jinian: (fft ninja)
2017-06-16 09:36 am
Entry tags:

two weeks in (-ish)

The new job is a positive experience overall despite taking up a lot of mental energy. I'm reading lots of interesting papers, and I'm pretty fast at editing already for things in my wheelhouse (*cough* fudged my time upwards yesterday on the one about overexpressing proteins in Arabidopsis because we generated 1.21 gigawatts there easy). Minor frustrations include the existence of meetings, videoconferenced though they be, and my newbie-team leader's tendency to talk around problems instead of spelling out problems and priorities directly. Oh, and I still need to buy an exercise ball to sit on, my hips require more variety.

Still, it's brilliant to be able to go "I'm so tired right now" and lie down for half an hour, and I'm glad to be present to take care of the infirm cats, who are likely to live longer the more often they can complain to me. Mom asked whether I missed having to go out. I texted her back "it's 100 degrees out today" "so no :joy:". I can go out if I want! I prefer not to subject myself to avoidable misery, though.

I'm still toying with the idea of moving to a cheaper, more beautiful location. I'm not entirely ready to give up on finding partners, though, and cheaper is strongly correlated with fewer options in that regard. (Will attractive lesbians phase through my apartment walls to find me even in a city, though? Seems unlikely.)
2016-07-01 12:14 am

update

I am nowhere near caught up on LJ/DW because of silly issues in transition between browsers and programs that I need to use for work (and quasi-work like making dragon game festivals happen). However, a lot is happening. The most important things are:

(1) Shiny new baby ball python.

just in case of phobias )

(2) Shiny new trauma diagnosis.

(Secondhand. Usually happens to therapists, so writings thereupon are not terribly useful for my situation.)

Therapist: So I think this is what's going on.

Me: But lots of people have much worse bad things actually happen to them directly, I should be fine.

Therapist: Well, now you sound like a trauma survivor.

Me: >.>


Dragon game festival is going swimmingly, though people are a little less awestruck by our entire book than I was hoping. Managed to goad a friend into writing fanfic of it already, though. :D
jinian: (lost sakura)
2016-05-10 11:55 pm

state update

Feeling down and having trouble concentrating the last few days. Still being sick doesn't help, of course. Allergist visit May 20!

I had a good time Sunday going to Civil War and Martsa with Beth and Sandry, and I made things at pottery class on Saturday.

Felt discouraged this morning and then pointed out to myself that my past few years have gone:

- Developed severe undiagnosed abdominal pain.
- Finished a Ph.D.
- Worked on a demoralizing project for a year.
- Moved across the country.
- Got dumped in a weird retconning way that gave me trust issues.
- Developed progressively worse abdominal pain.
- Had trouble doing the project I actually wanted to do because of illness.
- Finally got a diagnosis and had a difficult surgery.
- Lost my dad.
- Broke up with someone I liked because the relationship just didn't make sense any more.
- Lost my cat.
- Developed nonstop sinus problems.
- Got dumped in a particularly scalding way by the person I really wanted to be with.

(And, as usual for the litany of woe, I have probably forgotten some shit.)

It is a goddamn triumph that I get out of bed in the morning. So there.
jinian: (garden yukito)
2016-04-20 11:31 pm

status

I got shoes! Amazing shoes. They're not the "Elle Woods Astronaut shoes" (akycha got those) but they are sorcery. They also ate almost my entire state tax refund. Totally worth it. (Relatedly, I have a blister on my toe that might be infected. Ow.) It's vanishingly unlikely that I'll win Fluevogs for ten years, but what if I did. What if I did.

Squeak would like you all to know that she is a CAT who PURRS and she is RIGHT HERE.

Tomorrow is my pottery studio's show opening! I don't plan to buy anything, but I do want to go show my support. And Friday is chiptune Rocky Horror, about which I am still ridiculously excited.

Hilariously, I felt like I was about ready to stop seeing my therapist for the time being after our next appointment... until she emailed me a couple days ago saying she'd have to reschedule because her father had died. WELP. Maybe I am not feeling so hot after all. Still overall hopeful, productive, and enjoying the springtime, just a higher screaming-inside proportion than I really prefer.

In completely different news, I've been re-reading SailorPtah's lovely His Dark Materials/Welcome to Night Vale novels, and I spent some time thinking about Dust. There's a bit where Cecil is carving wooden replicas of people's daemons, and Carlos thinks, of course it makes Cecil happy to increase the number of Rusakov particles in the world. So I was contemplating intention and art. Dust accrues to artifacts, because consciousness went into making them as they are. But what I usually do with pottery is more of a dialogue or meditation with the material. My goal is usually not to have a piece of a particular size and shape, but rather developing my skill or moving in a direction and seeing what happens.

