juushika: Drawing of a sleeping orange cat. (I should have been born a cat)
Sending an introduction to Florence + the Machine email to my father, who keeps asking "What is Florence + the Machine?" given that he keeps running into her—on my shirt on the cruise, on TV during the Oscars when we were over for dinner last night. Crying like a child (well not a child, of course: like a woman, growing) while I listen to "Dog Days Are Over" from the list of videos I've dig up videos to include. Ah, what else is new? You'd think eventually this would wear off, this unavoidable swell of emotion but ah—not yet. Despite myself I'm not really complaining, but it did make it ... well, difficult really, to include that track in my email. It felt almost too personal, almost too raw.

Have yet to reach sniffling, but I'm miles deep into the land of shivering and aching. I'm probably running a fever, but I don't know for sure. I much prefer this to mucus: I have a lot of experience dealing with pain, especially muscle aches and general stiffness. With pain, I have high tolerances and many ways to cope. Mucus: less so. But I tell you, today of all days? Today, the one day in my menstrual cycle where I get cramps? When my cramps always show up not in my stomach but my lower back? Fuck you too, body; fuck you.

At least my chocolate is dairy-free and therefore safe, because I need it today.

Ironically, I look lovely today. My hair is gorgeous and my pain-drained (even) pale(r) skin tone is quite flattering against it, and despite the discomfort of today I slept well last night and my eyes are clear. I tend not to think I'm beautiful, in part because few people, especially women, in this culture ever do, in part because I don't fit my own aesthetic taste. But I am sufficiently divorced from my appearance, for better or worse, that sometimes I see my reflection and know, objectively, that I look pretty good. Today has been like that all day long. I guess ... uh, I'll just have to come down with colds more often?

I am Posty McPosterton today, I know. Tumblr has been teaching me to think it little blurbs as well as overlong essays, which is an improvement I suppose—but it does mean you all have to suffer my list of A Billion Things To Say.
juushika: Drawing of a sleeping orange cat. (I should have been born a cat)
I took Tramadol last night. I know you're anxious to be updated each time I swallow a pill, but I'll tell you about it anyway. )

Probably in slight correlation with my back pain—I've had so much to say lately, and so little energy to say it. There are dozens of posts, thoughtful posts, floating around in my thoughts, but I can't yet make those thoughts concrete. Letters are left hanging, posts left half-finished, and I only hope that I can corral my notes into an upcoming book review. But, save for the back pain and associated grump, I haven't felt depressed or antisocial. The opposite, in fact—I've been aware and interested lately, intelligent and engaged. In fact, half the reason I haven't been writing my experiences is because it would take up time I could be using to have those experiences. This doesn't mean I've been extraordinarily productive or social or active, lately. It means I've been reading well, consuming wonderful media all around, and very much in love with the boy. And I've been reading LJ posts, and finally caught up on most of my replies to them today. I have so much love for all of you people right now.

These are good things.

I have been arsed to update my Tumblr, however. I'm actually having something of a love affair with Tumblr, where I've been blogging video games (primarily Persona 4, StarCraft II, and Silent Hill 2—all of it silly, pointless, and spoilerific—be warned!). It's a lovely midpoint between the immediacy and brevity of Twitter and the thoughtfulness and length of LiveJournal, and it also welcomes picture posts—I can update compulsively, frivolously, and quickly, putting out things which amuse me but also some things which intrigue me, which make me think.

And it gave me an excuse to make a gaming cat icon.

I imagine no one is reading my Tumblr, and I don't blame anyone for it. It is after all the land of foolishness and spoilers. Still I wish someone were, because I'm having so much fun there—I wish I could share it!

Anyhow. I could do with a shower and perhaps a nap before this wedding thing, so off I run to talk less and do more.

Adopt one today!
juushika: A black and white photo of an ink pen. (Writing)
This is a note for my own records (because often, writing it down in my LJ is the only way that I remember it), because the event in question has largely passed. But the shaking and brainfuzz that I was feeling earlier this week was not indeed caused by too much sugar, as I thought it was. Instead it was early onset symptoms of another episode of severe back pain. I'd been shaking and stupid for about 16 hours before the pain actually kicked in. It was an odd sort of back pain, again: symptoms were aforementioned shaking (aggravated by sitting and standing for more than a few minutes, alleviated by lying down), infrequent back spasm and more frequent periods of throbbing back pain, and brainfog like I don't think I've experienced before, making it difficult to do things as simple as write complete sentences. In short it was pretty similar to this experience in that I was more aware of symptoms caused by pain than the pain itself, but it wasn't quite so severe an episode except for my utter inability to think.

