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Re-reading Lirael. It's even more hilarious and indulgent feeling than Sabriel. The first 10% of the book is all 14-year-old Lirael sulking and contemplating suicide because she hasn't gotten her special talent and doesn't fit in and no one understands her.

Then she gets to be an assistant librarian, creates a magic companion dog, and learns three shape-changing shapes: ice otter, russet bear, and barking owl.

Barking owl... bwahahah!

I love her adventures in the library.

I'm reminded of some other teenage librarian book but can't remember what it was.

Note that she also basically has selective mutism (because it is traumatic that she can't talk about the special skill that everyone else has that makes her not fit in)
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I got through all this running around on trains and cabs and staying out all day beautifully just on the one tramadol in the morning and some coffee. I did also have a beer with dinner. No vicodin necessary. Pleased! I am not destroyed. This is a good sign for my ankles.

Moomin's play was very amusing. They all looked great in kilts and knee socks. Moomin curses the kilt for being confusing to put on and take off with pins and the shoulder strap thing and some mysterious underneath part. (They all wore shorts). Brigadoon is very sexist and a bit stupid. There should be a Brigadoon 1,000,000 A.D. fanfic where the characters from the future present (while the Brigadoon people are 30-years-from-their-beginning) are intelligent giant rats and squid-roaches and Brigadoon is tropical and covered in active volcanoes and they instantly die from inhaling the pure methane atmosphere or something or if not, fall in love with the giant squids.
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Very bad ankle pain since Paris, not really getting better. But I am reasonably functional most days with the walking casts. By mid to late afternoon though I start crying and feel incapable and just waiting for when I can take ambien and sleep. At best that happens more like 7pm so I get through my work day. But, i am getting out of the house at least once every few days. Not painkillering up too much, at least, not every day. I am about to start putting a little painkiller ration into a weekly pill box so I will know how much I'm taking, if it's every day, etc. And a written record too.

Yesterday, both kids were here which was just lovely (and won't happen again until January, or maybe a Fakemas afternoon). I try to appreciate it when it happens even if they are just hanging out playing minecraft while I feed and clean up after them. Only 1.5 years more of Moomin living at home (!!!) I am starting to pray atheistically that he will go to Berkeley.

Anyway, we dug up the new dirt around the front yard tree with trowels, put in our tiny palisade edging, and planted things. It looks super nice. Satisfyingly!!! they were not complaining or lazy and were both kind of into it. Zond7 came out and dug for a bit too. I am aiming for everyone feeling somewhat invested in keeping the sidewalk looking nice. I have some evil plans to build another little bench on the north side of the tree with 2x4s and make it super nice!!!

So, then, despite my plans to chill out and then cab to berkeley to buy a mattress....complicated timing of everything.... we instead all four piled in a cab to my sister's. I took a tramadol in preparation for more car riding and going up her giant steps. Up the steps, lovely time with family, her 3 cats bopping around, everyone bustling or loafing as their temperaments require. My sister came with us to buy the bed, since she has had a great mattress for the last 10 years from this place!!! Zond7 and I decided pretty quickly and got a bed frame which i'm super excited about as it is especially pretty. The headboard is a section of a giant madrone log and has a sort of line where the young sapling must have been. Or maybe madrone tree vascular systems just look like that. It looks like a network diagram or some sort of electronics circuit and also made me think of the napoleon's march chart in the Tufte book. I think it will make me happy every time I look at it. The bed was $4000 total which is basically my quarter's bonus (yes.... raking it in) Every quarter I think I will save the bonus, and instead this year I went on 2 vacations and bought a mattress. WORTH IT. This time of my life I am living high. So!!!!! New bed, super comfy, I practically live in the bed so it better be good!

We then had to haul ass home (another 30 dollar cab ride) so Moomin could go off with his dad to be in the 2nd night of the school musical. I was crying in pain again, and drank half a beer and took 5mg vicodin and 100mg gabapentin. This helped quite a lot and I felt cheerful for the first night in weeks, and was even hobbling around without the boots a little. I fell asleep easily and stayed asleep until Dashboard the Foster Cat brought a mouse up into our bed at 6am. Oh cat. Please kill the mice. Food not toy.

