any for me.  But he asked me what my favorite doughnut was, and I launched into a detailed description (devil's food with chocolate frosting and nuts). Kind of futile since I don't eat them much anymore, but I could practically taste it.  And so I went into the garage, and started getting angry over nothing.  Found an accessible box and started digging in to it. It had been filled, and then turned upside down. Grrr.  It was a box full of random stuff: shoeboxes (with shoes in them), craft supplies, a box of scarves, some Halloween decorations. I sorted most of it, deciding to transfer some of it into another (smaller) box for another day, some to my closet upstairs, some recycling, and several things to go away.  But then I started getting frustrated trying to find a box, because there was other stuff in the way.  And then I was obsessed with getting some slats from blinds that had been left in the garage when we'd moved in, and stuff got piled on top of it. (Ok, just the bicycles, but I needed the slats to go.)  And one of our better carpets had been folded up and tossed on the ground, which contributed to the anger.  I swept the garage floor so I could roll it up instead of leaving it folded.

As I was rolling that carpet up correctly, D rolled up, and I think I'd been going a bit fractal for a while.  I somehow managed to let him know I wanted the blinds to go, even though I was waffling about whether they should be trashed or recycled. Then we "discussed" placing the nice carpet, with a lot of fuss from me. D asked if he should take it up to the balcony in front of the door so he could vacuum it and then bring it in. Of course I had to demand that it happen this weekend.  And when I went upstairs, I saw he'd dropped it without sweeping and I started getting angrier. And this is the point at which I realized I was going down the rabbit hole.  I had to finish the box, because going fractal means me getting obsessive, and luckily I was almost done with the damned thing.    I kept thinking to myself, just finish, then food. Went upstairs and made scrambled eggs since I haven't gotten the hang of making an omelet on the electric stove yet, which calmed me down almost immediately

Today's items:

An old backpack that I'd found outside my apartment before I'd started dating D.
A papercrafting item, the prize from a kid's meal at a fast food restaurant, still lovingly preserved in the original plastic wrapper.
A couple of gift bows that had obviously been used and stored to be reused.
A tiny pinky ring, probably from a vending machine.
A pair of baby teething toys (from my days as a wanna-be raver back in the 90's).
A lime green padded zippered pouch.  It's so my color! My best friend gave it to me! I've never used it!
A black square yard scarf.  I've probably used it a few times, but it's itchy.
Two identical scarves, one in pastel pink, the other in pastel green. (Really, past me? Pastels? Pastels look awful on me.)
A set of four cardboard coasters with Star Trek ships on them. I'm not sure if I should claim these as they were D's, but when he said he didn't want them my hoarder brain wanted me to grab them and hold them and love them and keep them forever.  (Shut up, Charlotte!)  Putting them in the Go-Away box was an act of will.

univacgrl: (Default)
2016-06-02 08:19 pm

Thing a Day: Day Twenty-eight

 So crampy today.  I stayed home and in pajamas all day, despite my cow-orker's text at 7:30 this morning.  I didn't get it until noon when I finally remembered to look at the phone.  And I promptly spent the rest of the day feeling afraid and imagining the possible consequences of me not going in to work today (me getting fired; my cow-orker getting fired; my cow-orker rage quitting).  What good is having a day off if I couldn't enjoy it at all.  I feel like my boss is going to yell at me no matter what, but I'm really not the manager. I don't have the title. I certainly don't have the salary. But I feel like I have all the responsibility anyway.  

D and I snuggled in bed this morning, which we haven't done a lot of lately. My arm still doesn't let me lie on either side, and when I'm flat on my back it hurts if there's anything (or more to the point, D's arm) touching it.  So instead of spooning we tangled up our legs and kept our torsos far apart.  And we talked.  D said he feels like he's drifting, like he doesn't know his place in the world, which with being unemployed is totally understandable. I'm glad he's actually telling me how he feels.  He supports me so much, it makes me feel useful that I can support him.

Day 28: 

The other days when I just wasn't feelin' it and I only pulled one thing or so were by choice. Today's single item is all my body is allowing.  This is not a relatively-ok-period month.  Flow is heavy. Cramps are so very bad.  I've been trying to distract myself all day with internet and watching D play Fallout. And then it was half past five and I hadn't pulled my item.  So, into the office I went and looked around. Old coupon organizer, complete with three long-expired coupons still in it.  I'm so glad e-coupons exist.
univacgrl: (Default)
2016-06-01 07:42 pm

Thing a Day: Day Twenty-seven

 Period foo has morphed into evidence of Yet Another Ovarian Cyst.  Hello again, stabbing pains, I sure as hell didn't miss you.  So I'm spending a lot of time moving slowly and trying to find a posture that isn't as painful as all of the ones previously tried. And I just want to curl up in a ball and ignore the world.

