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Glory, orange and white with a fine lantern jaw, Mr. Jinks and Dick Tracy and her own sweet self. Thank you for letting me into your family. I will miss you.
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Two weeks ago I decided I wasn't going to be fat any more. There's so much to weight and body image and energy that's perspectival, and so much that isn't. But I think what I meant was that I would go back to eating the way I have eaten in the past when I was not fat by my own standards. (I am always fat by the BMI charts but I am okay with acknowledging a somewhat nonstandard build and musculature.) I sort of have two metabolisms; the fat one and the not-fat one. I've been stuck in the fat one a long while now. So I guess that what my decision meant was I would try living as if I were having the other one. This does not always work or anything; but sometimes it works.

It might be working this time, thanks in part to the heat wave, I'm sure. I weigh two pounds less than I did when I made the decision.

So, to recap: I am finding a way to work daily floor calisthenics into my schedule to try to resume strength, and I have done something to my eating without becoming a notable fanatic about it that has caused the loss of a couple of pounds. It would be good for my longevity if I could keep this trend going.

I think I am going to have to look into hauling the stat bike up sometime next week. If I can convert even half an hour of boring time to cardio each day, it will be an improvement.
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Glory has not eaten since Wednesday. We saw the onco-vet on Thursday; we had just given Glory an appetite stimulant, so she got chemo and we got told to wait to see if the appetite stimulant worked. Last night she still hadn't eaten, so Mr. Scliff called the on-call oncol and got a prescription phoned in to CVS for an anti-nausea pill. We've now given Glory two doses of the anti-nausea pill and she still hasn't eaten. Scliff's plying her with two kinds of canned food at each meal, warming them in the microwave, sitting with her and the food, etc. She is not interested. Now she is wandering around the house like she can't find a comfy spot. This is a hard day in cat lymphoma care. Scliff is mixing some food with warm water to see if it will interest her.
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OK, this one I knew was a dream! I dreamed last night that I was back married to my ex-husband, and was packing a U-haul trailer that was way too small to drive him back to Toronto to finish his philosophy PhD at U of T, which he abandoned in the 1980s. And [ profile] frobzwiththingz and [ profile] klingonlandlady were helping, which is funny because I don't believe they even know my ex. I suspect they were there because of an earlier LJ comment from Phil about dreams of paralysis, like, my dream was letting me know I knew it was a dream.

Phil had developed a computer space-utiization-and-furniture program that estimated that we would need two full-size moving vans, and he pointed out that this made it very unlikely everything would fit in the small U-Haul trailer. But, like almost all dreams involving me suddenly being responsible for my ex again, I had been dropped down in the situation without a clue about how I got there or how responsible I actually was, and it appeared I was going to have to find my way out using the undersized trailer to transport the oversized amount of stuff.

Plus, I had my dog, and somewhere along the line my ex had acquired a jowly, slobbering pit bull/boxer/Rottweiler type beast, and someone was arguing that we should put the two dogs in the U-Haul.

The dream sort of resolved into my using new tools to solve the problem, which was kind of a cute metaphor -- we decided to transfer all the books to eBooks, even though it meant buying a Kindle for some of them and an iPad for some of them, and to put the stuff that my ex would not be using in Toronto into storage.

But when I woke up I felt like I had two or three different lives in storage, and I wanted to get them all out!


Jul. 7th, 2012 11:35 am
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Anybody know a) why my LJ has taken to displaying everything in bold italic?
b) how to make it stop?
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Hoo-boy, does it suck to be out of shape. I am trying (yet again) to resume my morning workout. Most of my life I've done 100 situps and 100 pushups each morning, plus a variety of other things. Right now, I can't do TEN pushups. And I already do the sissy kind, from knees, because I've never had the strength to do them on toes. I am VEXED. The upper-arm strength is so poor that I'm looking at other exercises to start with, using weights, to build up the biceps and chest muscles until I can do the pushups. Damn, damn, damn.

But I am hoping that at least by trying, I have a chance of getting back to some level of fitness and strength, and also not look like quite such a fat old bag-o'-farts on the mat when I get to aikido. I'm still having to sit out parts of each class because I just don't have the strength or the breathing capacity. And that's not going to get better on two practices a week, alas.

