2015-09-15 10:12 pm

Life updates

~ Signed up for an embroidery class at the community school, and the first class was tonight. I do embroidery already, but I thought it couldn't hurt to get some practice with stitches that I don't often use. There's only 6 of us in the class, and it only cost $15 (plus whatever supplies we need) for the whole 10 week deal, so it's definitely small-scale and comfortable and affordable.

This being the first class and nobody really knowing what supplies we would need, we were all just given some fabric scraps and whatnot and did some freeform stuff to practice different stitches. Mine turned from freeform into A Thing pretty quickly.



Got to practice stem stitch, back stitch, satin stitch, French knots, and lazy daisies, which are evil and I don't like them.

(Also, sorry for the lousy picture, but it's nighttime and fabric is hard to photograph under the lousy electric lighting I have here...)

~ Outside the Gold Saucer in the FFVII replay. Spend most of last night wandering around the world map to get more money, since I'm one of those people who would rather save up and buy a lifetime pass to the Gold Saucer now, rather than a 1-time pass now and a lifetime pass later. Plus it's a great excuse to level-grind, and I got everyone from level 18 to level 23 in the process.

~ Currently reading Ferrett Steinmetz's The Flux, the 2nd book in the Mancer series. It's not due out until early next month, but yay for review copies. So far I'm enjoying it as much as I enjoyed the first book, Flex. I think next I'll be reading Kameron Hurley's The Empire Ascendant, since I adored The Mirror Empire.

No reviews of recent books, of course, because my review blog is still on hiatus until the end of the month.

~ Garbage and recycling has to go to the curb in the morning, and because most of the recycling is stored in the basement and I'd have to go down there to get it, I'm using that as an excuse to break out the ShopVac and take care of some of the water that's flooded in. Which should be much easier than my previous solution, which was to bail out the water with a cut-up plastic milk jug and dump as much of it in the sump pump drain as I could before my body stiffened up from the chilly damp basement and too much bending.

~ Also, I shaved my head the other day!



Ignore all the nicks and scratches. This was my first time shaving my head actually down to the scalp, and I wasn't very good at it.

And that's my current life in a nutshell. I want to try and keep more on track with this journal, even if it involves posting silly little things every day or couple of days about what I did and why I did it, even if nobody gives a crap but me. reading through old entries, I've already rediscovered stuff I'd forgotten, so maybe there'll be some good that comes of tracking what games I'm playing, what tasty food I cook, etc.
lighterthanair: (power-level)
2015-09-14 04:40 am
Entry tags:

Grindy grindy grindy.

I've missed this. Being awake in the early hours of the morning, playing video games. And not because of insomnia and a desperate attempt to wear myself down so that I can actually sleep, either. No, I'm still supposed to be awake at night, so that much is good. And the horrendous bout of insomnia that came along with a heat wave and resulted in me spending about 3 weeks rarely getting more than 4 hours of sleep a night has passed, thankfully. Touch wood.

But I've always found I'm more creative at night than during the day. And what I do at night makes me feel more productive, like I'm actually living and working for myself instead of just getting by.

Either way, at the moment I'm on a big video game kick. I happily pre-ordered the PC rerelease of FFV, so before that comes out, I'm doing a playthrough of FFVII, because it's been such a long time since I last played it. I doubt I'll reach the end by the time FFV comes out, since I'm a completionist and there are Steam Achievements to unlock and I won't rest until I've unlocked them, but I'm still having fun. I'm currently wandering around Costa del Sol, level-grinding and getting enough money to get everyone the best armour and Materia. Which I would normally be able to afford without grinding, but eh, I can't pass by Fort Condor without giving them just about everything I have, even if I won't be doing anything with that quest until much later. So I'm always broke pretty much as soon as I get to Junon.

I don't know why I do it. I'll always have much more money when that area is actually relevant to the plot, after all. I just feel bad passing by and not giving them money. I'm a soft touch, I guess.

Not sure if I want to keep playing now, or take a break and do something else. Still not entirely over the long-term effects on the insomnia, like lasting fatigue and having a cold that won't go away, so I'm actually pretty tired right now, and I may need to go do something a little more physically active to help me stay awake until I normally go to sleep. I'm trying to get away from napping at night at then having something like a very long nap during the day, because I really ought to have a normal-length sleep during the day and make better use of my alone time at night.

SLEEP IS FOR THE WEAK!

...That's actually not the best phrase to convince me that I don't need to go take a nap right now...
lighterthanair: (fail)
2015-09-09 12:26 am

Sweet holy crap, this journal still exists!

Aaaaand I haven't updated it since shortly before I left for the Queen + Adam Lambert concert. Last June. Yeesh, that's been a long time.

I can't even say I've been too busy, or that nothing's been going on. No, stuff has been going on. I worked for a major airline for a while. I moved to another province. I'm still doing the whole "book reviews" thing. It all keeps me busy. I have plenty of time in which to write here.

I just... forgot to. I guess.

And it may well be another year before I do another update, for all I know. I'm not that interesting a person. If someone asked me what I do, I could tell them, "I read books. I play video games. Sleep. Uh... cook stuff. Fail to lose weight. The usual." 2 of those things can be read about elsewhere, and the rest isn't enough to really fill a blog with when I know that just about nobody reads this, and the few people who may read it also follow me on Facebook, where I'm far more active.

I just miss the days of personal blogging, I guess. It used to be so much fun. I met some of my best friends through personal blogging.

Maybe I just need to become more interesting.
lighterthanair: (huggle)
2014-06-19 12:45 pm

Holy crap, tomorrow's almost here!

Tomorrow I will get up at 7 AM, drag my ass out of bed, grumbling and cursing the whole time, and get ready to go. I catch the bus at 8, which will get me to the mall 35 minutes before my connecting bus to take me to the airport. Technically I could catch a bus from here at 8:30 and get there with 5 minutes to spare, but knowing my luck, the bus will run late and I'll miss the connection and the next bus to go to the airport won't get there until just after my flight has departed. I'd rather arrive early and sit around eating a bagel than risk getting there too late.

Then I'll be sitting at the airport for about 2 hours before my flight leaves. All I can say is thank god I have books.

52 minute connection in Toronto, and then I'll arrive in Winnipeg a bit after 4 PM. At which point I'll be meeting my dad and his wife, they'll take me to the hotel we're staying in, and we may have time for supper before they have to go to a concert they're attending that evening that I don't have tickets for. This will probably be the only chance I get to read while I'm there that doesn't take place while I'm in transit or waiting to be in transit.

Saturday we're getting together and trying to figure out how to entertain ourselves for the day before the Adam Lambert/Queen concert that evening. My dad keeps fretting over what we'll do. I honestly don't care that much. I could just wander around and take photos and visit a museum or something, and I'd be perfectly content because it'll all be new to me. But he insists that Winnipeg has so little to do and is so small and I'll probably get bored so he wants to find good things to do instead.

