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Wednesday, November 26th, 2014 11:43 pm
We've reached that point in the year where I'll go to bed not because I'm tired, but because I'm cold.
Tuesday, November 25th, 2014 06:31 am
Had a dream where I was basically in Ender's Game, but with lots more bisexuality.

Which, of course, made it way better.

I got an armored jetpack suit! And I got to kiss a girl! A few of them, actually. I'm kind of surprised that my subconscious thinks I'm so fanciable!

Ah well. Time to go back to bed.
Monday, November 24th, 2014 11:52 pm
The article by a woman whose daughter died a decade ago, which I wrote about recently, also left me with a bunch of chilling yet wonderful resonances, my own small heart being articulated and understood on a large scale in a way that was both painful and yet somehow really good for me. Here are the bits that I had stuff to say about )
Monday, November 24th, 2014 07:40 pm
I thought I was doing pretty well today, but it turns out that's only until I see some friend-of-a-friend on the internet saying that seeing U.S. English (on U.S. websites!) is cringeworthy or that American dictionaries aren't "real" (so what are they, then, ghost dictionaries?).*

Some variation of which has happened like six times today. None of it was directed at me personally, but still it's hard not to feel attacked after a while, and it only gets harder to bite my tongue and not rage at strangers who'd think I was crazy because they were, after all, only joking!

I did manage not to say anything to any of them. But I had to tell someone.

* Don't get me wrong, I certainly think U.S. English is incorrect for some situations, but I don't like blanket statements about how wrong it is and how awful that British people ever have to be subjected to it.
Sunday, November 23rd, 2014 12:46 am
So they call it a "Senate" in Canada, but it sounds like it's just the House of Lords!

I'm embarrassed by how surprised I was to learn this, especially in a conversation in the pub with a Canadian who, y'know, thinks highly of me.

At least they don't have bishops in the government!

But man. I need a good recommendation for a book about Canadian history and/or politics. They didn't teach me anything in school.
Friday, November 21st, 2014 01:17 pm
On the day of the Cumbria Mega-Shark I said that I didn't want fanfic for TV shows or movies, I want it for engineering.

Turns out, fanfic for science is pretty fun, too.
Thursday, November 20th, 2014 11:36 pm
Future historians will marvel that we benighted denizens of the early twenty-first century allowed -- nay, practically required -- our politicians to tweet, which will in their encyclopedias be defined something like "to communicate unmediated with the entire interconnected world, with no oversight or editing or opportunity for PR people or spin doctors to advise against, via gadgets that early-21st-century humans found so essential that they were regularly used in bed or the bathroom, during vacations and childbirth and the commission of crimes. The frivolous nature of most of these pithy communications lured many into spouting their uncouth and regrettable perceptions in a format that fostered kneejerk reactions, but rather than dying the well-deserved quick death such utterances had always heretofore received in informal conversation, these now were accessible by anyone for ever after, no matter how strong the desire to later eradicate it from documented human history."

Truly we live in a unique moment, a small window of time, where such a thing can occur.
Tuesday, November 18th, 2014 10:40 pm
If [livejournal.com profile] bunnypip doesn't mind me stealing her explanation of this...
To keep me out of trouble, I will post up to one post per day during December (depending on how many prompts I get) based on people's suggestions.
The original idea is for it to be one every day in December (and you can request a particular day if you'd like), but in my case you might want to take that with a pinch of salt because a) stuff like my birthday and Christmas and transatlantic travel has to happen in December and b) last year I got three topic prompts and only ever wrote two of them, and I...was a lot higher-functioning last year than I am now.

Still I'm finding writing is pretty good for me right now (I have a few half-finished posts -- one on procrastination, one on gender in horror films, and one I honestly can't even remember any more what it's about -- that I should try to finish during December), and I have a lot of new DW chums this year (thanks to [personal profile] nanila's subscription meme and [personal profile] kaberett's introduction meme!), so if there's anything you'd like to see me write about, do let me know.

So far I've got:
  • A review of Interstellar, please. ([personal profile] magister)
  • Something regarding hotdish:) ([livejournal.com profile] jojomojo)
  • I like to ask people what they think about the idea of "things ending, things beginning". ([personal profile] silveradept)
  • Why do you keep a blog? ([personal profile] yoyoangel)
  • What one place would you like to visit that you've never been to before?
    ([personal profile] calissa)
Monday, November 17th, 2014 07:33 am
Love is apparently a quantifiable force.

