Feb. 21st, 2011

another year begins!

Ok, so I had an excellent birthday weekend all around. Got to see some old friends I haven't seen in a while, and had delicious food, and subjected my father to a Disney movie musical (we went to see Tangled - thanks, Dad!), and did not get a damn thing done on my housekeeping.

I am debating getting a jigsaw puzzle to set up in my bedroom. How much do I really want a puzzle, or will I lose several days to obsessive concentration over it? Hmmm.

Still working on some art, but it's been days since I've actually drawn anything, or sewn anything. Just been very busy, and had some books taking up time. (Dude, my phone now has an ebook reader on it. It holds my place when I close it down! Damn, this phone is awesome!)

I may need to create my own three- or four-day weekend once I get things under control at work, so that I can do crafty things and household things. I swear, if I don't take my recycling to the center by the end of the week, I am going to be wading through paper and plastic to get to the kitchen.

Speaking of work, things are still good, but busy, and the tedious kind of busy instead of the frantic deadline-heavy busy. There are some repetitive data-management tasks that just have to be done manually until we get a better system in place.

For various reasons I am feeling very good about my general health, and I have exercised today in hopes of maintaining it. I still need to figure out some way to get my swim on during the day, but perhaps this year will be the one.

And in other news, tragedy at the grocery store today: no kale to be found! Woe! I'll have to remember to swing by the farmer's market for some tomorrow.

In other other news, I'm watching Book 2 of Avatar: The Last Airbender, and i just noticed that the wall behind the throne of the Earth King is designed to look like a badger mole. Awesome!

Today's card is the Three of Earth from the Gaian Tarot.
Three of Earth, Gaian Tarot )
This card is about teamwork, synergy, and community creation. I hope that means that some of what I'm doing both online and off with friends and allies will bear great fruit in the coming year. I look forward to working with friends on exciting projects.

And now I should try to sleep.

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Jan. 4th, 2011

new year, new germs

Well, I'm sick. Had a pretty miserable night last night, but I feel a lot better today. Flying with head congestion really, really sucked, even after taking meds. Blah.
But now I'm home, and hopefully I will sleep better tonight than last night, and be able to go in to work tomorrow.
Mom and I ran a few errands today, and that was good because it meant I got out of bed and did stuff.
Of course, today was supposed to be a day off to clean and organize my house for the New Year, and after a week of holiday parties and chaotic trip prep, then a week away, my house is messy, my fridge is mostly empty, and my bedroom is piled high with bags that need to be unpacked and sorted. Whee!
So probably shortly I will take my next dose of meds, make some more tea, put on a movie, and get to the unpacking / organizing.

In other news, Pete Postlethwaite died over the weekend. What a loss. He's been a household favorite here since the Sharpe series, but his other roles were all awesome, too. I was possibly the only person in the theater for Inception who clapped her hands and squealed, "It's Pete Postlethwaite," when he was first on screen. Yeah, I did that. He was too young, and I'm sad for his family and friends, and for all his fans.

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Nov. 30th, 2010

end of semester!

Ok, I have just completed my last evening of Latin translation homework for the semester. w00t! I've had a ton of fun in class but I can't deny I will be so happy that I will have free time again. I want to draw and quilt a whole lot more in 2011.

So, things to do: stock up on band-aids. I thought I had some (I may in fact have some somewhere), but when I sliced my thumb open on the cheese grater (talent, I know) I couldn't find any. So I'm typing this with gauze taped all over my thumb.

Once the Latin Final is done, it'll be time to get my Capricorn on for the Merlin Zodiac Art Challenge. And I still have a big list of exchanges, fests, and challenges to work on.

Time for ice cream and Avatar: The Last Airbender before bed.