Never mind that Winnipeg is 5 times larger in both area and population than the city I currently live in, and somehow I can manage to entertain myself here well enough.

But that evening's the concert, and I can't wait, and plan to buy far too much stuff there that's overpriced but when else am I going to be able to say I just bought a t-shirt at an Adam Lambert concert? (Answer: probably never, or at least not for some years because the only reason I'm going to this one is because someone else is covering all the trip expenses and bought the tickets for me.)

Then I try to sleep so that I can catch my flight at around 10 the next morning. There's more than a 2 hour layover in Toronto on the way back (again, I do love me some books!), and I won't get back here until after 8 on Sunday evening. It'll be a long weekend, but I'm excited, and it'll be worth it! Expect me to ramble like a maniac when I get back and talk about just how awesome it all was!

I'll probably also have a bunch of photos to show off. I should probably just get myself a Flickr account instead of only sharing them on Facebook...
lighterthanair: (for your entertainment)
2014-06-15 11:33 am

Updates.

Last week went by too quickly and yet too slowly. I didn't have any other minor breakdowns or apathetic no-energy days, which is good, but I also feel like I didn't get anything done. Applied for a few jobs. Filled out my EI form. Ran a few errands. Then BAM, the week's over.

And I'm one step closer to my money running out.

I'm trying not to look at it that way. EI will come through, and I will find a new job eventually (the question is when). I have enough money put aside right now to pay July's rent, which is the main thing, as well as buy myself a bus pass so I can get to job interviews. My fridge, freezer, and cupboards are as stocked as they can get, though I suspect I'm going to need more rice and sugar soon. Luckily, both of those things are cheap. I have a little money to get some new clothes, though I'm probably going to have to make my sneakers make do for a little while longer, even though they're leaky and falling apart. My dad gave me money for the Winnipeg trip this coming weekend, and if I'm careful and don't spend all of it, I can put some aside and maybe get a new cheap pair of sneakers when I come back. Or shoes. If I can find something that fits for $30 or less, great!

I can survive. I'm just worried, because EI payments only last for so long, and they're only 60% of what I would have been making had I not been let go, which means my belt has to be tightened and a corner or two must be cut. Hopefully I can find a new job soon, preferably one that pays me $12 an hour or more. Without a roommate, the grocery budget is drastically reduced. Not by half, since I still have cats to feed, but if we spent $200 a month on groceries before, I can get that down to under $150 easily. And $50 saved is my cell phone bill paid for almost 2 months, or the power bill paid for 5-6 weeks.

I have a turkey that I need to carve up todqay and harvest the leftover meat from. Good stuff will probably get turned into meat for stew, and dark meat will probably get turned into sausage meat. Bones get boiled to make stock for the stew. I might be able to eat for another half a week on that thing, and it only cost me $15 because it was on sale for 1/2 price.

been watching reruns of Supernatural lately while I work on new bookmark designs. I did a lot of embroidery when I first watched the show, so that seems fitting. And damn if that show isn't entertaining on so many levels. Especially once Castiel shows up. I confess, I'm a bit Dean/Castiel shipper. Not that this sets me apart from the vast majority of the fandom, really. But the show's a lot of fun to watch, if occasionally a little too intense to watch late at night by myself.

And I'm working on a new bookmark design, too, while watching. The test pattern worked well, so now I just need to make a few others in different colour schemes so that I can get a good picture. They should get listed on the Riality Studios Etsy store some time this coming week.

(Not that it matters, really, since nobody freaking buys the things I make. :/ But I feel like I have to list them for sale, just in case, and any little bit of money is helpful at this point.)

Got some decent reading done last week, too. Jill Murphy's Worst Witch, Lisa Ann O'Kane's Essense, and Julia Mary Gibson's Copper Magic. And I'm over 1/3 of the way through Mercedes Lackey's and James Mallory's The House of Four Winds, the review for which can't be posted until later in July, but I couldn't wait to read it. Princesses and cross-dressing and pirates and adventure just seemed like the perfect book for a rainy weekend!

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a turkey to rip apart!
lighterthanair: (Persona-phone)
2014-06-09 11:40 am

First week down, second week begins.

Still jobless. This isn't a surprise; it's only been a week, and even if I'd been lucky enough to get an interview anywhere last week, the turnaround time for jobs, in my experience, is 2-3 weeks from the time of application, if you get anywhere at all.

So I still have plenty of time on my hands at the moment.

I've been cooking more, which is good for me, since it gives me something to do that makes me feel accomplished, and lets me try out potentially tasty new recipes at the same time. I found a recipe for udon made from scratch, actually making the noodles by hand instead of using pre-made ones, and as soon as I can figure out what kind of soup I want to put them in, I'm going to make some for supper, probably later this week. Considering the noodles themselves consist of flour (I have plenty), water (definitely have plenty) and salt (not as much as the others, but still a lot), I can make a lot of tasty meals really cheaply that way. A definite bonus when money is an issue.

And now the window in the kitchen opens, so I can make soup and bread without dying of the heat that having the stove and oven on generates! This makes me very happy, and comes at a good time, since turkeys are currently $1.99 a pound at a nearby grocery store. If I get a $15 turkey, that's a meal or two with roast turkey and vegetables, plenty of leftover meat if I want to make sausage or stuffed turkey buns or any number of things that don't take too much meat, plus the bones and leftover meat also makes a delcious soup. If I buy carrots and potatoes, I can easily stretch $20 of food into a week's worth of meals, using a few others things that I have in to supplement (mostly spices, flour, and water, so I don't tend to count those things in the overall cost of the food I make).

Turkey omelettes are also delicious, and I need to use up the eggs that are in the fridge before they're good for nothing but hard-boiling.

Making slow but good progress in Persona 3 Portable. I abandonned Hard Mode because it was frustrating me too much and the repeated dying I was doing prevented me from doing any decent level-grinding or plot advancement. They're not kidding when they call it Hard Mode! I'll give it another try eventually, but I want to play through more of the game without tearing my hair out. Right now I'm just past the part where Fuuka joins SEES, so now I've got Mitsuru to train in Tartarus, while I try to get enough money together to get everyone's equipment up to snuff. There's not much left that I need to buy, but I like having everyone in top condition as soon as I can.

More specifically, I like being in better-than-top condition; I always overlevel in games if I have the chance, because I'm one of those people who enjoys level-grinding. Always been a little bit weird that way.

Celebrated my birthday on Saturday, which didn't go over as planned but it was still fun. The ice cream cupcakes I was going to buy didn't work out since the store's freezer was broken so they just didn't have any. Then the debit machine was wonky at the second store I went to when I decided, "Fuck it, I still want ice cream, so I'm getting some pumpkin cheesecake frozen yogurt from Yeh!" But I still had a great day, ate a delicious meal at Boaz (and got hooked on edamame), spent time with friends, had delicious strawberry-custard layer cake, bought some tea bags that are specifically designed to make ice tea (the tropical sangria one is delicious, and I haven't yet tried the strawberry basil) and overall had a good time turning 30. There are worse ways to spend a birthday, that's for sure!

