lighterthanair: (Persona-phone)
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.
Went to see my doctor about the pain. Turns out that my doctor wasn't in and that it was his temporary replacement doctor that I was seeing and I hadn't been notified about this even though the receptionist had known weeks in advance. Fucking lovely. Anyway, this doctor barely bothered to listen to me and all she did was shoo me out of there with a new prescription for painkillers.

Apparently the answer to, "I'm in so much pain that I can't function unless I take enough painkillers that I can't function," is "MOAR PAINKILLERS!"

Needless to say, I called back later and left a message for them to make me another appointment, in which I specifically requested to see my doctor and not his replacement.

The pain gets worse during the week and a half or so leading up to my period, plus the time I'm actually bleeding. So about half the month I can expect to be in agony, sometimes bad enough that I have to reach my daily limit of painkillers around lunchtime. Yesterday I came home early from work because of it, and by the time I got home, I looked strung out. My eyes were red, my pace was a weird mix of flushed and pale, and it wasn't a wonder that nobody complained that I was leaving.

The pain's better today, thankfully, and I hope it stays that way, because if I don't work my full shift today, then I don't get the holiday pay for this coming Monday that will make missing half a day more tolerable because my paycheque won't be short.

Kind of thinking that unless I can find a doctor who'll do more than just throw drugs at me and hope they stick (the spaghetti theory of medicine?), I might have to start looking seriously at throwing aside my dreams of going back to university so that I can be a teacher. That's the kind of thing I'll need my full mind for at any given moment, and I can't take 2 weeks a month off when the pain gets bad. I still have options for that, of course, since I have skills that I can use for small home-based stuff that doesn't involve a regular schedule or the need for regular payments, but still, the idea of going through life until meopause with this much pain so often is one that makes me want to just break down and cry.

Have to think of happy things, or else I'll go fucking nuts at this point. (It doesn't help that my 3DS died last night and won't hold a charge, and I was looking forward to using this weekend to get further in Pokemon X... Fuck you, bad timing.)

Yes, happy things.

NaNo's going well. I'm ahead of the goal for 50K words by the end of the month, but I'm not as far as I wanted to be for my own personal goals. There's still plenty of time to catch up, and I probably will, so I'm not especially worried.

I won $50 through an affiliate program that I had to join through work, and since that $50 was for use on a site that specialized in concert tickets and mucisian merchandise, I promptly spent it all on Adam Lambert swag. Because fuck you, world, I want accessories and a Trespassing poster! I got an email yesterday telling me that at least one of the items had shipped, so I have that to look forward to in the mail.

I also have about 8 books coming to me from various publishers, which I'm also looking forward to, though I have no idea when they're going to get here either. Still, having something to look forward to keeps me going, because getting through the day is easier when I feel good about coming home because there might be something nice waiting for me there. (Other than cats and food and warmth and a roommate, I mean.)

Oh, and also a shirt that I ordered through TeeFury. I have a lot of mail that should be coming later this month!

If I can't play Pokemon X on my long weekend I'll probably spend the time feeling greater motivation to catch up on reading, and to catch up on Black 2, which I still haven't beaten and I really ought to make more progress in before the cloud storage and transfer option becomes available in December. Then I can transfer stuff that I can't get in X (assuming my 3DS works at that point) and have a much more complete Pokedex. But really, I'll probably just spend a lot more time reading, because I've been a slacker with that lately and I have a lot of stuff that I need to get caught up on in regard to that. Which is just a tad more important than Pokemon, I think.

At work, an incentive bonus is coming along nicely, and I'm in good stead to receive 3 $100 gift cards in December. If all of the reservations I made during the incentive period go through and no cancellations were made, I should get 6 of them, but I'm not counting anything that I can't see the company received comission for, and so far that's just enough for 3. Still, $300 will buy my roommate her 3DS and give us some money to spend on something nice, or get some holiday presents with, or something.

That'll be the biggest thing I'll miss about eventually not working there anymore. The sheer number of perks I can get through affiliates and vendors.
~ Didn't budget for things properly, and now I only just have enough money for rent but not to pay anything on credit cards or get groceries. Luckily there are still a lot of groceries in, but I wanted to do something special for Samhain, and now I might not be able to do what I wanted to do for that. Might just have to see if I can accomplish some kitchen magic and only use what I already have.
~ ~ Doing that wouldn't be so bad, since it would pretty much only involve me missing out on making a chicken pie. I have vegetables, I have a peameal-encrusted ham, I have the stuff for a decent dessert, even if it wouldn't be what I originally wanted to do. But I don't doubt that I could still make tasty things, even if I have to be a little more frugal.
~ ~ ~ Being low on money does suck because I currently have a cold and don't have any daytime cold meds, though, to help me get through the day. I'll live, obviously, but it won't be comfortable for a bit. :/

~ I ended up losing everything I'd accomplished in Pokemon X thanks to that Lumiose save glitch. :/ So I had to start over. I'm trying not to look at that in too negative a light, since I was struggling to build a decent team due to choosing Fennekin in the beginning, and I seemed to be having lousy encounter rates for some things (it took me over an hour of hunting to find a freaking Pikachu!), so a restart wasn't the end of the world. I think I'm doing much better this time around, even if it's slow going because I've only been able to play for an hour or two a day, at most.
~ ~ If anyone wants to know, my 3DS friend code is 4914-3830-2347. If you play Pokemon (or any games, really) and want to add me, feel free, and I'll do the same if you give me your code.

~ NaNoWriMo is fast approaching, and I actually have an idea this time, and I hope this year won't be like every other year, where I go full steam ahead for a while and then get stuck and start working on another idea instead. I get to my wordcount goal, but I end up with two unfinished stories instead of one, and it's frustrating. I'm not worried about making the wordcount goal, at least, since even if I just take 5 minutes between calls to write at work, I usually end up getting 3-4k words written over the course of a shift. I've written reviews and short stories that way before, nobody cares so long as I keep my stats decent, so I can't see why November would suddenly change that,

~ Still chugging along with reading, though I keep falling behind in my goals there. I read at work when I can (breaks and lunch), but I spent a couple of weeks playing Pokemon on my days off (before I lost the save file), so that meant about six hours a day for two days in which I didn't read, and that's a lot of reading time. I'm trying not to do that so much. Even if I don't get as much of the game played, I need to keep up with reading more than I need to play a game. With luck and good timing I should be able to finish Veronica Roth's Allegiant today, and then I can get back to Jaime Lee Moyer's Delia's Shadow. Probably be able to finish that by the end of this weekend, too.
~ ~ It'll get easier, too, if I just forgo leaving work right when I leave to walk uptown for an earlier bus home. A bus goes right by work half an hour after my shift ends, which means that if I just stay and wait for that bus, I save myself a 20 minute walk in the cold (then a 20 minute wait for the next bus that gets me home), and give myself half an hour in which I can read. Extends my daily reading time from 1 hour plus commute time to 1.5 hours plus commute time, which is a significant boost.

~ There's every chance I might end up moving to another province in about a year and a half. Rachel might end up getting a good job in Charlottetown, and while some people might see that as a step backwards (PEI isn't known for much besides potatoes and Anne of Green Gables), the university there will allow me to work for a degree that will get me one step closer to my own goals, and Rachel will still be able to work at a good job in a city we both know we like. It's only a possibility, but I've got my fingers crossed that it works out that way.

~ Weather's definitely getting a lot colder. I mean, I know that this is Canada. In October. But brr, does it have to be constantly dipping to the freezing mark? temperatures don't get very high even at noon now, the leaves aren't so much turned as fluttering off the trees with every puff of breeze, and I don't relish the really cold days when my lungs will seize up and refuse to let me breathe properly. :/ Well, just another reason to stay in after work and catch that later bus so I don't have to walk in that weather, right?
lighterthanair: (huggle)
~ So so happy that I have tomorrow off. It's been a long week, and I'm looking forward to a little downtime. Even if tomorrow I'll be having a friend over and cooking supper, it'll still be downtime, and I have Tuesday off too, so that's still all good.