Dreamt that I was in Paris suspected of blowing things up and could not explain since I can't speak French. At the same time I had a sort of cinematic view of a guy who was really blowing things up with a giant radio antenna he would stick out of his window. I was doing a lot of having to quickly pack my suitcase but it taking forever in the dream. Anxiety dream I guess.

Reading, I went through a book of Garth Nix short stories and really enjoyed them. Better writing than Sabriel. I went back to read Sabriel again anyway, and it's making me laugh super hard as it is so indulgent feeling of gothy teenagerness! I love that! Even though I don't really like Sabriel herself or any of the characters, and am not gothy. But it cracks me up. Really.... you are basically in handbell choir and have a demon cat and can sense death. OK. A bandolier of handbells. LOLLLLLLLL. I admire the setup of being condescendingly best at everything in boarding school and then just breezing off from school with everyone's total permission, then going back to be the hero of everything (and dramatically killing off some of your schoolmates and favorite teacher as you suck the magic out of them or whatever.) And, getting royalty and swords and sorcery PLUS a sort of romanticized bunch of ... happy and ready to die World War One soldiers. Plus a sentient glider plane. What. Also, the villain turns into two extra demon kittens that barf up more magic rings. What an excellent use of kittens. Can't remember if they ever turn up again in the sequels. Didn't her magic boyfriend or husband die at some point but they stay married and even have zombie magic babies? I am going to have to re-read the whole thing now. None of it really makes any sense and that doesn't matter at all.

I was reminded while re-reading this (as there is a minor character named Horayse) that it took me till I was like 35 to realize that Horace (greek) = Horus (egyptian god). Mind blown! Doesn't it seem amazing and weird that thousands of years later, in the US halfway around the world, people still get named after Horus?

Today I went out to get cat litter and some groceries, happily blew up ingress portals, and then laid in bed recharging all my portal keys. I am not too far away from finally leveling up to level 12. I think in December or early January. It's absurd how much I still enjoy this game.

Ada and I placed more bricks from my sister's house and she helped me bring up laundry and groceries. Then I rested some more (this blogging counts as resting) with my feet up.

Now, for a bath, compression socks, walking casts, and we Caltrain down to Moomin's school to see the play. we are meeting my parents and sister there. I plan on another tramadol and then when I get home a vicodin and ice.

Work pissed me off on friday afternoon as someone emailed a giant public list with a thing that on one level is a reasonable question, but didn't need to go to everyone and the not-very-subtext of it was that what i do all day in my job is useless and a bother to everyone. Uh yeah fuck off. So cue a bunch of dudes abstractly batting around that my entire team's work is pointless. Oh, I'm pissed! But, I am trying to keep level headed and take from it whatever turns up that may be useful, in expressing the frustrations of developers who want a faster release process, which on the whole I agree with. and what we do is somewhat more intuitive than otherwise and a bit scrambly because our test automation has not kept up with actual development. (no one's fault really). And I think what I do is quite helpful. I'm just annoyed because I have felt this position has got me more respect and now that is undermined in a stupid way. I also thought this particular guy and I had a fine working relationship. NOt sure if it is worth explaining anything to him now. Maybe after a couple more days. He sees a good bit of his part of the process but not the scary overview my team sees.
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About my trip to Paris but now feel diffident about posting it.

I want to keep the foster cat. It sits on me all day and is sweet tempered and it caught a mouse!

Feeling very achey physically, ankles suck, spent a week in the walking casts, still using them to go down the stairs. Not that I want to do that much.

Yesterday I went downtown for a work "diversity training" sort of thing. It wasn't too bad. Funny how they are always a bit depressing.

Finished Elena Ferrante quartet. Oh, so good! Do read them!!! Very intense and great.

I have some spoilery analysis. Spoilers below! Warning!

Below the cut! Do not read if you haven't finished book 4 (The Story of the Lost Child).

Read more... )
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A note to say I am on book 2 of the series starting with My Brilliant Friend. And really enjoying it. While in Paris I re-read all of Dance to the Music of Time. Still great. I wrote all my thoughts in emails to zond7 instead of blogging.

Still somewhat jet lagged even a week after getting home.

