Done Since 2019-04-14

Apr. 21st, 2019 06:02 pm
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
[personal profile] mdlbear

BAD week. Colleen is in the hospital again, with damaged kidneys and multiple severe drug-resistant infections. She slipped getting back into bed Monday morning, after getting weaker all the previous week. It's pretty dire this time. V and I have been there every day.

N came up Thursday afternoon, and the kids and their SOs came up yesterday. It's that serious. See updates. I'm redacting almost all of the medical details in the notes; it'll go into the next Colleen update, with a content warning. Look for that tonight or tomorrow.

She's been delirious and mostly non-verbal from the infections and her wacked-out blood chemistry; the last coherent thing she said yesterday was "I want my Bear." All I could do was hold her hand, but that seemed to be enough.

N and I have decided to make this year's Rainbow Con a celebration for Colleen. She will almost certainly still be in rehab at that point, in which case we'll record and/or stream it. Come, if you can.

Notes & links, as usual )

I should post this.

Nun dines with wyvern.

Apr. 21st, 2019 04:51 pm
sistawendy: (wtf laughing)
[personal profile] sistawendy
I had dinner with [profile] rigel_p, just the two of us, at a pretty good Indian place near Southcenter mall. She didn't make it up here at all over the winter holidays because she had pneumonia. (!) We talked SCIENCE and dating and Santa Fe and solar energy and my mom and her parents and a bunch of the people up here who she knows better than I do. Let's just say I'm glad no one else was sitting too close. She seems to be kicking ass and taking names in every aspect of live worth mentioning, to the point where I'm a little jealous of her - not for the first time. It was one of those dinners that I didn't want to end, even after I ran out of things to say.

And from the Dept. of People Observation, there was a table of four or five remarkably elegant-looking hijabi ladies there while we were there. I wonder if they noticed Rigel's now partly anime-colored hair - she's a boss lady now - and my Pride-and-stars-n-stripes leggings. There was hardly anyone there in a big restaurant on a Saturday night, and the food was right on. Puzzling.
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
[personal profile] mdlbear

Today's song is one I wrote as a Valentine's Day present for my wife, Colleen. I don't seem to have audio up on the web; I considered singing it to her earlier today, but one look at the lyrics told me I wouldn't be able to. It's hard to sing when you're crying.

Here's Eyes Like the Morning. Audio at the link, or [ogg] [mp3]

lyrics, if you don't want to click through )

(no subject)

Apr. 20th, 2019 03:22 pm


Apr. 20th, 2019 08:36 am
greenstorm: (Default)
[personal profile] greenstorm
My heart hurts.

Josh and I are deciding whether we will stay together; he wants to be friends, ditch the sex, and keep the rest of intimacy n steady-state, or rather, when he's available. I need a minimum of in-person time to avoid cometing, and am not super happy at the idea of "it'll be hard for me to find a relationship if we keep having sex so let's stop the sex and keep everything else". I'll likely need a year or two off contact to let bitterness subside and hurt heal. Nothing is finalized yet, but there aren't too many options with him down there.

This is probably the most respectful, talked-through breakup I've had.

And in the middle of this I'm thinking about how to handle stuff with Tucker. He came up here and the idea was we'd get to see each other more and spend more time together. However, in the last 2 months we've spent only 3 full days together and assorted after-work evenings, and one of those days was discussing the poly date trip he's on right now. It's been a long time since we've had a relaxed, loving day where no one has to run off to do something. So I'm taking a look a what I need out of a mostly full-time relationship, I'm looking at what I'd be ok with as not full-time, and I'm feeling so. Tired.

I'm tired of second-guessing myself: do I feel distant and lonely because my mind is playing tricks on me, or because I'm not getting what I need out of these relationships? I'm tired of holding boundaries and having folks skate close to the edge and being reasonable about it and bringing it up politely and having it only be noticed when I get visibly upset.

I'm tired of being upset. I'm tired of being the one with a list of possible solutions. I guess I can step back on that role and see what happens.