~ Still reviewing books. Like a boss, no less! This past week, I reviewed The Incrementalists by Steven Brust and Skyler White, and A Game of Thrones by George R R Martin. Next week I've already got reviews lined up for A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan, The Fire Rose by Mercedes Lackey, and Manifesto UF, why a load load of awesome authors. I'm in the middle of reading red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch, We Will Destroy Your Planet by David McIntee, and I should probably be starting A Clash of Kings by George R R Martin for the readalong. So much reading! I love it!

~ I've also starting writing for SF Signal, which is freaking awesome because holy crap, why did a Hugo Award-winning fansite decide that I'm good enough to do stuff regularly for them!? O_O It's intimidating, but I think it'll be a big step in the right direction for me. The first thing I did for them was review Shaman by Kim Stanley Robinson. (Ignore the fact that it says it was written by John. The site crashed and he had to restore some things from backup, so my post vanished and had to be reposted under his name. I'm just glad that I didn't have to write the whole thing out again, because I was dumb and didn't back it up myself!)

~ I recently splurged and got myself a 3DS. If anyone wants my Friend Code, just ask and ye shall receive. Only 2 games for it so far (Animal Crossing, and SMT4), and I'm telling myself that I won't buy any others until the new Pokemon games come out. There aren't too many other games for it that I really want right now anyway. Soul Hackers, yes, but I can live without that for a while, since I'll be so busy playing other stuff.

~ Getting back into fiction writing in a big way. Sneaking writing in at work is a good way to boost my wordcounts. The problem is that the thing I want to work on most right now is explicit, and so, er, not really appropriate for work. Oh well, it's not like I don't have other ideas swirling about in my brain.

~ Still listening to Adam Lambert. Which is awesome, because when I'm alone I sing along and it's a great workout for my lungs! I can't hold notes as long as he can, and I can't quite belt it out the way I want to (the disadvantage of living in an apartment), but it still makes me feel great.

~ Really need to buy more paid time again. Maybe on my next paycheque, I'll see if I can spare the money. I should be able to. I miss being able to support awesome sites by giving them money. It's great to be earning a proper paycheque again, I'll say that much!

~ And now, I'm off to work. Just today and then my weekend hurrah! Hope that it's as dead as yesterday, when I got a whole 3 hours off the phone!
The night before last, I had a bad bout of nausea out of nowhere. It dissipated before I could throw up, and I felt better afterward, so aside from the incident itself, I didn't think too much of it.

Last night, or rather early in the morning, I was woken up with a gut attack and pain so bad that I actually did throw up this time. By the time I crawled back into bed, the sun had started to rise. I couldn't warm up, even under two blankets. Even now, my feet still feel like I've spent the last half hour walking over frosted ground.

Not fun.

I think part of the problem is that I've been eating like a normal person, and overestimating what I can actually do. It's easy to feel fine when your greatest excursion in a day is pacing back and forth while water boils for tea. When I only experience a relatively small bit of pain then, it's easy to forget that I'm actually still quite early in the healing process.

That notion gets thrown out the window when I go for a walk outside, though, since I walk at a snail's pace and get tired after a mere 10 minutes. So tired and sore I need to lie down for as long as I walked in the first place, just to make me feel remotely normal again.

So today, I'm going to focus more on fluids instead of solid food, and taking it a little easy instead of pushing myself. It helps that today's all cloudy and rainy; I have a good excuse not to go outside for a walk, and can just take it easy in here. And drinking enough fluids will help kill some of the hunger I'm bound to feel. I just want to bring myself back to a good stable place before I try to be normal again. Evidently my first time didn't go so well.

In better news, I'm stuck in the middle of David Walton's Quintessence and loving every minute of it. The story presented an interesting mystery right from the get-go, and things just got better since. Which is awesome, because usually historical fantasies are very hit-or-miss for me, but this one seems to be entrenching itself firmly in the "hit" category.

And I'm thinking that after I finish reading it, my next read is going to end up being Mur Lafferty's A Shambling Guide to New York City. I hear a lot of mixed reviews about it, that the talent's there but the execution falls flat, but I'd like to see for myself. I used to listen to Lafferty on podcasts a lot in years past, and I've heard her short fiction, and I'm really interested to see what I make of this novel. It's got an interesting premise, at any rate.

Also, as soon as I feel well enough to sit at my computer for longer periods of time, Ragnarok 2 has been released! I found it all too easy to get addicted to playing the first game, and by the sounds of it, I'm going to find it just as easy, if not easier, to throw myself into its sequel! Anyone else around here playing it?

And stuff!

Apr. 29th, 2013 11:08 am
lighterthanair: (for your entertainment)
~ Camera finally died yesterday. Well, the battery died, anyway, and I still can't find the charger, so for all intents and purposes, it's dead. I'm still holding out some hope that I can find the charger with at least a few days to spare before the surgery, so that I can take advantage of the nice weather and get some more good pictures of the new plant growth that's exploding everywhere. I managed to get a couple of good pictures yesterday before the camera death: Chestnut Bud and Poplar Catkins. Took more pictures than that but these were the best ones of the bunch.

Still in need of a new and better camera, though, since this one's got lousy zoom focus and has this weird little dark smudge that I can't seem to get rid of no matter what I do...

~ Today's review on Bibliotropic is A M Dellamonica's Indigo Springs, which is an awesome book with quality magical realism. And also certain characters who remind me disturbingly of people I knew in high school. It made it a bit of an uncomfortable book to get through at times, seeing an old friend reflected in a character who goes mad with magical power and starts a cult in which she is the central goddess... Yeah, the people we meet in our lives, huh?

~ Got 3 more reviews and one post about what females in geekdom are and aren't allowed to do, all scheduled to last Bibliotropic for content until I go away for surgery. Well, I say scheduled, but I haven't actually written them yet. That will come tomorrow.

~ Still need to badger people about guest posts for the time I'll be gone, too...

~ Blood test tomorrow, the last I'll be getting before the surgery. This is good, because it's just a simple CBC and they'll only need one vial, which makes for a happy me because I am really getting tired of people sticking needles in my arms. At least I can have 2 weeks after tomorrow before it'll need to happen again!

~ Catching up on some episodes of Fringe lately while level-grinding in SMT: Devil Survivor. In spite of being a hard-hitter, Thor just can't seem to stay alive for a full battle anymore, so getting experience on him to go up levels is a slow chore. Thankfully experience is awarded each time I defeat an enemy and not just at the end of the whole battle, so I can at least get a little bit of experience before he croaks entirely. Small mercies.

~ Going to spend more of today catching up on some reading. I fell behind in my reading goals again, but at least not so far behind as I was, and I don't know how much reading I'm going to be able to handle while I'm recovering (people tell me I should expect to sleep a lot, especially for the first little while I'm home), so I want to get done what I can while I can, and hopefully meet me goals for the end of the year.

~ Looks like after a week of being back on the double-dosage, the bleeding is finally starting to really calm down. Still there, but not as bad as it was last week, and I feel a lot more comfortable because of it. Yay!
lighterthanair: (for your entertainment)
The surgery on Friday actually went better than expected, and the follow-up issues haven't been that much of a problem. I didn't feel ill from the sedative, and in spite of multiple warnings about how I was likely to bleed like a stuck pig for a few days after (the IUD usually does that, plus they cut away a bunch of tissue inside me), I didn't bleed much at all. *touch wood* So aside from that absolutely disgusting night before, things went pretty well.

