moiread: (hugz • sarah s.)
• I got food poisoning last week. It was brutal. I threw up so much I got hemorrhage around my eyes and cheeks and pulled several muscles. I'm still not all better but I'm getting there!

• I'm finding ways to get additional sessions, kids, and funding for the program I work in, which is good for the kids and good for my wallet. Making $360 a month from that job instead of $100 is good, especially since ODSP takes half. I will probably also pick up private tutoring work, because (so far, at least) I can't find anything else locally that meets my needs/restrictions. Also ODSP has started reimbursing me for the cost of some more of my medical supplies plus the cost of taxis to appointments, which is another $300 a month, roughly, so I should be okay. (The summers are always the hardest because I have no extra income.)

• I started a new treatment for my feet. It involves SCIENCE! Basically they blast my plantar fascia with short bursts of a sonic shockwave, and these repeated microtraumas both break up scar tissue and force my blood to heal the area. I tend to look at non-standard physio treatments that have had inconclusive clinical results with a very jaundiced eye, but at this point I'd tried everything else anybody could suggest (apart from cortisone injections, which have a 50-50 chance of either improving the problem or making it worse, so no thank you to that) so I figured, what the hell. My parents were willing to pay for it, since nobody would cover it, and actually it seems to be helping. I started the treatment on my worst foot only so that I could observe the results objectively by comparing the two, and after three treatments, my worse foot is now usually on par with my less-worse foot and sometimes better. If this continues, I'll add do another run of it but on both feet. I'm not convinced that this treatment will make anything all better, or how long the effect will last, but I figure that even a small improvement is worth it. If I choose to escalate further after the shockwave treatment, the next steps are blood doping (cool!) and surgery (less cool!).

• I am now sleeping with a dorsiflexion boot, a CPAP machine, a bite guard, and sometimes wrist braces. I feel like I'm slowly turning into Darth Vader with boobs.

• We're going on a family camping trip this weekend. I leave Thursday. It was originally supposed to be for my birthday, but it got co-opted by my mom, re-worked to suit her fancy, and then postponed because of her work schedule, so at this point I'm expecting it to be less of a birthday gift to me and more of a complete shitshow starring my crazy parents who hate each other. But I have books, good hiking boots, a solid sense of direction, and feet that are doing a bit better, so I am totally not above fucking off by myself during the day. We'll see how it goes.

• Unlike the complete birthday fail above, [ profile] timprov sent me a framed print of "Tulips and Snow Peas" because it is my favourite and he is wonderful. He picked this rich royal purple for the mat and it looks so, so gorgeous, seriously. I am going to take a picture and post it once I have a chance to get it up above my dining table where it unquestionably belongs. :D :D


Jun. 2nd, 2012 12:07 pm
moiread: (CRIMINAL MINDS • newspaper.)
• Yesterday my LJ had 43 views. Today it's had 473 and it's still only noon. I blame [ profile] elisem! Only three abusive comments on that post so far, though, all of which I deleted immediately. I knew some trolls might come out when people started passing it around but such a low number is really nice! Probably my dinky journal is just not worth people's time. Heh.

• Last night I ordered in a mountain of sushi because I was ragingly hungry and my finger mysteriously wouldn't stop clicking things. I am still eating from that mountain of sushi today. This is so awesome.

• One of my co-op students from last year learned some ASL from me while she was there and went on to take an ASL class at the local college this past semester. She knows I haven't been well enough to take a class myself (which is why I have limited myself to only learning vocabulary and am avoiding dealing with grammar so as not to learn bad habits) so she brought me her textbook from the level 1 class as a gift! It comes with an instructional DVD and everything! I've been working through it and am super ridiculously excited. I think her hope is that, if I can handle the level 1 textbook just fine and my health improves a bit, I'll be able to take the level 2 class with her this fall. I don't think that will happen but it warms my heart that she would want to take a class with me.

Nikko Hurtado does awesome tattoos. Also I have found a tattoo artist for my sleeves once the artwork is ready and I've put the money together. (These two things are related only by being about tattoos; I could never afford Nikko and anyway his style is all wrong for what I want.)

JC Penney responds to the One Million Moms boycott by producing a Happy Two-Dad Family ad.