Today, though, I'll be spending most of the day off line, since there's a high possibility of thundershowers this afternoon and I don't like using my computer then. A holdover from the desktop days, I suspect, since I can just unplug my laptop from the wall and still have it function perfectly and not worry about the power going out or power surges or anything of the sort. It's just habit.

And since the next 2 weeks are largely free of responsibility (at least work-related responsibility), I've challenged myself to a readathon! I'm planning to read 6 books, finish a 7th that's been half finished for over a month now, and catch up on last month's and this month's Apex magazine. I'm about a third of the way through Julia Mary Gibson's Copper Magic right now, and enjoying it a hell of a lot! It's a quick read, not because it's so short (though it's under 400 pages, so 'short' is relative anyway), but because it's just so engaging. I can't help but keep pushing onward because I'm loving the story and the tone so much. Another one of those cases where I'm surprised that this is the author's debut novel; Gibson is definitely an author to keep an eye on, I'm thinking.

But now I shall vanish into the depths of my To Read pile and enjoy what's left of the merely semi-clouded sky before the rain really starts to roll in.
2014-06-04 11:17 pm

(no subject)

Today, in a nutshell, sucked.

Nothing particularly bad happened. Not to me, anyway. (All talk about shooting a few cities away aside...) But as the day wore on I felt increasingly frustrated and useless and worthless, and knowing that one more day was drawing to a close and that it was one less day to the end of the month when my money really starts to be squeezed if I haven't found a new job yet... I wanted to scream, and cry, and generally not exist.

I went out. I got junk food. I'm sitting here and eating ketchup chips and trying to ignore the fact that I don't really need to be eat junk food, but I needed something to cheer me up and nothing else was doing the trick.

I still feel like crap. I didn't sleep well last night despite taking something to try and help with that, so I'm tired on top of being stressed and upset and angry, and I suspect I'm going to need to take something to sleep at all tonight again, and I don't want to because I was doing so well at not needing chemical help to get a good night's sleep.

Thanks a lot, ex-workplace, for undoing months of mental health work in a single BS action.

I think, as much as I want to spend a lot of my free time reading, I should probably make sure I spend 6 hours of each day doing something particularly productive, so that I can feel less useless during this time. Whether that involves me cooking stuff (which will happen when I pick up some groceries on Friday), or sewing, or embroidery, or packing boxes of books, or something, so long as I can stand back after a few hours and look at something that wasn't there before and go, "Look, see, I did something, and it was worth my time." Just so that I don't feel so idle, and so I can see like I actually worked.

Even if it isn't paying work.

And even if I do that for 6 hours a day, that will still leave 2.5 hours that I would have previously been at work that are now freed up so that I can still get more reading done, too.

The problem with having a wide open schedule is that it seems great at first glance, like you've got time to do a zillion and one things and it doesn't really matter when anything gets done, but it quickly grows stale, and the only person who can keep you to any sort of schedule is you, and that's not easy. I have no pressing motivation to keep to a schedule other than the fact that I think it might help me cope better, but hey, no worries if it doesn't work out, because it's not like anything else is going on right now.

That attitude leads to days like today. Days that are filled with impotent anger at an unjust situation, and end up feeling wasted and pointless.

But I'm not going to angst about it more tonight. I'm going to drink my tea, and eat the rest of these ketchup chips, and read some more, and then go to bed when my eyes can't stay open any longer, and hope that I get something resembling a decent night of sleep. Fingers crossed.
lighterthanair: (RAWR!)
2014-06-03 02:10 pm
Entry tags:

Missing: 1 job.

Somewhere between going to work and coming home from work I lost something. My job. Yesterday, I was let go. "Not a good fit for the company" is the official reason, which personally I think is BS since I've worked there for almost 3 years, my stats and attendance have improved recently, and now is the time they decide that I'm not worth keeping around anymore.

Honestly, I think they needed to lay some people off and I got picked in spite of my seniority because I had 2 main things against me: 1) attendance issues, which were largely due to chronic health issues and had medical documentation to support, and 2) I vocally stand up for employee rights and encouraged others to take their issues to supervisors and management. I just made too much of a nuisance of myself. There's a lot about this that's suspicious, and I plan to file a complaint to the Labour Board to open an investigation. "Not a good fit" is a valid reason to let an employee go, but 9 times out of 10 it's code for "there's another reason but we can't actually say it because if you knew then you could get us in serious shit for it." The official reason doesn't tally with recent events, and any unofficial reasons are suspect and possibly invalid. And I want to get to the bottom of it.

Not taking it lying down.

I have enough money to get by until the end of June, and hopefully by the EI will have kicked in if I don't find another job in the meantime. Which I hope I will. I hope this is the universe kicking me in the butt and telling me that there's an opportunity coming that I might have missed had I continued my employment elsewhere. It wouldn't be the first time a bad situation like this has led me to something better.

In the meantime, I'll be hunting for new jobs, and having a lot of spare time on my hands. I plan to use a lot of it to catch up on reading; I've left a lot of books on the backlog and having extra time like this is a good time to catch up. Even if I land an interview today and get hired tomorrow, chances are I wouldn't start any new job until next week, so I'll at least have the rest of this week to relax a little, clean up the apartment, and read.

Trying to look on the bright side.

I also found enough matched material today to put together 13 azuma bukuro bags that I've been planning on making. I won't be able to make them all very quickly, since a lack of sewing machine means I have to do them all by hand, but even if I just make 1 a week, I can list them in the Riality Studios Etsy store and have another chance for a bit of trickle income. $20 here and there helps a lot when that money can be the difference between a week of meals consisting of only rice, or a week of meals consisting of rice, potatoes, and beef (in a multitude of forms). So it's worth working on. Them, plus my bookmarks. I still do enjoy making bookmarks in my spare time, which I haven't had as much of over the past couple of months due to work and being on my own and thus having to do all the chores myself with nobody to help out. It's surprising what a difference that can make.

Plus sewing and embroidering will help keep me busy, and make me feel productive, and not so much like an idiot who couldn't even hang on to a stupid call centre job. :/
2014-05-28 10:50 pm
Entry tags:

A weekend approaches! Command?

Cheques cleared my bank account today so I had a little bit of spending money! Not spare spending money, mind, but it meant I could buy cat food, which was the most important item on my list. I also picked up a load of bread (not great bread, but it'll do for now because it was less than $2), and a small bag of about 10 potatoes that are a little bit past their best but still good so long as I use them quickly (which was only $0.49). This all came to a little over $10, cleared out the remainder of my money, but now the cats have food and I get paid properly next Friday, so I have enough of everything except cat litter to last me.

And I can go out and get cat litter tomorrow or Friday. I'll have to use the credit card, which I don't like to do if there's another option, but, well, there's no other option. So credit it is.