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Nov. 18th, 2010

life imitates art

I just got home from a very enjoyable evening at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston with my Continuing Studies Advanced Visual Arts classmates and our teacher. We stormed the European Galleries building and saw lots of cool stuff, but more importantly discussed the lives and times of many artists, the tragedies and joys and physical hardships that influenced their work. We also did a lot of interesting technical discussion, on media and material, the function and meaning of art in its various times, and the nature of aesthetics. It was great.
I love visiting museums with people, although I admit I am not always a good co-museum-visitor. I tend to bounce from place to place without rhyme or reason, only occasionally reading the signs, or I will systematically go through a gallery in such a way as to hit every single piece in the least number of steps. Or sometimes I'll just sit on a bench and slowly rotate my view until I've taken it all in.
So now I want to paint. I have paints, even, but not much time. I need to get my workspace set up so that I can leave my in-progress stuff on the drafting table and not have to do an elaborate song-and-dance every time I want to paint.

In other news, photos have been posted from the epic week of Jaye, including some nice ones of Houston sights, but nothing from the Observatory because I left my camera at home. Besides, it was dark. Still, our tours of the various small telescopes on the terrace and the two big research domes at the George Observatory were excellent. We did a lot of running around in the dark with our hands in the air squeeing, "Space! It's really big!" Seriously. I mean, people who know us will just know that we did exactly that, but it's not a cute text message code or something. We jumped up and down and waved our arms in the "touchdown" manner.
It was awesome.

As for the Zoo, I may need to go back one day just to sit around the elephant enclosure for a while because, OMG BABY ELEPHANTS! So adorable.
One of them tried very hard to escape from the stalls where they were being bathed, and the tiny one kept poking his trunk through the bars at his slightly bigger friend as if to say, "Hey, Baylor? Wanna play? Huh? Huh? Huh?"

Latin continues to be hilarious in the way that it can be for me since my grade is just so much happy funtimes. We're reading about the martyrdom of St Alban in Bede's Ecclesiastical History of Britain. It's funny, but the medieval stuff really is easier, despite the way that it warps the Classical grammar and conventions. Medieval Latin syntax starts to resemble English syntax, so it's amazingly simple to connect concepts. Sometimes there are things that are just weird, but so far it's been very straightforward and also quite fascinating. I may ask about auditing next semester after all - if the professor doesn't mind a tourist.

I had my first of four dental visits this afternoon, and spent the latter half of my workday with a Novocain-induced numb jaw. I had to hold a napkin to my mouth for part of it because I was drooling all over my desk. Very professional. Still, at least it's done, and I can get all of it done now before I need any major surgical work. I am thankful that it's a relatively straightforward couple of procedures.
Although I do have to say, contrary to the conversation I had at lunch with coworkers, those needles they used to numb my jaw were HUGE! HUUUUGE!

Now I am going to do some translating, and mourn the fact that I haven't been able to draw all week. Perhaps this weekend.

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Oct. 22nd, 2010

fun times with doctors and dentists

So the last 36 hours have been interesting. medical, not too graphic but I did get blood drawn )

Yay! Also, I posted my poll with bonus ticky boxes at LJ, since I didn't know you couldn't take it on dreamwidth if you didn't log in somehow.

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Jun. 16th, 2010

life, the universe, and fandom fail

I exercised today. It's stupidly rare that I can say that, although I'm going to try to do so more often. I was feeling horrid after I got home from work, and after lolling around for a bit I did one of those one-mile walking workouts from an On Demand video, and now I feel a bit better.  Certainly I got plenty sweaty, and no longer felt quite so exhausted. I still need to try to sleep better, but it's a start.

Today I had some really exciting ideas for stories, and have been thinking about doing some of my Women are Awesome table about Aenola, one of my original characters, who is an underground doctor in an Empire where her people are forbidden such practices, to see if I can get a handle on her and the larger story going on around her.  It may be that by concentrating on the smaller stories I can eventually find the main plot, anyhow.  She's a cool character, but one I fear has some problematic elements. 