The episode lasted about three days beginning on August 31st; it started with shaking, recognizable pain began about 16 hours in, and both pain and symptoms tapered off over the last day or so. My backpain is sometimes tied to menstruation, but I had been off of my period for a few days. Interestingly, the similar prior episode occurred last month in almost the same point of my menstrual cycle—hmmm, perhaps there's a new trend developing.

Anyhow, as I said, all for my own records. And if you're worried, rest assured, I'm fine now and down to normal, manageable pain and symptoms.
juushika: A black and white photo of an ink pen. (Writing)
Some belated, brief thoughts on the new Star Trek movie
Because I've officially encountered one too many fan responses that made me want to beat my head against something firm and flat. For the record: When Spock changes Uhura's assignment from the Farragut to the Enterprise, he is not "whipped." Assigning her to the former rather than the later in the first place was an effort to avoid the appearance of favoritism. When she pleads her case and he reassigns her, he is righting a previous (if well-intended) wrong, and assigning her a position which is fairer and better suited to her skills.

But my point really is: it drives me crazy that one of the few times that the only female crew member in the movie asserts herself is viewed not as strength on her part, but as foolish weakness on a male's part. Spock is not whipped. Rather, Uhura occassionally has a backbone and oughtn't that be a good thing?

I really disliked the new Star Trek film, and fan response to it has my mind boggled. Did we all watch the same over the top, obnoxious, improbable, plot-holed, shoddy-scripted, lens-flared, shaky-cammed, sexist piece of Hollywood shite? Sure, I've seen worse—but this was definitely not good or enjoyable enough for love it's received from fans.

Notes to self
The first: Quit it with the milk, and cream, and the root beer. It all looks very yummy but your body cannot tolerate it, especially not right now.

The second: Sitting hunched over the laptop only seems comfortable. When you stand up, you will find that it is distinctly otherwise.

Because between menstruation and the fact that my back is, sad to say, becoming increasingly pained, life has been all sorts of uncomfortable lately.
juushika: Drawing of a sleeping orange cat. (I should have been born a cat)
Funny how when actively posting, I find ever more topics to post on.

Some thoughts about cats
  • Last night Dude wanted in the room while I was lying backwards right in the center of the bed—so all the space was taken up by disheveled pillows and myself. After snuggling he climbed to the freest space: he parked himself on my pillow and lay in a crescent shape that wrapped around my head. it was remarkably intimate. I felt blessed.

  • Ate most of a very tasty organic pizza, let Dude into the room, talked to Devon, and then noticed that the cat was being remarkably quiet and not demanding cuddles. Dude had helped himself to the last piece of pizza—he ate a surprising amount and was not the least shamed when we took the rest away. Little bugger does love both cheese and bread, but still—I wanted that last slice!

  • Dude shows affection by asking to be in the same space and then demanding cuddles (often on a regular, half hour interval). When cuddles are not forthcoming, or when they are not directed to the correct location, he will put his paw on your hand and drag it to where it should be, or else put his paw (and claw) on your cheek. When cuddles are remarkably good, he provides thanks via lovebites. I am very tolerant of claws and nibbles; the rest of the family, not so much.

  • Madison shows affection by infrequently coming close, meowing, occasionally climbing up on the chair with you, and consenting to attention. She also appreciates spontaneous petting which wakes her when sleeping. Particularly good cuddles are rewarded with two or three licks. All interaction is eventually rewarded with rawr crazy cat attack kill, whereupon she will, with no explicit provocation, bite and claw and then run away.

  • I haven't had cats around since my early teens, and even when we had them when I was a kid they were very rarely indoors. I've always "gotten" cats on a fundamental level, and likewise always associated myself with them. But cats are so remarkably individual, if united by their universal batshit craziness, that living with these two is like having two very small, very vibrant, fur-covered roommates who blessedly cannot speak English. They are as complex as people. I feel an inherent connection, yet they still delight me with personalities that defy complete comprehension.

Some thoughts on all the rest: me, my daily life, menstruating, reading, Devon
  • I often have one brutal day in my menstrual cycle, the first "real" day of menstruation when my flow is suddenly incredibly heavy, my body is more sensitive to food and sleep, and I get worse than usual backpain (my version of cramps). But with where I am in life right now, I have the chance to pander to my body's whims on that day: bedrest, hot pads, reading, chocolate, sleep. A day which is made entirely indulgent and body-aware entirely justifies any physical discomfort. It's like rediscovering menstrual cups: menstruation may not be wonderful joyful fun, but it is affirming and peaceful to be so intimately connected with my body.

  • I could hide the above behind a cut tag, but hopefully if menstruation talk squicks you you stopped reading pretty early on.