Wondering to [personal profile] magister how love should be quantified, I decided it should be measured in nolans. Which will be very small.
Saturday, November 15th, 2014 10:57 pm
Man, there are so many things I'm bad at, but I think the worst is sleeping when someone I love isn't home yet and I don't know when to expect them.

It's no good telling me "everything's fine"; I know statistical likelihood is piled on that side... but all it took was for me once assuring my mom of that very thing in this kind of situation, and being wrong about it, for me not to be able to sleep even now.
Friday, November 14th, 2014 11:17 pm
When I found a link to this article that labeled it merely "A parent’s lessons on living with grief, 10 years after her daughter died", I already knew that clicking on it would be bad for me.

But I did it anyway, of course. Because I'd had a bad day and didn't mind an excuse to cry? Because it's my mom's birthday? Because I was intrigued at that "10 years after." Because I'll read anything on the subject, in the hopes of feeling understood or just feeling less alone. As I said a couple of years ago,
I suppose it's because losing a brother at what we've been lead to believe is such an unnaturally young age is a rare thing now; it doesn't happen to a lot of people, so it's easy to feel lost and bewildered and alone.
I'm always hungry for anything that helps alleviate that loneliness.

The situation I read about in this long, wrenching, beautiful article ended up being eerily similar to my parents': a child in their early 20s dying in a car crash this time of year. It was ten years ago for this writer; it'll be nine for my parents in less than two weeks.

You hear a lot about the immediate aftermath of such a shock, and people kinda know what to expect, but what is there to say as the years go on and on? I was wondering this just today. And here I have an answer to that question.

Maybe that's why this is by far the most resonant and comforting thing I've ever read on the subject of the effects losing a child has on the immediate family.

I poured myself a glass of wine I felt I'd well-deserved as tears dried on my cheeks after I'd finished reading it, but I'm still very glad I did read this article. Because one of my big hang-ups is having to, trying to, failing to find words for my brother and my family now that I'm surrounded with people who didn't know him or what our lives were like then. None of my chosen family (with the exception of Andrew, of course) knew me when he was alive, which means they never knew the person I used to be...because I haven't been able to be that person since. Here at least are some of the words I haven't been able to find for myself.

Of course this writer's situation is very different in many details but surprisingly many of the experiences match. And in seeing familiar but always-unspoken reactions and insights reflected in this way, I feel like a part of myself that is usually hidden -- because neither I nor anyone around me seem to know what to do with it -- is being held up to the light. Reading this, I nodded a lot. I remembered a lot. It's awful to relive these memories but it's a relief to feel understood. It's worth it.

My parents are, by temperament or circumstances or both, not articulate people; they were not educated as this woman was, and they're part of a culture that (to put it mildly!) doesn't encourage or reward such openness. So to read here so many words that remind me of my own mom, particularly, feels like a kind of gift. I'm afforded a glimpse I never thought I could get of how my mom might have thought and felt, thanks to someone in circumstances similar enough that I can see my own parents and I all over her terrible, beautiful words.
Friday, November 14th, 2014 01:15 pm
The days since everything went wrong counter has definitely been reset again today.
Friday, November 14th, 2014 11:54 am
Andrew walked in from work yesterday evening, saw me curled up in front of the laptop, and said "Poor Holly! Having to watch The West Wing!"

Wow, I thought. It's that obvious?! I mean, clearly he hadn't seen the Facebook update I'd posted a bit earlier:
My head won't ever stop hurting, I fail at napping, what can I do now?

Oh yeah: it's been at least a year since I watched this!
"Poor Holly, not being able to deal with or think about anything new or that's happened in the last fifteen years!"

Yeah, pretty much. (Though I tried to argue it's less than ten years since I started watching the show in the middle of its run and I hadn't seen these earliest episodes until I bought the DVDs eight or nine years ago.)

But I thought this was a totally new revelation, that I'd just developed while staring forlornly at our DVD shelves. I didn't know this was such a glaring fact about me! It'd have saved me a lot of time and trouble if I did.
Friday, November 14th, 2014 01:14 am
"I'll come to bed as soon as I've finished this puzzle game [personal profile] andrewducker​​ linked to..." Andrew said.

"Oh, great," I replied. "Remember the last time you said that, when you lost a month to playing 2048?"