Day 27:

Worked today and tried to leave early, but as usual, things kept needing to be finished.  I still got to leave an hour early, but I hadn't taken a lunch break so it was a long slow slog to the end.  And I might have to work tomorrow, even though I wasn't planning to, because my cow-orker fired all of her invalid mother's caregivers.  She was trying to poach a caregiver from the agency she'd signed a contract written specifically to prevent that sort of thing, and when cow-orker was threatened with a lawsuit, she fired everyone.   So her mom's alone when she shouldn't be, and therefore she said she'd call me if she couldn't work tomorrow (and she'll probably need me to come in in the afternoon.)  I may just say no, depending on how I'm feeling. Heck, I could use the money, but I desperately need my recharge time since work is crazy over-scheduled for the next month (or two).

So I came home all tired and I think I tackled the last easy source of go-away stuff, yet another Costco bag of clothes, before I I'm going to have to start going through my makeup.  Which makes me afraid.  Anyway, once again I thought I'd have a hard time finding anything, right up until I started looking for something.  And after the first item, the rest came easily.  First was a white-ish Danskin shirt, again from a clothing exchange.  Slightly too small and looking like it'd been discolored in an unfortunate laundry incident (though this one wasn't my fault), it was a prime candidate.  Next was a pair of gloves I'd gotten from Old Navy because I needed them for a winter trip to see D's family in Colorado.  They were literally the only pair left and we were leaving the next day, so I grabbed them. They're too small and one of the gloves has a hole in it that I'm not going to fix, but I wore them anyway. They were -- adequate..  They came with a scarf and I just don't have the heart to split the set up, so it went with the gloves.  Last was a maternity support tube that also came from a clothing exchange, for reasons.  I was hoping it would work like shapewear, but I shrank out of it pretty quickly.
univacgrl: (Default)
2016-05-31 06:57 pm

Thing a Day: Day Twenty-six

Period foo started last night.  Another interesting feature of my cycle is that right before onset and almost all the way through, I'm super sensitive to a lot of smells.   Sometimes it's nice, like this morning outside of my office where I could smell moist earth and green growing things.  Sometimes not so nice, like the everlasting mildew smell inside the office.  Somewhere in the middle is the trace of not-terrible perfume on my hoodie from someone I hugged on Saturday. 

I spent a lot of yesterday looking at my notifications on Twitter with big ole heart eyes, because "Senpai noticed me!"  Oh, the Gaiman fan-girliness is strong in me.  Yesterday was actually the second time he'd tweeted back to me.  The first was a couple of years ago when I expressed disappointment that on Indie Bookstore Day, the one I went to had sold all their special Gaiman books by phone to one person months earlier.  I think I'd been reading some Buzzfeed UK article earlier that day about how Brits express their emotions, so I think what I said came out sounding like the British version of "I'm devastated," which garnered a kind response of "I think that sucks", also in British vernacular.  Writing, even on Twitter, is still all about knowing your audience.

Day 26:

I brought something home from the office for my thing today, a water bottle given out by an infusion company.  But as I walked in the door, D asked if he could have it because, of course, he lost his Contigo at the convention he went to (like he usually does).  So I had to go digging elsewhere.  I started pulling things (mostly shirts) out of a laundry basket, clean clothes that I hadn't really looked at for a long time because said basket had been living on top of a wire storage cubby thing and D would keep piling my clean laundry on top of it.  The long sleeved purple henley with the weird princess seams was too large and too not-stylish to keep (those seams shudder). The black turtleneck also had to go, since it was also too large, but it was pretty faded too, despite being a good brand.  I found another, better-fitting turtleneck in the same basket so it wasn't too tough to get rid of the lesser one.  Next was a pair of t-shirts, one Aquafina one that I'd evidently won from some online contest a long while ago, and a Cal Poly Mustangs baseball champions shirt. Woo baseball; don't care.  I had a bit of trouble deciding about a teal spaghetti-strap tank top. It's too big, but it's got a really pretty sequin embellishment on the front. I could totally wear it as a camisole but -- but no.  Last was a pair of pajama bottoms, my cloud pajama pants that are now too large. The top is long gone, stained from being washed in Santa Margarita well water. These were also stained and faded.   On the bright side, without having half of a pair of stained, ill-fitting cloud pajamas out of my life does mean that I can finally replace them.
univacgrl: (Default)
2016-05-30 12:45 pm

Thing a Day: Day Twenty-five

I have today off, one of the few holidays I can count on my boss closing the office.  I had every intention of not leaving the house today, but I heard the beep of a delivery and then something hit my front door screen.  USPS delivers for Amazon, even on federal holidays, and even the day before the book is officially released..  It was the Neil Gaiman book I'd preordered several months back. LIke any fangirl I took a picture and posted it to twitter with the title hashtagged and tagging the author --- who retweeted me with a response!   Which is really cool, but kind of scary.  At least I could put some thought into my tweet, unlike when I met him in November, when I was too starstruck to say anything. But he was super nice. Though in the pictures I look terrified (which I was), to my everlasting shame.  