  • I read a lot of books and most of them are better than worse, but there's still a very immediate pleasure in discovering one that I really enjoy: a near-physical rush, like endorphins. I love reading for readings sake but the immediate and total pleasure of the ones that turn out to be my favorites are what make it feel worthwhile.

  • That said, in this same book: People rarely recover from depression, anxiety, or related mental illnesses via "shock therapy"—including anger-based therapy, e.g. I make you so mad at me that you can no longer be upset about X. Yeah, I'm sensitive to this because for a long time people tried to use it to fix me. Nonetheless the Dr. Phil approach of confrontation and breakthrough rarely works. This author is tackling a lot of big issues and handles most of them well; she's does a fair job with mental illnesses so far, but still: recovering from mental illness is, the vast majority of the time, a slow and gradual process. Breakthroughs may feel like satisfying plot devices but they're rarely effective means of longterm recovery.

  • My days have officially stretched to ~26 hours, and my sleep schedule is currently reversed. I don't know why this happens—it isn't always ongoing, but every few months I stay up a little longer and my sleep cycle slowly walks around the clock. I'm enjoying it a lot this time, though. It's very calming to work through the night, I've been quite productive, balancing SL blog posts and book reviews and reading and even a bit of writing all at the same time (which I've never done before), and it is incredibly relaxing to go to bed with quiet, warm light suffusing the room. The only danger is that as I walk around the clock, I'll have a few days when I see remarkably little of Devon.

  • Speaking of: I love my boy very, very much. It's little things, like cooking late night meals together or making love or watching him play an hour or three of Plants Vs. Zombies today, that make me feel especially joyful and in the moment. When asked how things are with him I always say "good, not perfect, but very good." It's important to me to acknowledge that things between us are rarely "perfect"—because it makes the parts which are good, are so very good and immediate and pure, seem all the more real and important.
juushika: Drawing of a sleeping orange cat. (I should have been born a cat)
I'm sick! More specifically, I have a cold of some sort, causing fatigue, dizziness, runny nose, headaches, and a few chills. And yes, this is actually good news, because it means those symptoms I was experiencing earlier are neither sources nor psychosomatic. Instead, they have a source and they'll also pass. In the meantime, I'm sleeping a lot and feeling vaguely miserable. The backpain was and is unrelated to the rest—it's partially the same chronic pain that I've been dealing with every day for six years, and partially my own special brand of premenstrual cramps, which appear not in my stomach but in my back, causing spasms. Luckily, cramps too shall pass, so the end is at least in sight for this current bout of feeling physically miserable.

I do owe major kudos to the boy through all of this—he has been absolutely perfect (he even claims I'm cute when I'm sick, the little liar) and is making sure I'm getting foods and rest and other good things.

I've gotten back on track with my writing, though unfortunately I'm hugely behind in the typing and what I do have typed is spread over two computers, so I haven't the wordcount to show for it. Honestly, I have little idea how far I am along—I have 3k typed on this compy, and I know I passed the 100k mark on the other, so I'll approximate from that. I did manage about 1500 words yesterday, so that's something. I also sat down and outlined what I know of what happens next (which isn't as much as I would have hoped, but is more than I imagined), so now I have no excuses, but must simply continue to write. I do feel like I'm forcing myself at this point—forcing out the words, forcing through the plot—but I think that's the result of taking a break and feeling offcolor. I do love the characters that I'm dealing with right now; hopefully, as I warm up to the writing, it will come easier once again and feel worthwhile. I am so close to the end now—there really is no excuse to fail, now, and so I had best push forward.

Food, boy, and brother are now here, so I'm off to watch Halo 3 (I really am the world's best gamer's girlfriend, because I like watching—especially online rounds, especially ranked skirmish matches, especially territories). Oh, and eat, probably a lot.

Wordcount: 103,000+ typed, 9,300 handwritten.

Previous Accomplishments: General plotting on the road to the end; introduction of male characters; resolution of early plot point.

Upcoming Challenges: Figure out how the book finally ends (vampire city onward) and get back into the flow of writing.

Currently Reading: Dracula, Bram Stoker; Ironside, Holly Black; Tales of the Witch House and Other Weird Stories, H.P. Lovecraft.
juushika: Drawing of a sleeping orange cat. (Default)
Under the cut is a review of the DivaCup, an alternative menstrual product. If you're uncomfortable with talk of vaginas, menstruation, and girl issues, you may want to ignore this entry. Hopefully you won't have to. I encourage all women to read it, because I love my DivaCup and I think it's a wonderful product that others should learn something about. Men may find it interesting to read. Plus, the world will be a better place when we can all discuss or in the very least read about menstruation without shame, fear, or icky feelings. So, without further ado...

My review of the DivaCup. )

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