Foster cat is lovely. Though, in heat.
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I will be in the 9th arrondisment (9me) right near the Mozilla office. My sister is coming with me! I will have to work all week and at least 2 nights have an activity (dinner at local colleague's house, boat ride on seine with team + their families + my sister). It will be cold and likely rainy. Just north of that area there is the former red light/gay district that is now full of hipsters and boutiques. Sounds good to me.

Any advice or tips for things I should do in Paris, modest or ambitious?

My hopes are to hit at least one art museum, and maybe this feminist space: I would also like to try riding a bus somewhere.

I will play a lot of Ingress and probably enjoy very minor things like going into shops to buy cookies and candy that I haven't seen before. I like snacks. I may also bring my folding tote bag that I can check on the plane in case the shopping virus seizes me and I need to bring back a lot of junk. What is nice to buy in Paris, that I would like?

Tell me some useful French phrases I should learn!
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Things are quiet over here. I will impart all my boring domestic news.

I finally cleaned out my clogged up worm bin on the patio & there were still worms, stunted but lively, despite nearly a year of neglect. Scattered extra worm dirt over some of the side yard and potted plants. Composting container inside is one of those easy seal oxo food containers (which I'd like more of as they're very easy on my hands).

The last few weekends I've done extra hiring of people to clean out the garage, sweep under the front stairs, and haul trash away. It is finally coming together. I can find things in the garage again. All the stuff is in small size see-through plastic bins with rubber seals so that I can move the bins. The large ones I had before were too heavy and clumsy to move. All the tools and some art things and soldering stuff and my large sewing box and the sewing machine are on shelves. Next step is to hang up my walker and zond7's bike from big hooks on one wall and put a small workbench by the power cord. (this would be very handy for our friend ReVolt as well)

Then we can slowly go through the small bins getting rid of stuff. Ah ambition!

I am on level 9, I think, of Botanicula.

My clothes are somewhat different lately as I move a little away from constant tech-event or company tshirts or like saucy tshirts with daleks on them and so on. I still am doing that but since I haven't lost weight really (or not much) from the shingles & steroids bout, I had to go buy new pants anyway and have been experimenting with my reversible skirts. I got 2 new pairs of jeans (one cheap from old navy and one 90 buck one called Jag from fancy shop on 24th) and some black dickies work pants (cheap also).

This morning I got out a suitcase and tried pre-packing for my trip. I have 2 silk tank tops and 2 silk/cotton button down shirts to go under my smartwool sweaters. Radical plan of wearing silk + wool leggings and my amazing jeans-and-wild-print reversible skirt on the plane so as to be more comfortable on the 11-hour flight. (And of course the world's most fabulous black vest with 26 different pockets).

In the less domestic news!

I went to 2 talks on north korean politics because zond7 was speaking at one of them and the other one was close by and sounded good. I read Yeonmi Park's book and also read some of the "controversy" and criticism of her. Then read Mr. Kang's book, Aquariums of Pyongyang. I have read other defector stories and prison camp stories (other than Nothing to Envy, but i can't remember titles) These basically fit right in. I liked going to Langton Labs and then the next night, Stanford. The stanford students were super adorable and earnest. Notably, the event was not sponsored or anything by faculty, just by the student association and so while I thought the dinner afterward would be one of those faculty/visiting speaker things or like a fancy reception, instead it was some take out food in cartons and pizza in a small room in the nearby student union. Ahaha! Also adorable. I am surprised that it wasn't better sponsored by Stanford. There were many many fascinating things to analyze in both talks and the people who came to the events.

I read God of Small Things, and a wad of other books I can't remember, must go blog about books read on composite.....maybe tomorrow. Work is intense and will be more so in the next 7-8 weeks.
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Couple of weeks ago I was sick with some sort of stomach virus, throwing up and with a mild fever. By the end of the week i eating more or less normally but my stomach still hurt and then over this last weekend that became serious reflux. Now I'm realizing I'm feeling dizzy and exhausted and am not eating normally. Sitting up after I eat or drink anything, but that doesn't stop that it hurts like hell!

Complaining about health, food, behind cut
Read more... )
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Still at high levels of activity and ability over here. Today I grocery shopped, did dishes, made applesauce, and then for around half an hour did some intense physical work in the garage. I moved boxes and re-stacked them, sorted some things to get rid of, and swept the garage floor and the sidewalk. Crucial to do this before the rainy season starts so that the drain won't clog! I had the glowing feeling of physical exercise.