Day  25:

Since I have the day off, I'm taking most of today off from the decluttering in favor of binge-watching stuff I have on the TiVo. (It's been perpetually at 98-99% full since we got the good cable installed).  Only one item today: a black (now faded to brown) knit night-dress. It's been washed so many times it's grown super sheer. It was never anything I 'd wear out of the house, but comfortable to wear inside, especially when it was hot out (i.e. frequently, because I live in sunny California).  It's even got a few holes.  It's been kicking around the bedroom for the last couple of days and it's been nagging at me every damned time I came across it.  It's like I have to stop not seeing how bad something is before I can let it go, and that takes tremendous effort.  All the energy I spend putting up a front that I'm ok seems to bleed over into making me think things around me are ok too.  Here's to mental illness, it blinds both ways.  
univacgrl: (Default)
2016-05-29 11:21 pm

Thing a Day: Day Twenty-four

 I was social again today.  I went to an annual bbq/birthday party, usually featuring a lot of booze and food.  There were both, today, and I indulged in some of each. In the past I've drunk a lot, but that was much easier when home was still within staggering distance.  Keeping in mind that I did have to drive myself home, I'm pretty proud of myself that I had only one alcohol unit today.  Anxiety was kicking me about this event, but not as hard (since hey, I've done this before, so it's not so new-scary-new).  I had been thinking about bringing Mexican lasagna (MexiLas, as it's known in some circles) but decided that I was going to be selfish and make it to share it with D.  I brought my fallback items instead: carrot chips, goat cheese, hummus, and brie, aka the Ecstatic Cult of Hummus and Brie.  I had a plan this time.  I decided not to show up at the stated start time because I knew I'd be prone to drinking more (since I'd gotten there so early) and feel like I needed to keep drinking to keep being social.  So I spent most of my morning distracting myself from thinking about going to an event yet again.  

I finished prepping the chicken I'd baked last night.  I am so glad I have a bunch of non-latex gloves. The sensation of greasiness on my hands when I debone cooked chicken gives me the shudders.  I hate thinking I'm transferring a bunch of schmaltz from my hands onto everything I touch until I can scrub it all off.  Since they're still mostly numb, I wouldn't know if they were completely clean without practically parboiling them and drenching them with dish soap. Gloves are such a convenience.

Day 24:

I was going to walk out of the house in the first shirt I put on today, a black ladies XL one that fits me pretty well. But as I was putting on my makeup I kept looking at the the design on the front and frowning at it.  It's got a silver pentagram with the words "earth, air, fire, water, wiccan spirit" wrapping around it twice.  And I can get down with earth, air, fire, and water, but not so much with the wiccan spirit, because I'm not religious at all.  I envy other people their faiths, but I do not believe (and haven't since I was about seven years old; yes, I experienced depression long before I got to be that age).  I think it's a side effect of the depression, which makes me ultra-rational (and ultra-pessimistic) about certain things (faith is doomed to go unrewarded, hope will always be disappointed).  I felt it would be wrong for me to wear this shirt, because I know that certain people at the party would start to ask me about wicca, and I'd have to tell them that I don't know anything about it and that I'm just wearing the shirt because I'm an appropriative boor.  It's why I don't wear stuff with crosses on them, either.  And I might wear a shirt with "namaste" written on it because I do enjoy yoga sometimes, but I made a conscious decision during my college years that I wouldn't be a walking billboard for anything I didn't personally support.  Part of that came from a decided distaste for designer label clothing/status symbols that my family couldn't afford to buy me as a teenager, growing up in status-conscious OC.  The fact that I didn't fit into designer clothing was a contributing factor.   But it was also impressed upon me that I wasn't worth spending that kind of money on (but my mother spent that kind of money on herself and on my sister).  The wiccan spirit shirt is now in the Go-Away Bag.  I settled on a paisley one to go in.

univacgrl: (Default)
2016-05-28 06:09 pm

Thing a Day: Day Twenty-three

I did not flake out today.  I almost did, but I didn't flake.  I had arranged to carpool down to Santa Maria for the Bernie Sanders rally, and I had a mini panic attack about going while I was walking down the hallway last night .  I kept clicking over to FB messages to let the driver know he didn't have to stop for me, and then clicking back away.  Last night was an exercise in distracting myself for long enough to click away from the message page.  My brain wouldn't really let me leave it alone, so eventually I would click back.  I managed a good long distraction by dying my hair.  It's been months and my two-inch roots have been unsettling me for a while.  Grooming is about self-care and I haven't felt like doing it for a long while.  Because self-care is for other people.  