The fun part is that after three days of this I am starting to want to drag the stationary bike up from the cellar and add some cardio to the effort. If it's going to be all global-warming and heat-wave and asthma-warning out so much of the time, I can forget using the dog as cardio training partner (unless I decide to get a treadmill we can both use, and I'm considering it -- she's smart but I can't figure out a way that she could reach the pedals on the stat. bike) (for those who have not been following the saga, the dog has a collapsing trachea and we have to balance building her lung capacity against not stressing it; pushing her in the heat is streng verboten) and I guess habit is strong -- after I've warmed up with the floor exercises, my body is starting to ask for its cardio exhaust-a-thon. Unfortunately, the bike has quite the weighty wheel, and it wasn't me who put  it in the cellar. And then there's the aforementioned sucky upper-body strength. Maybe I could remove the wheel and bring it up in two pieces...?

Second PSA: If you're going to get out of shape, don't let someone put your cardio bike in the cellar when you live on the third floor.
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"Your resume will be carefully reviewed against the requirements of our current open positions. electronically crumpled up and tossed over our automated screening algorithm's shoulder into the virtual trash. Should your experience and skills match an available position, you will be contacted to arrange an interview."


Jul. 1st, 2012 06:01 pm
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If I'm really doing this it might be time to get a professional haircut.
USA network seems to be offering a TV show with Sigourney Weaver, Vanessa Redgrave, AND Ellen Burstyn. Might have to watch it just to see so many women of my age cohort on a screen at once.
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Hmm. Mr. Scliff has observed that the job is driving me bats.
So hard to tell whether it's this job, or just the fact that I hate working.
Meanwhile, the current political and economic climate is such that I can't even pretend I'd feel safe hiding under the bed. Thanks a lot, Mocrats and Publicans.

In other news, the cat has responded so fast to the treatment that she's eating and purring and washing her face and we think the lymph lumps are shrinking. So, yay! I just hope we can keep taking care of her when we're living in our cars...

This story got into my head and I can't shake it.
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So, today Mr. Scliff and I took Glory to New England Veterinary Oncology Group, in Waltham. They just seemed more ... approachable ... than Angell on this. The vet, Dr. Cronin, should get an Academy Award® for her delivery of complex, distressing medical news; she has the voice of a female Edward R. Murrow without the cigarettes, this very measured Midwestern narrative style.

And we decided -- well, Mr. Scliff decided, because in the end the cat is his boon companion -- to try the more aggressive protocol, at least for a few weeks, to see how Glory and the cancer each respond to it. So we got to bring home a cat, some meds, and a little flickery fragment of hope. She had a subcutaneous prednisone-like steroid and l-asparaginase, and we get to feed her prednisone pills twice a day. The instructions say we might see the beginnings of improvement in a day or two, which would be encouraging.

I had a few moments of fearing I'd be fired when the appointment took more like two hours than like one hour away from the work computer, but it looks like I wasn't.
And then I got to have breakfast and finish my coffee.

Glory is a very laid-back cat. So she is mostly being very chill about all this -- curious about the car, curious about the vet office, voluntarily hanging out in the crate while we talk to the vet. She's been not-eating and diminishing in size the way sick cats do -- Dr. Cronin observed that cats are space aliens in fur coats, just not cognate to humans even as much as dogs can be, health-wise. So I feel like cats just sort of melt from the inside when they are sick. But she hasn't seemed very much bothered by the rapidly-increasing lump-things that are the cancer in her lymph nodes; it's more this systemic fading. So basically we have no real clue right now, but are trying something.

And now I get to look all the meds up on line. And then go get my car inspected. Except, damn, I'm just so sleepy. Ah, somatization. I am you.

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So we heard from the vet about the cat's cytology; it's lymphoma.

Also got given an "informal" written warning at work that I am not permitted to be late for work again, mainly because I took yesterday off. On the one hand, yes, it is perfectly and entirely generous of them to let me work the flexible 10 to 6 schedule and I ought to be grateful and hold up my end of things by never, ever being late. I am late a lot, i.e., about once a week.