I did find out from the nurses in day surgery that yes, my reaction to that drug was pretty typical, and no, it seems like doctors never do bother to warn people about the very painful side effects. Personally, I think it's a joke on behalf of the medical and breeding community, since the drug is almost always given to dilate the cervix of women who haven't given birth before. It's like they're laughing at me, going, "You have to experience this at some point in your life, whether you want to or not!" :/

In other news, I finally got back into the swing of things with the book blog. I started by making my come-back announcement... and then didn't write and post a review for 3 days. As much as I wanted to get the ball really rolling again, I just couldn't be arsed to sit down and actually write anything. I would much rather have just spent that time reading more. Figures.

But I did get something done, and posted a review of Mercedes Lackey's Take a Thief. The review of the first volume of Ayatsuji Yukito's Another is scheduled to go live later today. An okay book, but the translation really needed work, and I think it's best used as a companion to the anime based on it rather than a person's sole source for the story. Lots of repetition and circular thinking that got tedious to read after a while.

Today I'm hoping to get 3, possibly 4 more review written. Even if I just get 3 done, that'll give me content until the end of next week, which isn't too shabby, and if I work on things little by little, it shouldn't be too long before I get caught up with reviews and have plenty of scheduled blog content so that I don't have to panic and go, "Argh, what do I write this week?!"

Currently reading John Scalzi's Redshirts, and am more amused by it than I probably should be.

Because my GST cheque came through, I was a little bad and bought myself a copy of Pokemon Conquest. Alternate Japanese history, turn-based strategy battles, and Pokemon? I don't think you could combine many more of my favourite elements into a single game. And because PS2 memory cards were on sale (yes, some places still sell them, though I don't know for how long), I bought one, because I keep losing my others. Half price, less than $10, so I couldn't pass that up when I had a little extra money to spare.

I'm still toying with the idea of selling prints of the photography I've done. I want to, and I think some of my shots are good enough that people might actually want them, but indecision is still dogging my footsteps. It doesn't help that most of the best pictures I've taken are on my old computers, the giant towers that are waiting for me to find the right cables and cords and hook them up to my laptop so I can pull the old files from them. I have very limited amounts of photos right now, and I wish I had all of them so easily on hand.

I'm not entirely sure how much I'd sell them for, really, even if I did give it a try. I look at print shops around here, and while I'm sure they do high-quality photo printing, they certainly don't bother to advertise it, or the prices they'd charge. DeviantArt would pretty much take care of all that crazy stuff for me, but because they take their cut (understandably; they have to make a profit too), I'd probably end up getting less for each print than I would if I just got them printed locally and sold them that way. But it does eliminate me having to bother with that, which may be worth it in the long run...

I mean, for example, if I sold a 12x18 inch print of a photo I'd done, using DeviantArt's base prices, a person would be paying $25 for that and I'd pocket $5. For all I know, I might be able to get the same thing printed locally and shipped off for lower prices and end up pocketing $10 instead.

On the other hand, DeviantArt also allows me to do things like selling my work as postcards and mousepads, too, which I don't even want to think of trying to figure out how to do on my own, so that might also be a good benefit to using them.

Aw, what the hell. I'll do it. It's not like I'm trying to make my living off this, after all, and the chance of being discovered randomly increases on a larger site like that anyway. I'll give it a shot. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work, but at least I can say I've tried. That'll be one of the many things I work on today, it seems.

Can't say I don't have ambition!
lighterthanair: (Persona-phone)
~ Haven't made too much progress with Hard Mode in Persona 3 Portable, because it's incredibly frustrating when I've spent half an hour level-grinding and then I get ambushed by things that cast Mudo on me and undo everything I just worked at doing. Yeah. At least I've made it far enough to have a more fleshed-out Persona lineup, instead of just having 3 things at my disposal. For a while I had nothing that coulf cast Zio, and that was ticking me off. Finally fused Omoikane, though, and now that element's covered nicely. Really should get back to playing, though; I was enjoying the challenge.

~ After my tax return came in, I decided to be a little bad and decided to buy myself a new video game. Of course, I only decided this after I had to stop by EB Games (downloading Meloetta for 3 Pokemon games) and found a copy of FFT for the PSP, and for only $9.99. I have the original version, and I know that some of the spell effects of the remake slow things down a bit, but I seem to be much more keen on handheld gaming than console gaming these days, and it was a good price. Plus I got to see an old friend who now works there, so it was a good thing all around.

~ In other video game news, I've started playing Diablo II again. Took such a long break that one of my characters had expired, so now I need to build him up again. I actually think I'm having better luck this time around, at least when it comes to item drops. Pretty happy about that!

~ Finished Gillian Philip's Firebrand and can't wait for the sequel. I wished the sequel was out as soon as I finished the first book, really, because I didn't want to put the story aside! Instead of lamenting that for too long, I just picked up A M dellamonica's Indigo Springs, and got to marvel over how much one of the characters was like a friend I used to have in high school. When this character is something of a diva who apparently ends up discovering that magic is real and goes on to create a cult and sets herself up as a goddess... Yeah, that ought to tell you a fair bit about this person. It's kind of uncomfortable to read, actually, because of the similarities these two have, at least in their personality.

~ Today's going to be a long day, and I'm not entirely looking forward to it. First, I have to wait to call my father because he's on the other side of the country and it's far too early to call him yet. But I need to call him before I go out because I need info from him so I can pick up money that he's sending to me via Western Union, so that I can buy the IUD I need for next Friday's procedure. Then once I've called him, I have to head to the hospital and get yet more blood drawn, to see if my iron levels have improved enough. Then it's off to Western Union to get the money. Then the pharmacy so that I can get the IUD. I expect to go out before noon and not get home until mid-afternoon, and ugh, that seems like such a long day! I know it really isn't, and that I shouldn't complain too much because I'm doing positive things that need doing, but long days still tire me out.

I suppose if I get too tired, it'll at least mean I should sleep well tonight. *knocks on wood*

I'll call him in a couple of hours; should be early for him but not so early that I'll feel really guilty about it.

~ Haven't been doing much cooking lately, and I really miss it. My roommate's been doing most of the cooking so that I can get as much rest as I can before the procedure and before I go back to work. Maybe next week I'll make something delicious. Not sure what yet, but I'll think of something. Maybe something in the slow cooker; that way it'll be easy and not require much work if I'm having an off day, but I'll still feel accomplished and it'll take some of the pressure off my roommate. Maybe I'll see if I have the stuff to make pulled pork sandwiches; they were delicious last time I made them!

~ Happily, the weather's warming up nicely. We still get flurries every once in a while, but it doesn't stay on the ground for longer than a day, and we're getting more rain as the days go on. It's nice to see the giant snowbanks start disappearing, and to be able to wait for the bus without bundling up and still feeling cold. If there's any blessing to having had so much time off work, it's that I missed the worst of the winter and will get to go back once spring's really started to get going.

~ Now that I'm finished my delicious mug of chai, I think I should go get myself a real breakfast so that going out doesn't wear me out more than it absolutely has to! Toast sounds good today!
lighterthanair: (huggle)
~ Spending a bit of today playing catch-up with some things that I've let lie for a bit. In particular, laundry and email. I have a bunch of email surveys to answer and blog posts to read, and I feel like using today a bit more obviously productively and washing some of the bedding. It's not dirty, exactly, but it could stand to be cleaner, and there's something wonderful about a freshly washed blanket.

~ Thanks to sleeping pills, I've managed to sleep better these past two nights than I have in a while, in no small part due to the fact that it lets me sleep through the pain of my legs. Stupid restless legs syndrome, combined with anemia, has pretty much resulted in pain bad enough at night to keep me from getting more than a few hours of broken sleep a night, and has left me with lingering soreness and weakness during the daytime. But the sleeping pills let me sleep through that, and now I have a good night of sleep and don't leave me in discomfort again the next day. It's such a relief!