At least I got to bed at a relatively early hour.  When I woke up this morning (at seven sharp!) my panic levels were still at a simmer. Thanks to my slowly rising anxiety levels, I was ready to go an hour and a half early.  I had to keep talking myself out of talking myself out of going.  I finally asked myself out loud "What is the worst that could happen?"  I immediately came up with the sun exploding, which is inherently ridiculous.  Then I asked what was the next worst thing that could happen.  A witnessing a successful assassination attempt (also ridiculously unlikely).  After a few more goes with the ridiculous, I ventured into more realistic territory.  The worst likely thing was that we would get turned away at the door because we'd gotten there too late, and we'd all go out to lunch.

Letting someone else drive was hard.  Letting someone else dictate the time we set out was hard.  Being around all those people was hard.  Speech was worth being there for though. And the sun didn't blow up.  At least not all of it all at once.

Day 23:

While I was looking for appropriate cargo pants, I encountered yet another pair of Joe Boxer pajama trousers, another clothing exchange item, that I had torn at some point trying to get my fat ass into.  I'm not going to repair them.  I need to stop letting myself settle for broken things because I think they're all I deserve in life.
univacgrl: (Default)
2016-05-27 07:00 pm

Thing a Day: Day Twenty-two

 Today was the day of running all the errands.  And I indulged in caffeine again.  I made an itinerary. I made lists.  I even made myself stop in the middle and have lunch.  And I did almost everything.  I even emptied a very large box of stuff that had become a table at the foot of the bed where indeterminate laundry had started piling up.  Nothing much to get rid of in there.  Random bedroom and closet stuff, including some extension cords and power strips.  There were also two messenger bags that I had formerly used as purses, one Batman one from Hot Topic and a green oriental brocade one from Cost Plus.  And they were full of little bits of trash because I'm always in such a hurry transferring from one purse to another. 

Day 22:

The purses are empty now, and I'm trying to decide if I want to keep either of them.  After yesterday's fussing of the printer stand I've been trying to distribute chargers better.  The power strip by D's side of the sofa rattled yesterday when I plugged in the charger.  No bueno.  Replaced that one, swapped around a couple more.  I'm supposed to go see Bernie Sanders in Santa Maria tomorrow, but I've been having panic attacks all day.  First, there's sure to be a very large number of people there. I'm also putting myself in someone else's control by carpooling, and the plan is to show up an hour before the actual speech, when the doors open at 10 and it's first come, first served.  I keep thinking of everything that could go wrong, and I'd feel like it'd be my own damned fault because I trusted someone else to plan my day.  Control freak much?

LIttle trash bits, a broken wooden hanger, the rattly power strip, another power strip that wouldn't allow plug prongs to fully seat in the sockets.

I don't want to play anymore.
univacgrl: (Default)
2016-05-26 08:40 pm

Thing a Day: Day Twenty-one

Reupped on the caffeine again this morning because I was too late to bed last night.  Again.  Doing all the things at work was exhausting. I did manage to sneak out a little early so I could spend some time with D before he left for the weekend.  I'm a gamer con widow and I'm ok with that. When I got home, after some smooching with D I noticed he'd put a towel on top of the printer.  It's where we put all of our electronics to charge, but it didn't make sense to me, because the surface he'd covered up with the towel was the lid protecting the scanner bed.  So I was compelled to fuss the whole stand.  It's an Ikea rack with wire grid drawers, and in the old place we'd been using it as a mail station, with our bill organizer on top and a shredder in the bottom drawer.  We threaded a power strip through one of the other drawers and it had wires coming out all over the place.  And despite our best intentions, it quickly got covered with crap and the drawers collected other crap, so it was full of crap and not terribly useful.  Now that the printer has taken over the top and the bill organizer is elsewhere (for now), we're still using it as a charger stand but there was no good place to put the stuff that needs charging except on the top of the printer.  Enter the me-shaped fuss device this afternoon.  