And I'm tired of breakups, I'm tired of loving people and them passing out of my life, I'm even tired of people being in my life right now. I want to lie down on the first bits of grass and outside sink into the soil. I want nothing to do with humans and I want nothing to do with people who don't know what they want, or who say they want one thing and then aim their life at something quite different.

I have 17 apple trees, 7 plum trees, and a couple apricots to plant this spring. I have some birches and burr oaks to plant around the edges and wild spaces. There is nothing in the world anywhere better than planting a tree. Nothing. I have several dozen haskaps and some sour cherries to put into the ground. I may have piglets soon; I have goslings and will have some more, and maybe some ducklings.

That's where my soul is, in those trees. It isn't with people. Work can be engaging but mostly lately it's just ridiculous, no one at the top can make up their mind so everything gets redone and nothing can be planned; we're a week from the start of field season and no one knows what they're doing. My heart is no longer there.

Josh was the first person I met who really likes plants. He kept them in his dorm at BCIT, and when I woke up the first morning at his house all the plant lights were on timers and came up one after the other in the livingroom, on placed carefully and lovingly over each plant.

That house is sold now. The lights are moved to his next house, in Vancouver.

Oh, self, I am so so sorry. Someday maybe you will be seen again in that place, though never quite the same way.

Fuckin' zombies.

Apr. 20th, 2019 08:22 am
sistawendy: (weirded out)
[personal profile] sistawendy
I dreamt that a bunch of zombies had me cornered with former co-worker B and some other dude, but there were some soldiers behind the zombies. I hit the dirt and started yelling for the soldiers to shoot. B said, "I'm afraid it's not that simple." Then he and the other dude ripped their own hearts out.

I woke up right after that. Was it the garlic in the Lonely Ingredient Beans that I had as a post-clubbing snack?
sistawendy: (contemplative red)
[personal profile] sistawendy
The Siberian Siren invited me on short notice to a wine & cheese party at her place of business; I hadn't seen her in ages. I didn't get to talk to her much, but she does confirm that her business is good and her love life is crazy, more or less as usual. The partner that I thought she'd recently broken up with was there, and the two of them were acting distinctly not broken up. There's a story in there somewhere, but it didn't seem like the time and place to ask the SS to tell that story. She looked fabulous as always.

The point of this party, as near as I can gather, was to sell art. Fancy building, fancy drinks, hipster people. The art was... not what I was looking for. Kind of anodyne, I thought, but considering that the SS buys art for the properties she rents, that makes good sense from a business perspective. The Siren is nothing if not an excellent businesswoman, which she got one way or another from her mother.

What fills the bucket

Apr. 18th, 2019 07:31 pm
greenstorm: (Default)
[personal profile] greenstorm
Partner stuff. What's good for me?

Wandering conversation
Revealing joys
Cooking together
Shared planning
Combining efforts to overcome an obstacle
Hurting people until they worry about it
People noticing systems/small details about me or my life
Being made tea for
Joy in my animals
Acknowledging flaws
Wry humour
Acceptance of the cycles of life and death
Exercising skill and creativity
Poetry appreciation
Just sitting and watching living things
Shared time

River: Update 2 on Colleen

Apr. 18th, 2019 06:41 pm
mdlbear: (river)
[personal profile] mdlbear

Colleen took a turn for the worse yesterday between breakfast, which she nibbled at, and lunch, by which time she was very "out of it" and apparently in pain (although I think some of that may have been pure frustration when she couldn't find words.

Apparently a severe infection can have that effect, and can strike quickly -- this is apparently a lot like toxic shock. She has at least three highly-resistant superbugs -- they identified the third this morning.

The kids are coming to visit Saturday -- the soonest they could get here.

Colleen is a stubborn old cat, though. Wish her luck.

present aches; future plans

Apr. 17th, 2019 12:19 pm
sistawendy: (mad woman)
[personal profile] sistawendy
I've got another spasm in my back, my bunion has been twinging, and it turns out I'm not quite as healed up down there as I said I was a few months ago. I'm hoping these are minor, temporary setbacks.
From the Dept. of Future Happiness: I've booked an Airbnb in San Francisco for 9/25 through 9/30. I'll be all by my lonesome, aside from those times when I can meet up with the Tickler and her other sweetie S, Burner buddies, college chums, and those of you imaginary internet people* who live in the Bay Area.