I undoubtedly come out with an artifact, but it's a different feeling. Then I wondered what Buddhist potters feel is the point of their craft. I feel like my experience is qualitatively different from making specific pottery to order, but maybe the idea of Dust is... less granular than that distinction. :D
jinian: (bachelor's button bud)
2016-03-02 12:03 am

five things

1. Home from work today. Good thing I got a specialist appointment for Friday: this sinus thing is definitely swinging toward super shitty again.

2. Music mix for friend has consented to be cut down to three CDs' worth but no more. It is possible that I have some feelings of my own that I'm working through here.

3. Came up with a fun minigame for dragon game tomorrow. It's Applejack day of a My Little Pony-themed money-making event, so: profitbucking! Inspired by my teammate's amazing gif magic.

4. I really hate it when I feel too crappy to do things that are fun. I tried to play Necrodancer today but was not smart enough to make decisions in rhythm.

Actually, I also hate it when I feel too crappy to do things that aren't fun. Still badly need to shop for jeans and bras. Can I just stop feeling crappy in general, please?

5. At least the cats are happy, or they would be if there were at least one of me per cat who didn't want to do anything other than sit in the one position they find the most useful and gaze at them lovingly.
2015-07-29 08:57 am

sad again

Feeling super sad about Bat again now that I'm going home and he won't be there. And then I hit how he was in pain and didn't understand what was wrong, and I didn't know to fix it soon enough.

I will have fun with [personal profile] rushthatspeaks today and I'll be glad to be home, but right now I'm glad check-out time isn't for another hour so I can cry in my room.

[ETA: [personal profile] rushthatspeaks left the house before ten to come get me. I am loved.]
jinian: (yamamaya)
2015-07-13 10:14 pm

Bat cat, 1 April 1998 - 13 July 2015

Bat's mottled pawpads and sister-biting ways are gone from the world. He will no more yodel for attention or visit my roommates when I'm not around. The Great Cat Toy Proliferation of 2015 is no longer required.

He was a fine cat who had new experiences and exercised his agency to the end.

pics )
jinian: (mighty pea)
2015-07-11 01:24 am

good things

1. Bat is still a tired cat but not obviously worse today, and [livejournal.com profile] sovay sent me a recommendation for a house-call vet for when we need one.

2. I did a couple hours' worth of quality work in the herbarium and found the best botanist name I have yet encountered (1934, Brazil): D. Bento Pickel.

3. My community on my dragon game appreciates and is sweet to me in particular, and also is creative and fun and motivated to challenge ourselves. (Some people are dickwagons but this is inevitable in any group.)

4. M-pig sent me a truly amazing customized stuffed animal: an elk with a wind-up key that plays "You Are My Sunshine" as a black-and-white bird sits on its back, wobbling gracefully with the music. It also has bat wings and a nest formed from a particular obnoxious Halloween cat toy we found at Val Vill one time. Nothing is more incredible than this item.
jinian: (no comment)
2015-07-09 09:38 am

state of the jinian (is state of the bat)

Weird, obvious dreams: Taking care of an entire colony of ~bats that kept being different and I didn't know what to do; the cockatiel ones, the kangaroo rat ones, the ones with so many fleas. Actual Bat cat's front legs giving out and him being distressed. :(

Bat's slight jaundice is visible even to me now. I couldn't see it even when I looked for it on Monday, though the doctor could, but since Tuesday I've been able to. I talked to the vet on the phone yesterday, and he says that the meds are doing their thing in that Bat can eat and drink, but the jaundice getting worse is not at all a good sign. His diagnosis has been upgraded to "malignant tumor" for sure rather than just an extensive one, though we did think lymphoma already. I am to call in a week or if anything changes dramatically. Bat seems more like both his old self and a cat who is obviously feeling low on energy. I don't know how long it will be.

[personal profile] rushthatspeaks has been hugging me a lot at some personal inconvenience (though partial compensation was received in the form of hamburgers), and I am doing okayish thanks mostly to them. I also got to see grad friend C yesterday and take her to Shake Shack while she was in town -- she's defending in a week and a half, and we were as comfortable with each other as ever despite the year apart. She hasn't had the best year either, but I realized that our dynamic (which I've summarized as complaining before) feels very affirming. Sure, we bitch about how terrible things are, but look at us being there and unbroken talking about them disrespectfully.

[ETA: argh and now Bat chewed his pill this morning so it tasted terrible and he got freaked out and I have a cat bite injury ;_; ]
jinian: (capybara)
2015-07-06 01:53 pm

the last days of Bat cat

Bat has had some digestive problems going on for a little while now. When he started throwing up water I decided to take him to the vet ASAP, and ASAP was this morning. They were great, not a place I've been to before because I called seven places to find someone who could fit him in, but very competent and kind.