I still have plenty of rice for myself, and pork chops in the freezer, and a giant pork loin that I got weeks ago when it was on sale. And a small salmon steak, which I want to fry, shred, and then turn into the filling for some onigiri. Plus there are still cans of soup in the cupboard, so it's not like I'm lacking for good food. Just variety. And even then I think I've got enough to keep myself culinarily amused for another week and 2 days.

A quick check of the freezer also tells me that I have ground beef, so I could make myself some delicious hamburgers as a quick tasty meal, too. I'll go through bread more quickly that way, but hey, homemade hamburgers! Who can say no to them?

Finished Betsy Dornbusch's Exile yesterday, and I'm almost 1/4 of the way through Craig Cormick's The Shadow Master already. It's a quicker read than I thought, and I should be able to finish it tomorrow. I don't even think I'd need to push too hard to achieve that, either, which is nice because it'll mean I can start on Jeff Salyards's Veil of the Deserters that much sooner. I've been looking forward to it for a while, and Night Shade was good enough to send me a review copy, and I promised both him and myself that I'd start it as soon as I was finished with the 2 books I had scheduled as part of upcoming book tours (Kat Ross's Some Fine Day and Craig Cormick's The Shadow Master).

It's another cold night. The afternoon was fine, mostly clear skies with enough of a breeze to keep me comfortable as I walked back from work, but the area's under a frost warning for tonight and it's currently only a few degrees above 0. I still have a second blanket on the bed, and the heat's up to keep the worst of the chill away, not just for my sake but also for the cats. I'll be happy when this cold snap ends.

I'm also thankful that this cold snap didn't hit at this time last year. I was still only a couple of weeks post-surgery at this time last year, struggling to get mobility and stamina back, and I discovered that hot and cold made the incision hurt more, as well as incoming storms. It was bad enough the way it was, with decent weather until most of the healing had been done. I wince to think of going through it all with nightly chills like this.
lighterthanair: Rupert Giles in a magic hat (mine is a magic hat)
2014-05-26 09:08 pm

The week of crappy weather, nothing but rain and clouds.

I'd love to be snuggled under a blanket right now, hiding from the chilly rainy weather that doesn't seem to want to go away this month, and the only thing stopping me is that my Kindle still needs to charge a bit more. I have 2 books to read by the end of the week, 1 of which I'm halfway through already (Betsy Dornbusch's Exile, also a reread) and 1 which I haven't started yet (Craig Cormick's The Shadow Master) but that I've promised a review by... Oh, for some reason I thought it was June 1, but it's actually June 4, so I have longer to read it than I thought. I'll be able to get it done by the 1st, though, really, since Exile won't take me too much longer (I'll probably be able to finish it by the end of tomorrow), and I don't have much planned for my days off work on Thursday and Friday except for some cleaning and cooking, and I highly doubt I'll be doing enough of either to take up 2 days of time. So I'll get to enjoy some relaxing time with new books then.

I expect I'll get a lot of reading done next week, too. I switched shifts around with a coworker, so instead of having a 4-day weekend, I work Saturday to Tuesday, have Wednesday off (for reading), work Thursday, then have Friday to Sunday off. Roommate's coming back for my birthday (which is June 7) and will arrive in the evening on Friday, so I'll have most of that day to read, and leaving early on Sunday, so I'll have most of that day too. And on Saturday we can go out for a delicious meal and possibly some book shopping and maybe taking a nice walk if the weather's good! Then I'll only work 3 more days before I'll have my usual Thursday and Friday 'weekend' off work again and can catch up on more reading.

I say 'catch up' because I have fallen behind somewhat, and review copies are piling up faster than I can read them. They already have, really, and always will, but it's getting particularly bad, so I want to has a massive reading fest or something so that I can whittle down the pile a little and get more reviews written.

It's an addiction, reading and reviewing all these books. It's hard to believe I've been doing it for almost 4 and a half years now. There have been times where I've thought that maybe I should stop, that I don't really want to keep up the responsibility of having to review when what I'd rather be doing is just more reading, but I keep going back to it, and I do enjoy talking about what I think about the things I read. And I like knowing that I'm doing a little bit to help publicity for good books, too.

I shaved my head last weekend. Not for the first time, but I liked it a lot before and it was getting long enough to be annoying, but too short to just tie back out of the way. So out came the clippers and away went the hair. I like it best this way, I think. It makes me look more boyish. Not manly, but boyish, and that's closer to what I actually want for myself, so I'll take it! Even if everyone else who looks at me sees only the outward signs of being female (boobs, me wearing a long skirt because it's comfortable and nobody can see my legs), I know I can look in the mirror and see a face that's a little more like how I think I ought to be. And that makes me happy.

I've been making more use of my camera, too, and getting more pictures while I'm out. I'm not bad, really, but I'm not that great either, and I think it wouldn't hurt me to read a couple of photography books so that I can get some tips on improving. For every picture I get that I like, there are about a dozen that are mediocre, and about 3 dozen that I just reject out of hand because they're not focused properly, a bad angle, looked great on the digital camera screen but aren't so great on the computer screen... I know that much of it is trial and error, and a bit of editing too, but I think my skill has hit a plateau and I need something new to get me improving again.

Aaand I just discovered that a cheque finally cleared my bank account, so I have enough money to get cat food and stamps without having to use credit! Possibly some cat litter, too, but I think I can make what I currently have stretch until I get my next paycheque if I'm careful, so I may not need to. But the other things are definitely needed; cats need to eat, and I have an important letter to send! So now I can depart the online world happy. My Kindle isn't fully charged yet, but I don't want to wait any longer, since time's running out and I don't have long before it'll be time to go to sleep so I can get some good rest for work tomorrow.
lighterthanair: (don't burn the fire chief)
2014-05-16 03:10 pm

Beautiful day outside!

Roommate is coming home today. Won't be here until after 7, though, and then we're going out to Boaz to take advantage of their all-you-can-eat supper buffet. It's been over a month since I've eaten gyoza. O_O For a long time, we were going there once a week, on Saturdays when we both had time off together, because their lunch buffet is only $20 per person (the supper buffet is nearly $30), and we were using it as a reward system: if we go a whole week without ordering take-out or fast food, we can go to Boaz and eat delicious Japanese and Korean food instead. It worked. We saved money, ate healthier, and got to celebrate and eat gyoza and chicken katsu and delicious tempura yam and all sorts. I haven't done that since I started living alone, so even though it's expensive, it'll be a nice treat.

And then so long as we're not too tired and stuff full of good food, we might walk home after. It'll be around 9 when we do, and it'll be cooler outside than it is now, but a walk might still be nice, and I need to get more exercise anyway. But we'll see how it goes. We might not want to, when it comes to it.