This time I'll be staying much closer to the fair, so I'm hoping for more walking and fewer ride shares. I'm doing this my way, not the Siberian Siren's.

Now that I've re-read my entries from my trip in '17, it's occurred to me that flying out the day after the fair and its ensuing debauchery may be a bit brutal, but I didn't really feel like spending Monday there. I will, of course, hit Amoeba Music & SFMoMA before the fair. And this time I'm flying in & out of OAK.

*Stolen with love from [personal profile] eeyorerin.

Update on Colleen

Apr. 16th, 2019 05:09 pm
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
[personal profile] mdlbear

Yesterday (Monday) she fell trying to go from her walker to the bed -- got herself into an awkward position and seemed confused when I tried to tell her how to get out of it. Rather than simply having the EMTs put her back in bed we decided to use the opportunity to get her to the ER and have her looked at. Which turned out to have been the right thing to do.

She's not doing all that well; but doesn't seem to be in immediate danger. Medical info under the cut. )

She'll almost certainly end up back in rehab again after she's discharged. I'm very worried about the mental confusion and the weakness, although getting more oxygen into her seems to have helped.

I'm not getting a damned thing done on $GIG the last few days; that's probably not surprising but is a matter for concern.

sistawendy: (hopeful nun)
[personal profile] sistawendy
My son stayed with me last night for the first time in three weeks due to Ex's trip abroad. Surprisingly, we didn't drive each other bonkers. He even used a fitted sheet when I asked! I showed him the video for Aphex Twin's "Come To Daddy", which he thought was meh. I... think I missed having him over.
Sadly, the Siberian Siren says she can't make Folsom this year, and I really want to go. The Tickler will probably go, but she always stays with her other girlfriend S in Oakland. Asking the Proprietress at this juncture would be seriously awk, as the kids say, so I guess I'm making solo plans. Le sigh. Plan for two and hope a second turns up? It's pretty likely that Bay Area Burner chums will want to go, but those are most likely people to hang out with, not stay with. Nevertheless I'll work the intertubes and see what I can find.

Done Since 2019-04-07

Apr. 14th, 2019 08:47 pm
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
[personal profile] mdlbear

Worried about Colleen. She seems to be getting worse, not better. I'm don't know what I should do. No idea what I can do. She's declining, and I'm scared. No idea what the fuck is going to happen when I go off to my 50th reunion in June.

I had a great time Monday doing a back-yard archaeology dig with N and (her younger kid) j. We actually found a few things, which made it a lot more exciting.

I finally managed to get the little yellow GL-iNet router configured as a wifi-to-ethernet bridge for the printer. That turns out to be tricky if you want both ends to be part of the same network. It's even pretty tricky if you don't. I am, however, finding my way around OpenWrt, the more versatile (and more up-to-date) of the two aftermarket Linux distributions for routers. I'm now working on the somewhat more ambitious project of setting up a bridge to the Box Room, using the Linksys WNDR4300 I ordered from eBay on Monday. That seems to be going a little more smoothly.

I ran the numbers on next year's taxes. Turns out I can reduce my withholding by over $1K/month. That will help a lot.

Pretty much done incorporating the editor's suggestions into $GIG; now I have to get the rest of it -- about the last third -- finished.

I really just want to crawl into a hole and hide until things get better. But I know that if I do that, they never will.

Notes & links, as usual )

I like cheese. And wine.

Apr. 14th, 2019 04:29 pm
sistawendy: (dolly)
[personal profile] sistawendy
Now it can be told: I spent much of last week getting ready for a wine and cheese party at chez moi for all the ladies whose parties I've attended but whom I've never invited over, with a few additions. Last night was the actual pah-tay.