Recently some fail in a fandom I don't follow washed up on my flist, because my flist is full of the brave and wonderful folks who talk about the tough and painful and angry-making topics.  I appreciate them all the time, but I don't often signal-boost myself mostly because I don't blog so often these days.  I try to signal-boost in real life, though. It's amazing what mentioning racebending.com in conversation can bring up for the casual listener, really. Even if they don't really understand the concept at first. Talking about stuff like this in real life also serves as a reminder that what I think of as this wide, vast world of internet fandom is really just a teeny tiny slice of the world. I think it's healthy to have that reminder, sometimes, in addition to realizing just how far the signal might need to be boosted to break out of a particular fandom orbit.

So, with that in mind, I really want to link this post: How Could They? How Could Anyone? by [dreamwidth.org profile] facetofcathy, and to this one: The Elephant in the Room by Elizabeth Bluemle.
They aren't directly related to each other (although I found links to both in [dreamwidth.org profile] bookshop's blog, as well as disparate citings in other places), but they both address a core society fail, as it were.
There is a roundup of links about the recent fandom fail and various race and racebending stuff over here at amazonziti, for anybody who wants to get a really clear picture of what went down.

And in related and awesome racebending news, [dreamwidth.org profile] glockgal has produced some racebended Supernatural art that is politically powerful and generally awesome. Dude, I don't follow that fandom but that is some hot fanart right there.  (Work safe, rated PG, and did I mention AWESOME?)

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Sep. 21st, 2009

sick day

As some folks already know, I spent today being sick. Ugh.  I still have a low-grade fever, and the persistance of that will determine whether or not I go to work tomorrow.
I spent this morning at the emergency clinic with Awesome!Chauffeur!Dad, and then the rest of the day in varying stages of sleep or eating under Mom's eye.
Now I'm taking advantage of brief moments of concentration and hoping that I can sleep through the night. Or at least large chunks of it.

Apr. 2nd, 2009

adventures in moving

So it was pouring rain this morning, but the storm had blown through by the time the movers arrived. 
Adventure the First: in securing the dog, I was sure that I had accidentally let the cat outside, which wasn't a terrible crisis necessarily but it's always worrying in a neighborhood so rife with strays.  We fretted about that while the guys moved the boxes and stuff, and searched the house to no avail.
Well, Peter called me when I was at the new place unloading to tell me that the cat was found, in a busy corner of the garage.

Adventure the Second: arrived at apartment, began unloading process. No problems with any of the boxes or furniture, and the place is well-lit by daylight and relatively cool, so at first I don't realize that the electricity is completely out. Finally somebody tries to turn on the bathroom lights without success, and I flip every switch and realize that while the fridge and AC are apparently on standby, the power is pretty much out.
So I call Gexa who calls Centerpoint who says the power is on from their end, check the breaker box. So I call maintenance and they come by and fiddle and lo, the lights work.
Well, not quite.
I turned the AC on, and the lights flickered, then next time I went to hit the switch, nothing.  The AC is blowing but now the lights AND the fridge have gone off.  Hm.
Call maintenance again (by this time the movers are done and gone) and they come by and promise to have things fixed this afternoon, so I go to lunch with mom.  When I get back, still no power, but there's a maintenance guy out by the boxes. 
Hopefully by the time I get to sleeping at the place, the power will be reliably back on.

Also, the doc has taken me off the meds and says to see how I do in my new situation with acupuncture and tai chi and everything. Mostly it's the diet - continuing to do either the No Sugar/Flour Food Plan or the modified hypoglycemic food plan - that may make a difference. I'm to report back in three months, unless the symptoms get worse or change drastically.

So that's that.

Mar. 29th, 2009

still packing

Packing, shopping for a bed, figuring out that maybe I'm hypoglycemic in addition to the stomach issues because I almost passed out and was shaking Friday night and had to miss a birthday gathering for a friend because I didn't trust myself to drive.  :(
But Saturday was much better and I watched what I ate and there were birthday people to greet and a party to go to. (Why is almost everybody I know born in March?) Donna and Jon and Lando the Magnificent Walking, Babbling, Playing Boy met me for Donna's birthday lunch, and have now seen my apartment, empty and echoing. Lando christened it with drool and laughter, so yay.