That was a lot of stuff to do. There are times when I can't manage to stand up long enough to brush my teeth. I had a nap and am still lying down hours later after doing the sweeping. I ache all over especially ankles, knees, hands.

I am challenging myself lately not to take painkiller. I'm not sure if this is important or not. What it feels like is just that my pain levels are ok enough that I'm able to do it.

I wanted also to be clear about how much pain, vs. painkillers, exhausts me mentally and physically.

Right now having some clarity that pain is telling me to just lie here calmly a while longer.

But I want to get up... do more things... do the laundry...

Read the lastest issue of make/shift and now maybe i'll look at my slides for next week's talk.
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I have a complaint about the series I'm reading (another glenda larke angst festival). It is a desert continent, or region or something, and there are people with specific water magic. They can be rainlords (controlling water fairly well) or stormlords. Stormlords can actually get water from the ocean, which is the only body of water anyone knows about, separate it from the salty parts (CRUCIAL) and evaporate it into clouds and then direct the clouds to where they should go (over the stormlord owned cisterns) to rain. Combat skills of stormlords and rainlords, besides threatening everyone with no more water ever, include pulling the water directly out of people's bodies. Eyeball dessicating is the most convenient battle tactic!

OK so onward. There are only 3 kinds of animal, I think 2 kinds of "pedes" ie giant bugs you ride on or use for pack animals, and then "ziggers" which are deadly little bugs you keep in a cage or deploy via zigtube, which when they are released immediately go burrow into someone's brain to feast on it. (They know your perfume, so they don't attack you or your cohort, who wear.. the same perfume.) I'm ok with this more or less BUT I am now absolutely fed up with the ONE KIND OF FOOD AND PLANT EVER. Bab bread. Bab flour. Bab bread with bab filling. Bab paste and mash for the 'pedes. Bab matting. Every other page there is a new fabric, furniture, craft project, market tchatchka, or food that is their ONE CROP EVER.

Holy shit, people. Eat some sand or something. Get an ecology!

Book 2 is obviously working itself up for the main angsty Last Stormlord on the run who tragically can't separate out water from salt water, to realize that those distant white mountains are SNOW which is WATER and so he will finally be able to do his full stormlord thing except he probably shouldn't, because ffs go live somewhere that has real foods in it.

the only saving grace of this ecological system is that its one tree is mercifully not named "twat".

P.S. The people all name themselves after rocks and minerals because having too many people named "Bab" would be confusing and there is no other substance to name yourself after.

p.p.s. fuck bab.
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I have thought of the perfect bad invention. This my best one yet. The Vulva Clip-On Tie! Its labial folds cascade gracefully and the clitoral knot handily fastens to your collar. You can actually stick your hand or at least a finger into its depths. There has to be a pouch hidden away behind the labia for sure. It should come in various shades and configurations!

Someone get on this please and post me the etsy link or just sell it directly to me

I will make ONE MILLION DOLLARS from this idea, exactly never.

World! I love you! Have this free idea!!!!!!!


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I just finished a super, super fucked up & intense trilogy by Glenda Larke, Isles of Glory. If you like really a lot of torture and rape scenes (and I do not) and a lot of people dying then go for it. Cripes it was violent. I nearly didn't last. OK so basically, everyone lives on this archipelago. People are either normals, sylvs with healing and illusion sylvmagic, dunmagickers who have evil horrible bad corrupt magic, or Aware. The Aware can see the sylv and dun magic (glowing blue & red) and are immune to its effects. Dunmagic people can corrupt the sylvs. They have powerful mind control. Once you're infected by their dun powers you WANT not to be healed (mostly, except for that faint horror that lurks in your eyes sometimes). There are also Keepers (who are sylvs with mad wealth and political power; the Patriarchy of the Menod (god worshippers); and a hereditary island lord aristocracy. It's a complicated political situation. And there is a badass orphan outcast swordswoman cutting through it with her giant sword. Huzzah!?