~ I let one of my resolutions go, and I stopped playing Persona 1. Not because I was bored of it, or because I just couldn't wait to play P2. No no, this was because I wanted to play P3 again! Only this time, I decided to give myself a bit of a challenge. I usually play it on Normal difficulty, because, well, that's just what I'm used to. But this time, I started a game in Hard mode. And damn, does it ever live up to its name! The second enemy I fought, on the earliest floor of Tartarus, knew Mabufu and killed 2 of my 3 party members in a single hit. The first section's first mini-boss, the group of 3 Venus Eagles, took me 5 tries to beat, because each time they'd use Garu, it would take off slightly more than half of my health. Experience is slow in coming. This isn't going to be an easy journey, but I think that's just made me all the more determined to get better and win anyway!

~ Finished with Mazarkis Williams Knife Sworn, which was a great continuation of the story started in The Emperor's Knife I love the way Williams plays with concepts and adds so many complexities to a story without overloading everything. I was going to pick up Aimee Carter's the Goddess Inheritence next, but instead decided to go with Gillian Philip's Firebrand, which I'm already enjoying immensely. I can already tell that this is a series I'm going to want to continue with later on. I love coming across books where I can tell that, where I can see in the first 20 or so pages that I'm going to like reading this and that I'm going to crave more when the book comes to an end. As always, I'm so grateful that I get review copies of so many good books! I don't know what I'd do without them!

~ I'd almost forgotten just how good Itou Kanako's music was. I haven't listened to it in so long!

~ The area's under a snowstorm warning for this evening. 15-20 centimetres of snow, which is a fair amount but I wouldn't consider it something we need to be warned about. This is Canada, for crying out loud. And yes, it's March, but also Canada. Snow is now abnormal until around May, and heavy snow can be expected anywhere between November and April. Still, if the Weather Network wants to put us under a warning, who am I to say they shouldn't? Probably drives up retail sales when people think that there's a chance they might be stranded in their homes (only if it warms up enough to rain after that snow, then the temperature drops again very quickly and turns everything to ice).
lighterthanair: Rupert Giles in a magic hat (mine is a magic hat)
~ Yesterday, my copy of Persona 2 arrived. I'm not playing it yet, because I want to beat Persona 1 first, but at least it's here and I know I can play it whenever I like. (Best of all, the game didn't cost me a thing, since I bought it with the gift codes that I'd saved up from Swagbucks!)

~ I thought that a while ago, I had requested a review copy of the first volume of the Another manga. I hadn't. Turns out that what I'd requested was a copy of the first volume of the Another novel, which is even better! I was approved for it yesterday, and I'm about 33% done already. Having watched the anime first, it really helps with the imagery, since some descriptions in he novel are a little sparse.

~ Today's the day that Everquest 2 rewards its free players by opening up all classes and races, something which previously had to be paid for. I celebrated this by making a small anthropomorphic cat with black fur and ocelot markings, turning her into a Paladin, and setting her loose amongst fairies. I was tempted to make a dragon-man Bruiser, which is essentially like a Monk with better agility, but I figure I'll save that for later. Razriesh the cat-Paladin will more than suffice for now. :3 I kind of want to spend the rest of the day playing it, but I think I need to lie down for a little while instead of staying sitting up at the table.

~ It's raining today, so I don't have to feel bad about being too tired to go anywhere or do anything. I like listening to the rain on the windows; it always relaxes me.

~ Looking forward to a homemade chocolate-strawberry smoothie later! Yum!
Well, as predicted, I have more time off work. I'm off until April 15, which gives me a week to recover from the procedure in early April, and gives me time to bust my butt and recover my hemoglobin levels before said procedure.

I actually had to talk my doctor out of putting me off work for longer than 2 months. If there's one thing that can be said about Dr. K with absolute certainty, it's that he's not stingy when it comes to giving people time off work.

So now I have to go into work and give them various notes, find out how to sign up for their ridiculous mail order medication program, and also remind them that this time, they need to send out my RoE so that I can get EI benefits. They didn't bother with that last time. How compassionate of them...

With more time off, in addition to really working extra hard to get on top of my health, I'm going to put a little more work into returning to some crafts, and probably reopening my Etsy store, so that I can at least try to make a little money on the side. It probably won't be much, if any, but it's worth a try, and doing crafty stuff again will definitely keep my mind occupied when I'm having a bad day. Lately I've been working on some more embroidered bookmarks, branching out with different colours. I want to get back to messing around with some paper crafts, but that requires cleaning off the living room table, and at the moment that's just a little too much for me. Maybe in a week or so, when I'm feeling better again.

I should also have the time to focus on reading, much as I have in February. I return from my book blog hiatus at the beginning of April, and so far even if I don't read another book this month, and I post 2 reviews a week from the books that I've read so far, I'll still have enough material for regular posts for 9 weeks. Weird how that takes the pressure off even more. I have to spend maybe one writing-filled day typing up those posts, and if I really don't want to, I don't even have to touch the blog again for another two months after that!

Which will be good, because part of the reason I went on hiatus was because I was getting burned out. I'd read a book, review it, and then feel like I couldn't just pick up whatever I wanted to read but instead I had to read the review copies that were due to be released soon. I didn't get burned out on reading, but on almost having it pre-decided what I read next. I wanted to read what I wanted to read. If I wanted to read 5 Valdemar books in a row, I didn't want to have to deal with the guilt of inundating my blog readers with a few weeks of nothing but reviews of Valdemar novels. I felt trapped. But taking the hiatus, I got to read what I felt like reading, caught up on some books that I let languish because I had other review copies that I ought to read first, and I feel like I'm in a better headspace for returning to reviewing.

Especially since now I've read all the Valdemar novels. :p That urge won't get in the way again! Admittedly, I didn't get to read everything I wanted to, and I still put some focus on reading review copies when I could, but I read a lot more of what I wanted, without worry. Maybe in the coming 2 months where all my posts are pre-planned, I can do the same thing. No reason why not. Focus on some review copies, but take breaks and read what I damn well want to, continue catching up on books that I bought with my own money instead of just what other people send me for free.

I mean, out of the 18 books I've read that still need reviewing, 5 were review copies, and 7 were Valdemar novels, so that's not a bad ratio, really. Almost 1/3 of my reading material were review copies.

And I know there are at least 2 more that I'll finish before the end of this month that are review copies, too. Mazarkis Williams's Knife Sworn and Aimee Carter's The Goddess Inheritance. So really, nobody can say that I haven't been trying to catch up on responsibilities at the same time as having a little fun.

I've been enjoying some video game time, too. Thanks to Swagbucks, I had enough in gift certificates to order a copy of Persona 2 for the PSP, so in anticipation of that, I've started replaying Persona 1. Now, I say "replaying," but last time I played I didn't get very far before I thought, "Screw this, I just want to play Persona 3 instead," and put the game aside. I probably played for no more than a few hours. Now I'm definitely back to where I left off, stronger than before, and enjoying the plot of the game. P2 should be here in about a week, and I don't know if I'll be done with P1 by then, but I'll give it a shot, anyway.
lighterthanair: Rupert Giles in a magic hat (mine is a magic hat)
Laundry time! My second favourite household chore. My favourite is grocery shopping, even if I've had to do it in small batches lately because of my energy level. I did some today, too, because today's the last day of my monthly bus pass, and I can't afford another one right now because I haven't been at work for a while. So I went out and got some things while I could. And now I'm back home doing laundry, so that I can feel a little productive.

