jinian: (c'est la vie)
I had a nice date tonight, despite still having the last bits of the terrible cold I got on the airplane and having to duck out of the theater for a protracted coughing fit in the hallway, and arrived home to find an awesome Christmas present from one of the people I missed seeing in Seattle. (A set of four botanical fern-motif mugs and a Riot Grrl memoir, it's like they've met me before.) Carol is a beautiful movie which appreciates Cate Blanchett's loveliness of age as it should.
jinian: (no comment)
I'm behind on saying all the fun and horrible stuff that's been going on -- there's a lot of it -- but here is what's happened on my trip so far.

1. Woke up far too early before leaving Boston, and while cleaning out my bag discovered I had a razor blade in it by slicing the living fuck out of my right pinkie. This bled for over half an hour despite pressure, adequately distracting me from useful things like bringing along the key to the storage unit I have things in here in Seattle. I eventually stuck a cotton ball on it with a band-aid over the top, and it had stopped bleeding by my transfer in Dallas (after saturating the cotton ball and making a giant cotton-imbued scab). I ripped most of the cotton off and have been keeping it dry, since it seems to have sealed up all right. Probably could have used stitches, but timing prevented.

2. Too tired to do anything fun after arriving on Xmas eve. Came to Mom's and stared into space a lot, then went to sleep. The ongoing sinus thing was not helped by air travel.

3. Still exhausted on Christmas, but swapped gifts with Mom and cried some, then headed to my cousin's. Three out of five people living there had a stomach bug recently, but BCA swore no one had thrown up in two days and she'd disinfected the house thoroughly, so we got peer-pressured into going. (What did I come across the country for if not to see people, after all.) Had a pretty good time, would have liked to leave after about half the time we spent there as is usual for family gatherings.

4. Relaxing day on the 26th. Went to the hardware store to find paint chips for Mom's bedroom and bathroom now that she's moved upstairs into Dad's old space and planning to rent out the downstairs.

5. At 2:30am on the 27th, I started throwing up. At 4:00am on the 27th, Mom started throwing up. It went on for about 4 hours in both cases. I slept through as much of yesterday as I could, which also meant a good deal of knitting and watching Game of Thrones. Toward evening I managed some broth and saltines instead of just soda and water. (Exactly one person in attendance at Christmas did not get sick. The judgmental people looked with more favor upon those who'd decided not to come after that.) I'd intended to see people, but that was not happening.

6. The plan was for me to leave at 12:40am last night, with a transfer in Minneapolis. I was feeling awful enough that I rebooked a direct flight for this morning instead. I have now woken up far too early, of course, partly due to a very growly stomach. There is nothing in you, stomach, shut it. Feeling acceptable so far apart from that, though.
jinian: (queen of cups)
Mom wound up having much less energy for doing things than either of us expected, but it was okay and we still had a good time.

Tuesday we got discount tickets for things, and she went on a trolley tour while I worked a bit and hoped my boss would contact me about a Skype meeting. (He did not.) I gave up about four and we went home, read, petted cats, and watched tv. This is when I pointed out my romantic situation and she somehow jumped from my generally-friendly poly arrangement to lesbian drama specifically about the person who was a jerk to her recently and happens to be a lesbian. Sigh.

Wednesday I got a Zipcar and we drove up to Salem to the Peabody Essex Museum, where we vastly enjoyed the Strandbeest exhibit. I got to push one around and make its legs go! (video) The exhibit on Native fashion was also very well done, and we had perfectly reasonable pub lunch once we found a place that was open. Very cool outdoor stick art as well, tall thin nestlike houses.

Instead of going out to a movie, I showed her the Avengers, which she hadn't seen despite liking Iron Man and Thor. She recognized Mark Ruffalo, which as someone who knows him only from the MCU I was rather bewildered by. It's nice that I can just feed my visiting mom leftovers; I know not everyone has this relaxed attitude.

Thursday I had pottery class, and she chose not to come. It ran a bit long, but we managed to meet up at Shake Shack for lunch so I could pass on the gospel of the gingerbread milkshake. Then we went over to my work (one stop on the bus so we didn't have to walk, which gives you an idea of her mobility level) and I showed her my samples, the DNA robot, and the herbarium cabinets and sheets. We were planning on the department holiday party, but she wasn't really up for it and didn't mind not seeing the Natural History Museum (horrifying to me but there it is), so we went home in easy stages of walking and bus.

We talked about how she could maybe get her fitness up, but it's hard to be motivated about this stuff, and she's not sure how much of the problem is left over from her heart attack vs. joint problems. Motivation is even harder when you don't know if the annoying thing will help.