Then I went to my cousin Dave's birthday party, which was a live action role-playing card game called Long Live the King.  It was pretty awesome, although I was still trying to control my headachy symptoms (plus even I get a couple weeks when the pollen wreaks havoc with my sinuses).  I played the Archbishop with a 3-minute Mitre made of construction paper, while there were vast levels of costumery among the other folks.  From simple tunics and capes to full-on Henry VIII style gear, it was a good night for costumes.
I didn't know most of the people there, because this cousin was one of the ones that I used to see only for Christmas each year, if then.  But he's discovered that I'm a geek and a gamer, so now I get invited to these things. :)
It was a fun time, but as with many of these games, I think that the next time it's played, things will go much more smoothly.  Last night we were a bit confused about what we could and could not do, and nobody knew exactly how to win. It always takes at least one round for the players to really grok the strategy.  So, I can only hope we find excuses to play again!

Also, another cousin had a birthday last week (and I should have e-mailed him or something - bad me.) and Peter and Hillary are Tuesday and today, respectively.
March - a popular month for being born.

Today mom and I have made it our mission to buy me a bed, and then I have to get the rest of the assorted misc junk off my floor and shelves and into boxes, because the movers are coming on THURSDAY. Yeep.

Mar. 14th, 2009

fun friday, busy saturday

Happy Pi Day!

Last night I went to see Jonathan Coulton with Paul & Storm, of whom I had never really heard before last summer, nor ever seen perform, whether on youtube or live.  It was a really fantastic performance with lots of humor and audience interaction. Paul and Storm's opening show had me falling over laughing. Jonathan broke a string on his guitar in the first song, then later discovered his mouth harp was in the frame backwards. It being Friday the 13th, he joked, of course things went a bit awry. But none of that really interfered with the show, or the music. I could have done without the hair-flinging, loud-singing guy sitting one row down from me, but every concert-goer has crosses to bear, and as concerts go a hair-flinging, loud-singing obnoxious dude is better than drunken groping or being fallen on.
At one point near the end the entire balcony was doing Thriller-type zombie gesturing from their seats while shouting "All we want to do is eat your brains." Yeah. Nerds in groups. I should have taken photos. (The few I did take will be posted later, mostly of House of Blues itself.)
I went out with a party of six folks from the Houston SFF community, all active con-goers or organizers. We had dinner first with a few of them, then met at House of Blues downtown, where there were a bunch of other local nerds that folks in my party knew.  We ended up with seating right near each other in the balcony, oddly enough.
After the concert, we all went to a diner/coffeehouse on Westheimer and had food and drink and conversation until after midnight.  I did not get back to my car (I'd been ridesharing to avoid the downtown/midtown parking crunch) until 1:30 am. 
I haven't had a night out like that in quite some time, so it was pretty awesome.

Today I woke up at an ungodly hour to take care of my unruly stomach (it's pretty much a clockwork alarm all on its own - 6:25 am it wakes me without fail, just before my alarm.  I nibbled on a rice cracker and some orange juice and chatted with mom for a few minutes, then crashed again. I got up for real at about 11, and looked soberly at the packing I should be doing...  and turned away.
Instead, I cut some batting and the backing fabric for the quilt in progress, pinned it all together and trimmed it, and now I'm working on attaching the border pieces to the front before getting in there with the machine quilting.
Ideally I would like to have this finished in time to take it to New York at the end of April and present it to the recipients in person. I may not finish it before I move, but I'll definitely try to get as much done as possible before then, and keep the pieces in a separate box so I can find them pronto in the new place.

I just finished giving the kitchen floor a sweep and clean and mop, so I'm taking a sit-down break in front of a fan to type this up. My only minor angst today is that I really wanted to watch Ghostbusters while I did my sewing but I couldn't find the DVD.  I am pretty sure that I actually bought my own copy, but I could be mistaken. (Sorting out my stuff from the family stuff will be such fun!)  I put on The Last Unicorn  with Real Genius in the bullpen instead. 

Ok, and Dad just told me a joke he heard on Prairie Home Companion and I didn't know enough about music to get the pun in the punchline without clarification. FAIL.  :P   He needs to tell it to Peter.