A hundred years ago there was a very evil dun magic master who sank a whole stretch of islands, the Dustels, and turned its inhabitants into birds. Birds with their human intelligence intact. They develop bird language. Their descendents are also birds. One of them is madly in love with another major character in the book,

And now I can't say more because spoilers beyond the cut. (Spoilers, and perturbing deaths and all the trigger warnings about rape and other horrible violence) SPOILERS .... But not all the spoilers. Just one that was so much fun I have to talk about it. "Fun"...

Read more... )
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I am feeling pretty good! Walking around the house well, and not taking any painkillers since Sunday. My ankles are a little sore and so are my knees but I'm not crushed by pain. This is very exciting!

I drove to excelsior to get the car smog checked, all was well, got a wiper blade and fluid replaced. The auto shop was amazing, full of jumbled things, old boxes, filing and office supplies from the 50s, yellowing pieces of paper taped to the wall in layers. I wanted to clean it up so badly. If I needed a job, that would be a very, very easy job to get, the sort where you just persuade them to take you on for a few days and make a dent in the chaos. The thing that made it beautiful and tempting was: to do that job right you would have to observe carefully and see what the people working there do and what they need! And deduce everything like a detective despite not understanding exactly what they were doing. (Just like my actual job, but with physical stuff.) There was even a rather nice storefront and former waiting room buried in junk and boxes. I imagined maybe it was an old guy or a couple who ran it formerly, and then the young people didn't know how to maintain those aspects of the business once they got too old to work or once they died (I would put that disjuncture at about 15 years ago with the insta-archeology mustered up while waiting.) While the smog checking happened I was sitting perched on a stack of boxes, examining all the pegboard and homemade tire racks & stuff rigged up. (Also done some time ago and not maintained well.) In the officey bit behind the trashed waiting room where I perched again and waited to pay, there were handmade bookshelves full of rows & rows of old binders! Boxes of what were probably business cards....

It was enticingly like Noisebridge in some ways.

I had lunch in an italian deli, also excellent. So many people came in and out and were regulars and knew the shop people and each other. Many seemed to work in shops nearby and were getting lunch for their co-workers. I got the things i like to get in an italian market like imported strong provolone, some torrone candies (I can't eat them anymore b/c almonds, but the kids can, and I love the boxes so) and things like that. An old old lady came in and looked at the candy rack and she reminded me of my great-grandma. We smiled nicely at each other as she was doing the very slow saunter out. Had my sandwich, then went across the street to a fabulous cafe (only fabulous for space, not food, but the hot chocolate was excellent and carefully made) People in this cafe were also lovely. Many people came by the parklet outside, neighborly people.... The art was giant canvasses with used lottery tickets pasted on in grids. One would have been boring but a room lined with them was impressive.

The murals around the neighborhood were good too. I spent the afternoon working from that cafe looking out over the Royal Bread Company mural which was a giant last supper where the food was all baguettes, on an ornate building.

Driving back I felt a surge of hope and freedom, power too, and enjoyment of the day and of driving. I would like so much to go on a long road trip and drive across the country. Slowly. How nice that would be!

Only 5 or 10 minutes away (and a very easy bus ride too)

Surge of love for the city and living here!
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Intense dreams continue. In my dream last night, I was one of three people left alive in the world. Danny was another one and I don't know who the third was. Plus, Dyson the cat. We were incredibly sad. I was hoping to die peacefully in my sleep. In the dream, I kept falling gently asleep expecting it to be the last time, if I were lucky. Then I'd wake up again into despair. At one point I agonized about whether to set out a bag of cat food or not. Would it be worse to prolong her death? (I think all the other animals were also dead.)

Woke up feeling somewhat traumatized from having hoped to die so many times in a row. Awful!
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Just woke up from a dream where I was checking out of a hotel and the hotel people didn't want to let me use the special glass elevator so I could get out. A lady argued with me that it was against their insurance policy and it was dangerous. She tried to take my temperature. I said this was nonsense. She was walking around and could fall over or trip on something, so shouldn't be allowed out of her house without special insurance either. I ended up barrelling around her and into the weird elevator, as we kept on arguing --- making a successful escape. I was going to a celebration at Noisebridge (but it was also like my old co-op). I was going to give a short talk.