"At least you got a break from me for a while," he said in the small voice he uses when he knows I'm right.

"Except I didn't, because you kept yelling things like 'It's a DDoS attack on my brain!' "
Sunday, November 9th, 2014 01:14 pm
Having reassured [livejournal.com profile] starbrow the other day that I was confident my back pain was muscle pain and not referred organ pain...now I'm starting to wonder. Hmph.

Actually, what I'm wondering is how coincidental I'm willing to believe this is. Because the muscle pain I had did go away in a few days and respond to rest and painkillers, as it should if it's muscle pain.

But. While on the first day my lower back just hurt generally, by the second day it was mostly just the left side so I figured that was where I'd actually pulled the muscle or whatever. Soon it was just a bit twingey. But now the twinges have turned into what I thought was just the pain of me overdoing it once I was no longer deterred by pain,,,but today I'm not so sure. Because today it's definitely my left side that hurts, and it just feels...not-muscley, now. Perhaps more organy. I dunno. It doesn't seem to get worse or better if I rest or move around or anything.

It seems suspicious that I've had two problems with the same part of my body in such quick succession, but my usual tactic of "my body makes no sense; ignore the problem and it'll go away", which I'm lucky enough to find success with almost all the time, isn't working now.

And it really is wearing me down. I'm not in a lot of pain but it's enough that I'm constantly aware of it, and that's exhausting and making me grumpy and short-tempered with people who don't deserve it. I also have problems with focus and concentration at the best of times lately, which this is not helping. Plus, the pain is exacerbated just enough by deep breaths that whenever I'm not paying attention, I'm breathing shallowly...which is a cause as well as an effect of my anxiety.

Luckily (?) I already have a doctor's appointment for tomorrow morning, because I'm a mental, so I can ask about this too.
Sunday, November 9th, 2014 12:39 am
...for teaching me today that there is such a thing as chili lime cashews.

I honestly think I could eat nothing but them, for quite a long time, and be content. They're amazing; they taste like everything.
Friday, November 7th, 2014 08:18 am
  • Wednesday/Thursday: two awful panic attacks two days running, that left me exhausted and miserable because they did their best to ruin every fun thing I was supposed to do
  • Over the weekend: some kind of flu-like thing so I was weak, achy, feverish, and being sick all night instead of sleeping, and again meant I missed something fun I wanted to go to
  • Since Tuesday night: Inexplicable but severe back pain, that again left me on the verge of throwing up in the middle of the night just because it hurt that much, and led to me spending a night in the spare room so I could try to find a comfortable position to lie in.
The back pain is still going on, but it's been progressively better the last couple of days.

Today I intend to relax and not have anything new happen to me. I think I've earned it.
Thursday, November 6th, 2014 09:02 pm
Andrew put away most of the laundry last night but left on the bed a few things of mine he didn't know where to put.

I folded my tops and put them away. Or so I thought! But when he tucked me in bed (I was in pain and feeling sorry for myself and wanted a story read to me) he said "what's this?"

I'd not noticed a t-shirt that had blended in with the duvet. He picked it up. "Oh, it's your Kinsey 8 t-shirt."

(Some years ago for Pride a bunch of people had t-shirts made that illustrated the diversity of bisexual (and bi-ally) attractions. They were made to look like football players' tops, with "Kinsey" across the shoulderblades and the big number underneath. I thought it was such a great idea, and looks great when there are a bunch of people wearing them in a group.)

"Three!" I said. "That's a 3!" (Even three is a bit much for me. I'd ordered a 2 but the t-shirts got mixed up and I'm happy enough with the 3, even if it doesn't really reflect my life (so far at least!)) "It only goes up to six!"

"You're probably still an eight," Andrew said, in that way he does when he likes to be right even when he doesn't know what he's talking about.

"The higher the number is, the gayer you are!" I explained, but my husband seemed totally undeterred, bless him.
Thursday, November 6th, 2014 08:46 pm
"Okay, what does the W stand for?" Andrew said in a long-suffering voice.

"W?" I said.

" 'LGBTWI,' " he explained.

"W!" I said. "I have no idea. I've never heard that before."

"Maybe it's a typo for Q," Andrew said.

"Could be. It's next to the Q on the keyboard. And that is where the Q usually goes in the acronym."

Still, I think it's funny that his first thought isn't "typo" but "what fresh label is this?"

And it's always possible the W does stand for something. Got any good ideas?