The Dark Chocolate Batman. I heart geek kids. That made me think of my eldest niecelet, whose war cry when wading into roughhousing with her siblings is, "FOR HYRULE!"

• My school put in wifi. On the one hand, this solves the problem of my smartphone not getting any data signal in 3/4 of the building, and I'm a geek who likes tech upgrades, so it's kind of cool. On the other, my school is full of kids whose families can't afford food or weather-appropriate clothing, let alone school supplies, so even if the wifi network only cost a few hundred to set up, I am really angry at the complete lack of priorities that allowed that few hundred dollars to go towards wifi instead of, say, bolstering the breakfast and lunch programs. Really, really angry. The fact that I am not ranting about it is simply due to the fact that it's been two weeks since it got announced and I've had time to come to terms with knowing I can't do anything about it.

• Also, after ten years, we are getting a new principal. They're moving ours to an inner-city school and giving us the principal of a well-off suburban school. I don't know where our new principal was before that, so for all I know working in a nice Kanata school was a total trip for him too, but still. I am wary. And I will miss our current principal, who was so very tremendously excellent, not only within himself but specifically in what he did for our school.

• Last year, my job was three days a week. This year, it got cut down to two. Next year, it will get cut down to one. This is despite maintaining our participation numbers. Why is it always the kids who need the most help who suffer the greatest when budget cuts come around? I may have to quit in order to look for something else, which would mean the kids don't even get their one day a week homework/classwork support sessions. It's a really difficult decision for me, but I have until sometime in September to decide. I don't know what else I would do that would be as flexible, as rewarding, or as indulgent of the fact that I have tons of experience but no degrees. I guess I'll look at job-hunting when the time comes if it's needed.

• A cartoonist I adore, Spike Trotman, has created a book called "Poorcraft". It is about living well on less money, and it is really fantastic. It just came out and already she has reports that it's being included in "starting over" kits at some women's shelters. A physical copy is $10 and PDF copies are half that.

• One of my recent treatment thingos is working out very poorly for me and giving me daily pain. This sucks, obviously, and is making my life more difficult than it already is and certainly more difficult than it needs to be.

• My old air conditioner was a monstrous standing unit that took up a lot of floorspace and caused $200 electricity bills, but it did do one cool thing (oh so punny!), which was that it drained water into a tank that I could empty into my garden. Unfortunately the new tiny energy-efficient window A/C I bought and installed this past week does not; it uses some newfangled evaporator ring instead. I have tasked my engineer brother, whose day job is building complex water parks, to build me a hose that can clamp onto my kitchen faucet and be unspooled out to water my garden, because refilling my monstrous watering can in the bathtub and then hauling it out to the yard five or six times at a go is really annoying. I demand better tools!

• Related: my garden is full of growing things and it makes me really happy. The ivy I planted last year is actually grown enough now that I can drape it up the fence! In a few years, it should be a great privacy screen between me and the parking lot. Other things I will plant this year to see how well they compete: sweet peas, clematis, and morning glories. In a perfect world, all four would take and my fences would be gorgeous.

• I have been slowly acquiring the better part of a new wardrobe. (The clothing part, not the furniture part.) It's kind of cool to own stuff other than baggy jeans and t-shirts, to have stuff that actually fits me properly because it was made to my measurements. I've never really thought that would be a thing I could have, and it's done a lot of good for my self-image. Yay!

• I probably can't afford to go to Chicago this summer. Not unless someone else going to CapeCon can give me free crashspace. But I am definitely going to Farthing Party in Montreal and my brother is considering dropping in for a day or two, which would be AWESOME. Fingers crossed.
moiread: (BOOKS • stock.)
I've been going on a lot of 3am cleaning binges lately. I only ever do this when things have been hard for a long time and I have been stuck in the rut of being unable to fix those hard things for too long. I get restless at night, even moreso than usual, and I just need to improve something, anything, that I can actually control. One of the hardest things for me, when my health is bad, is keeping up with housework -- my apartment rarely gets to levels that I would consider gross, but most of the time it's still not as clean as I would like -- and cleaning is something I can do at 3am without bothering anybody. So I clean. And then I clean something else. And then I clean some more. And some more. And some more after that. And then eventually I can't go anymore because my joints are screaming and my body refuses, but at least all that frustration with the jagged edges will have stopped rattling around in my head and maybe I'll be able to get some sleep.