Mar. 8th, 2009

quilt making and other stuff

Good: finished the quilt top, except for the photos, which can be put in later on top of the quilting.
Bad: couldn't print the photos because my printer is borked and full of blots, and the parental printer is out of color ink.  D'oh.

But it was a good day for progress.
Had a mediocre weekend health-wise, with some downs and some okays, and even this afternoon when things were really good.
Did not go to the art museum, but will hopefully get that in soon. 
I need to start making some lists in anticipation of my move, whenever that ends up being.

Haven't finished my art for Wednesday yet. Coming up on a series of deadlines now, plus I'm now signed up for THREE Big Bangs in a row this summer.  Geez. Not only is it con season, but I've signed up to illustrate novellas in two fandoms.  Fun times, indeed. ;)  At least there isn't any active overlap in production time, nor any crucial overlap with my travel times.

And now, snack time then bed, with fanfic. Yay fanfic.

Dec. 1st, 2008

December already?

So, er, yeah. I'm still here, still doing stuff, getting behind on the writing but all caught up on the art at last. Looking forward to traveling at the end of the month although I will need to stock up on Airborne for the trip. Egads, it looks cold up there.
Thanksgiving was a festival of drinking, eating, movies, games, cleaning, sorting, drawing, reading, and lazing about. There was also some unfortunate GI distress, which has prompted me to make an appointment to discuss the pharmaceutical option with my doctor. Ever since he ran down the typical symptoms, I've been noticing ones that I hadn't really connected with IBS before. Plus I can't eat anything, it seems, without a lot of discomfort.
We're doing the Food Plan again so we didn't actually make Thanksgiving foods at home, and partook of them sparingly at my aunt's. I am trying to be more diligent about the food diary. With sickness came the inevitable holiday depression, although thankfully that didn't last too long. Somehow I have in my head that achieving a certain level of crafty productivity will mean I never feel depressed again. But experience shows that no matter how many works of art I produce, I will still occasionally be sad. Such is life.
Mom and I watched her favorite reality TV program yesterday: Smart People Doing Real Stuff. The NASA Channel had live radio and video feeds from Mission Control and the cockpit as the shuttle landed. It was pretty cool.
Now that all of my anonymous exchange art is turned in for the next month and a half, I hope to do some work that I can post free and clear, as well as participate in various December writing games, and of course I have a quilt to make. Need to print the photos for that. And find the final important design element to print and applique. It's something very specific, but that has many variations, so I will probably be scouring various sources for a good one. (And I'm hoping that part of it, at least, will be a surprise, as it is a gift.)
And here, since it's December: a meme about Christmas.
Hey, I can start playing my Holiday Playlist now! w00t!

Christmas meme )

Oct. 28th, 2008

medical, political

Biopsy came back negative. I do not have celiac disease.  It's probably IBS. I've been offered pharmaceutical miracles, but am holding off for now to explore alternatives.  The doc is ok with this, as my symptoms are not horribly debilitating or bringing about significant loss of quality of life.

While I've supported many political causes and the Democratic Party in general this election cycle, I have only given money to two Congressional campaigns outside my own state. I'm sure everybody reading this knows me well enough to guess that the first has been Dennis Kucinich in Ohio.

The other is Al Franken in Minnesota. He's getting a lot of flack these days, so here, have an interesting article about him. And his books are really good, too.

How the press and his critics misunderstand Al Franken. - By Jonathan Chait - Slate Magazine