So I got on the bus (you can see where this is heading) On the bus I got out an index card to take notes for my talk. Then I had a hard time stuffing everything back into my bags, which was embarrassing. It was time to get off! Some tension over missing my stop and having to go to the next one because the driver didn't see me in time. I unfolded my scooter and scrambled to leave. The bus let me off but into a combined bus/train station and government office.

The same lady who was in the hotel (!!) leaped over to swipe a special pass thing on the gate out of the station. "Oh, since you're not riding the train, you don't have that kind of ticket, so you have to pay the entire possible ticket for train riding, which is 50 dollars plus the price of the bus on top of it." She leaned over & stuck a thermometer in my mouth! I spit it out kind of in shock someone had popped a thermometer into my mouth without my being on the ball enough to stop them. Had I even opened my mouth obediently to let it in?!

We came to a counter, which she went behind to keep demanding the 50 dollars. I said it was discrimination! It wasn't fair and equal use of the bus system and they can't charge disabled people 50 bucks (plus) for a 10 block ride! A city hall clerk or maybe the mayor looked me over and went down a hallway. "Right!" I yelled after him, "get your lawyer! That's fine!!" The lawyer appeared with some giant books! I rolled my d20 (Ok, i made that part up) The lawyer appeared with some giant books in his arms. I started to explain how it was ridiculously clear discrimination and as soon as I began to explain the thermometer, I woke up with my heart pounding.

Tried to think, no, stay asleep and finish the dream, but I started thinking it was hilarious that I had ranted twice in a dream about my rights and could not drift back into it. Plus my heart was still going a mile a minute. Better to get out of bed and type it all up for future amusement.
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Dreamt I was a diplomat in a Queen's court. There was only one city and the society seemed pre-industrial. Yet there were elevators and computer displays. Very puzzling. The queen was very old and dithery. I taught her and her court ladies to play a nifty card game called Swish.

The turning point came while I was talking with another diplomat, who revealed she was from another city on the planet. A lot of ships on the display were coming towards us. I realized that each "city" was another planet and I was dealing with an enormous galaxy-wide civilization. Everything around us was a simulation and things like the elevators or ships were just metaphors.

OK, brain!

I didn't want to come out of this dream, once I realized it was a dream!
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We got up to the Jailbreak episode today.... moomin and I are behind but slowly catching up!

New season starts soon! Must catch all the way upppppp omg
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very exciting. I had that poetry reading, then went out again yesterday afternoon to a thing happening in the street (well, in a "parklet") with people alternately ranting, event announcing, and poeting. by the time we were there and I got up to read, I was very tired. Saturday evening I went with the kids to a jazz age murder mystery game. Everyone's outfits were amazing!

I went out to lunch today by myself. Ramen place, looked unpromising from the outside but then it was extremely good.

It is good to be out of the house reliably!

Work OK. I feel more mentally "on" than in the past few weeks. My vision still gets bad by the end of the day. I get disheartened with exhaustion too, but mornings are good again.

Cat still slowly dying of kidney failure and not eating. we are hydrating her twice a day now. I am glad to cuddle her a bit more but it is stressful to deal with her peeing everywhere. Though, I can also do the laundry now more or less.

That's new and I dont' want to mess it up! It's been months since I have dared waste my ankles and knees on laundry doing!

Sink still leaking so I have a choice of doing the dishes with the leak or leaving the sink full of smelly dishes for another day. I think it will be towels and bowls under the sink and more laundry. Plumber may or may not come at 8am tomorrow. They are a bit unreliable. (both ones that I called.)

I am going to Paris in early November for work. Looking at maps, feeling excited. It will be an adventure in inaccessibility. But at least, only 5 co-workers, small team meeting, I hope low key. The office is in the 9th arrondissement on a broad street with curb cut sidewalks. Kind of between the opera houses and a lot of fancy department stores. It is very close to a covered passageway or two, sort of an early mall (Jouffrey and Panorama).

Paris is laid out in a clockwise spiral from the center with numbered districts and I read that they are often written in roman numbers on signs. IXeme! As I study the maps I am zooming in to see street level views. I have found some sort of feministy queer space with a zine library.

I got a nice extra bonus at work. I like this place. Bonus!!!!
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Overwhelmed a bit at how many people want to come see me or have lunch or coffee etc or hang out. This is a good problem to have!!!!! But it is still overwhelming.

