jinian: (red scarf)
2017-07-03 11:06 pm

self-care

And cat care. These are the themes of my working at home so far.

I have had a non-patchy tongue for the first time since I can remember. I'm eating my vegetables. The cats can yell for fresh food when they need it and will actually eat, so they're seeming much stronger. I have enough money to buy clothes I've been needing and enough energy to do the shopping with.

Not everything is perfect -- I need to sort out better ergonomics and more exercise, COBRA is an asshole, and my allergies are still present enough to have given me a mild sinus infection -- but this feels like progress and like recovery. I nearly went dancing this past weekend, which I haven't felt up for in ages.

And I have a paper on DNA barcoding of wild kiwifruit to read and edit next! (This morning I carefully edited a paper on hysterectomies for trans men to avoid calling the patients "woman" or "she"; they had only messed up a little and their language doesn't use pronouns, but it's important.) I'm learning how to edit to a specific standard, I'm building stamina and speed, it's effort, but this is fun.

I'm still sad and afraid and lonely, but I have something really good to do while I keep working on recovering.
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: (Winry kicks ass)
2016-04-25 09:49 pm

five things

1. My assistant, whom I have gotten hooked on Hidden Sweets in Harvard Square, went there last week and texted to inform me that the beloved grapefruit gummi candy of song and story has been discontinued, and that HS was already out. After partially recovering from my shock, I went to the internet and ordered a 3-lb bag of them, which has now arrived. Next step: confirm their correct identity by eating a precious single one. Then I can set up a safe-deposit box.

2. I felt really good today. I've been managing energetic or physical well-being or motivated lately, but today I felt like me, pretty much all day. It was wonderful. It's been way too long.

3. Now I just need something to do with this ridiculous upswing of libido. (Total Prince immersion maybe not helping here.)

4. Completed the writing style guide for the Brightshine Jubilee storybook finally! Now I have something to refer bitches to when they try to start with me about whether "archeologist" is misspelled. I'm really excited about this project, even though it's making me stressed about Flight Rising overall. C came up with it and plans to typeset the whole thing, and I wound up lead writer because I got stuck managing the "omg we can't possibly have a pirate theme pirates are evil" drama into "okay we're having seafaring adventures and here is how it ties to the site canon." And of course since I'm the only person involved with the project who can herd cats, that's where all my energy is going. Please can you do the thing you said would be done a week ago, M, thx. But! Style guide is done, all the pages have been claimed by artists and writers, all I should need to do now is a little light whip-cracking and then final edits.

5. Currently reading Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein from Sleater-Kinney. I had trouble getting into it at first because her style is a little overdone, but by chapter 2 I was on board. She swings from childhood attention-getting antics to reminiscences of queer-liberal-musician callout culture in 90s Olympia, says she can't call herself a musician and then comes out with deeply considered ideas about the nature of performance. I never lived in Olympia or Redmond, but I'm from nearby enough that I have my own ideas about them, so reading about them is a mix of familiarity and prejudice-confirmation (i'm sorry but evergreen college) that has me grinning over the book constantly.
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: (c'est la vie)
2016-03-18 10:56 pm

state update

In getting-over-my-ex news, I have:
  • Watched a bunch of Leverage by myself.

  • Made waffles (and done some other nontrivial cooking).

  • Gotten to where going to the grocery store merely makes me feel badgerish rather than panicky.

  • Finally thrown out the food that I had made to share with them when they decided to disappear instead.

  • [TMI] Made it all the way to orgasm without accidentally fantasizing about them and veering off into anti-erotic misery.[/TMI]


In general awesome doings, I have:
  • Gotten my bike into rideable shape.

  • Made an apple pie and won work's (very small) Pi Day contest with it.

  • Kept up decently on my job.

  • Successfully taken almost all of my absurd medication schedule on time.

  • Given excellent presents to people.

  • Polled for dragon game festival themes, including having to contact someone I didn't know to check that we weren't stepping on any toes.

  • Managed a fuckton of drama about dragon game festival themes, including whipping up a storyline that incorporated multiple suggestions.

  • Appeared to have an actual immune system -- still not all the way better but quickly recovered back to generally-crappy instead of getting a bad cold.

