Archive for February, 2010

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oh tarheels, why have y’all forsaken me? now with bonus late-night musings on identity

February 25, 2010

In the course of a conversation I was having this evening (even before the ever-so-enlightening comment on my last post, thanks Dad), I realized that complaining about basketball can actually cheer me up.  It’s very strange.  There I was, in the midst of a fit of oh-my-god-if-I-don’t-work-all-night-I-will-die-but-if-I-do-I-will-also-die despair, and about to just give up and curl into a ball on the sofa and cry, when I checked tonight’s score (…as followers of comments will know, the good guys lost by 10 to the FSU criminals).  Even worse, I proceeded to check the ACC standings, hence launching into a tirade to Eric about all that is wrong with the world, my basketball team, and its fan base.

Then, remarkably, I felt better.  Work was less daunting — though I still didn’t get much of it done — and I found a certain center of calm in knowing that this misery, at least, is shared by one lonely wolfpack fan in Fort Collins, and many, many heels fans scattered all around.  It’s better than grad student solidarity, even, because it’s so…pointless.  If I am going to be upset about something so trivial, with so little impact on my life (especially now that I live out here in mountain standard time), then perhaps the other things I get upset about are just as pointless in the end.  It was a brief moment of basketball-induced zen, shall we say.

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today the coffee shop, tomorrow the world!

February 23, 2010

Conquest!  …or something like that.  Turns out that for certain things, a day spent in the coffee shop can be as good as therapy.  I’ve been in a serious funk lately, and though I don’t know what set it off, I’ve spent the past few days hiding from the world, not answering phone calls or chat messages, getting on an abominable sleep schedule, and generally devoting my time to things that my time does not need to be devoted to.  This happens to me periodically, especially if I’m trying to come back from a prolonged absence from illness.  The pieces are clicking into place for some of you right now, as to why you often don’t see me or hear from me until several days after I’m well enough to have been back at it already.

Anyhow, today I vowed to get my shit together and get my ass out the door.  Hopefully to work, but really anywhere would do.  Work is far away and scarier than coffee, so after I slept in and missed the bus due to another late night of doing nothing at all, I cleaned my room, did a metric fuckton of dishes, took out the compost that was taking over the freezer, walked the dog, and hauled myself to the coffee shop.  They play good music there, and let me get refills for free all afternoon (don’t worry, I switched to decaf on my second cup).  So tonight, I feel immeasurably better about myself and my prospects for not having a mental and academic meltdown.  That’s true even in light of the fact that I got very little real work done, and instead spent most of the afternoon writing.  No, you can’t read it.  I promise you don’t want to.

It just feels good to do something that feels productive, no matter what it is; it feels good to be somewhere away from home, no matter where it is.  [Aside: BAM!  That, dear internets, is proper semicolon usage.  I told you I spent nearly all afternoon writing.  I have a minor in that shit and I can semicolon the hell out of you.  Correctly.]

So, tomorrow I will ride my coffee shop high all the way into Golden and get something done.  Raaaaah!  Conquest!

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hey, an explanation i like

February 18, 2010

Turns out there’s nothing majorly wrong with me, they think.  Huzzah!  Apparently you can start having “benign positional vertigo” (my diagnosis) after a random illness that knocks your inner ear out of whack, and it just takes time to fix itself, and I can do some weird head positioning things to help it hurry up.  It can just be really scary in the meantime, especially if you are never prone to nausea and haven’t ever felt very close to fainting before, like me.

The cool thing is that the doctor I saw this afternoon thinks it could explain the resurgence in and increase in severity of my migraines as well (which is good, because I hadn’t been able to come up with a very satisfying trigger for the change).  And, of course, the new symptom of nausea.  Yay!  I was starting to worry that there could be something really wrong with me, and my landlord had put forward the alarming theory that I was pregnant.

I would do the “not gonna die, not gonna die!” dance, except it would probably make me feel like I was going to vomit and fall over.

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my landlords are the best ever

February 18, 2010

Just because it’s fun and a little bit mean, let me announce to the blogosphere that I am having dizzy and fainting spells today, again.  Woo!  And I have no idea why!  Double woo!  Got to cancel one appointment (for fear I would fall down on the way) and swap it for another — the normal doctor folks get to check me out at 1.  I had an amusing conversation with the nurse on the advice line (I was calling to see if she thought I should just tough it out until I see my neurologist sometime in late March, or get checked out).  It went something like this:

“Hi, so I’m having some weird issues…blah blah blah…[explains history a bit], but anyhow the past few days I’ve been really dizzy and almost passing out and –”

“What are you doing at 1 today?”

Sigh.  “Sounds like I’m coming in to see y’all.”

“You most certainly are.”

So yes, I am going to spend some quality time with the campus health folks I have come to know and love.

Anyhow, that’s really only just the backstory for the real reason I am writing this post.  After lying down and feeling worse, sitting up and feeling worse, making tea and feeling less queasy but otherwise worse, I decided that being downstairs alone was probably not the best idea today.  So, I came upstairs and poked my head through the door that connects my basement apartment to the house proper that’s inhabited by my landlords and their lovely (and loud) family to ask if I could just hang out where somebody would notice if I passed out.

Cue the awesome mothering action!  I turned down offers of food, tea, and water (all things I have had within the last hour) repeatedly; I evaluated the potential causes many times over with assistance from the entire family; and I am being given a ride to my appointment, which I tried several times to refuse.  Granted, it’s probably alarming to have someone come upstairs and announce they are worried they might pass out, but still.  This family is awesome.  I feel like I stumbled into potentially the most awesome renting situation ever for someone like me, who has a tendency to get ill (I am often handed chicken soup this time of year), doesn’t eat so great all the time (I get invited to dinner quite a bit), and has a crazy attention-craving dog (she lives upstairs while I’m at the lab, and sometimes while I’m home and being boring, too).  They actually asked if they could take care of Pecan while I was gone.  And they fed her a Christmas dinner to boot.