Beach vacation fabulous, sometimes frustrating as I wanted to do so much more than I could, but on the other hand it was hilariously just like my life here, but with frequent swimming, a golf cart, and daily house cleaning. We all woke up and read books or played games or whatever (me reading with coffee on the beach) There was some swimming, I had to nag the kids to put on sunscreen and eat and drink and pick up after themselves, and I would go off to the little grocery store to get food (daily) which was a treat for me. More swimming. Naps. Kids wilting in heat, more computering. Then we would wander somewhere and eat dinner.

I laid around on the porch, in bed, or on the beach lounge chairs a lot, reading my Black Panther Party books and thinking and writing poetry. elaine brown book (fascinating! intense!) Huey Newton's Revolutionary Suicide, also very good, but I feel kind of impatient/mad with them both tbh. Reading Kathleen Cleaver now and also George Jackson's prison letters and next I will read Ho Chi Minh's Prison Diaries (can't believe i have never come across this) And a book of Fannie lou Hamer's speeches.

I think this heavy reading is something of a response to the super bad level of books I was reading while sick. Could not tolerate much so was re-reading kids' books and things that I thought were kind of brainless and silly.

On the trip I got to kayak a bit with kayaks that were *right* next to our beach access spot. Very conveniently. I had a moment of self indulgent crying in the middle of the bay by myself because i felt so free and in control and powerful and wished I could always feel that way and get around on my own power.

So my trick has to be (i resolved) to take that feeling and transpose it (as I mostly do already) to whatever way I'm getting around. I also felt like this in the golf cart as i miss driving around in my car very much. I wondered also if this was the last time I would even be able to kayak like that or if I can still pull it off sometimes. I think I am not at the end of kayaking (though it really hurts my hands and I can't do it for long). Most opportunities I would have to do it are giant excursions and since I can only do it for like 10 or 20 minutes and not hours, that doesn't work.

It has to be some situation where I can get to kayaks myself, without help (or much help) and there is no fuss and I can stop whenever needed without inconveniencing anyone.

Torso still sore and I have realized I don't fit into my pants anyway. Hrmmm. Need new pants.

New poem which I am pretty happy with, and will read it this Saturday in Berkeley.

D.'s cat is pretty clearly dying at this point. she is also peeing all over the bathroom floor. we came home to a lake of (days worth) of pee. i washed it a bunch of times but I don't think even time and scrubbing will help because it soaked into the grout around the tiles. Bathroom will smell like pee forever until tiles are ripped up and floor re-done. I am sad and thinking of other cats gone who i loved very much. And death in general. However I am also just tackling the amount of work it is to nurse her and clean after her (food and pee, luckily just in the bathroom) and am fussing and making sure she eats a little bit many times a day. Maybe it is possible for her to rally but if not then I want her to be fussed over and comfortable and happy. I am worrying that if she pees on the bed I will be in hell and we will have to buy a new mattress so am considering buying a waterproof thing for the bed(s). Must think about what then happens when she dies ie what to do with cat body. We do have some dirt in the side yard, I think sufficient if we get a big shovel. But I am not sure, and it is very hard dirt. We are all petting and cuddling her. She seems to be happy.

My friend S.'s talk was great tonight and I was so happy to go "OUT". Thought about how much I liked going to things like this and then going to dinner with people to talk more intensely. Now this is usually just not wise for me to do. I miss it. It made me extra happy that so many women showed up and were talking, and that B. was there and liked the book. We are not actually particular friends but I like and admire her a lot.

A. liked her first day of school. Moomin's is tomorrow. I so feel for him with the amount of homework that is about to descend. Last year was ridiculous. Way more work than I ever did in college. I'm glad he has so much knowledge cramming into his brain though. He is a thinker! It is that he needs a bit more space to think and freedom to discuss. Hope he will find it. He is intensely following this webcomic right now which I need to fire up and read all of on the ipad (too hard to read on computer screen)

So this is to say that nothing is easy but life is very nice right now.
badgerbag: (Default)
Well it's 5 weeks since the shingles started!!! I had 3 weeks out of work and then went back to work a little more each day. Then on Thursday this week, I was so exhausted I planned to take it specially easy, stop working at 1pm and then just check back in later in the afternoon/evening. Instead, that day I worked from 7am till 10pm. I went to lunch with my sister and was keeping an eye on things. Just as I was about to stop work around 3 or 4 it became clear it was going to have to be a sudden security release (which we call a chemspill). Holy crap!