The vet thought he felt an abdominal mass, so Bat got x-rays, poor little guy. He was puffing out fur all over by the time he got back. They also did an ultrasound to confirm, but didn't charge me for that part. He definitely has a large and complex tumor associated with his liver -- possibly originating in his spleen, since they couldn't find that, but we didn't see any normal-looking liver tissue either. The doctor thinks lymphoma is the most likely thing.

The chances of being able to do anything useful with surgery are nearly zero, and I wasn't ready to let him go today, so we are home with meds to make him more comfortable. (Appetite stimulant, anti-diarrheal, anti-inflammatory.) The vet says he could last as long as two months, but a few days or a couple of weeks is much more likely.

Here is a picture of Bat today, when he suddenly needed to climb into my bag at the vet for the first time ever. He is still having new experiences at age 17 despite his ill health. My good little fussy jerk cat.

Spotted cat's cute face poking out of a briefcase-style bag

(Ultrasounds on furs: no gel, shaved area, lots of alcohol solution for transmission instead. Interesting.)

(Whoever has been writing my life lately is fired, have I mentioned?)
jinian: (bold bananas)
2015-04-21 11:53 am

assorted news

One evening last week, I was walking down the hill with [personal profile] rushthatspeaks past the community garden, and I saw a bright green bird in the undergrowth. What was a lovebird doing there? Unusually and luckily, the garden was actually open, so I went in and, with a little help, caught the bird. It seemed small if it was a lovebird, maybe a young one, and it wasn't going to make it outdoors despite its alertly biting the heck out of my hand as I held it. (In retrospect I think it was actually a parrotlet, not a bird I'd encountered before -- all green with a flash of blue on its behind, and the photos look right.) We were discussing how to keep a bird safe from cats at either of our houses until its owner should find it, but, also unusually and luckily, there was a cop parked right there, and I asked him what one should do with a found parrot. He called Animal Control and they came within about fifteen minutes to pick it up. They keep it for a couple weeks waiting for an owner to prove ownership by answering security questions, then send it to "a nice shelter" for adoption. The cop was very nice about the whole thing. I hope the bird is doing well; it had a bare tummy and some caked-on waste, but it seemed so alert that I think it was only messy because of its scary day out huddled on the ground.

Later that evening, there were magical cookies. I'd made some of my regular peanut butter cookie dough and just put it into the fridge. Keeping dough overnight vastly improves regular chocolate chip cookies, so when we baked some of the dough I wondered if it would be better. YES. YES IT WAS. Somehow butterscotch notes were in there, and the cookies were completely amazing. Had I measured the peanut butter? Of course not. As of last night I have now made another batch of dough, some of which is in the fridge right now, to see if the miracle can be repeated. Maybe the almond milk is important? We shall see.

In other news, I am going to Woods Hole (apparently some people haven't heard of it? most famous marine laboratory in the US) for a short course this summer! Being at the beach for ten days in late July will be great, and I will learn a lot about molecular evolution that's going to be very useful for my job. My mom says we visited there on my college tour (20 years ago, I remember nothing), and she wasn't impressed because it wasn't fancy, so it's probably exactly the sort of marine station I already know I love from Friday Harbor. Looking forward to it very much!

Also I am very brave today. I made an appointment to talk to my surgeon again about going on hormones to suppress the endometriosis, because I'm having trouble again already. I really hate being on hormones, and what she wants to do is a shot that lasts three months (so no take-backs). Potential issues include: BASICALLY MENOPAUSE, plus all the other wonders of getting sick more often and lacking mental focus that I've already had from hormones. This is fairly terrible, but apparently my other option is chronic pain, which isn't acceptable either. So, we will discuss it on May 6.
jinian: Hana, Chisa, and Fujiko from 7 Seeds (three is for victory)
2015-04-10 10:54 am

now this i feel good about

Squeak cat went to the vet on Wednesday, where they found that she seems basically fine except this pesky sniffle. They can't be sure about the funny bump on her chin, but when she gets a dental cleaning we can look into it more. She's very healthy for her age, which is 17 now, but I got her on the "wellness plan" (which is less insurance and more a payment plan, but I need a payment plan, so) and they took some blood to check out.

I got a call Wednesday night saying one of her liver enzymes was off-the-chart high, and she had a few other mild tendencies that might be related to that. She could need an ultrasound to determine whether it's pancreatitis, gall bladder, other nasty stuff, $$$. The doctor said herself that it seemed weird considering how healthy she otherwise appeared, though, so I suggested in as nice a way as I could that sometimes things just get mixed up in the lab, and they agreed to retest.

Today they called. Her blood work is normal. They were all apologetic and said they'd look into why it happened, but I said I understood. And then I felt AWESOME. They didn't offer to retest until I asked, but because I know from labs and am smart I asked, and they did it at their own expense, and it was exactly the right thing to do. (And I have protected my excellent cat and taken good care of her.)
jinian: (lost sakura)
2015-02-28 09:53 pm

good things

1. Accomplished much sewing today with happy sunbeamish cats.

2. Last night my new textbook for my new job came: feeling like I am doing what I should, having good enough health to do it with, and enjoying the material. And I aced the pretest. :)

3. Another shipment came too, including some heavier lotion that I like the smell of and some probiotics to try to get my tummy all the way in gear.