Of course, because I'm going to have company, I'm half tearing through the apartment and cleaning things so that it doesn't look like I've been as slack as I really have been lately. Washing dishes, scooping outdated flyers and coupons into the garbage... I should have run the recycling down to the collection site when I went out earlier to buy cat litter, but I forgot. No matter, the site's only 20 minutes walk away, I'm off Sunday, and so long as the weather's nice, we might even walk there together, to enjoy some sunshine!

But what I really want to do instead of cleaning is to read! I'm 2/3 done Kat Ross's Some Fine Day, and though I'm a bit disappointed that a character I thought to be dead is actually alive (and now firmly destined to be the female lead's love interest, because that's how these things work), it's still a pretty good book. Doesn't break new ground or anything, but it's still good.

I'll do another load of dishes, straighten a few more things, clean the litter boxes, and then I'll pack it in for the day. I want to appreciate my downtime. As much as I'm excited to have company again for a little while, it also means I can't just come home after work on Saturday, dump my stuff on my floor, and then watch TV until I fall asleep, or read until I fall asleep, or whatever. I have to do the friend thing and be sociable, and I can do that and enjoy it and all, but I want to appreciate my alone time, too, while I have it.
lighterthanair: (reflection)
2014-05-15 03:58 pm
Entry tags:

A year ago today.

1 year ago today, I was in surgery, having that godforsaken tumour cut out of me. It's been a whole year since then. Happy birthday to the scar on my abdoment, happy deathday to the twisted overgrowth of cells that was the size of a grapefruit, clinging to an organ the size of my fist.

I'm trying to be positive about it all. But in actuality, this is a harder day that I expected it to be. The whole situation just won't leave my mind. The days at work where walking was too much a chore, where I nearly fell asleep in the middle of conversations because I had no energy. The months I spent at home, not working, resting as much as I could, napping every day just to make it to bedtime, hoping each day that maybe when I go back to work, I'll be better, I'll have improved, I can start to recover.

The first time I was hospitalized, and it scared the hell out of me. I didn't go because I thought something might be wrong. I went a few days after the IUD was put in, another in my doctor's long list of "maybe this will work" treatments that all revolved around hormones and things that weren't permanent in case I wanted children, with her stubborn refusal to admit that the tumour was the problem because hey, they're so common and mostly don't cause problems so it must be something else. I knew at the time that the IUD might cause bleeding for at least another month before I'd even know if it was doing anything to stop the bleeding I was already experiencing. I went to the hospital because I wanted just a few more days off work, a few more days of rest and hopefully by then the bleeding might calm down a bit and I could handle it again.

That was the day that I had a doctor feel my abdomen, say, "Yes, I can feel the tumour there," and I just burst out with, "Is that what that hard area is?!" He backed down a bit, embarassed, but he wasn't wrong. The thing was so big it could be felt easily through my flesh, through a very thick layer of fat. That was the day my roommate told me that, when I had to go to the bathroom twice in 15 minutes to change my tampon, that nurses were looking at me with pity and saying that nobody should be going through what I was going through. That was the day I was told that I would be admitted to the hospital for the first time in my life.

A few days later, I finally got my doctor to agree that maybe the tumour was the problem. After all, it had only grown 3 cm in 6 months, which is 6-12 times faster than that kind of tumour grows on average. I was told I'd bled out the IUD, which explained the painful blood clot I'd passed the day after I'd had it inserted in the first place. That was the day I made my doctor unhappy by choosing surgery to remove the tumour, because although she offered it as an option, it was clear that she'd rather have me try another IUD (and another $500 out-of-pocket expense to buy one) or else have radiation treatment to shrink the tumour but not remove it entirely.

Today, 1 year ago, I was being cut into.

Tomorrow, it will be 1 year since I discovered that the tumour was more advanced than my doctor thought, so "her" decision to remove it was a smart one.

3 days from now, it will be 1 year since I found out that my doctor discharged me with hemoglobin as low as it had ever been, and this was after 2 units of blood post-op, after lying to me and telling me it was 10 points higher than it actually was. I saw the test results. I know she lied.

That started the time in which I had trouble getting out of bed as my wound healed. I could walk a little further every day, and was thrilled with myself when I could walk about 200 feet down the street to a little bench where I could sit down and rest before walking home again. It marked more days of lying around, not doing much, because I still didn't have much energy.

Though that period also marked the first time in a long time that I didn't have to nap in the middle of the day. Not unless I wanted to.

Today, I stand in the bedroom and look at where that bed was (roommate took it to PEI and left me the bigger bed), and I remember lying there, head propped up on pillows, alternately reading and looking out the window at the street and the green leaves in the trees, and I can feel everything about that time as clearly as if it happened last week. Today, if I lie on the couch and watch something on TV, I'm reminded very sharply of the times where I couldn't do anything but that.

It's a stupidly emotional day for me today. I wanted it to be positive, a celebration of how far I've come and all the BS I don't have to put up with anymore. And it is. But I can't celebrate how far I've come without looking back on where I was, and where I was is scary.

Statistically, there's a 15-30% chance I will regrow that tumour large enough to require another surgery within 5 years. I'm 1 year down. 20% done. Last scans I had done a few months ago show no sign of regrowth... or so the idiot doctor says. I do have a nice new ovarian cyst that isn't fading, and I can tell that because it's a ender point, but it's a functional cyst and show go away over time. I hope. And I'm not showing any symptoms like I used to. I'm still terrified every time I start bleeding, and I'm always amazed when it stops after 3-4 days and I haven't spent those days in agony and running to the bathroom every half hour or more. I don't have to sleep on towels and get up in the middle of the night to wash the blood from my legs.

If I make it to that 5 year point, my odds of it coming back drop dramatically, at least according to statistics. Until I'm middle-aged and start to go through menopause, anyway. But even then it's not likely anything will grow as large even if something grows at all.

But it's something I'm constantly aware of now. I had an uncommon presentation of a common issue, and something that dozens of help sites and material and doctors pass off as unimportant and more of a nuisance than a real threat.

When I say I was dying by inches, I'm not exaggerating. The way my hemoglobin was dropping because I couldn't stop bleeding, it was a threat. If I'd been stupid and stubborn the way I often get with health problems (a lifetime of having the poor luck to find abysmal doctors who don't take my complaints seriously or who are openly derisive of said complaints)... Well, the hemoglobin dropped by 30 points over a year and a half. I don't want to place bets on how long that could continue. I had already developped a heart problem because of it. A heart problem that healed once the blood loss stopped, but knowing that even temporary damage was done to my heart because of how long my doctor refused to admit that constant bleeding and anemia was a problem... Doesn't make me happy. Also scary as hell.

I hope to all deities that this is over, once and for all. That the tumour never regrows, that I never have to face those conditions again, and that I can let time fade these memories from my mind. That next year on this date, I'll be more concerned with happier things, things that don't involve me looking back on my life and going, "Fuck, I was in a really bad way not that long ago!"
2014-05-14 10:21 am

(no subject)

Meant to mention this in my post last night, but I was running on fumes at that point and forgot. But here it is: I am now living on my own.