Where it got tricky was the Tickler's issues with gluten. I took the bus all the way to Uwajimaya and back to get a sushi platter while wearing the Gallery Serpentine outfit, the winner of a poll. The driver on the way down called me to the front of the bus to tell me she liked it.

Alas, ailments and fatigue made what was bound to be a small party - my place can't hold that many comfortably - even smaller. I mean, it was nice, but do I want to go to that much trouble again for so few people? Knowing me, I probably will, because I get this kind of wild hair pretty regularly. Upsides: The Tickler hadn't had dinner and really needed that sushi, plus I now have hella cheese. Grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup are on the menu when my son comes tomorrow evening.

Several days ago the Tickler said to me, "If only [Funny Lady] and I show up, that's a different party."
"Don't think that hasn't crossed my mind," I said. I should look into making that happen.

Brunch with the Tickler at Watson's Corner, a respectable new place on a run-down stretch of 15th Ave. in Ballard whose unpretentious hipness I grudgingly respect. I have a pet theory that soon the only places in Seattle where anything fun or cool can happen will be right on unwalkable major arterials with ridiculous amounts of car traffic; all the other real estate will be too expensive.

(no subject)

Apr. 12th, 2019 02:59 pm
yam: (Netscape N)
[personal profile] yam
Dreamwidth! It's been three months, oops. Because I've been wildly busy? Not really!

I did go to the San Diego zoo, mind you! Speaking of wild. Owing to a scholarship from Fiddlars Need Sunshine, Amy and I went to san diego and stayed in the awesome umbrella / swim club hotel we stayed in, hmm, 7 years ago? Only this time I wasn't puking sick! I was migraine-y as heck, but that was actually a big improvement, like, I actually got to go swim in the amazing palm-tree-bedecked pool this time. Also such zoo wow very wildlife much snake. Amy went out to a fancy dinner while I lay in the room in the dark, and then she brought me home take-out, a rose, and described her meal in pornographic detail while I ate. This is pretty much the ideal migraine hot date. Later, a return to the romantic laundromat we also visited 7 years ago, because of the puking part. ("The Laundry Room! Every Wash Is San-O-tyzed") This time it was just regular laundry for old times' sake. ROMANCE. Greg just about fell over laughing when I told him about our romantic laundromat.

So, erenumab/Aimovig, the fancy new hotness in migraine drugs: alas, an $1850 bust in my case. I did the three months, it did jack doodly. It's almost a relief that it was so ineffective; if it had been partly effective I'd be agonizing over whether to continue paying that much for it or not. As it is, nope. Oh well. 50% of people respond; it was well worth trying and I don't regret spending the money, as ouch as it was to my bank account. (Although I got a heck of a good tax return with my over four thousand dollars of medical receipts for the year. Being sick sure ain't cheap. Well, being sick and having a child with teeth.)

That's about it for treatment options right now. In two years ish there'll be another drug with a different CGRP mechanism, probably, and then in 3-5 years two more new migraine-specific drug classes are coming, ditans and gepants. Hee hee gepants. For right now I'm trying going off divalproex again, to see if it's still doing anything - I'm at half the dose now and it doesn't seem to make a difference, so. If I can get off that it would be nice; the pills are huge (I crush them, but it's a lot of powder to choke back) and that's the drug that's giving me this %!$#@#$% clown hair. I am SO CLOSE to just shaving it all off, but if I wait it out I know the weight will straighten it out some, especially once I'm off the drug and my normal hair starts growing in. I gave Greg the deciding vote and he says I should keep growing it, so hair safe for now.

I may hop back on the drug merry-go-round and try second drugs in drug classes I've already tried. It is possible something will help, just not super likely, since I've tried a drug in each of the other classes before. Something to do for when not doing anything starts to drive me nuts.

In the meantime I'm trying to make my peace with "when nothing works, do nothing." It's good advice. And I've tried... wow, I just counted, 31 drugs. That's a lot.