4. Some fun nerdiness with spreadsheets occurred.

5. Good meeting yesterday with my boss and fellow postdoc where I had an analysis they wanted before they asked for it!
jinian: (FHL cockles)
2014-10-23 11:42 pm

inktober 22

Cold-weather kitties!

 photo 2014-10-23-inktober22_zpsbf5e88da.jpg
jinian: (black and white)
2014-10-22 12:08 am

inkspam

Catchup on Inktober posting! I did get behind a few times, due to dire uterus and then to much happier reasons of J visiting, but I am all caught up and here are the posts. A couple of them I really, really like -- I'm very happy to be doing the challenge even when I feel like all the other people talking about it are Reeal Arteests and such.

bunch of pics! )
jinian: (birdsquee)
2014-10-06 10:10 pm

also, good things

1. Made plans to hang out with [personal profile] gaudior and also hopefully remediate the current state of litterbox doom.

2. Sent a personal comment to the FCC about the cable company merger. (Surprising no one: having worked in telecom, I am agin it.)

3. Preordered Ancillary Sword! Tomorrow tomorrow tomorrow!
2014-10-06 10:02 pm

triple inktober update (4,5,6)

I didn't actually get to my drawing last night since I was busy coming home from NYC and dealing with considerable cat mess, but I'm caught up now!

Silly Oktoberfest commemorative apple cider drawing for Saturday, since that's what I was up to. I feel that the apple should have a little hat, but couldn't quite work out how to place it. Atop the stem? Of microscopic size?

 photo 2014-10-04-inktober4_zps689d89c0.jpg

A gooseneck gourd for yesterday. It came out much better than I expected! Especially since my original attempt was a complicated chrysanthemum that I erased too much and messed up my paper, so I chose the gourd as a shape that fit into the un-messed-up space.

 photo 2014-10-06-inktober5_zps305b9dda.jpg

I bought a brush pen on Sunday, which I'd been wanting to on the first day of the challenge, and I'm really happy with it so far. I think the little garden snail was the perfect subject. The one I saw this morning had a light olivey green shell, not brown like all the snails I've seen before.

 photo 2014-10-06-inktober6_zps2907a269.jpg
jinian: (baby dalek)
2014-09-18 09:56 am

things what are nice

I was foolish and mopey last night, but many things are nice.

- Almost done quilting the Wim quilt. (I should've thought of working on it last night, probably would've felt better.)

- Unpacked many clothes, though I need a good dresser to organize things before doing much more.

- The weather is a thing that is nice now! Walking is pleasant and it takes 5-10 minutes less time to get anywhere than my summertime estimates. Beautiful skies too.

- The fish Lord Nelson built a bubble nest just because. I guess he is feeling sassier!

- I've been sleeping pretty well even with importunate cats.
jinian: (worms' meat)
2014-09-01 10:07 am

welcome to somerville, cats

Yesterday:
17:10 cats land in Boston as air cargo
18:00 cats arrive at home and disperse themselves invisibly into the apartment while i refuel and return the Zipcar
18:30 I return to the apartment and easily find Bat, whose idea of hiding appears to be simply becoming flat while adjacent to an armchair (he later improves on this by wedging himself between the chair and an ottoman); he does not wish to interact
19:00 Squeak begins intermittently living up to her name but cannot be found
19:20 Squeak consents to be discovered and petted, but only in the bathroom; vast puffs of fur emerge from her body
20:30 Squeak happy enough to play with me in the kitchen; Bat still wedged; Diz whereabouts unknown
21:00 Batty amenable to petting, emerges from hole only to be hissed at by Squeak and to emit strategic aromas; litterboxes are used and food is eaten; Diz whereabouts unknown

Today:
00:00 Squeak curled up behind my knees on the couch; Bat eating dry food in my bedroom
??:?? coalescence of Dizzy from the ether to be thoroughly petted; re-evaporation of Dizzy
04:00 Squeak discovers the fine echoing properties of the hallway where my roommates sleep and is forcibly relocated into my room with closed door; as the couch is surprisingly uncomfortable, I accompany her
06:30 after ongoing shenanigans including Bat in and out of the bedroom, I admit that I am awake and get some cereal
7:30 despite grouchy reconfined Squeak, fed Kylee is able to zonk out again
10:00 I awaken with Squeak curled adorably in the small of my back; now that it is daytime and my roommate is awake, she is not whining at all; Bat has burrowed hilariously into the cushions of the armchair; Diz whereabouts unknown