It's kind of funny that I don't remember what all I took out of the top drawer.  I think it was a couple of stacks of sticky notes (liberated from work) and lots of things that should have been recycled or shredded,and things (that I didn't want to deal with). It was like an oubliette right in the living room that I'd trained myself not to see.  At that point everything had to come out of all the drawers. Even the drawer with the power strip had tangles of cords and random bits of electronics: the pair of radios I took to that last Burning Man and their charger stand and its power supply, my last Palm device and its charger, giant brick chargers from two mobile phones ago, a battery charger (with a really unnecessarily long cord) and its batteries, an iPhone jailbreak kit, and all the dust those things had acquired over time.  Also in the drawers was a bottle of scented sleep spray, a nearly empty wooden tray, a Badtz Maru stuffie dressed like Rick from Casablanca (in a trenchcoat and fedora), two sets of rubber earbud covers, a landline phone box - empty, and not just one, but two usb charger bricks still in their packaging, one of which was a still-sealed OEM Apple cube.  

Day 21:

I really only meant for today's items be the long-dead car radio transmitter for my old-school ipods.  There was also half a charger cable lying next to it in my car, and I grabbed that too.  I was going to put them in our e-waste pile and be done for the evening.  But then there was the printer stand's stuff.  Recycled all the papers, (and now that I look at the picture, I can see they included several sheets of return address labels with the old place on them).  I put the old power supplies into the go away box, neatened all of the remaining cords with ponytail holders, and put the power strip into a better position in the drawer by rethreading its cord through the wire basket on the other side.  I repurposed the top drawer and made it into the charging device holding area by putting the towel down in the bottom and threading all the cables through binder clips (my favorite household tool).  And I dusted everything off and washed the vinyl radio covers.  The Apple cube found a new home on D's side of the sofa, so he can recharge the Playstation headphones or the controller while he plays Fallout.  (On the weekends he sometimes plays all day long, which necessitates the recharging.)  I wish I'd taken a before picture, but I texted the after pics to D.  He sent back Shiba-speak:  "Such fuss, much useful, WOW."  Which of course is the best response he possibly could have sent.
univacgrl: (Default)
2016-05-25 07:11 pm

Thing a Day: Day Twenty

Still caffeinated today.  Up too late last night after yesterday's caffeination and DOING ALL THE THINGS.  This morning I woke up sore all over and dog tired.  But I still had to go to work.  And be nice.  And talk to people.  I swallowed a handful of ibuprofen and a mouthful of diet soda at the start of the workday this morning.  Made it through the awful schedule of [aw]fullness while literally running up and down the hallway and around the open end of my desk.  I used a tracking app on an iDevice last year to see how far I walked in a day, and I'd walked five miles by noon.  And people think I have a sedentary job.  Well, sometimes it is, when we don't have patients in the afternoons. But the mornings can be hell on wheels.  If I was at all graceful it would be awesome to do this job on skates, but as I cannot skate to save my life it's not to be. Plus, who wants to skate on carpet?  (Well, it would be softer when I'd fall on my ass, but that's only wishful thinking.) Tonight I vow I will get some fucking sleep.  I have a hard enough time turning my brain off when I'm not caffeinated, and on it is like like fighting a level boss.  Brain, why won't you stay down?

Day 20:

I came home and immediately went into "Find the thing(s)" mode, but yesterday was too much, so I only emptied one bag.  Well, technically two bags, but I didn't get rid of anything that was in the mesh bag full of petticoats.  You'll pry that organza from my cold, dead fingers.

Five things today.  A blue and grey Gap tank top, slightly too small, and the elastic in the straps is crackly.  Second was a short sleeved purple sweater, too large.  I folded it up and put it in the dresser, but not five minutes later I pulled out a nearly identical one that fit much better.  How many purple sweaters does one person need, anyway?  The big one had to go.  Yet another Polycon shirt went straight into go-away.  

The last item I'm very sad to give up.  It's a vintage (like vintage vintage) nightgown that came from a clothing exchange, of course.  It seriously looks like some of the lingerie-as-outerwear evening gowns from the 90's. It's bias cut, full length, has a lovely gathered bust and embroidery along the neckline.  And it was always slightly too small (even when I was at my smallest).  I grabbed it for a costume that never came together, and I want to keep it for a sewing reference, but it's not going to happen.  I bought one of the few Vogue patterns that I own (because Vogue patterns make grown seamstresses cry) that's a close match to the design, but my making something is never going to be as well made as this vintage one.  Sigh.  And it used to be white.  I still kick myself every time I see it, because when I first got it it was white and now it's not.  I washed it with a brown skirt that wasn't color-fast and it's off-white, eggshell, whatever, just not white.  Not the way it's supposed to be.  I mean, it looks ok in ivory, but I'll always remember that it used to be white, and it's like a pebble in my shoe: irritating.  It's probably best to get rid of it.  Nobody else will ever know that it used to be white and it wouldn't bother them like it does me.