I was crying by 5:30 and thinking I couldn't do it. My co-worker in France who knows more (in theory) was asleep and our boss was trying to ease off (after covering for me and Mr. France for weeks) and plus he has small children. My coworker here is fabulous but newer than I am at it, and I didn't know how to loop her in usefully (plus it was the end of her day and her kids are littles). Had a cup of tea, paid attention to my sister telling me to put down the computer for a minute, called my boss and got my 2nd wind pretty sure I could deal. And by that time I had all the strings gathered. Anyway, got it all knit together. We had a fix already and just had to make sure to coordinate a lot of people and the stuff they do. Builds take some time so it was important to kick them off as soon as possible. Put it all to bed with email to all the people who could kick it along over the night, and who would wake up to it in the morning. (Different shifts).

One interesting thing was that some people from other teams had also never been through the process. All good for us to get the practice. Sometimes people have to be encouraged to blurt out in public channels that they don't know, either (when i say i don't know) We also had funny conversations where 3 people would be asserting what they thought was true, and after 10 or 15 or more minutes we would slowly realize we were all wrong. (And why). Now, imagine our embarrassment but my realistic view is that most people in the real world would not realize they were (collectively or separately) wrong, or only after days or longer, and they wouldn't all admit it in front of each other or the rest of the teams. That is fantastic and it's how things get better. It's part of what I like about the culture there. I'm so proud to work with all these people.

I know not all of the company operates like that but most of the engineering facing people do. I love that. It's what I was looking for when i went to work there.

The extra bonuses are nice too.

Anyway, we turned it around in a day (26 hours was what I heard though that is not from the start of the realization there was a bad bug)

Did all that while still on a lot of gabapentin and dizzy and with blurred vision. (It gets worse towards end of day) I am about halfway tapered now from the 3600 mg/day dose.

I woke up to move it along more, and also to the news of my bonus and an extra bonus (because my pay is relatively low and they are catching me up till my next raise). My coworker is now my direct manager and our former boss is one line up. After the release went out there was nice email to @all (somewhat embarrassing as I can't help but think of all the fumbling mistakes I made and the time lost to all of us being unsure) Even with those things we did it and it was awesome. I'll take the praise (and pass it along and spread it out) and the raise! Nice to be recognized for being good at things. Being good in a pinch and making decisions and communicating across many teams is one of my good skills.

The only problem is I often then fall over physically. (See: getting shingles a day after my release shipped 5 weeks ago, or likely, a day or so before as it was the night at the opera when the pain started to kick up horribly)

Trying to learn to balance that. I did rest, look up, stretch, walk around, and eat reasonably, instead of spacing out, hyperfocusing for an entire day, and going on painkillers and coffee.

I also have this week coming up as comp time (since my being ill ate up all my PTO. I planned it back in May or June. Back to the beach, this time a whole week at the beach I liked best. With zond7 and both kids. I am very excited. I have been preparing and basically gathering things to pack for the last week. Today was spent slowly packing and doing laundry and lying down in between, which I am now capable of (zond7 mostly did the laundry but I did get one load of it) I also went and had tasty brunch down the street.

Yesterday my cab ride to the pain clinic was hard enough (sitting upright, seat belt) that I am nervous about the trip and the level of pain I will be in. zond7 got a free upgrade and will give it to me so I will be in business class or whatever they call it now. Or if I luck out he will get bumped up another level and i could end up in 1st class leaving him with the kids... he will sleep thru it all though... it's one of his traveling skills!

I have sprayed myself with coconut smelling suntan oil for bed just so i can feel like i'm already there.

Also very excited to see the kids who are both at the airport or on way back now with zond7 who went to meet them. But i am too tired to be all THAT excited.

I have a cotton blend smooth tank top and some sort of "yoga shorts" (from lululemon shop when i was in Whistler) to act as my bathing suit since I don't htink I can tolerate a regular suit yet.

Pics will come soon!

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