  • Designed and drawn lineart for an elaborate (representational-plus-celtic-knot) mythical snake design on a bowl, to be further painted in underglaze.
jinian: (lost sakura)
2016-02-23 09:43 pm

worst breakup ever

After two months I expected to feel better rather than more traumatized. Nope. It's worse than when Dad died -- I lost him and was very upset that he wasn't in the world any more, but I knew about death and realized it was going to happen even if I hadn't felt the loss yet. To an extent I support the existence of death: it's needed for change, evolution, progress, for life really. The thing that happened between me and L is not a thing that should exist. I'm unlikely to ever not feel that the world is now a more terrible place.

I need a very considerate lover to take me to bed a lot, and I need to have nothing to do with humans for approximately a year. Since these are mutually exclusive as well as individually infeasible, I am stumbling along trying to enjoy friends, pottery, work, reading, and games, and just coping with the part where I'm scared to go to the damn grocery store.
jinian: (lost sakura)
2015-12-06 08:53 pm

one good recipe

The beauty of my situation right now is that there are so many worst case scenarios. It's really impressively efficient.

I did eat one of the things I made tonight, which was Cook's Illustrated sweet potato soup. The shallots softening gently in unsalted butter with sprigs of thyme were one of the best things I'd ever smelled, and the hot-water soak to break down starches is a fascinating idea that seemed to yield all the textural improvement that the article promised. Our blender lid is a leaky piece of shit, but I managed in the end to blend the soup without actually injuring myself. After getting sidetracked into mopping the floor, which is always a good idea when you haven't eaten in an unknown amount of time, I ate the soup with the recommended maple sour cream, and it was delicious.

The black bean burger stuff is allowed to sit hydrating for up to 24 hours, so I will plan to finish making that tomorrow, when my mother is here, or isn't.
jinian: (algae)
2015-12-02 01:03 pm

just reframed a thing

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.
2015-11-16 12:14 pm

therapy conversation

[Lengthy explanation and discussion of a difficult life event.]

Me: But wait, the part where I was awesome is next.

Her: It sounds like you were already pretty awesome!

Me: Okay, the part where I was awesome and it didn't all go horribly wrong anyway.
jinian: (c'est la vie)
2015-09-10 09:57 pm

some good things

One moment of being intensely pleased with myself: I decided that hateboners are filled with bile instead of blood. Am I right or am I right? (Also, then I said "HEADCANON". :D?)

I am feeling better slowly! Currently I am actually up to doing things to help with my extreme social isolation. (Unfortunately signing up to Fetlife has immediately made my life goal of not interacting with any pompous motherfuckers who call themselves lord much more difficult. Really, get someone else to send your welcome messages.) Be nice if the timing worked out better, though -- I haven't been to any meetups yet, nor will I next week since all the things are Tuesday and I'll be in NYC.

For some reason someone had hung a container of new, vaguely botanical wall decals on a chain-link fence on my way to work. I stopped and went back for them once I'd thought it through a little, then when pretty much everyone had gone I put them up on the cabinets and appliances at work. It's only reasonable for the herbarium lab to have a vine decal on the fume hood and various sprigs on cabinets and drawers, right?

The Girl With All the Gifts is (1) really good and (2) sneakily written by Mike Carey. Ha.
jinian: (rarity hmm)
2015-08-20 03:02 pm

when you need therapy to deal with NOT being depressed

It turns out that, having bounced out of having been down since last year -- gigantic move, new difficult climate, unexpected breakup, worsening chronic pain, major surgery and recovery, death of a parent, heart attack of remaining parent, death of a pet, the thing is I am certain I am leaving things out -- I am having trouble forgiving myself for not being able to do things that I should totally have been able to do. Because now I can do them, so what was my problem?

(Boy, I really did not like it when my therapist forgave part of the cost for the appointment I missed because she figured I couldn't help it, either. I am supposed to be able to fix make do all the things, what is this doubting my capabilities?! Even when I don't, temporarily, actually have them.)

But right. I did not have the energy to do the work that needed to be done. There were weights on every part of me making everything much harder than it usually is.

The trick now is to figure out how to put my energy into the places it needs to go rather than skating along with the habits that used to be more adaptive and now are a bad plan.
2015-07-25 11:30 am

recovery continues

Feeling emotionally much better and less exhausted. Having some thoughts and realizations that I will post about; glad I have a therapist appointment the day after I get back.

I did have to contend with a really bad hypothesis this morning. I'd done laundry last night, and the count of my shirts was off this morning. I figured out which one I was looking for, but the machine was running again already, so I got showered and dressed first instead. When I went down, someone was already unloading, great, so I asked if she could look for my shirt in there. Oh, I said, that one! and took it. She looked very uncomfortable and said, "Did you put your clothes in with mine?"