I've been approved for CPP disability pension! This doesn't make a lot of practical difference in the long run; it means the feds are paying my monthly cheque instead of the province. However, it does mean I got backpay from them for the period from which I was deemed disabled until now, minus a four month deductible, which was a nice chunk of change, and I am using half to do something boring - either pay down my mortgage a little bit or start a registered disability savings plan, depending on an even more boring decision to come down from the tax agency - and half to be a travel fund for this year, which did not previously exist in my budget, 'cause welfare: not actually a lot of money.

ANYWAY this means Greg and I are going on a train trip! He so, so, so often has to deal with sick mama, exhausted mama, mama who can't take you to the park, mama who has to cancel fun things, cranky mama who is in pain, mama who needs you to play silently, etc. So priority #1 for travelling was Mama & Greg are gonna do something FUN together. I gave him the choice of Disneyland plus Grand Canyon plus Amtrak trip across the US, or VIA trip across Canada plus Whatever's In Toronto. The deck was kind of stacked there, but those two trips actually cost the same; VIA is hella spendy compared to Amtrak and flights from Vancouver to Toronto are not ever on sale because business travellers do that route every day of the year so they can charge whatever and still pack the planes full. But to my considerable surprise he picked VIA across Canada, so woo, The Canadian, here we come, end of May!

Will mama survive 4 days in a row on a train with a rambunctious 8-year-old and no wi-fi? WE ARE DOWNLOADING A LOT OF MOVIES AND APPS. And they have kids programming of some kind, there's at least one station stop a day where you can get out and run around for 30 - 180 minutes depending, and let's be honest, he's 8 going on 80 and will probably have talked all the retirees aboard in to doing crosswords with him by the end of Day 1. We're gonna fly to Toronto and take a day to do Legoland and whatever else he's in the mood for, maybe the aquarium or something. We're going to stay in the old-school rail-baron-era Fairmont Royal York, one of the fairmont chateau-type hotels like the Frontenac or the Hotel Vancouver. It's across from the station because rail barons. It turns out it's not that expensive to be a rail baron these days! The neighbourhood has changed I guess or maybe I just got a sweet internet sale, not sure, but it was like a third of what the Hotel Van would be. Score! I remember staying in the Ch√Ęteau Frontenac once when I was about Greg's age, and thinking it was so awesome; I hope he digs this too. Then we'll take the train west, so that delays accrue on the Vancouver end where it doesn't matter if we're late, rather than the TO end, where it could screw up hotel reservations. VIA beds are way more comfortable than amtrak beds in my experience, but their delays are just as epic, 'cause here as in the US, freight trains get priority.

I'm excited!

I'ma also get to visit some of my people in the US this year, and thanks to friends letting me mooch hotel space and cheese, I will get to go to worldcon in Dublin, which is pretty epic.

So, yay pension! I was a bit surprised to get it on the first try; the reputation is that you basically have to be dead to qualify. But I think I'm just kind of numbed to how disabled my migraines make me. Like, ooh, I feel fine! As long as I stay in a dark room and don't move my head, do the bare minimum number of chores and rest extensively after, leave the house once a week or maybe twice if I sleep 18 hours the next day, and take painkillers around the clock! That... okay, that is not fine. That is significantly impaired. I am disabled by migraine and it's not ambiguous at all. But self-gaslighting, heck of a drug, y'know.

I am still learning russian! Besides plugging away at duolingo, I recently got in to the Fluent Forever method, which has been AMAZING for my pronunciation and my ear. I do soooo much better at the "type what you hear" questions on duolingo now, after less than a week of using the FF trainer, it's wild. Emboldened, I ordered some russian books. English + Russian facing pages edition of Akhmatova: ha ha ha NOPE NOT YET. (Still reading the english side, though; fuck she writes good poetry. Cry in to your vodka good.) 20 Easy Russian Stories For Beginners: heck yeah, I can haltingly read and understand the details of Sveta and Marina's family! Tomorrow it's their first day at school. THE SUSPENSE. I'll keep you posted. Word on the street is that there might be 8 boys and 12 girls in Marina's class, but you know how unreliable online spoilers are.
sistawendy: (contemplative red)
[personal profile] sistawendy
Bento with the Proprietress. We have further plans. Happiness.