Unfortunately she didn't get to meet anyone except a couple of random co-workers and the annoying roommate (who was at least on good behavior). The roommate I like lent her his bed, so at least she had a good impression of him from a distance!

I'm more worried now than I was, and probably so is she, but I feel like our relationship is all right, so that's an improvement at least. And I get to see her again in a couple of weeks.
jinian: (lost sakura)
Things are going okay with Mom so far. I didn't push her on our pending discussion about Christmas planning mistakes because she told me more about the weekend she just had, which led to a story about being pushed into spending time with a person she was upset with because they broke her trust and led to having a fight with her dying best friend. There was already crying, once a day is enough, we had a nice dinner and watched the Great British Bake-Off.

(The black bean burger recipe is also very good, though I would definitely add the chili powder when cooking for myself. The avocado stuff was still okay having sat overnight, though it was better fresh.)

The worrisome part is that Mom said she didn't remember having planned to visit last September. She said, "But I never bought tickets!" So... there are memory problems here. She knew at the time that she had tickets, she used her frequent flyer miles on them, but at some point she didn't bring that memory with her. And, if I thought maybe that was a coincidence, she was also spacey this morning about our plans for today -- she's going downtown for a trolley tour since I have to meet with my boss*, and we had to go over the plans about four times.

So... I guess I am feeling more forgiving? But also a lot more concerned. She does seem to have a good handle on her work and what she's doing to remodel her house. I guess I can observe and try to get a better handle on how I think she's doing overall during the next few days.

* Hopefully this will actually happen. He is also not telling me whether or when. Why is the universe burying me in these goddamn limbos that I hate so much?
jinian: (king of all cosmos)
I got a text from my mother at 8:10 this morning, finally, after no contact since she blew me off on December 2. All it said was, "Arriving Delta at 5:13. Shall I just cab it? See you tonight"

I wrote back and then heard nothing all day.

...

...

So her flight landed ten minutes ago, and I texted her again.

Oh, hey, I finally got a response. Guess I'm heading home to meet her there. Good to know, Mom, thanks.
jinian: (algae)
I had a fight with my mom recently about her committing me to buying a gift and attending a family event that I otherwise wouldn't have. It's not that I would never have been willing to, it's that she didn't talk to me and then assumed I would go along with her plans. I got pressure but no input. So I called her on that, and expressed my feelings, and then she made another unilateral decision that I wouldn't. Facepalms abound.

Today I wrote to her to say, hey, it felt like you didn't care about my feelings or choices, and that sucks. She came back with "I wish I had more time to respond to you, but it's [event] weekend and I am on my way to the airport soon to start picking up people" and then derailed to talking about helping pay my plane fare to visit there for Xmas, which I had cleverly used to cushion the difficult discussion between yes-I-want-to-see-you positives.

So what I just realized is, this whole thing is How to Suppress Women's Writing. "You didn't say that." "You said it but it's the wrong time so I can't respond." Maybe I need a bingo card.
My mom had a minor heart attack yesterday afternoon/evening. She stuck it out at work for a while since random arm pain is just kind of confusing, but got her sister to take her to the hospital in the evening. She still needs a cardiac cath and they might install a stent, but it looks like the incident was minor and she shouldn't have lost too much heart function.

PSA: Women's heart attacks often occur with no chest pain. Mom had a pain in her arm below the elbow that gradually expanded to her back, followed by what felt like a long hot flash: flushed skin and excessive sweating. When she got to nausea, she realized the hospital was a good idea. Cardiac enzyme tests confirmed a heart attack.

(Hormone therapy puts many trans people at increased risk of complex health issues, so I would recommend watching out for alternate symptoms regardless of gender expression if that applies to you.)

Please take care of yourselves, everyone!

wake

Mar. 9th, 2015 07:17 am
jinian: (bad wolf)
Dad's wake was Sunday. We couldn't possibly have had more beautiful weather, sunny and over 60 F, and about 35 people came. It was really great.

Read more... )

This morning we're meeting with the funeral home to arrange Dad's cremation. The plan is to scatter his ashes in the river next to the cabin, the next time I visit. Then I'm heading up into Seattle to visit the lab, see M-pig, and get some stuff from the storage unit. Then tomorrow afternoon I'm flying back to Boston.