(You should see my toilet right now. If it weren't for the overpowering smell of bleach-based cleaners, I'd be willing to eat off the seat. It gleams.)

But I had this moment tonight where I was boogieing around to some cheesy terrible dance music to keep my energy up, gathering stray bits of paper garbage for the recycling, when I stopped and realized that I have little piles of novels on basically every available surface outside of the kitchen. And that made me so happy that I laughed out loud to nobody. My library is not nearly so big as other people's, but my home is still full of books. And that seemed so symbolic to me, because growing up, I always hoped that someday maybe I'd manage to have a quiet little home that was all mine, where I could live my life my way, and I always imagined that it would be covered in books.

Now I have that.

Whatever else is going on, I have this life that I made for myself, in this place that I made happen and maintain under my own power, full of things that I love and that make me happy. I love where I am and who I am, and even when everything hurts and I lose perspective, the truth is that I'm okay. If I can start where I started and yet get to where I am now, I can pretty much dig my way out of anything.

I know I should tidy all those little piles of books back to their shelves, but I kind of don't want to. There's something to be said for the beautiful orderliness of neatly-arranged bookshelves, but tonight I think I'll leave all those novels right where they are.
moiread: (BATTLESTAR GALACTICA • cards & cigars.)
Was up all night last night with a panic attack.

There was some dude outside the building trying to get people to let him in, and after I (and another tenant, one right after the other) refused him, he went to sit on the curb just in front of my yard. Logically I know that he probably just lost his key and didn't remember that there's a 24-hour emergency number you can call to have security come let you in and check your face against the photocopy of your photo ID that you were required to give the main office when you signed the rental agreement. Or he knew but didn't have the number. Or didn't have his cellphone. Or, or, or, or.

But I have this terrible fear of finding somebody in my apartment, to the point where I have to leave the kitchen light on or else I can't sleep at night. And this dude trying to get into the building and sitting outside my apartment while he waited just triggered me like nuts. I wound up lying in bed staring at the ceiling, listening for strange noises, getting up to peek out my window and see if the guy was still sitting outside my yard, checking over and over again that I'd locked my patio door and put in the safety bar, that I'd locked my front door, that the safety bar in my bedroom window was adequate despite that one panel is open with a plexiglass frame around my A/C, etc, etc. I spent a lot of the night jumping at shadows.

Having anxiety sucks. And this specific behaviour of mine has been happening more and more often lately. I know it's just because I'm already all out of cope, so stuff I could usually brush off is not getting brushed off, but nevertheless, this is Bad News Bears. So I guess it's time to up my meds and call my old shrink again to see if he can squeeze me in.
moiread: (GLEE • antidepressants.)
So last night my poor old dying computer began making this deep WHUUUUUN ... WHUUUUUUN ... WHUUUUUN noise, different from the dying fan noise it usually makes. (The usual fan noise is on a faster cycle and not as deep. When it happens, I just smack my case lightly next to where I know the fan is and it stops for a day or so.)

I couldn't make it stop! It kept me awake. I tried turning my computer off but then the complete lack of any white noise at all became A DEAFENING SILENCE that also kept me awake. And then my neighbours started arguing. (My headboard is right against the shared wall.) And then they went to bed and started that explosive snoring again.

If I'd been less horribly sleep deprived, I would have thought to download my RainyMood mp3 to my new phone and plug my phone into my speakers and leave that running all night, but I wasn't capable at the time. Instead I'll do that tonight, and in the meantime I've had about 3 hours of sleep. (I thought it was 4, but then I remembered my mom called and woke me up an hour before my alarm, which was just enough time that I couldn't get back to sleep. ;_;)

All I can say is thank goodness I'm getting a new computer soon. (And I have a big post to make about that when it happens. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE.)