On the other hand, I'll just say it: I'm not used to jobs where that's what matters. I'm certainly not used to jobs where it matters so much more than anything else. I was explicitly told it matters more than a) the quality of my work; b) any kind of humane consideration about, oh, you know, dealing with a dying cat and a very sad boyfriend; c) reason and/or sense. It's like some kind of arcane demonstration of loyalty. And of course my reasons for being late seem complicated and personal.

I mean, I'm already feeling crappy enough about my life and about this job. The combination of actually having the job at risk (over something I am genuinely just bad at,) with the fact that this thing that I'm bad at is actually more important than the part I'm good at, well...

Well, I guess I'm just tired of not hacking it at underemployment. I miss being good at stuff and I miss doing stuff I'm good at.

And the cat's still got lymphoma.
(Not at all sure why this whole thing is displaying in bold italic.)
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Just watched the first episode of The Newsroom. It was a fantasy aimed right at my heart: That we could go back to having real news on TV just by wanting it badly enough. It was this whole hour of Sorkin-perfect romanticization of what I actually thought my career was going to be like, filled with the people I used to work with, tastefully aged downward 20 to 40 years, with Sam Waterston playing a Roone Arledge/Don Hewitt type that was already archaic when I started working 30 years ago, complete with bow tie (and bottle in the desk drawer.)
I guess I wish I'd just been so very very good at teh journalism that I could do whatever I wanted and save everything, but even Keith Olbermann, Sorkin's muse, can't actually keep a job, and he more or less is that good.
Fucking Sorkin also apparently believes in True Love, which is apparently mostly found at work, because who else cares enough about your obsession with work?
Whole thing makes me feel like I lived the wrong life. A lot of things do. But I swear I tried to live the right one. And I'm still trying to find it.

Bad dreams

Jun. 6th, 2012 01:01 am
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In other news, I recognized a few years ago that I actually can run; my powerful sense-memory that something goes strangely wrong when I try is in fact an artifact of my sleep disorder. I dream that I am running, but my hypnagogic malfunction is such that I am aware of the sleep paralysis, with the result that I can actually feel in my legs the sensation of trying to run and being unable to.

This afternoon I realized that I've also never had a car with brakes so mushy that I had to stand on them and hope the car would stop before it hit the car in front. I've never had the mushy brakes fail so badly I had to run the car off the road to keep from hitting another vehicle, or rear-ended the car in front of me at a light.  It's basically the same physical phenomenon happening in a dream whose narrative has me driving instead of running.

And that weird thing where I'm walking, only I can't get my left leg to work right? Ditto. These things do not happen in my real, waking life. These are dreams.

But, like, damn. They feel like real memories. So even though the nose surgery did a lot to reduce my waking hallucinations (the dog almost never turns blue anymore) apparently I'm still having some kind of breakthrough awareness of sleep paralysis. I have no clue whether it's also why my legs hurt so often. But it's a good question, isn't it? Another good question is, what the hell else do I "remember" that's merely hypnagogic hallucination? Argh.
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Did you ever hear the one where you're complaining about roommates or coworkers who don't clean up after themselves, either literally or figuratively? And the advice is, "Oh, if you leave it long enough, they'll clean it up."

Really? Has this ever worked? Or does it always lead, as it has in my experience, to sinks full of dishes that accumulate, stinking, until there's nothing clean in the house from which to eat or drink, and champagne flutes stained with milk-dregs spinning webs of exotic molds under the bed?

Seriously, who comes up with this shit? Here in the season of college graduations and etc., let me share this wisdom: there is a lot of bad advice out there. And if someone tells you that you should just let the dishes, literal or figurative, build up until your bad roommate washes them, just recognize that it would probably be really easy to steal things from them. If only they had anything you wanted.