My roommate, doing an internship to get licensed as a medical lab tech, is now in PEI, and will be there until December. Home for occasional visits on long weekends, when it's affordable (a round-trip bus ticket costs about $130), but other than that, I've got the apartment to myself.

This is the first time I've lived on my own. Ever. Sure, there's been the odd half-week when I've been on my own when my roommate goes away on holiday or something, but this is on a much bigger scale. For weeks, sometimes months at a time, it'll be just me and my cats.

It's odd. For the first week, I kept having mini panic attacks, wondering how I'd get through this situation, because it was new and now suddenly all responsibility for everything was on me, nobody for backup if things went weird, and I had to handle it because there was no other choice. And that scared me. I've never been that great in new and unfamiliar situations.

I'm adjusting. It's actually not as bad as I feared it would be. I do some of my best work when I'm alone, I find. I cook more, which means I have more chances to eat healthy food. I clean more when I'm alone, too. I hate doing chores with other people around, and always have, out of the fear and annoyance that whoever else is there wants me to do things in a different way because it's not how they do it, so I just save myself the grief and do it when they're gone. Now they're always gone. I'm living to nobody's schedule but my own, so if I'm having a night of insomnia and get up and wash some dishes, or watch a movie until I fall asleep, or just want to spend a whole day lying in bed reading, there's nobody to get in the way of those plans.

The freedom is, well, freeing.

It has its downsides. I do get lonely. We still talk over Skype, but it's only for maybe an hour after I'm done work and before I go to bed, and considering I work on phones all day and have never been a fan of phones to start with, it's a bit of a chore to do that, but I make the effort because it helps us both. I'm not the kind of person who has many friends, really, so I can't satisfy my slim social cravings by just spending time with someone else, because I don't have a "someone else" to spend time with. Coworkers, maybe, but their social time usually involves parties and drinking, which is very much not my scene, so that would be more awkward than enjoyable.

But any loneliness I do feel is tolerable, not crippling, and I think I'm handling it pretty well. And I'm enjoying a lot of the freedom of living to my own whims and my own schedule. Granted, it means I have no onus to not be lazy about some things, which is a detriment, but I'm thus far not any more lazy than I was before. I actually find myself doing more around the apartment because I can do it when I want to. Not having anyone else to consider means that if I want to watch a movie, I can; nobody else is using the TV, so I can watch it then, not put it off until later, not have it eat into the few times when our schedules wouldn't sync and I'd actually be alone while my roommate was in class, so I feel like I have more time and thus less pressure to do chores. Which means I do them more.

My mind works in odd ways.

I'm getting company this weekend, though, since it's a long weekend, and that'll be kind of nice since we haven't seen enough other in a little over a month now. We have plans to go out for supper, go for a walk on Sunday and get those new frozen green tea drinks that Tim Hortons has, and generally just hang out for a bit before we return to what it quickly becoming weirdly normal.
lighterthanair: (for your entertainment)
2014-05-13 11:21 pm
Entry tags:

For once, some universally good news!

I need to stop updating this journal so sporadically. It's not like my life stops when I don't write about it. Plenty of stuff keeps happening. It's just that between work, writing book reviews, trying to keep my head above water in multiple ways, and the sheer lack of interaction here between me and, well, anybody who's not me, it gets tiring to think about updating this for the benefit of nobody but myself. And that person already knows what's happening.

But still, on the offchance that someone's still reading this...

I got my wisdom teeth removed. Just the bottom 2, since they were the ones causing problems and they'd both broken through the gums. The whole procedure was relatively easy, honestly, or so I imagine because I was unconscious for it. I was sobbing when I woke up, though, when the anesthesia was wearing off, because I was aware of pain before I was even really aware that I had a body. An aide helped me stagger to a little recovery room until the rest of the anesthesia wore off and I could walk in a straight line and get my emotions under control. A cab driver took me home, and in spite of me coming out of the dentist with a swollen face, he insisted on trying to engage me in conversation.

He gave up after I just grunted a few times at him.

I spent the next half a day shoving gauze into my face at regular intervals, waiting for the bleeding to stop. I talked with a serious speech impediment for about a week. And I didn't bruise, not even the slightest bit. I hear some people get bruising down to their chest. I just had swelling and numbness.

Numbness in one side of my jaw that has not yet and may not ever go away, I may add. Nerve damage was a possibility the dental surgeon discussed with me. I am officially the genius who managed to have 2 parts of their body go numb from nerve damage within the first 3 months of the year. -_-

In brighter news, the pain problem I was suffering has largely gone away. Turns out the problem was a myofascial trigger point, and after a competent doctor actually examined me and talked to me about the pain instead of just telling me I shouldn't be hurting or prescribing me narcotics so I'd go away, he came to that conclusion and treated it with, of all things, a little injection of saline to break up the knot of muscle.

It's not perfect, and I still get pain flare-ups every now and again, but they're few and far between. Where I used to be in constant pain, never below a 3 on the pain scale, and when it flared up it would sometimes reach an 8 and leave me incapable of bending my torso, now flare-ups are a 5-6 at worst and most days I experience no pain at all. I can walk to work without fear of overtaxing my body and being in agony the next day. I can exercise! Hell, I evendid sit-ups earlier this week! This feels freaking amazing!

Funny what can happen when one's doctor isn't a negligent idiot.

In brighter news still, my father surprised me with plane tickets and concert tickets to go see Adam Lambert in Winnipeg next month, and holy crap, I'm going to see Adam fucking Lambert! O_O Part of me still can't believe that. The musician whose music helped keep me sane when I was dying by inches from that damn tumour, the guy who inspired me to take chances and actually fight to be myself, and I'm actually going to get to see him. From lousy seats, granted, but still. I may just fight crowds after the show to get autographs! Bonus points if I can thank him for what his work has done for me, but I doubt I'll have the time or opportunity. It'll be enough just to be at one of his concerts.

In the middle of reading an advance review copy of Kat Ross's Some Fine Day, which is thus far pretty decent for a YA post-apoc novel, and I'm still slogging my way through Jo Walton's What Makes This Book so Great. I say slogging because it's a thick book, and while her essays are interesting, sometimes it can be hard to keep reading multiple essays on a long series I haven't read any of yet, and where the articles are deconstructing things and commenting on things of which I have no context. I love her writing, and my To Read list has definitely increased, but I suspect I'd be getting more out of this book if I'd already read much of what she's commenting on.

And now it's way too late to be awake, I still have to work tomorrow, and my bed is calling me.
2014-03-14 08:17 am

It's Friday!

It's also the first Friday in a long time where I've been able to celebrate it as being the end of my workweek, and not just another day somewhere in the middle. I'm actually off work for Saturday and Sunday, and will spend the next 6 weekends this this.

Kind of nice, actually.