Posted via LjBeetle
moiread: (WORK • post-it notes.)
Figure out wtf I'm bringing to the NYE potluck. Go to the grocery store. Tidy the apartment some. Call dad for a ride around 1pm. Hit up Sears. Hit up the Virgin Mobile kiosk at Carlingwood, since I'll be right next door, to see if they have any Samsung Galaxy S phones in stock or if they're out too. Go to the post office to pick up my mystery package. Come home. Make arrangements with anybody to take me to Little Ray's before Monday, so I can get more mice for Eve. Continue reading Perdido Street Station. Take out the recycling. Grab a shower before bed.

PS: I finally borrowed the copy of Cherie Priest's Dreadnought, the third book in her Clockwork Century trilogy, that I got my brother for his birthday and have spent the last 48 hours in my armchair in the living room, devouring it whole. And oh, it was so so so good. More my style, even, than the first one, Boneshaker, which I also loved. I just loved this one even more. I didn't want it to end. Got to the last two chapters and suddenly realized there was only a tiny sliver of book left, maybe only twenty pages, and panicked. Want more! More, more, more! (Will see if I can find a copy of the middle book, Clementine, that doesn't require paying $60/copy from Won't be more of Mercy's story, damn it, but it'll at least be more related characters in the same world, written as brilliantly. If not, I can wait until it comes out in paperback, which will apparently be at some point in 2011.)
moiread: (squinty • emilie d.)
My apartment is a giant mess. I have an excuse: I'm disabled and I had the death plague for two weeks. So whereas before I had to carefully manage how and when I got things done, but they still got done, while I was sick absolutely nothing happened except to occasionally handle the dishes. (Thank god for my dishwasher. Seriously. I am never living without one again. It would just not be workable for me.)

I am not happy about this, because I had a nice apartment in good shape until a month ago, and now I keep letting people in on auto-pilot only to look around, realize the state of things, and then feel horribly embarrassed. Oops. It's not like I have gross food-covered plates hanging around or anything, but I have laundry all over and my kitchen table is a pile of stuff and my recycling bins have overflowed and there are like four boxes of unsorted still-yet-to-be-unpacked shit taking up most of my living room. Nobody can really come in to hang out (though my brother did anyway, bless him) and I am stepping on clothes to get to my computer. Crap.

I refuse to live like this again! I am a tidy person now! So my mission for tonight is to clean, since I think I'm well enough (despite my raging migraine for most of the day). And if I'm not, I have to at least do as much as I can, starting with the public spaces. My bedroom can be left for last if necessary.

And then tomorrow I have to do laundry. I'm almost out of work clothes.

Being broken is frustrating. That is my obvious statement for the day.
moiread: (CAT  • sleeping.)
If anyone's interested in what I tried for white noise last night, check out Rainy Mood. It's a link I got from some friends a few months back and I managed to dig it up again while hunting for white noise options. I opened three tabs of it to layer the sound, which made it loud enough that I didn't have to turn my crappy speakers up. (My speakers tend to add fuzz if the volume knob is turned up to any kind of reasonable volume. The barrier is like 3/9 on the knob. It's ridiculous.) I'm a big fan of rain, and this worked pretty well for me last night. I could still hear my neighbour's snoring, but it wasn't so bad I couldn't sleep.

I'm also going to try the "White Noise and Heartbeat and Atmospherics (Seamless Loop)" from this site, but I'll try it on a night where I don't have work the next morning. I suspect that any white noise that ebbs in and out will mean too much silence in which to hear snoring -- the rain is probably better for that, since it's continuous -- but it's worth experimenting to see.
moiread: (chin in hand • kate h.)
It's been cold and rainy here these last few days, which has made me really happy. Fall is totally my season, and if I could live in it year-round, I would. I've been doing a lot of tea and cookies (I bought three dozen balls of ready-to-bake snickerdoodles from [ profile] soirenoir, who makes even better snickerdoodles than I do, and now I'm out, so I'll have to buy more) in the evenings, sitting out on my patio to watch the rain. It's been really nice.