So far, so much keeping it together like a boss. Not sure when I'm going to be able to sleep properly or not have my stomach unhappy, though. Probably I will allow a day of crash on Wednesday and return to work Thursday. I don't really have an icon for this, but Bad Wolf is pretty damn close -- stretched too thin for my actual capabilities, but accomplishing the world. Sometimes whether I like it or not.
jinian: (capybara)
We got a call from the hospital this morning that Dad had died early this morning. We visited this morning and saw him for the last time. So far Mom and I are both holding up okay, and we've got other family around to help out. I'm really glad I got to see him yesterday; he wasn't very responsive but I think he understood that I was there. Thanks for all your support, everyone.
jinian: (capybara)
Leaving tomorrow morning at 5:39am, flying through Dulles before the worst of the snow hits (I hope), in Seattle hopefully around 11am.

Anyone have recommendations for good long fanfics I can download for the plane? I'll read most anything as long as it has women in. I've run through most of my known comfort reading due to my own recent illness, so new-but-familiar stuff is next best.
jinian: (bad wolf)
Yesterday: Dad had fluid in his lungs and they wanted to talk to Mom about Options. I should please come home.

Last night: not much sleep because of stress waiting for info from Mom, of which none was forthcoming; for instance, did I need to get to the airport for a 7am flight? No word.

This morning: Dad didn't wake up at all last night, "could linger like this for a long time" (which neither of us knows how to parse), but his kidneys and liver seem better if still slow to work, and his blood pressure is up. Mom has an appointment with a palliative care person at 11 their time. I slept from 9 to noon my time. I could still potentially travel this evening, but we're waiting until after Mom's meeting to decide on plans.

(Simultaneously: Ph.D. advisor suddenly needs my laptop back for valid reasons, so I am hurriedly backing things up and clearing personal info from it, and giving it back in person instead of mailing it also depends on this trip that might not happen. Life is ridiculous.)
Dad in hospital again. He's only been out for a couple of weeks, but he was in trouble at home so Mom took him in. By the time I talked to her he was already a lot better, but he's dehydrated despite the edema and his blood counts are low, so more endoscopy is in the cards.

The good thing I did was call Mom back when she left me a message: she started off saying only what had been in the message, but then she kept talking -- about how things had gone down and whether he might not have wanted treatment, which was really good for her to get out. (I mean, she has her sister nearby, I hope she's talking to someone anyway, but this way I know she is.)
jinian: (Collomia grandiflora)
I actually like the ridiculous snow*: it is inconvenient but cheering. (And yes, my attitude is certainly affected by my not having to shovel any. In this climate it is worth it to stay renting just for that!) My mood generally is pretty bad lately, though. I looked up stage IV endometriosis today and felt very sad about it indeed. The diagrams of organs stuck together made me feel terrible, and noting again that I probably wasn't fertile anyway was upsetting too, neither for any good reason. This nonstop whiny baby feeling inside is getting really old. Lightbox use continues, though, and I am getting some work done, and I get to see Green Porno in person on Friday night.

Dad still in hospital. They got his fluid levels down far enough (congestive heart failure means this is hard, he tends to retain water dangerously), then discovered he was anemic! So he got a transfusion, after which his hematocrit was... lower. What. Is he bleeding internally?, they wondered. So yesterday he got scoped out and they found an ulcer and removed a polyp. It's great that he's in the hospital so they can figure out all this fuckery, right?

Mom is better, not coughing and sore throat much improved.

* Not that my enjoyment stopped me from signing a petition for Persephone's return, obvs. You know how long these things can take.
jinian: (algae)
Me: getting a cold, knees unhappy about walking on unpredictable snow surfaces, miserable mood, minor abdominal pain which is scary now because context

Dad: in hospital for at least a few more days, on diuretics for water retention from his congestive heart failure, currently hallucinating (!!!)

Mom: seems to think I do not also need to know her status, has been informed otherwise

(also, roommate: leaving his psych evaluation lying around in the kitchen, SORELY TESTING my ability to resist reading things that aren't my business)
jinian: (worms' meat)
I am doing fine, possibly even very well. My dad, who turned 80 yesterday, went to the hospital today for pneumonia. My mom has bronchitis. Having old parents is bullshit.
jinian: (bachelor's button bud)
Sent mail to my mom today telling her all about my current health state (poor) and my surgery plans. I allowed as how she might have feelings about my fertility and requested that she process those with someone else, because otherwise I'll feel like she's saying I should continue to hurt all the time. I think it was a pretty good letter. Brave person is me.

Had pain bad enough tonight that I busted out an oxycodone from the first time I went to the ER. They still work! I became very silly on my chat with J and also I hurt a lot less. It made me consider, too, that I will be in WA and can use legal marijuana while there. Medication can help with pain! How revolutionary! Gets me that much closer to helpful surgery. And my old boss really liked the manuscript edits I made while on opiates that one time, so at least some forms of productivity may be open to me.