Ok, so caffeinated, must tell the brain meats to go on standby for a while.  Spock out.
univacgrl: (Default)
2016-05-24 10:35 pm

Thing a Day: Day Nineteen

 Guess what happens when I have about two mouthfuls of caffeinated diet soda at work first thing in the morning!  I stayed up way too late last night so I started the day super tired but I did ALL THE THINGS! and then I came home and did MORE OF THE THINGS!  And even though today was super busy at work, I was complimented several times about how calm I was and how I kept everything running smoothly.  I sure as hell didn't feel calm, but I think the caffeine helped me keep going.  I almost forgot to eat lunch, but I made myself take a full break (during which I stuffed a food-bar down my face).  Stopped and got gas on the way home, then checked on the bird's nest  sitting in the mounting bracket of a satellite dish beside our building.  When we moved in I kept seeing a bird flying away from it as I'd walk past to get to my car, and two weeks ago I took a picture of the nest with four eggs in it.  Yesterday when I looked around the corner I didn't see the adult bird. Today I decided to investigate and there were tiny fluffy babies in there! I walked into the house and the first thing I said to D was "baby birds!".  I made him put shoes on and come out to look.  I love that he appreciates cute and will coo appropriately.  (Of course there was appropriate cooing today, from both of us.)

Day 19:

Yesterday I didn't want to face any more bags of clothes, but I came home and got aggro on (baa) three bags-full looking for today's thing.  There were many shirts so I got to putting the keepers away as I pulled the go-aways.  When I'd got the keeps all folded I decided that I wanted to put together the wire cubes and put them on a shelf in the closet for storing my many (so many) t-shirts.  I kind of went fractal with carefully putting the metal grids together, making sure the ones on the bottoms had the wires oriented correctly (front-to-back, not side-to-side, so the clothing would encounter less friction as I put things in and take them out).   D came in to tell me to eat dinner, but I was too much in the zone.  He brought me a food bar at my request and I kept going.  Fitting it in the closet was a challenge.  I asked D to lift it up there and in doing so he smashed the super bright CFL bulb in the fixture. (Bare bulb and no protection go smash!)   The connectors made it slightly too tall, and while I'd measured height and width, I'd failed to measure depth (again), so the shelves hung over the front edge at an alarming angle.  The bottom connectors in the back were about 3/8 inch taller than the grids so it felt like it was going to fall forward if I looked at it funny.  I grabbed the vacuum and cleaned up the floor, and then decided to vacuum the rest of the bedroom, and then the living room  and dining area, too, pulling as much stuff off the floor as I could before running the Dyson all over the place.  Went back to the bedroom and carefully pulled the wire shelving out of the closet to see if I could orient the connectors differently to make it shorter. I could feel myself running out of steam so I called D back from the living room for, as we call it, moral support (aka making sure I don't do anything stupid because of low blood sugar).  We only bickered a little on how to rebuild the shelves, and it was much easier the second time using the rubber mallet I went down to the garage for.  We got it back in with minimal wall scraping, and it doesn't look like it's going to come down on my head anytime soon.

So tonight's haul was six shirts.  First a purple Danskin top from a clothing exchange.  Slightly too small has become too small to wear, even for exercise.  Next, a men's large maroon long-sleeved polo, another item of depression clothes.  It's super soft but it fits me like a sack.  A purple and black top with a large sewn-on metal butterfly belt ornament: not really me (too princess-y) and now too small.   A black knit button-down with gold lamé pinstripes is now a little too small.  I don't really want to give this one up because the texture is pretty nice and not itchy, despite the lamé, an it looks to be vintage 80's wear.  Maybe I'll change my mind about this one later.  The rest was pretty easy, a black long sleeved off-the-shoulder Banana Republic top from a clothing exchange is too constricting around the shoulders, and a black v-neck sweater with eyelets for lacing (a Ross find) is a little too coarse and faded from washing. After taking the pictures, it was shower time and then ice-cream and journal time.  No lipstick necessary, but optional bunny face spray will be spritzed after I'm done posting.
univacgrl: (Default)
2016-05-23 07:27 pm

Thing a Day: Day Eighteen

I put on lipstick to write this entry (lip-crayon, to be exact).  And prior to that I sprayed on my Tony Moly Pocket Bunny Sleek Mist face spray, a small bunny-shaped bottle of super cuteness (+5 to pampering). I wonder if using the "you're going to blog so you need this" was me giving myself permission to perform some self-care or if I actually needed warpaint to mentally gird my loins for exposing myself.  Porque no los dos?