I heart my landlords.

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in which several recent events are discussed

February 17, 2010

My dog is on Prednisone.  I am entertained.  The vet attempted to explain to me in some detail that I should expect her to be hungry, thirsty, and surly, and I got to explain to her that I am more than acquainted with Predisone’s tendency to turn one into an evil version of the cookie monster.  Which made me realize that we’re a whole six weeks into the new year, and I have not yet been on steroids or antibiotics!  And my dog has!  Aha, I win!  Other than the fact that my dog is going to be an evil cookie monster for the next week or two, of course.

The oddities of healthcare: today I scheduled an appointment with a new psychiatrist (the old one sucks — if you’re looking for a shrink in Boulder, let me tell you who not to see), and also with a new place to get my eyes checked.  Given past experience and anecdotal evidence, I would’ve figured to get my eyes looked at next week, and see the psychiatrist in three weeks if I’m lucky.  Guess what?  I see the psychiatrist tomorrow, and get my eyes checked in three weeks.  WTF!  Not that I’m complaining, since I’m in more of a hurry to get my meds changed around than my glasses, but still.  Very strange indeed.

Got on another internet bandwagon recently and set up an account on last.fm.  So far, I’m quite happy with it.  It’s a bit like Pandora, but it understands me better, I think.  I know, I know, the program doesn’t understand me so much as my thought process is apparently more compatible with their algorithm than Pandora’s, but still.  It’s better!  Today I told it I wanted to listen to The Old Ceremony, and it obliged me in excellent fashion, throwing all of my favorite Triangle bands at me, like Bombadil (!!!), The Never, and others I should have listened to but never really did.  I was suddenly homesick, listening to “Papers in Order” while running calculations to make sure 100nm films would be thick enough for my impact ionization experiments.  They are, but man I miss the music scene in Raleigh and Chapel Hill.  Pourhouse and Slim’s, can’t you move to Boulder?

Migraines!  Today was my first migraine-free day in…a while.  The past week or so, I’ve seen an alarming resurgence of the same stuff I was going through last summer, and I have absolutely no idea why.  For those who aren’t acquainted with the details of my super happy fun times last summer, I got rear-ended by a Catholic priest (the joke writes itself, but oh, if only he were Irish).  Got a minor concussion, wandered around with an ice pack on my head for a few days, then about a week later, I started having crippling headaches.  Eventually a CT ruled out anything dangerous, and a visit to a neurologist landed me with the assurance that it would get better with time, along with some very pricey drugs to make it bearable.  She spoke true, it did get better, but damn, it’s back with a vengeance this past week or two.  Not only that, I have new symptoms with my migraines, and on top of that, this morning I almost fainted in the shower.  Hmmm.  Alarming, no?  So it’s back to the neurologist we go.  Super happy fun times!

On that cheerful note, I feel obliged to leave some more happy parting thoughts.  Let’s let it be a blog link.  I highly suggest you all check out the OkTrends blog.  It’s the data-analysis arm of OkCupid, the internet dating site.  They have a huge pool of data to look at, with hundreds of thousands of folks on there, so they can do some pretty fantastic analysis of people’s preferences and attitudes.  Today’s post is “The Case for an Older Woman,” and though I am not myself an older woman, I feel that in the interests of my single male friends that I must share it with you.  I do warn you, however, to read at your own risk.  I got this note in my inbox this evening:

After accidentally spending the last three hours messaging 33 year old women on OkCupid, I have decided that maybe it’s best for everyone if I just stop following you on Google Reader. I’m sure you’ll understand. Despite my persona, I really am a delicate flower, and given to suggestion.

And I simply cannot handle the idea that I could be spending my time messaging other moderately desperate individuals instead of reading the reflections of Maimonides. Please don’t take it personally.

So, there you have it.  My Google Reader is more interesting than Maimonides!  And no, I did not know who he was either until I looked up that wiki article to link you to.  I am not that well-rounded.

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p.s.

February 15, 2010

It makes me happy to see that right now, “crazy creationists” and “fun with fundies” are next to each other in the tag cloud.  I will have to make sure I don’t add any tags that fall between the two alphabetically.

Oh, silly little things that make my day, I need more of you.

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the crazy stays confined to the springs (again)

February 15, 2010

Hooray!  It seems Colorado is likely to be safe from another useless attempt to have voters bestow the status and full rights of “personhood” on fertilized eggs.  At least, that’s what folks in the know think:

At a press conference Friday, Personhood Colorado leaders announced they would submit 79,817 petition signatures to state election officials. That’s just 3,770 signatures more than 76,047 required — a slim five percent margin which a local campaign expert says is unlikely to hold.

Tyler Chafee, senior associate with RBI Strategies and Research, said, “There is very little chance that voters will be seeing this measure on the 2010 ballot.”

Good.  I hope they’re right.  It frustrates me how much money and energy was put into a ballot measure in 2008 that wasn’t handled at all honestly. First of all, the campaign to pass the earlier measure was titled “Colorado for Equal Rights.”  Would you think that was about the personhood of a few cells?  Me neither.  Good thing that’s not what the actual ballot measure was called, and it was voted down by a 73% majority.  I’m proud of my adopted state for sending the fundies back to Colorado Springs with their tail between their legs (but nothing else, that’s a sin).

Another, more complex example of the dishonesty of this campaign is that it would eventually result in the classification of many common forms of birth control as murder weapons.  Warning: rant begins after the break.

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