Oct. 24th, 2008


It feels weird to have a gap in waking memory. I don't think I've ever had quite so many devices attached to my person, not even when I had my appendectomy, and then I distinctly remember turning to look at the monitor in the little procedure room and then - nothing. I don't even remember the doctor coming in - I remember he made a joke about his hair (or lack thereof) before he left to put on his gown.  It's probably for the best that I don't remember anything, but it's odd nonetheless because I don't think I was ever actually unconscious.
Big fat gap and I don't even really recall leaving the room again - nothing much at all until Mom appeared at the foot of the bed and the nurse took out my IV. It's really bizarre. Now I understand why those memory-affecting drugs like rohypnol are so scary.
Everything looked normal, they took two biopsies, and gave me photos! Eeee! I have pictures of my insides!  (I am always after doctors to give me copies of my tests - CAT scans, laproscopic images, x-rays, ultrasounds, whatever - and they very rarely can or do give them to me.) The report had three photos and a summary of the initial visual assessment.  That and my sore throat are all the evidence I have that I actually got the procedure done at all.
I'll be getting the report back in 7-10 days. Hopefully this will clear some things up and give me a new direction for my dietary explorations.
Medical science is cool.
Tags: ,

Oct. 20th, 2008


For those keeping score at home, I went to the doc this afternoon to check in on my burn, since I had so many folks suggesting all sorts of terrible infections I might be getting or injuries I might have.
Everything is fine.  He and the nurse had never heard of using honey for treatment, but they had no objections. The doc, in fact, said, "whatever you've been doing has been working."
He did give me a scrip for silvadene but said that it's up to me whether to use it or continue as I've been.

So, yes, it's a second-degree burn and that means that it will hurt for at least a week, probably more, as it heals, but unless I get physical signs of infection (I was well briefed), all will be well.

Oct. 19th, 2008

Art and Wound progress

More photos:

ew, yucky burn under cut )
The burn photo is tiny.

Completed grid sketch
Completed sketch, with 14" ruler for scale. It's actually a bit too dark, I may have to use a lightbox and re-draw it.

It was such a great exercise, I should probably make a point of drawing right-handed regularly.


So the other day I burned my forearm while I was cooking.  Somehow I managed to unbalance the pan lid I had in my hand and it flipped back and got caught under my watch. When I was applying ice to it in the initial aftermath, I accidentally touched the loose skin and opened it, so then it was a big ugly burn AND an open blister. I had it under a loose gauze at work on Friday, with Vitamin E oil on it. Yesterday I purchased some raw honey, since that is esupposed to be even better than Vit E for reducing scarring, eliminating infection, and whatnot.
The thing is that with the honey on the burn, I can't put gauze on it anymore. It sticks, and is bloody painful to remove. I found that out the hard way.
So now I have all this honey smeared on my arm (which throbs at random moments) and it gets on everything unless I am extraordinarily careful in the way that I move.  I can't even fold my laundry.
The kicker? It's my left arm.  I make a tremendous mess when I try to draw, either with traditional materials or my tablet. If I don't put the honey on, then the wound still throbs anyhow, and boy will it scar good. I'd rather have the mess for a little while longer.
But I want to draw. *whine whine whine*
I am going to try doing a little bit of cleaning - most of the stuff on the floor and in the boxes can be touched/thrown away without risking it brushing my arm. (Which does hurt like a bitch in addition to getting honey all over whatever it is.)

A moment of humor, though: When I bought the honey, I went straight from the store to eSlate training, and began applying the honey during the lecture because my arm was throbbing. One of the girls at our table looked over and said, with horror, "Are you putting garlic on your burn?" Hee.

I wonder if I could tape a plastic lid or something over the burn... too bad those little Easter eggs are too small.
(Noting: I'm not looking for alternative treatments, the honey seems to really work - I can see the difference after a day. And the burn will hurt when I try to use my hand no matter what. Just venting, and being amused.)

Oct. 8th, 2008

quick update

Gastroenterologist went over all my blood tests with me in detail and concluded that it's unlikely I actually have celiac disease. He's betting it's IBS. I'm going for an endoscopy and biopsy in a couple of weeks to be certain.

Aug. 8th, 2008

a moment of yay

People, traditional injera bread is gluten-free. It's made from teff! I <3 teff! Three cheers for teff!

And unlike the NYC restaurants where you have to call ahead, apparently my local joint serves 100% teff injera every day. Hooray!

(When next I am in NYC, though, I can call ahead to Ghenet and request gluten-free injera for the following night.)

July 2014




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