More physical therapy today.  I asked my boss about home cervical traction because it's going to be two weeks until my next appointment (their schedule is full before the holiday and they're taking some extra time off, so two weeks until I get my neck stretched again).  He told me to find out how many pounds they've been using on me at PT (it's fifteen).  Home units are twenty dollars for an over-the-door unit, fifty for an inflatable one, or four hundred for a lying-down one on Amazon.  Pro models are in the thousands..  I don't care about uncomfortable, I want it to do what it's supposed to do.  I can take uncomfortable for a long-ass while, as my history demonstrates.   I also did more strengthening exercises, and they ramped up the weight a little bit.  I am totally ok with pulling things down or lifting up, that was easy at twenty pounds, but side to side (adductions?) and forward-back (rowing motion) are still so freaking hard at ten pounds, that I had to do them shakily in batches of two or three. Even my supposedly-strong side is only a tiny bit stronger than my injured one: that arm does four before needing to rest.  This time I was better prepared, though.  I took ibuprofen immediately after leaving (purse of holding for the win), and when I got home I iced both arms immediately.  Hopefully I won't be in nearly as much pain as I was in last time, but time will tell.  

One odd side effect of moving away from town is that now I'm on time (or early) far more often.  I know that it takes longer for me to get to work, so I spend a lot fewer mornings hiding in bed because I don't wanna go.  I mean, I still don't want to go, but I can't just get there ten minutes after rolling out of bed anymore   But now, I'm there alone for a while, usually for a good half hour, before anyone else gets there. So I get to crank some tunes.  A couple of years ago D wanted to get rid of his old desktop's computer speakers, and I'd been wanting some for my work computer, so they're now hooked up under my desk, subwoofer and all.  The volume knob is almost all the way down and I keep the sound levels low on my computer most of the time, but for alone time, there is some volume.  So I'll search for whatever is going through my head on YouTube and crank it up for a few minutes while I'm doing prep for the day.  

A lot of days it's my pump-it-up song "Battleflag" by Lo-Fidelity Allstars.  Some days it's a hunt for whatever interstitial music NPR was playing that morning.  Last week there was a bit more variety.  Wednesday was soul music, starting with "For the Love of Money" by the O'Jays and clicking around in the suggestions.  Thursday, was a departure for me. I had a deep need for some punk rock, starting with The Clash's "Brand New Cadillac" and eventually rolling around to my favorite version of "You Oughta Know" by 1000 Mona Lisas, a band I've never heard of outside of a sampler one of my college roommates had.  This one is sung by a guy and I imagine the you who oughta know is a bi guy who left the singer for a potential babymama, and boy is he pissed.  I still like the original, but it just isn't angry enough for me.

I bop along to the music, not dancing (because a: I suck at it and b: neck problems [aka "No More Headbanging, Ever"]), but bobbing along. And maybe I'll mouth the lyrics, but I don't sing them out loud.  I seem to have lost my singing voice.  "Too depressed to go to karaoke anymore" means no weekly practice and now I sound like shit. (This is not the first time depression robbed someone of their voice.  Not the last, either.)  Now that I have a commute, I should be able to practice some in the car, but I'm usually listening to NPR, so I forget. And my car stereo is lacking in any input interface (it's the stock am/fm radio), so no singing along to my own stuff that I know and could practice with. The Bobs acapella stuff is really good for tuning up, but there's no way to play it in the car. Perhaps I should invest in a new radio transmitter; the older one died a horrible heat death, and its nifty-but-super-cheap replacement has an annoying buzz from a short somewhere on the circuit board.

Day 18:

Still having trouble getting motivated and taking the easy way out by not delving too deeply into the many bags of clothing still piled in the bedroom.  I did a shallow pass over a few things and pulled out three items, though.

First was some temporary hair color, a maroon red hue that really hasn't been stylish since the 90's.  I know I bought the box in this decade though. Go-Away box.

Second was a black women's xl t-shirt, with a small Triforce logo over the boobs.  I can stuff myself into it, but wearing it always makes me feel like I'm pretending to be something I'm not (cooler, maybe).  I've never played a Zelda game.  I think I've only handled a non-Wii Nintendo device twice in my life (and Wii stuff a few more times than that), but no Zelda ever. Go-Away Box.

Last was a black plastic container that used to have honey butter in it.  I think it was from Bon Temps, when they were in their old location, and it's been years.  After being emptied, it floated around on top of the toaster oven (that we gave to Goodwill at the time of moving).  Sometimes I would put small amounts of ingredients in it while making recipes (even though I have many much better containers made specifically for this purpose).  Recycle bin.
univacgrl: (Default)
2016-05-22 02:19 pm

Thing a Day: Day Seventeen

Lazy Sunday and I'm not feeling it.  I am feeling like I've painted myself into a corner on this Thing a Day thing.  But continuing is easier than stopping, so-.