The other awesome thing about cold weather coming in is that it's time to start eating all my favourite kinds of foods. My parents were here tonight to help me do more yard work, and to lay some sod. I had tea and cookies and pita bread with roasted red pepper hummus and grapes out for us to snack on during the afternoon, but then come dinnertime, I broke off to cook. I made some squash soup (half my good squash soup from last year, canned by [ profile] soirenoir, half store-bought tetra pack squash soup, with nutmeg and sage and maple syrup and fresh cream and a touch of curry paste to give the store-bought crap some life, all mixed together in a big pot), and then I roasted a big honking eggplant with garlic olive oil and sea salt, and baked a decent-sized yam, too. I toasted some whole wheat baguette, and put that out with the asparagus-asiago spread I bought yesterday. And more tea. It was a totally vegetarian meal, and it was delicious. (Not that I'm vegetarian. But eating like one sometimes is really, really good for you.)

And just think! Soon it will be time for baking my own bread, making cobblers and pies, cooking spinach/feta/sun-dried-tomato loaves, and desserty cake loaves like lemon raspberry and chocolate zucchini, and lamb stew with baking powder biscuits fresh from the oven, and tea and tea and more tea, and hot chocolate, and ohhh, so many wonderful things. I can't wait for it to start!

As for the yard, I'm hoping to get the landscaping totally finished over the next week or two, so that it will be ready for me to start planting come spring. The yard looks completely different from the way it did when I first moved in. When I first got here, there was no grass, just dirt and dandelions, and some patio stones, and a kind of raised section of yard with some really terrible bushes along the fence. The bushes were comprised of some kind of monstrous evergreen, one to either side of a poor choked purple-leaf sand-cherry tree, and then two really leggy, twiggy bushes at the end that had grown together into a single tangled thicket as tall as I am. And under it all was "dirt" that was actually mostly gravel. I don't know who the hell brought that mess into being, but I've been resenting them for it rather a lot lately.

It took a hell of a lot of convincing, but I got my dad to help me take out the two evergreens, and next we'll tear out the leggy whatevers, leaving just the tree. It will finally be able to breathe. We've moved the patio about six inches, which doesn't seem like much for the amount of work it takes, but it brought it into line with the actual patio DOORS, and it gave me just enough room to put in a raised flower bed all along the other fence, where the second pretty sand-cherry is. We've built a really nice grey stone retaining wall there, and I found some white trellises on UsedOttawa, and come next spring I'll plant some Virginia Creeper there, and probably also some ivy, and whichever one wins that fight can stay. (I like them both, they both look really pretty, and all I want from them is to grow up the fence so I have some privacy screening.)

And along the other fence, once it's totally free of the stupid ugly half-dead overgrown unkempt bushes that never looked good and need tons of maintenance trimming that they never did get and never would have with me either, will be room for vegetables! I can plant carrots and tomatoes and all sorts of things, since that's the spot that actually gets sun.

Maybe I'll even put a big Euonymus under my bedroom window, since that's where the runoff from the rain hits, and it makes a big mess. But a good hardy plant would love it.

Now that the hard landscaping is almost almost almost finished, the difference is insane. I wish I'd taken photos from before, so I could post them and show you, but I didn't think to. And best of all, now everybody is seeing what I saw in my head, and they understand why pulling out all that shit was worth it. (After the number of times this has happened, between yard stuff and interior decorating stuff and whatever, you'd think they would just take it on faith that I know what I'm doing. But no!) My parents were worried that the building management would get pissed at me, but I doubt it. I did ask them if I could landscape, and with the state the yard was in when I got here, we ALL agreed that any changes would be an improvement. By the time I'm done with this yard, it will bring up the value of the apartment considerably, and the lovely ground-floor apartment with a GARDEN that has FLOWERS and ACTUAL GRASS and TREES and STEPPING STONES (and, if I can swing it, a gate to boot) will be more of a selling feature than anything inside.

Anyway. Time to go jump in the shower and head to Rose's. We have a box of shinies from Elise to open, and movies to watch! And probably brownies to make. ;)
moiread: (mischief/bite lip • kate n.)
This morning my parents had a fight in my apartment and I wound up in the unfortunate position of mediator. To make up for the stress and frustration of that nonsense, I decided to have a lazy, decadent day.