I do have to miss at least one day of work next week, having dental surgery to remove my two bottom wisdom teeth that have been causing me problems. Not exactly looking forward to that, but I am looking forward to not having to take painkillers for it constantly, because my bottom right one has been giving my hell for months, sometimes to the point where I can't talk because it hurts too much to move my jaw and tongue. So I'll be glad to have that mess over with as of next Tuesday. Then I just have to heal from the surgery, and I'll be good to go.

...I say with some trepidation, because the last time I thought that was the surgery to remove the tumour from my uterus, and look at the alternate hell I've been living in since that happened. Not bleeding and dying by inches, but in near-constant pain and some days unable to move because of it, and getting nowhere when it comes to getting work to actually give me some sympathy and respect.

Hell, the HR lady at work recently admitted that she lost the form my doctor originally sent her that told her I have a condition in the first place. From my experience with this company, I've come to expect that any medical problems I have are going to be met with dismissive comments, discrimination and derision when I point it out, and general incomepetency. It's ridiculous, insulting, and tiring. But I soldier on, because unless I do so, they can fire me for all the time I've missed since the beginning of the year.

Even if I get the additional documentation they need from my doctor to try to adjust my schedule in a way I think might help (to which HR gave a lousy counterargument that showed they haven't been paying attention to what I say or my pattern of absenteeism), I still suspect they'll try to punish me for all the time I missed before that. I'll have a good counter to that myself if they do try, really, since HR dodged talking with me for over a month, during which I was still experiencing problems and missing time and not being able to meet with anyone to get the ball rolling on accommodations, but even having to use that defense will be too little too late, since using it will require me to be in a position where they're already punishing me. And I don't want to act like a bitch and say, "This could have been sorted out a long time ago had you not continually put off meeting with me, and I could have long ago improved my attendance by using the recommendations and accommodations we discussed." (Which I would have already cleared by my doctor, too, because I'd have long ago been told they needed that clearance!) It sounds confrontational to say that now, and well, given that at once point I was talked to about being disrespectful when I told the site manger that if the HR guy at the time needed any more info from me, he knew my phone number and email and could contact me. She delivered the message, he took it as disrespectful, and I got chastised.

Yeah, no hope in this company. I very much want to get out of there and into a new job. Even if I just have said job for a year, until R and I move to Charlottetown, that'll be fine.

Of course, getting a new job will put me in the same scheduling predicament that I'm in here, unless I get the surgery to remove my uterus straight away, and go to the new job after I've recovered. If that happens, I won't be in the same chronic pain and won't need to do all these stupid adjustments to my life that require things to work around me instead of me working around them, and good luck to me finding a company that will even hire me when I have additional requirements.

Ugh.

Okay, need to get out of the negative stuff. I should be happy that it's Friday, that it's payday (even if I didn't get much due to absenteeism this pay period), that I have the next 2 days off, that I don't have to take calls today, that I have black hair dye and can redo my hair this weekend, that I was gutsy enough to re-open my Etsy store, Riality Studios.
lighterthanair: (rageface)
2014-03-07 09:42 am

(no subject)

So I find out last night that Adam Lambert's doing a concert tour with Queen this summer. And that there are a few cities in Canada that they'll be hitting.

Suddenly my world focus narrows to OH MY FUCK I MUST GET TICKETS!

I won't be able to get tickets. I can barely afford rent, let alone splurge on what will undoubtedly be expensive concert tickets, plus a place to stay, and a way to travel there, and since it's likely that R won't be back this summer, someone to drop by and feed the cats while I'm gone. This is a trip that would likely cost me as much as a month's rent, and there's no way I could get that kind of money by the time tickets are on sale.

Damn shame. But hey, it won't stop me from having little daydreams about it, because seriously, that man's music has done a lot for me since I discovered it, it's gotten me through some bad times without breaking down completely, and one of the things that's I very much want to do is to see him in concert even just once.

Daydreams it is. Maybe people will be kind and upload videos to YouTube so that I can at least see bits of the concerts even though I won't be there in person.
lighterthanair: (language)
2014-03-02 11:28 am
Entry tags:

To get to that one thing.

I'm been in such a writing mood lately. No idea why. I guess it's just one of those things that strikes every now and again.

Problem with me and my writing moods is that I'll write, and I'll hit on some good ideas, and I'll write until the flame dies and then I'm left with a half-finished idea that ends up being hard to go back to because I can't rekindle that same flame. I break all the writerly advice and have a large folder on my hard drive filled with half-finished stories and novels.

And I'm more than a little afraid of that flame burning out again too soon for me to get something finished this time, too.

That won't stop me. A half-finished story is better than no story at all. And the fact that I want to write now is more of a good thing than I'm making it sound. After NaNo 2012, I pretty much didn't write again until NaNo 2013, because my health was such shit that I could barely stay awake during the day, let alone put creative energy into writing. I had to put all that energy into getting a spoon into my mouth so I could eat. Fiction took a back seat to just making it through the day. It wasn't until I stopped having blood thinner than water that I felt like I could tackle writing again.

And even if it's been a couple of months since I last did any serious writing, at least it hasn't been a year. Which means that even if I'm still struggling with some health issues, they're not as bad as they were a year ago, and well I know it.

I'll probably spend some of today doing a bit of writing at work, in between calls. There, I at least get out a decent wordcount even if the quality isn't always high, because what else am I supposed to do between calls? May as well do something productive, and then on my days off I can do anything else and not feel like I have to panic and write all the stuff I wanted to write during the week.

I've had this idea floating around for an inversion of typical dystopian stories. You've always got the oppressive and divisive society, and the protag is always dissatisfied with how things are, and they meet other people who feel the same way, and then together they bring down the regime. But most people are content to let themselves go with the flow, or feel secure in the oppression that's been built around them, so I wanted to tell things from that standpoint, from the viewpoint of someone who turns their rebellious friend in to the authorities in order to keep society stable.

Not the most exciting story, and it doesn't have the "root for the underdog" element that people love, but I thought it could be fun to write.

So I will.
lighterthanair: (tell me about it)
2014-02-27 09:58 am

This is the mask I choose to wear.

Not a great pain day today. It's not too bad, not so bad that I need to take the heavy painkillers, but enough that I'm far from comfortable.

So, it's a makeup day.

I view makeup in a bit of a weird way. Most people would look at my female body and just write off makeup as this ting that females do. And I hate that. Honestly, part of this is why I want to work toward a more androgynous body, because then the makeup will give me the kind of effect I really want it to have. The colours will be worth paying attention to, because hey, it's someone other than a female wearing makeup.

I'm not very good at expressing that desire.

Anyway, the reason that today is a makeup day is because when I feel crappy, when the pain is getting to me and my health feels like it's nowhere near where it ought to be, sometimes the biggest thing that keeps me pushing through the day is being able to look in the mirror and see a bit of glitter, some colour I like, something shiny that catches my eye, and in catching my eye reminds me that the reason I'm wearing it is for strength, and so I feel stronger.