Day 17

Opened the cabinet and right at eye level were two shot glasses with full color tiki motives on them.  You know, for parties.  I can count on three fingers the number of times we had "parties" at our old place, both before it got filled with my crap.  I am too ashamed to ask people to come over, because I have unreasonable expectations of what a house should look like before other people see it (thanks, Mom).  I also have the irrational idea that no-one would come to anything I'd throw, which probably isn't true.  Except that I've seen it happen to someone who threw a party in our house when we lived in Pismo before.  So perhaps I'm not being entirely irrational.  Don't need the shot glasses in this house, and probably never will.
univacgrl: (Default)
2016-05-21 05:47 pm

Thing a Day: Day Sixteen

 Massive food-fail again this afternoon.  I didn't eat much for breakfast because we made soft plans to go out for lunch, but when D got sucked into playing Fallout, it got later and later until I felt like the world really was ending.  It's an understatement to say that low blood sugar makes me unhappy.  I'd had a food fail earlier in the week and after D got my blood sugar stabilized with food we talked.  (More like I apologized for letting myself get that bad, but talking.) I told him that when I get into that state (and it's all too easy for me to get there) the best thing he could do would be to make me scrambled eggs, cheese optional.  So here I was today curled up in a ball of sadness and crying my eyes out, but D twigged to the fact that it was food-fail and immediately made me some eggs.  I am super grateful that he's willing to put up with my many fails, and very lucky that he recognizes when I need help and is willing and patient enough to help me.

Day 16:

I think I have the answer to what happens if I get fatter again.  I went through another bag of clothing and pulled out two pairs of shorts and a pair of capris that I don't wear, both because shaving my legs is tedious and they no longer fit me because I've gotten fatter again.  I was only sad to see one of the shorts go, because it has uncommon sailor buttons instead of a fly closure.  Dammit.  I'm nowhere near where I was at my largest, just larger than I was at my smallest.  I'll never have what I think of as a Good Fatty body, not without significantly more restrictive dieting combined with surgery.  The Good Fatty is the plus sized woman seen in most advertisements for plus sized clothes. Big, rather than Fat.  The Good Fatty body doesn't have fat rolls or a protruding stomach, it's just larger, all around, with boobs that don't actually need much of the support of a bra.  Not my very short very round body  And the answer to the question is that I just don't wear those too-small things anymore.  I have as much trouble deciding whether or not to keep the things that are too small as I do the ones that are too large.  Because what if? 

I also got rid of yet another Polycon shirt (that I've never worn) and a red skirt thing that I made out of the long sleeves from several t-shirts (crafting fail) and never actually finished.
univacgrl: (Default)
2016-05-20 06:59 pm

Thing a Day: Day Fifteen

Fridays are my "recovery day" of the week. It's also the day I run as many errands as I can before I lose steam from the week and melt into a puddle of goo on my sofa. Today was supposed to be "self-care day". I went to my scheduled appointment to get my eyebrows waxed at Ulta. I justify it to myself (and I do have to justify it to myself) that if I get my brows waxed on a regular basis, I am both happier with the way they look, and I don't spend an inordinate amount of time every morning and night trying to do it myself with tweezers.  I call it worth it for the time savings alone.

I was also supposed to go get my hair cut, like I've been trying to muster the energy for for more than a month, but I had a fail on that.  Since I'm cheap, I like to go to one of the chain haircutting places in town, but it's on the other side of town (or more correctly, on the very tip of one of the four lobes of the little splat of a town I used to live in) and I just don't like going to the other chain (which is slightly more expensive for the same service).  Last night I realized needed to go to the pharmacy to check if my other meds were ready for pickup.  This morning I checked the dates on the bottles and it's been about 40 days since I last filled them.  Oops? I wasn't out of them. I've built up quite a cushion over time since I do occasionally forget to take the two night-time ones.  By the time I'd gotten in and out of the pharmacy I lost all motivation to continue.  It's not even ten miles by car and I just couldn't make myself go.  

Day 15:

When I got home I went immediately into "find the thing" mode, because I could feel myself rapidly approaching the state of goo.  A quick rummage through a bag yielded a scarf made of sequined ruffle yarn.  Clothing exchange item that I've never worn.  Go Away Bag.

As I was turning I saw something I had passed over the day before, a silver gift box that had a small organza drawstring bag in it, empty.  A conversation I'd had last night about giving the earrings to a friend to make necklaces out of came to mind, and I thought the gray box would be the perfect thing to put the pair of intricately beaded earrings I'd put in the Go Away Box a few days ago.  So I put them together and placed them back in the Go Away Box.