I'm getting a bit tired of my routine lately. I wake up, do a few things, and then by early afternoon I have to lie on the couch and take a nap because I'm so tired. I've been getting better, and each day it seems like I don't nap for as long, but I still don't have the energy that I think I should.

But I am getting better. I'm not as pale as I was a few weeks ago, and I do have more energy than before. The iron pills and the rest at home have been doing some good, and I'm going to keep at them. I go back to work at the end of next week, so I'm going to try to start going days without taking a nap at all, so that I get into that routine for when I have to work again.

My paid account here is expiring in a few days. I wish I had the money to extend it, but that will have to wait too. If I can't afford a bus pass, I definitely can't afford more frivolous things like paid account time here! But it's not that big a deal; I know I'll be able to afford it again eventually. I just have to be patient.

I finished reading Exile and started on Rachel Hartman's Seraphina. I haven't read much so far, but it seems like a really interesting world she's set up. It's not too common to see YA novels with a more traditional fantasy setting. Most of the time now they're urban fantasy or speculative/sci-fi. It's nice to see something that might get younger audiences into traditional fantasy.

So many books, so little time. But I've managed to read quite a bit this past month, with all the time that I've had to myself, so I'm happy that even if my health was poor, I can still say that something good came out of it. I finished 9 books this month alone. Some of them were short, yes, but that's still an accomplishment!

Shame I probably won't finish Seraphina by the end of today, to make that an even 10. Oh well.

Hopefully I'll have some time tonight to play Everquest 2 with friends before I get too tired. I haven't played in a few days, because we're all trying to play together and schedules haven't quite synched up, but I've got my fingers crossed about tonight. Got to make level 20 in under 14 days to finish a quest, after all!

I'm hoping to find a potholder loom for a decent price. I found a few on Etsy (my PayPal account has more money than my bank account at the moment, so I thought that would be the best option), but every one with a decent price didn't ship to Canada, and the ones with fair-but-still-higher prices charged more for the shipping than the object itself. I opted not to get one just yet. Shame, because I have so many plans for one. I have a lot of yarn that needs using up, and I thought weaving squares with such a loom would be a good way to use it, and then I can sew them together into a nice blanket. Possibly multiple nice blankets. But that will have to wait.

And now I think I'll depart the onling world and watch a few episodes of Numb3rs while trying to not fall asleep. :)
(I promise I'm going to write about stuff other than my health today. Just... later in the entry.)

Not a hysterectomy, however. Dr. S still doesn't feel that's warranted, though I'm aware that's partly because I'm of child-bearing age and nobody believes me when I say that I don't want children. But given the circumstances, she still thinks that a day surgery to insert an IUD and to take a sample of the uterine lining would be a good idea.

I'm of two minds about this. One one hand, all the research I do says this ought to work to stop the heavy bleeding and actually return my life to rights. On the other hand, if it doesn't work, I'll be out $400 for the device, and will probably have to end up having my uterus removed anyway.

And even if it does work, it'll only work for 5 years. Which, yes, is a long time, but am I going to be in the same boat in 2018? Am I going to go back to heavy bleeding and massive pain and anemia?

She didn't give me too much info about this. The IUD's length of use I had to find out for myself. Now that I know a bit more, I have more questions. Is she going to keep looking for an underlying cause while the IUD's doing its thing? Would the IUD mask the problem, because I might not be showing symptoms to the 'correct' severity? I don't know these things, and I really wish I did.

But for the moment, there isn't much I can do. They'll call me to let me know the date of the surgery, and I can go from there.

She wants me to cut back on the desogestrel for now, though. Double dosing is just too risky, when you consider the risk of clots in my lungs, so I have to dial it back. If I experience another bout of heavy bleeding, I have to call her immediately and she'll do what she can to push the surgery forward. She also wants me to have another thyroid function test done, because she can't understand why Dr. K pretty much went, "Yup, your levels are fine so you don't need to take Synthroid anymore." That may not be the root cause of the problem, but it may be a contributing factor, and she wants to get to the bottom of this and eliminate what she can.

I'm definitely off work for another week or so, to continue to recover from lousy hemoglobin levels. I still get out of breath from walking up the flight of stairs to my apartment, and I've only managed to go a couple of days in total without needing at least one nap in the afternoon, just to keep me going until bedtime. I'm taking iron supplements and being careful about my activity levels, and trying not to get frustrated because I can't do as much as I want to do.

Anyway, in news that doesn't involve what's happening with my internal organs...

I've discovered the joy of Steam, and its many free MMOs. Currently I'm playing Everquest 2, and I have plans to hook up with a few people to play Star Trek Online at some point. I'm looking forward to it. I've been on a bit of a video game kick again, for the first time in years, and I don't know how long it'll last so I'm enjoying it while I can. It occured to me only today that I bought a couple of Humble Indie Bundles in the past, too, and I can register those through Steam, which is what I'm in the process of doing right now.

While also moving some other large files from my laptop to my external hard drive, to clear up some space. Haven't done that for a while, and things are getting cluttered. I suppose I'll also be able to delete the install fires for the Humble Bundle games that I downloaded, too, since I'm re-getting them through Steam. Ought to be able to clear a nice amount of space on my laptop's hard drive.

Still making my way through reruns of Star Trek: TNG, and laughing at the absurd amount of slashiness between Q and Picard. I swear now, watching that show as child much have planted the seeds of slash in my head to flourish as an adult!

Not to mention that I love making jokes about how the Q are just a bunch of space-faeries. Their powers, their arrogant superiority... It's so fitting! The jokes make themselves, sometimes.

I'm tearing my way through Betsy Dornbusch's Exile, which, coincidentally enough, is mildly slashy too. But that's only part of the enjoyment; the plot's quite interesting, the world she built is one that I like the feel of, and her writing is pretty good. Many thanks to Night Shade Books for the ARC, as usual. They provide me with so much reading material!

I seem to be getting a lot of packages in the mail lately, which makes me very happy, because I love receiving mail. My father sent me a box of goodies, among which was a fossil as long as my forearm, two boxes of green tea KitKats, and two boxes of strawberry milk mochi, which were shared with friends and eaten in just two nights! A friend from across the country sent me a copy of Dark Cloud 2, still shrink-wrapped, because I mentioned that I wanted to play the first game in the series after finding it in my bedroom the other week. And just today a package arrived containing a copy of China Mieville's The City and the City, which I won from a contest on a book blog. I feel so happy every day when I go to my mailbox and see even a letter there for me, let alone a whole package of things!
My appointment with Dr. S on Wednesday? Called, due to doctor illness. But fortunately I'm one of those people who can admit that doctors are human, not immune to colds and flus, and deserve a little bit of downtime when such things happen. I didn't freak out over that.

I did, however, freak out because I had pretty much put all my eggs in one basket and had planned to get a sick note from her regarding the time off work due to anemia, which I needed before work fired me because they're assholes. Legally I had 2 weeks to get that note. The rescheduled appointment with Dr. S would have put me over that time limit. I felt panicked, scared, and I burst into tears in the hospital's hallway.

I did the only thing I could think of. I calledmy family doctor, Dr. K, and begged his receptionist for an appointment that day. Please, just give me 10 minutes with him, please, I just need a quick appointment with him so that work doesn't fire me. If need be, I would have brought into it that I wouldn't be on the verge of being fired if they hadn't taken so long to send medical forms to work, but fortunately I didn't have to play that card.

...It's always mildly amusing when I make a doctor look worried. Not because I like being sick, but because I like the vindicaton. See, I told you I'm sick. I told you that someone's wrong, that I need help. After so many years of being shooed away and passed from one doctor to another, I can't help a little surge of satisfaction when yes, they see clearly that something is wrong.