It's the mask I choose to wear, instead of a mask I'm forced to wear. It's exhausting, trying to pretend that you don't feel as bad as you do, putting on the mask of happiness and normality. So when I put on a mask of my choosing, I feel like I'm able to still be myself behind the mask, and it takes some of the pressure off. I don't have to act like it's a normal day, because it isn't. I did something different. See the colours around my eyes, see the glitter? This is different. So I can act a little different, and rest a little easier knowing that the mask comes off when I want it to.

I don't know what it is, either, but either the pain or the makeup wakes up creativity in me. Especially when it comes to music. On bad pain days, I want to sing, and I do sing when I can, because it gets out a lot of frustration. Out it goes, breathed out and riding on powerful music to go as far from me as I can push it. And then I write music, because lyrics and tunes just don't stop making stops in my head. And I swear this is all before I've taken the fun painkillers that make me think I'm thinking especially profound thoughts (I'm usually not). I want to just stay home and scribble out lyrics and work on the music behind them. It's why I'm collecting a small notebook filled with snatches of songs, and those pages are getting filled pretty quickly.

I also want to spend that time sewing, specifically sewing modifications to clothes I already have and making new clothes that I want. I guess pain has a funny way of making you want to be a dfferent person, even if that difference is just on the outside.

Really do need to get sewing on those bandages to wrap around my chest...
2014-02-24 09:46 am
Entry tags:

Bright thoughts and sunshine. Sort of.

Half an hour before I have to get ready for work, my last shift before my weekend begins, and all I want to do is stay home and play Everquest 2 and read books. But I have no excuse to do this. I'm not in pain, I'm not sick, and the weather's fine, so all things that make me consider staying home are completely off the table. So, to work I go. See how responsible I am?

So I'll just do all of that fun stuff tomorrow.

R's going away for a bit of next week, to head over to PEI with the people she'll be interning with so that they can check out the housing situation. Leaving Monday morning, coming back Tuesday night, which means I will have almost every second of Tuesday to myself. I normally have that when she's at school anyway, but she's back mid-afternoon then, so it feels like I only get half a day. So next week I really can just lie in bed all day and read without any distractions. I shouldn't be so excited about this. It's less than 2 months until she'll be going away for whole months at a stretch, and I know I'll be lonely then because I'll be alone as a default and company will be the novelty, but right now it's the reverse and I enjoy the alone time that I get.

Hoping today at work will be easy-ish. Also hoping that I'll finally get to talk to HR about an adjusted schedule to help me with the pain. I don't hold out a lot of hope, but I figure it's worth presenting to them, and I can let them know if they don't want to bother trying to work on this issue with me then that's fine, but they'll have to be aware of the fact that my attendance will continue to suck until I can get the underlying issue fixed. I'm hoping that by presenting it to them as their choice, they'll make the decision I hope they'll make.

In a nutshell, earlier shifts will be better than later ones because on bad paid days, I'll be able to get through more of my shift if I start early than if I start late. If my pain level will overwhelm me by 2 PM, to pull a random number out of my butt, then I work through more of my shift if I start at 10 than if I start at 12:30, which will mean I miss less time and my attendance won't suffer as much. By also cutting my shifts back from 5 a week to 4 (still leaving the shifts at 8.5 hours instead of a lower number), there's a greater chance a really bad pain day will fall on a day I normally have off, which will reduce absenteeism even further. I hope. The math is sound, the logic is sound, and I'm not asking for something crazy like all weekends off (pointless, since the pain's not limited to specific days of the week) or to pay me even if I'm not working (also pointless, and a stupid demand), which I hope will lend some weigh to my suggestion. I think this will work quite well, honestly, and still give me enough to pay my bills.

And if they don't want to make those adjustments for me to help me get my pain levels under control and my attendance improved, well, then they'll just have to deal with business as usual, and if they try to write me up for missing too much time, I'll remind them that I presented them with an option that allowed us all to meet in the middle and compromise but they refused it. I'm willing to play ball on this one. I just hope they are too.

But we'll see how it goes. I've been trying to meet with HR for 2 weeks to discuss this, but between them not working weekends and me sometimes not being able to be at work, it's been a coordination nightmare, and nothing's getting accomplished.

Positive thoughts. Like the fact that I only have 1 shift left until my weekend! That'll keep me going today!

And with luck I can make more progress on reading Scott Lynch's Republic of Thieves. I should be reading Mark Smylie's The Barrow, but I've wanted to read this one since last year, and it's about time I got around to it. The Barrow will still be waiting for me when I'm done, and I'll still be able to get it read and reviewed within a week of the release date, so I shouldn't feel too guilty about an extra distraction. (Besides, I got Republic of Thieves as a review copy, so I have something of an obligation to get it read and reviewed too.)
lighterthanair: Dracula, from Hotel Transylvania (this is my happy face)
2014-02-18 04:18 pm

Quiet day at home.

I keep telling myself that the pain in my leg is good, that it means the nerves are healing, but fuuuuuck, it hurts so much that I have trouble sleeping some nights.

Long story short, 2 weeks ago I slipped and spectacularly injured my leg. No fractures, a whopping great bruise... and damaged nerves. I'm a little bit impressed that I fell that hard. My lower leg has a huge numb patch on it, and when it's not numb, it's burning. This is apparently what happens when nerves get damaged and then work to repair themselves. It hurts. A lot.

But at least it is recovering. No compartment syndrome, no crazy drainage issues, and even if the nerves never fully recover and I never gain full sensation back in that part of my leg, I'll just be happy if it stops hurting so much. This could take 4-6 weeks, optimistically.

It's my day off work, so I've alternated between doing a bit of laundry, reading, and preparing supper. Supper's nothing special. Pork chops baked in a sauce made from Pepsi, ketchup, and brown sugar, on top of rice. Not the healthiest, sugar-wise, but tasty, filling, cheap, and still better than McDonald's.

Finished M G Buehrlen's The Fifty-Seven Lives of Alex Wayfare today, and finally made a start on Scott Lynch's Republic of Thieves. I've had the ARC sitting around for *mumblemumble* months. It's not that I didn't want to read it. I just felt the crush at the end of last year to finish as many books as I'd challenged myself to read, and that book being something of a behemoth, it had to wait until a few shorter books were finished. But now I'm ahead of my reading goals for this year so far, and I have plenty of reviews for upcoming books scheduled for March, so I thought it was about time I got around to reading it.

After that, it'll be Mark Smylie's The Barrow, and then M L Brennan's Iron Knight, since she was awesome enough to send me a signed copy after hearing how much I liked Generation V.

So many perks to being a book reviewer!

Mega storm this Sunday that dumped about 45 cm of snow on us overnight. Needless to say, I didn't go in to work that day. I don't think I'd have been able to make it down the front path. Apparently only 8 people showed up for their shift that day, and to be honest, I'm surprised it was that many. The downfall of living paycheque-to-paycheque, though; the hit to that paycheque often overrides a person's sense of self-preservation and makes them do dangerous things so they don't starve or lose their homes.