Instead of getting things accomplished, I took off all my clothes, jumped into bed, had a three-hour nap, woke up, lounged in bed reading (GGK's latest, "Under Heaven") while I ate chocolate (some pear, some passion fruit, all very dark and good-quality), then got up and reheated the mango chicken curry (with big chunks of fresh mango) that I made at 2am last night, then I steamed some brussel sprouts and ate them slathered in butter and lemon pepper, and after that I went back to reading. Now I am taking a break from reading so that I can eat ice cream in bed while I watch various shows about attractive conmen. And I still refuse to put clothes on.

So there.

The List.

Jul. 21st, 2010 04:41 pm
moiread: (WORK • post-it notes.)
• Put away laundry.
• Sort through bags of clothes; give remainder to mom to Freecycle.
• Acquire hand towel holder for bathroom.
• Acquire 2 more bath sheets.
• Buy dye, and dye beige bath sheet. (Pick a colour!)
• Acquire white IKEA Expedit entertainment center.
• Acquire some more Expedit storage bins, number TBD.
• Get living room squared away -- things stored in Expedit, lamps moved into place, etc.
• Look into wall-mount lights for next to bed. (Style? Price?)
• Get measurements of ideal gaming table and figure out extension for my dining table.
• Buy cute storage jars (3?) for odds and ends in bathroom.
• Go to fabric store and look at fabrics for decorative side of shower curtain.
• Once living room is squared away, take measurements for custom-fit side tables and give to dad.
• Get cleaning supplies and set up cleaning bin in front hall closet.
• Take measurements for 3 storage shelves in front hall closet, give to dad.
• Clean off desk and plan organization solutions.
• Find wall-mount brackets for white board and put that up.
• Buy more dice for gaming.
• Look into small used whiteboard and TV trays for gaming.
• Take measurements of window sill for wood shelf/extension for plants, give to dad.

Deadline: August 15th.
moiread: (mischeif/hiding • famke j.)
Okay, so. My news is that come July, I am moving into a one-bedroom apartment of my very own.

I may have moved out of my parents' place almost a decade ago, but this is the first time I'll actually be living alone. It's also the first time I will be completely financially responsible for all of my own expenses, since it's my name on everything. It's the first time I'll be able to choose all of my own furniture, paint colours, grocery choices, etc, and the first time I won't ever have to ask other people if they mind me doing something, whether it's as small as eating the last of the cookies or as big as having an out-of-town friend come visit for a week. I can bake at two in the morning without waking anyone up, and I won't ever be surprised by my roommates having people in when I'm gross and broken and caught off guard.

Anyway. I put in the application not long ago, and after a background check, credit check (yes, really, my credit history has improved enough for this, but that's a massive victory cheer for another time), etc, etc, I was approved. Papers have been signed, hands have been shaken, and it's all good to go. Which means now I've got three weeks (I get to move in a week early, which is important, since my health probably won't let me do everything all in one go) to find and acquire furniture, get the place painted, etc, etc. I had other plans for my ODSP backpay cheque originally, like a laptop and going to Fourth Street this year, but now it's probably all going to go to this. And that's okay! I think it's safe to say that this is more important. Heh.

So yah. It's been a long time coming, and the only reason I can do it is because of getting ODSP. Before now, there was no way it was even a possibility, so I'd pretty much just put it out of my head a long time ago and made things work with the options that were available to me. (Some have been better than others, though I don't regret any of them.) But now it's here and it's happening and I'm incredibly excited. I am going to have my very own place, all to myself. You guys have no idea how much this means to me. Seriously. And not only is it my own place, but almost everything about it -- quality of living space, proximity to 24-hour grocery store, access to buses, temperament of building managers, rules and systems particular to this company/building, the fluke misquote (and then willingness to stand by it) that allowed me to get the place for $100 less than sticker price, etc -- is ideal. If I believed in signs, I would suspect the universe was giving me one.

PS: Anybody want to have a painting party? I will provide pizza and beer!

PPS: I think I'm going to buy this purple velour armchair. Yes, really. If you had told me "purple velour armchair" prior to today, I would have made horrified gagging motions at you in response, but I really like the one I found. Yes, really. I KNOW. A purple velour armchair. It's even a wingback. But you have to believe me: It's awesome! And the point is that it's my apartment, I can buy ridiculous furniture if I want to, buy ridiculous furniture if I want to...


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