I should have gotten a transfusion, he told me, with hemoglobin levels that low. (Which firmly cements in my mind that the NP I saw at the hospital that time thought I was faking, because she sent me away before the results of a very quick blood test came back; had she not done that, I might have ended up hooked up to a bag of blood that very day.) And at that point, I had 2 choices. I could get a transfusion that day, probably about 2 units of blood, and I would feel better the next day and could go about my life until I next got to see Dr. S. Or I could take a slower route, which he was leaning toward, of taking iron supplements and being on the next thing to bedrest until that appointment.

I was leaning that way too. I wasn't in serious danger with hemoglobin levels this low, though they were worrying. But I couldn't help but think that I could recover if I took it easy and loaded myself up with iron, whereas the car accident victim who needs blood might not be able to take that same path. Someone else needed that blood more than me, and I'm certain I made the right decision by not choosing the transfusion, even if it would have made me feel great in less than 24 hours.

He put me off work until my appointment with Dr. S. Actually, he put me off work for about 2 weeks beyond that, too, just in case I need it, because it's easier to get someone to write me a note saying I can go back to work rather than I can't.

Just have to make it to the 25th and I can see Dr. S again, and see what can be done about this. I'm still on the double dose of the desogestrel, and that seems to have drastically reduced the bleeding but not ended it completely. But it's very manageable at the moment, and if gets out of control again, I still have plenty of cyklokapron to help.

I've pretty much spent that last week on the couch. I'm stressed enough that despite being exhausted, I have trouble sleeping enough at night, and apparently anemia makes restless legs syndrome worse, which isn't helping matters any. I tend to crash each day sometime between 1 and 3 in the afternoon, at which point I stop what I'm doing (usually lying down and reading or watching TV) and curl up for a nap. Rinse and repeat.

I know I have to be patient with myself, and I can't expect to feel better so quickly, but I'm getting frustrated. I keep overreaching myself, forgetting that I don't have the strength or energy to do what I want to do. I'll feel fine while lying down, but if I get up to go to the kitchen for a drink, I'm suddenly reminded very forcefully of how difficult that is. Picking up my lightest cat and carrying her into the next room wore me out last night. This morning, my legs were worse than ever and I was walking at a pace even I considered unbearably slow.

I had to go out for groceries today. I needed milk, and cat food, and rice, and a couple of other little things. Normally, I can be in and out of the 2 stores I go to for this stuff within 20 minutes, in time to catch the next bus home with a good while to spare. Today, it took me almost an hour. Half an hour of resting before I could even put the groceries away after I got home.

And I'm angry at myself for not being able to do better. I was never very fast or strong before this, but I was never this bad.

For supper, I have a pot roast in the slow cooker, so I can leave it alone and let it cook for hours without having to worry. After the rest I've had sitting and typing this, I might be able to go back into the kitchen and peel and cut some potatoes.

I feel like a lazy whiner, like a weakling, like I ought to be stronger than this and there's no excuse for me not to be, even when I know there is. I find it very hard to be patient with myself, to allow myself the time I need to get the simple things done. I feel like I should be using my time off work productively, like I should be cleaning the apartment or cooking a good meal every day, or something that doesn't just involve me lying around. But I can't, and my roommate even told me not to because she can see that would be just too much for me right now.

Maybe after another few days, once my body's had more of a chance to make use of the rest and the iron pills. I hope so. I can't even manage the chores I like (laundry and grocery shopping) without help or much time and rest, so it'll be a big step in the right direction when I can do even those again.

After this, I confess that I'm hoping Dr. S wants to just take the whole damn organ out. 5 weeks of bleeding, even when some of it's been light bleeding, has no doubt contributed to this. Last January I was told I was a little anemic. Has this been building over the course of a year, me getting slowly and steadily worse over time, or was it just a sudden massive blow from a few days of heavy bleeding? Or both? Either way, though, unless she can find a solution that's better than a temporary reprieve, a placeholder and a hope that something changes, I might find myself continuing on this path, or stuggling uphill for a while longer, and I don't know how I'm supposed to keep my regular life going. It's not like I want to go out and party or go bar-hopping or anything on weekends. I just want the ability to go to work without feeling exhausted and risking bleeding all over everything. To earn money to pay bills and rent and not risk losing my job because I can't do that as often as my bosses want.

There is a final solution to this. It's just an invasive one, and I know she didn't want to consider that straight off because surgery is so invasive. But when this is the alternative? I wonder if she'll be reconsidering when I go back to see her. If I have to be off work for muliple weeks, I wish it could at least be because I'm recovering from fixing the problem, rather than recovering because the problem got too big to handle this time around.

But in the meantime, I know I can catch up on reading, and I've actually started playing video games again, which is something I haven't done for a long time. Not in any real capacity. I've started a playthrough of the Suikoden games, starting with Suikoden 4. I've played every single Suik game, but haven't beaten any of them. I'm bad with beating games. Maybe this time I'll be able to finish at least one of them.
lighterthanair: (huggle)
I caved. I started watching Glee again. Made it through the first season and everything. I still mostly watch it for he musical talent, because some of the songs they do give me the shivers, but I'm still not overly fond of the, "Our stereotypes are somehow less offensive than your stereotypes" attitude the writers seem to have. I can handwave a little bit of the offense in dialogue by reminding myself that these are high school kids, and teenagers can be insensitive little pricks sometimes, but that's only a little bit of handwaving. Other things, not so much.

It seems to get a little better in the second season. I've only watched a few episodes of it as of now, and maybe I'm just getting numb to it, but maybe not. Maybe it actually did improve.

Of course, I still think Sue would have lost her job about 10 minutes after she walked through the front door, and it makes my blood boil to even look at her sometimes, with her abusive commentary and behaviour...

Anyway, on happier notes that don't involve strange reflections on my own childhood, my mother evidentaly decided that sending my a large box filled with English snack food isn't enough of a Christmas present, because she called today to inform me that she wants to get me a magazine subscription for Christmas too. After some discussion, we agreed on a subscription to Piecework, which I never find in stores here and is a pain to get my hands on. So now I'll have a magazine coming to me every 2 months for the next 2 years, filled with historical needlework.

The craftgeek in me is very very happy about this.

Starting my second selection of pills today. I'm done with the cyclokapron for now, and I only hope that the desogestrel will keep symptoms from piling up over time so that I don't need as much cyclokapron again in a month. Keeping my fingers crossed. The downside is that I was just starting to adjust to the symptoms of the first pills, and now I get to stop them and take another set of pills I have to adjust to, and then when I stop those I might have to readjust to the cyclokapron all over again. Ugh. But to be honest, the nausea and pain are certainly more tolerable than nausea, pain, and massive bleeding, so I'll stay on these things as long as I need to. If it turns out that these pills manage all my symptoms, then I'm pretty happy to stay on them for the rest of my life if need be.

Even if they do up my risk of strokes and heart attacks.

Definitely in a video game mood today, but I'm not sure what I want to play. Kind of in the mood for something epic and long-lasting. I'm thinking perhaps I might dig out my copy of FFV for the DS and start up a game in that. It's been so long since I've played it that restarting will feel kind of nice. And it's a great game for power-leveling, with the job system it has. Plus it's one of my favourite Final Fantasy games of all time, so it deserves another good playthrough.

It's been a while since I've had a good geek-out. Nerdygeek, not musicgeek or craftgeek or bookgeek. A much more conventional definition of geek.

Though it seems I'm many flavours of geek. Like a geeky neopolitan ice cream.
lighterthanair: Bat-Mavis, from Hotel Transylvania (shiny!)
Sometimes I miss being young and stupid.

I'm going over very old entries in an old LJ of mine (hunting for some old song lyrics that wrote down years and years ago), and as usual when I do so, I'm experiencing two emotions.