Meanwhile, the television has just treated me to the image of Frontline as tiny green ninjas slaying fleas in a forest of canine fur.
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There were layoffs today. It's a small company, so laying off 9 employees is about 10%.
None of them was me. So that's the good news.
Also learned some stuff about where the company's management team thinks it is going. I'm going to guess I'll become redundant sometime between September and the end of 2012. What has become amusing in my worklife is that once again, I probably have a better idea of what all this means and how it will play out than the company's management. I've seen what happens more times than they have. It is too bad honesty and experience don't count for more than the loyal drinking of the Flavor-Aid, but hey, it's their store. And eventually I'll get back to my own store, looks like.
But in the meantime, two of the nine were folks I had a hard time working with. So there's the silver lining.
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Hi, everybody,
I haven't been reading or posting to LJ much since I got a job last year, because the company (like all my employment adventures) is just generally Not Clear On The Concept (insert any concept you like here), but knows it handles Confidential Individual Health Information, or at least that some of the information it handles might be confidential and/or individual and/or health and/or information, so we are not allowed to have any illusion of electronic privacy at work. Not that I had much of it anyway, but, for instance, the company has set up our Internet browsers so that we can't dump our own cache and cookies, I guess in case they want to know where we've been. Since I've kind of reserved LJ for the most personal of my public postings, I don't look at it while at work, and since working full time basically uses up 110% of my waking energy, I haven't checked in much from home.

It is probably one of the reasons I feel pretty lonely these days, though, paradoxically, also exhausted by too much (im)personal interaction. Semi-personal interaction? Whatever you call the way I conduct myself in workplaces where my real interests aren't involved and I'd have to be stupid to reveal my actual personality.

I've been trying to resume aikido, but it's hard when you're 54 and have been inactive for eight or nine years. So it's sort of practice, practice, injury, wait, practice, practice. Is it good news that my current injury came from a fall while out walking rather than on the mat? Dunno.

Anyway, I'm still working on trying to fix the financial/tax/business/household mistakes/messes/disasters I have created over the past five or six years, the difference being that lately I've been making some progress. Maybe someday I'll be human again. It could happen.

Take care, all.
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It's been a while since I posted here or read stuff. Basically I use LJ for more personal-type self-revelation and more blatantly political stuff. Farcebook seems to work best for my re-enactoring friends, so it's skewed that way. So I feel like it's safer to check in on Farcebook from the workplace than LJ -- work has a complex of security and Internet policies from which I know they store, and can read, everything I do there, and they also have caused me to sign a document saying they OWN anything I do there, and finally, they also don't really allow personal emails anyway, although they say it's okay if you don't abuse it.
And the big problem with my brain injury is that I can either work full time or do anything else.
More whinge behind cut... )

AND we should be starting the porch-repair project soon. The co-owners want to be able to write checks for the work directly to the contractors, which adds this extra step of collection every time. But it probably won't seem that bad once it's happening. Or it will. I just wish I were someone for whom every unexpected new responsibility didn't throw the whole machinery of life out of whack.
So, that's me: Overwhelmed but hanging in.
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Life is Good

By James Finn Garner

Winter’s been raw as a campout in Banff.
Your new basement walls are moldy and damp.
Your drapes caught fire from a knocked over lamp—
Pitchers and catchers are reporting to camp.

Your check-writing hand's developed a cramp,
Your bills are all due and you ain't got a stamp,
Creditors cling to your neck like a clamp—
Pitchers and catchers are reporting to camp.

Your yard now faces a new freeway ramp.
Your son’s engaged to a gold-digging tramp.
Your “guitar hero” neighbor’s just bought a new amp—
Life is good!
Pitchers and catchers are reporting to camp.

Courtesy of a great site,, via another great site, IT IS HIGH, IT IS FAR, IT IS . . . caught

Baseball, like marriage, is about optimism.
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Decided to malinger today, i.e., work from home.
Yesterday, my intern, Emma, complained that some folks she'd interviewed with last week seemed disappointingly, er, normal. As in, not geekily passionate about what they do. Later in the day she opined that she hoped she could make a living as one of the people making things, and leave the office jobs to others.
It made me want to jump up and down and clap my hands. Instead I bought her lunch.
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Boy do I not want to go to work today. Even though I know they'll let us out early, and etc. Just. Don't. Wanna.
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