Reading politics on the bird site. Sadness.

Thankful Thursday

Apr. 11th, 2019 06:49 pm
mdlbear: Wild turkey hen close-up (turkey)
[personal profile] mdlbear

Today I am thankful for...

  • having filed my tax return;
  • some simple what-if tax calculations that tell me I can cut my withholding in half this year;
  • Colleen's health improving (at least in terms of her kidney numbers; still very worried about the rest);
  • our cats, especially Desti, who loves being a villain's lap cat;
  • maybe OpenWrt and dd-wrt (the two major embedded Linux distributions for routers -- the former seems more hackable, the latter seems easier to configure for what I'm doing with them -- but neither of them is doing what I want it to).

my right foot: a case history

Apr. 10th, 2019 02:00 pm
sistawendy: (oh yeah)
[personal profile] sistawendy
Way back in the early fall of 1985, when I was a freshman in college, I went running down some stairs. I twisted my right ankle inward, and heard a couple of pops in rapid succession in the most disturbing way: the sound travelled through my skeleton to my ears. I'd broken bones before, and I knew right then I'd done it again. It hurts like a mofo.

After the X-ray I learned that the attachment of ligament to bone can be stronger than the bone itself: the twist had pulled a couple of chips of metatarsal bone loose, but the chips were still attached to the ligaments. I was in a fiberglass cast for six weeks. Afterwards, I had some physical therapy. It was uncomfortable and inconvenient, and I was young and stupid, so I blew it off.

I now believe this to have been a huge mistake. I remember spraining my right ankle in '99±1 and on at least one other occasion around then. Sometime in, I think, the early aughts I got metatarsalgia in my right foot. That's basically the sensation of stepping on a pebble with the ball of your foot with every step you take; that's why all my shoes have tear drop-shaped felt metatarsal pads behind the ball of the foot and a little toward the center of the foot.

When I started taking yoga classes around '10 I learned that tree pose - standing on one foot with the other placed on the opposing thigh, arms variously raised - is much harder when standing on my right foot than on my left. The disparity has improved over the years, but it still exists. I remember my yoga instructor saying that it's probably a neurological issue; my nerves or the part of my brain getting their signals hadn't recovered from the previous injuries.

And now, that goddamn bunion on my - wait for it - right foot. Morals:
  1. For heaven's sake, don't blow off physical therapy because...
  2. One injury can probably lead to others if you don't take care of the first one properly.
sistawendy: (boots boootz)
[personal profile] sistawendy
Hey Seattle people who regularly find themselves downtown: nestled among the food court joints there's a shoeshine stand in the atrium of the Columbia Center, on 4th and - wait for it - Columbia. The Fluevog Truth Brittany boots that I'm wearing* were in dire need of TLC; I probably hadn't shined them since before wearing them all over San Francisco in '17. $20 plus tip, and I can see fluorescent lights reflecting off my toes. Happiness.

But am I a terrible person for not going to a bootblack in the (ahem) community? The kind I've found at an Inn Thrall party? I hope not. A shine and eetz in the same place is a powerful draw.

As was traditional, the one in the Columbia Center is Black-operated and, I assume, Black-owned. Ex once professed to be weirded out by the idea of patronizing such a business because of its historical associations. I don't see how the shoeshine business is more oppressive than numerous others. At least the Columbia Center stand had good ergonomics.

And I can't believe it took me this long to add a user pic of just boots. These are my birthday boots, Fluevog Atria, not the ones I just got shined.

*Yes, they're pointy, so I'm disobeying my doctor's orders by wearing them. Hush.
sistawendy: (skeptic coy Gorey tilted down)
[personal profile] sistawendy
Awoke at 0200 from a nightmare featuring me fucking up as a baseball infielder and a smirking Donald Trump on the base paths employing some kind of optical illusion. Feelin' zombic.

Wondering if I should make a special trip to Lambert House. My next regular one isn't for a couple of weeks.

Looking forward to the weekend, but it's only Tuesday afternoon. Teaser: the house cleaning has commenced.

Having trouble typing in complete sentences.
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