...It's a side-loading machine. (Also, who would do that?) You're really going to have to come up with better modeling for your data, girlfriend. You have been listening to the lectures and know how important that is, right?

I said gaily, "no, silly, it was stuck in the machine!" and left before completely laughing in her face. Can't help but feel that this was karma for her sitting down without asking when I'd rather be reading -- I did tell her so when she got round to noticing, and she left -- though that's such common behavior here that not enough social discomfort can befall these people. Last night people sat down away from me at a large table without saying anything, which was fine, and then their friends started showing up, filled the table, and wanted to move it out from the wall to make more room. Rude as fuck!

Also we were locked out of our bathroom all last night AND THEN AGAIN THIS MORNING. -15/10.

My roommate is leaving due to a family emergency, so I guess my karma is doing okay? I feel bad for her but very much look forward to having privacy again!
2015-07-09 11:09 pm

"how are you doing?": a partial glossary

"Not great."

I have probably been on the verge of tears at least once within the last hour and would like to not do anything ever again. It is extremely doubtful that I have accomplished any form of useful activity today.
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: (c'est la vie)
2015-07-01 12:38 am

a good day

Fascinating dragon game drama. People being kind to each other and managing community dynamics. Luck with random numbers (two blue goops, plus a red one just when I wanted it!). Lots of silliness. Still got some work done. New hair color. Full moon.
jinian: (c'est la vie)
2015-06-24 11:03 pm

update

Getting work done at work this week.

Good appointment with therapist Monday. After which I went somewhere I hadn't been before, got a Ms. Marvel trade and Squirrel Girl #4 and ate frozen yogurt, and eventually managed to find Good Vibrations. Treating myself and also being a quality person who does things in the world.

Hurt my neck as a direct result of GV visit and woke up with nasty headache. Unsure of cost-benefit here as both make strong cases.

Had an adventure with [personal profile] rushthatspeaks. After being confused by inferior maps and displeased with the hot soupy weather, we did find our rose-garden goal, and then there was a convenient and free train, and ice cream for dinner. Then showering. I remain very grateful for such an excellent partner and also for the central air at my apartment.

Getting real work done really, like, I did PCR today and ran it on a gel and all. Still working out some damnfool crap from my botched reappointment, but mostly doing well right now.

Spate of fun hectic planning on dragon game, unfortunately spurred by bad news of cool people leaving our subgroup. But I drew a trout with which I am pleased.

jinian: (bold bananas)
2015-06-09 09:54 am

accomplished yesterday

Provided a quick turnaround on an information request from our collaborator, even though it required some tinkering.

Joined the Association of Education and Research Greenhouse Curators as part of my long-term job agenda.

Worked on some tricky gene sequences for the gene tree I need to make.

Interviewed a therapist by phone and made an appointment for later this week.

Received a notice of termination of benefits when I got home, which would mean I don't currently have insurance. Sent grumpy email to HR asking whether I should expect to have continuous coverage despite the administrative lack-of-job fuckup or instead contact the nice COBRA people, since, see previous, I have an appointment this week for which I expect to use health insurance.

Successfully initiated a good text interaction with Wim. (This took two tries, but it worked the second time.)
jinian: (mighty pea)
2015-06-03 01:19 pm

i am mighty

Today I am feeling too crap to do the work I would like to do, so instead I have paid my medical bills (in the sense that they are now on a credit card anyway) and written to my confusing health insurance people about getting counseling. If that means I cry at work today, then SO BE IT, I am great and anyone with a problem can go fuck themselves.
jinian: (bachelor's button bud)
2015-05-25 11:33 pm

long weekend

Saturday: Went in the afternoon to a local amusement park with a bunch of people. Went on three small roller coasters and one boat cruise as well as the scrambler which was inexplicably a rave. Came home in the car with a headache despite the good company, and discovered a slight fever on getting indoors, because apparently I am a frail Edwardian child. A good day, though.

Sunday: Saw new Mad Max, which goes to eleven thousand, and got Chinese food with humans. Overpeopled and lonely after, such a great combination. Very sore hand, really must go get prescribed things for joint badness. Random bleeding which should no longer be a thing, could only possibly be due to roller coasters, wtf.

Monday: Continued to use Grey's Anatomy as background noise/therapy while messing about leveling dragons and doing a lot of sewing. Some stuff came clear in my mind, or at least clear about why I'm mad that it's not clear. Ate a bunch of chocolate because yes I do want to be headachey forever shut up.