The first is tension and fear, because I wrote a lot about my family and home situation at the time. It wasn't a happy one. I know now that my father was suffering from undiagnosed and untreated depression in addition to chronic pain, which made our relationship a rocky one on the best of days. It wasn't an easy situation for either of us. But I still experience a lot of negativity reading about things he used to say or do.

But the second emotion I feel reading through this is a sort of envy of my old (by which I mean "younger") self. I look at what I used to write about, and I wish my life could be that simple and enjoyable now. If you ignore the entries about family problems, my life was filled with obsessions, fun things. Video game updates, raving about how much fun it was to go to see the Lord of the Rings movies umpteen times, spending money on action figures, making geeky jokes and references to obscure anime (because at the time, so much of anime was obscure, or at least far nmore so than it is now) or making random geeky observations. I used to draw for no reason other than that I liked to draw.

Now? My life is considerably more adult. I may be making more money, and I have more independence now than I did then, but growing up seems to have sucked so much fun out of my life. Or at least changed how I express it. So much has changed, and I'm not entirely sure I like it. I wish I could go back to those days, or at least some of that mentality.

Now yes, part of that mentality and expression came about because I too was depressed, manic, and untreated. And I rather like being more level in my emotions, because it makes the hard times easier and it make me better able to understand the world around me. But I do miss the sheer highs that I used to get over the simplest things. Finding an action figure I wanted. Renting a video game that sounded fun. Staying up until 4 AM playing said game because I didn't have any reason not to. Making stupid sketches of silly ideas, drawn badly but still drawn. recounting snippets of conversation with friends and coworkers.

It isn't that I don't have my passions. I still geek out over things. I still get obsessed with books, anime, video games, TV shows, movies. But I don't celebrate it as much. I don't flaunt it. I don't find a cool geekly t-shirt and try to get one for myself. I don't have mental conversations with someone else's characters. I don't have massive RP sessions with strangers. I don't spend entire days writing fiction based on epic detailed dreams I had the previous night.

And there's no reason why I can't do that, I suppose. I could very easily go back to that kind of living, only better because I'm more emotionally balanced and don't have those lows to counter the highs.

But (and isn't there always a 'but')...

I don't know if it's the adult part of me or the cynical part of me that keeps giving me reasons why I can't do that. I could list reasons like counting on my fingers, and I don't know anymore if those reasons are good ones, or if I'm just making excuses not to be happy.

I have an image developed for myself online, and certain expectations to meet in the blogs that I do. True, that's less applicable for person blogs like this as opposed to my book review blog, for example, but I still have this irrational fear that fangirling over something here will bite me in the ass there. If I make comments here about how Dev and Kiran desperately need to get a room, am I going to suddenly find that Courtney Schafer wants nothing more to do with me? (Okay, bad example, because I think she'd find that hilarious, and I'm still not convinced she didn't intend that dynamic in the first place...) Are people suddenly going to stop reading my reviews out of protest if they discover this blog, put two and two together, and learn that I'm a yaoi fan?

I think part of that problem comes down to the fact that I've forgotten how to live privately instead of publically, at least where blogs are concerned. Some blogs I write entirely for public consumption, and image is something to be concerned with. And as much as this blog is a person one, it's still somewhat public, but I'm far less careful here. This blog is as much for me as it is for anyone else who reads it. And I think I've forgotten that this means I get to write for me here, instead of others.

Another piece of my brain cautions me against doing what I crave doing because I've seen what kind of life that leads to. Geeking out now and again, letting it show in public, wearing a nerdy t-shirt because I like it, putting an action figure on my desk at work. I think about that, and it makes me smile, and then I think of a guy I used to know who didn't seem to be able to drop the geekiness when real life required it. He's a kind of scruffy embodiment of the negative connotations of otaku. Files his fingernails to points, LARPs, carries a staff everywhere he goes, wears a desk of RP playing cards in a pouch around his neck, has been known to walk around uptown singing anime theme songs. And call me judgemental, but I don't want that to be me. And I know, sadly, that if I show my more geeky side in public, go back to allowing myself some more fangirl moments, that people are going to see me that way.

And really, why should I care? Who really cares, when you get right down to it, and why should I care if they care? If someone sneers at me for wearing a t-shirt with the crest of Valdemar on it, I know I shouldn't let that get to me. If I buy an action figure or two from an awesome movie or anime or whatever, is it going to kill me?

This is where my therapist would be in the "so what" 3-part question.

1) Is the world going to end if I do this?
2) Since the obvious answer is no, the world isn't actually going to end, then what are my options?
3) Since mastery only comes through a series of successes and failures, how will I handle it if I fail?

These things are meant to be an aid to overcoming anxiety, and I think anxiety is part of what's stopping me, in the end, from going back to the things I loved. It's just taking a different form than it used to. And it's harder to recognize as anxiety sometimes, but when I get right down to it, that's what it is.

For example, I've been avoiding doing certain things because I want to do them in a certain way. There's a video game I've been wanting to play again lately, but I wanted to play it via my laptop and record it so that I could edit the video and upload them to YouTube, for gits and shiggles. And because I can think of any number of reasons why that might not be a good idea (editing the video will take a while, setting up the recording will be a pain, I'll feel incredibly self-conscious of my mistakes, I'll want to do it all perfectly), I haven't bothered. I haven't even bothered playing it for my own enjoyment. I've just neglected it. And this is a game that I rebought a copy of because my previous copy broke. I did that months ago. I haven't even opened the new copy of the game, because I was waiting for the right moment.

Fear of a lack of perfection, fear of how people will perceive me, it's holding me back from actually having fun in my life.

And that's no good.

I used to hate who I was, and used to go to great lengths to try to be more like the people I admired. Now I think it's kind of ironic that now, I wish I could be more of who I was then. My fear took a different form then, so now, it seems preferable. Big deal if I was too afraid to leave the house somedays then? I didn't have to. I had a part-time job to give me spending money, lived with my parents and had few responsibilities, so fear like that didn't cripple me like it does now. Now, giving in to that fear means giving up 20% of a week's pay, being the difference between paying the bills or not, losing a job or keeping it. Then, pfft, it meant a bit of guilt but it also meant getting to lie in bed and play video games for a whole day while listening to awesome music.

(And my random playlist brings up Adam Lambert's Aftermath as I'm writing this, which is a little too fitting for what I'm writing. The lyrics, for those who don't feel like listening to the song.)

I can't do that now. I can't return entirely to that kind of living, because growing up has made it impossible. One form of freedom was traded for another, and I have to live with that. But that doesn't mean I have to throw aside the good things that used to be. I can still get some of them back, right?

So you know what? I'm going to do that. I have to go and get some groceries today, and make soup, but once I'm done with that, I'm going to stick in that video game and I'm going to play it, because I can and because I want to. And I'm going to enjoy it, because I know that I will. And I'm going to talk about it because I enjoy it.

I shouldn't have to miss having fun. Being an adult doesn't mean being humourless.
lighterthanair: (gaming)
After a couple of days of crap at work, it's really nice to be able to sit at my computer right now and think, "I'm going to talk about happy things!"

First, I checked my bank account the day before yesterday and discovered $100 more than I was expecting to be in there. I couldn't figure out where it came from, until I saw a deposit for my GST reimbursement thingy. Almost $100 as an expected windfall. This made me really happy, because it meant that I could buy myself a copy of one of the new Pokemon games without waiting for my next paycheque, which was going to be a tight one anyway even if I didn't buy the game.

But then I thought that boo, the game's not gue to be released here until Tuesday. The North American release date is technically October 7, but when sites say "North America", they always just mean "America," because Canada always seems to get video games a day late. And with today being Thanksgiving, that would mean I couldn't pick it up until Tuesday, and then would pretty much have to go straight to work and wouldn't have much time to play it.