(You know, apart from crafting complex monster traps and catching a whole lot of familiars for my dragons.)

things

Nov. 29th, 2014 10:44 pm
jinian: (c'est la vie)
Really stellar Kaidonovsky cosplay

Holy cow, best Hogwarts founders fancasting possible

Some hints on rocking androgynous looks with a curvy build

Flawless Christmas-sweater victory

And then there was this...

Dad: So do you do all the cooking for the group of you in your apartment?

Me: What? WHY WOULD YOU THINK THAT?

Mom: *snickering quietly in the background*

Dad: ...

Me: We are all grown adults and we cook for ourselves.
jinian: (Collomia grandiflora)
 photo 2014-10-30-inktober27_zps250c780a.jpg

Somehow when inked this little brown bat has an underbite which was not evident in the pencil stage, but he's still pretty rad. I had a little brown bat friend once -- he showed up in my parents' cabin and I guess we had no concerns about rabies (in retrospect: what) because he seemed kinda under the weather but nonaggressive and so we kept him. He was called Aloysius, I think mostly thanks to my friend S who was living with us at the time. Eventually he declined and died (without biting anyone, so we were right about no rabies, but still).
jinian: (bold bananas)
Friday:

My bus to NYC was delayed, first by traffic near Waterbury, CT, which somehow made the driver think getting off the highway to putt through small towns and part of Waterbury was a good plan, and then by some kind of accident or procession when I was almost there, which caused traffic backup and additional wrongheaded-seeming detours. But [personal profile] skygiants met me, and we got Thai food with her roommate before all walking down to the Film Forum for Double Indemnity, which was pretty great because: (1) Barbara Stanwyck, (2) nerd hero, (3) man/murderin' OTP, (4) chocolate egg cream. Admittedly the last could easily have applied to another movie, but it didn't.

Saturday:

The free exhibit currently at the Fashion Institute of Technology is "Exposed: a history of lingerie", which is highly worth seeing for many reasons. The most amazing individual pieces were the current student projects -- really stunning though in some cases impractical. I think if I got to pick any pieces from the entire thing to wear they'd be the absurd 60s giraffe-print bikini set and the student project like blue-and-black birds' wings, though there was also some very fine corsetry. Luckily for us, we happened to meet a lady there who told us all about an exhibit of ballgowns at another museum. Over bagels afterward it became extremely clear that we had to go to that on Sunday.

But first, another movie: Stella Maris with Mary Pickford. When I told my parents about this, they pooh-poohed the idea that anyone would NOT know all about Mary Pickford; she was married to [filed in my head under "some guy"... um...] Douglas Fairbanks! And had a ranch that my dad went to? past? when he lived in the area. Silent movies for free with live accompaniment are always good, and this one especially so, with amazing acting by Mary and an actually interesting Q&A afterward. Boy, though, the one short that they said was considered lost could remain lost. It wasn't so much a visit by the Racism Fairy as the Racism Fairy spreading herself in naked glory all over the screen, and there were other problematic elements as well.

It was a bit too late to get to the regular botanic gardens at that point, but we trotted off (through what amounted to hiking trails at times) to the Central Park Conservatory Garden, where we found a fountain commemorating Frances Hodgson Burnett. [personal profile] skygiants maintains that the child-nymph represented in bronze must in fact be what FHB looked like. Would statuary lie to us? The garden did some lovely and impressive things with shape, repetition, and leaf color, and also the bathroom windows are nifty openable octagons.

We did in fact feel tired at this point, despite the comparatively clement weather, so we got some very good Indian food (I hadn't had aloo paratha in so long!) and went home to fall asleep over books.

Sunday:

Brunch! Mexican restaurants are dangerous when tomatoes are a problem, but I negotiated it all right and the food was tasty.

Then, off to the Met to see the ballgowns: "Charles James: Beyond Fashion". The curators were really, really into this guy. In the main gallery, the walls were mirrored and adorned with his self-important quotations, including the original EMPHATIC CAPITALS, and the placards were frequently pretty over the top as well. Most of the clothes were intriguing-to-wonderful, though, and even when I thought he missed the boat I could generally see what he was getting at. The exhibit included robot arms holding cameras and projectors, which along with large electronic displays allowed some really intuitive and beautiful ways to display the garments and information about them. (They also allowed there to be a sign asking that you not touch the robot arms because they're fragile. Aww, little robot armses.) Apparently James started as a milliner, which you could see in his structural mindset, but they sadly didn't have any of his hats available, even in photos.

I made good time coming home, which was good because I hadn't charged my persnickety e-reader correctly. I napped some and made it back with 1% battery left on my phone!

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