But then I heard rumours that WalMart had once again ignored the game's street date and released it early. So I figured I'd check it out, since I had to run errands anyway.

Looks like for once Canada actually got the games without having to wait the extra day, so I happily picked up a copy of Black2 while I was doing my errands yesterday. This practically made me do a happy dance, though I confess to a twinge of guilt because I still haven't actually finished Black or White yet...

But then I ran into a dilemma. See, if I beat the game on Black2, I can unlock Challenge Mode, which ups the ante by boosting levels of trainers and giving Gym Leaders more Pokemon to work with. Perfect! I love a good challenge! Problem is that I also want one of the dowloadable Pokemon that's availably for this game, Genesect, which adds some extra plot stuff and is just generally a cool Pokemon. But if I got that now and restarted my game on Challenge Mode, I'd lose it. So my challenge to get to Challenge Mode is to beat the game before November 12 so that I can restart in Challenge Mode and download Genesect.

Trust me to find a challenge in trying to get an even greater challenge.

Anyway, back to all the good stuff!

While I was out, I decided to stop by the Java Moose and see how much their bottles of chai syrup were. They were less expensive than I thought: $14.99 when I was expecting at least $20. So I bought a bottle, and now I can have iced chai at home, and add chai shots to my hot chocolate. They have plenty of other flavours, too, and I can't wait to buy a few more!

Then it was out to Thanksgiving dinner with a friend's family. It was a small gathering, just 5 people. Unlike the usual gatherings at their house, which often involves at least 7 adults plus 2 kids, and that many people is just overwhelming for me even before you bring the kids into the picture. But a small gathering at a tasty meal was just right, so I was thankful for that!

And there were so many leftovers that we all got send home with a plate of food. My friend also got sent home with a partridge his father had recently hunted, and he said he'd come over and fry it up and we could share it. I've never had partridge before, but I hear it's good. And I'm glad it's not going to waste, since if he hadn't taken it, his father was likely to end up so busy with work this coming week that he wouldn't have had the time to cook it.

So I have plenty of food for the next few days, a new video game to play, and the knowledge that even though it's my regular day off work, I'm still getting paid for it because of the holiday, so my paycheque at the end of the month ought to be a little larger than I was budgeting for. This all feels very nice.

So now I'm going to drink the rest of my tea, and go play some more Pokemon. A good day? Yes, I think so.
lighterthanair: (focus)
Dammit, I'm going to do everything in my power to make today better than the last two days! Yesterday wasn't any better than Wednesday, and there was more than one moment where I was almost in tears from sheer frustration and being overwhelmed. I managed to take a minute and calm down, but still, that isn't a good thing. I know that all jobs have their hard days, but it's like the past couple of days have been nothing but crap.

At least I got an hour off the phone yesterday toward the end of my shift, to do some location research. Having that break made things so much easier. It gave me an hour to step back, to just read and listen to audio presentations, and just generally relax so that the last half hour on the phones was much easier to handle than the first four.

And as much as it looked like my handle time was going to be shot again, I managed to salvage it by the end.

But today, I will make it better. I don't care what that takes. If that means have to spend $2 on a treat from the vending machine, I'll do it. If that means I put aside a callback until tomorrow, fine. But if I have another day like yesterday and the day before, I'm probably going to end up doing or saying something that I'll regret.

Yes, it's been that bad.

I'm not happy about having to leave early (I enjoy days where I get to lie on the couch for an hour or two and read), but I'm heading out east to Gamestop, to download a Keldeo for Pokemon Black and White. It's one of the last days of the giveaway, and I've been putting it off for weeks, and I don't want this chance to pass me by. I have a copy of each game, so I'll be downloading one for each. No reason why not to, after all.

Maybe while I'm out there, I'll get myself a pumpkin spice muffin from Tim Horton's. They only sell them during October, and they're really tasty. They have a dollop of cream in the centre, and have sugared pumpkin seeds all throughout them, and I could just eat them for days.

I really ought to learn how to make my own. They wouldn't be the same, but I bet I could still make tasty ones. And I could make them year round, if I really wanted.

And at least I'll be able to read during the long bus ride, too. I have to read more of Michael Sullivan's Theft of Swords. it's such a long book that reading through it feels annoyingly slow, like I'm not making much progress. An hour of bus time will help with that, I don't doubt.

And then after I get off work tonight, I only have one day left, and then I can have some blissful days off. One of those days will be spent at a friend's family's house for Thanksgiving dinner, which might make me fret about how little time I have, but I'm going to try to squash that down for the sake of anxiety recovery. I need to get used to being around people. It's not like they're going away any time soon.

(Still wish I could just hole myself up inside my apartment and read or embroider all day, though.)
Like with many games, I started a new Minecraft game because I was getting tired of how my house looked in my first game, and I couldn't be bothered to tear it down and start over. So, new game it is.

I've been making some good headway. My new game started on a small island with a hill, a perfect size for the castle I wanted to create. So I spent the last while tearing down the hill, making sure the land is flat, and piling up large amounts of cobblestone blocks into 5-block high walls around the whole island. I laid down the outlines of where I wanted the rooms to be, then started working on the roof.

So far, I have about half the roof finished, and most of the interior walls built up.

Once I get done the first floor, I plan to add on a second floor, too. Plus turrets. Possibly a glass observation tower at the very top, just because I can. That's part of the fun of Minecraft. Even if it can be a bit of a pain to get all the materials together, there's really nothing stopping you from building whatever you want, however you want it.

Food isn't a problem, thanks to a large patch of grass on my island. I gathered the seeds and started growing wheat, and now have a good supply of it.

Same with wood. Since I denuded my own island to take it back to bare earth, I expanded a neary little island and planted saplings there, so that I'd always have a steady supply of wood when I need it.

The downside is that I'm really running out of cobblestone that's easily accessible, and I've still got a lot of building to do. This is going to mean trips into the wilderness, and the building of temporary cabins so that I don't get exploded by Creepers or eaten by zombies or spiders. And while I don't really have a problem with this plan, some part of me feels annoyed when I have to build temporary cabins only to tear them down later. It seems like a waste, of time if not resources.

But it's either that or get face-raped by night creatures, and I'd rather build those temporary cabins than die constantly. And I need the stone, after all. True, I could always just dig under my castle island, but I worked so hard already to make that land nice and flat, and I don't want to have to ruin that just to get a few more cobblestones. I'll just go somewhere else and ruin their scenery instead!

This game, honestly, is far too addictive. It kept me up until almost 2 in the morning last night, and considering I've been used to going to bed at around 11, sometimes a little earlier, that's saying something!

Oh dear...

Aug. 31st, 2012 05:31 pm
Last night, a friend bought me Minecraft. I fully expect that I might never see direct sunlight again.

Well, not really, because I went out today and bought some stuff (purple hair dye, a sarong, some Ribena) and had a delicious meal (smoke salmon sushi from Boaz is incredible, by the way). But really, Minecraft is very addictive. So far I've died only once (a zombie killed me), but I've built a very simple house, learned how to make torches, and had to kill a pig and eat it raw in order to avoid starving.

That's just in my single-player game, though. In the multiplayer game going on D's server (D's the guy who bought the game for me), he outfitted me with the best tools, gave me a house he'd already made, and we played around with Firebending (because shooting fireballs at friends is a solid way to spend an evening). But it occurred to me this morning that I'd like to learn how the game actually works, and starting right at the beginning with no special perks afforded by friends is a good way to do that. So I'm learning the basics, and will be prepared for when I hang out on D's server again.

So now I'm going to drink some sparkling Pink Lady apple juice, eat some blackberry candy, and play more Minecraft. Maybe I'll start digging under a mountain and get enough stone to replace my wooden walls with something sturdier.

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