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The Adventures of Chibi
amberfox
I was getting ready for work today and I noticed a red spot on my forehead. Normally I wouldn't care, but I was doing the whole makeup and perfume thing and it was throwing off my groove. Then I remembered reading something about putting a little bit of toothpaste on a pimple to dry it out, so I thought I'd try that and just wash it off before I went in.

TURNS OUT I'M AS WHITE AS THE GODDAMN TOOTHPASTE.

I wore a dot of toothpaste to work today as concealer and not a single person there or at home noticed.

::facepalm::

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So I'm working my way through Diane Duane's Young Wizards series again. I'm not very good at remembering books by title; I tend to think of books as "the one where [x] happened." Which means that, instead of being 2/3 done with Deep Wizardry, I'm 2/3 done with Spoilers are funCollapse )

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Happy birthday to me! 36 years of successfully not dying, a trend I hope to continue.

And now, a few hours of sleep, then birthday lunch, followed by an evening running errands for the Red Cross, both to be accomplished while wearing my traditional Birthday Princess tiara. (It's not comfortable to sleep in, though.)

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From Diane Duane's "Young Wizards" series:

In Life's name, and for Life's sake, I say that I will use the Art for nothing but the service of that Life. I will guard growth and ease pain. I will fight to preserve what grows and lives well in its own way, and I will change no object or creature unless its growth and life, or that of the system of which it is part, are threatened. To these ends, in the practice of my Art, I will put aside fear for courage, and death for life, where it is right to do so -- till Universe's end.

-------

And my preferred version, from _The Book of Night with Moon_, Rhiow's meditation:

I will know doubt, and fear: I will suspect myself of folly and impracticality in this seemingly hard-edged world, where things clouded or obscure are so often discounted as unimportant, and mystery is derided, and uncertainty is seen as a sign of an inability to cope. But my commission comes from Those Who move in the shadows, indistinct and unseen for Their own purpose: Those Whom we never see face to face except in the faces of those we meet from day to day. In Them is my trust, until I am relieved of Their trust in me. I will learn to live with uncertainty, for it is the earnest of Their promise that all things may yet be well; and when, in the shadows, the doubts arise, I will close my eyes and say, This is no shade to Them; for my part, I will bide here, and wait for the dawn.

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Okay, I have successfully added the... 14 books on my desk to my Goodreads library. Oops, there's another one. 15. And I haven't even looked at the ones on top of the computer tower, the ones on top of the dresser, the ones stacked on the floor, the ones in the laundry hamper, and oh yes, the ones actually in the bookcases.

ETA: Right now I'm really, really glad I can 10-key, because these ISBNs would be a real pain otherwise.

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Courtesy of my sister's exercise program -- better known as our dog, Hudson -- I'm currently walking 2-3 miles a night 5 nights a week. Courtesy of Nike, I have a nifty app that uses the iPhone GPS to track my walk, providing me with distance, time, pace, and a cute little map. (My sister has an iPod but not an iPhone, so she uses a sensor in her shoe to track her walks, but doesn't get the cute little map.) Every so often at the end of a run, you get an upbeat message from a famous athlete, congratulating you on your progress. The insanity lies in the goals I've set, which will praise me if I succeed and scold me if I fail to walk absolutely every day. (Well, allowing for a couple of bad-weather days, it being that time of year.) I've heard of easing into things, but I never really got the hang of it.


Also, note to self: If you're always exhausted even when you don't do anything, try upping your iron a little sooner next time. I went back on supplements, broke out the jar of iron-fortified peanut butter, and started eating oatmeal with blackstrap molasses, and I feel 200% better. (Hint: To avoid sticky oatmeal, dissolve the molasses in the hot water instead of adding it at the end. It will turn your oatmeal brown. Start small, 'cause it tastes pretty strong.)

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Hudson made his first trip to the dog park today. I've walked past it a few times, but I never really paid attention. Why would I, when we hadn't had a dog in my teenager's lifetime? He had a lot of fun, though. So did we, for that matter, although I think I should probably clean the mud off my mother's car seats when it dries.

The park appears to be well planned. It has two sections with separate entrances, one for dogs under 30 pounds, one for dogs over 30. The park entrance has a sort of airlock design. You go in, shut the first gate, take your dog off the leash, and open the second gate. No food is allowed in the park, but they have water fountains for people and a large water bowl for the dogs. Several poop cleanup stations are scattered around the edges, providing both plastic bags and a place to put them after. There are a few benches as well, and near the gate there are two picnic tables; today a woman was studying something, or trying to. Another person was working with their dog on commands, and if you can get your dog to lie down and stay while other dogs are running by playing, and he's still watching *you*, you've got it down. The park is only open sunrise to sunset, since they didn't bother with lights, but I'd just as soon not try to catch my dog in a large DARK field anyway, so that makes sense.

Angela had to remind Mom a few times that even when Hudson is running ahead of another dog, if he's only running half as fast as I personally know he can and his tail is wagging, he's not running away, he's playing tag. He got overwhelmed at one point early on when everyone wanted to sniff the new kid, and he had no problem running to me for support, so I didn't really fuss about it. It was nice, really; I can't relax and just watch my son play without worrying that he's going to do something inappropriate and upset someone, so this was a nice change.

I was very pleased with his behavior in general, and I'm particularly pleased that when we called him, said it was time to go, picked up his leash, and opened the inner gate, he ran up and ran right in. (So did one of the other dogs, which led to some juggling, but only briefly.)


Now if we can just make some progress on the baying and leaping when he sees another dog. (Or a squirrel.)

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I was hoping I'd made a note of what medicine I went off of because of hand-tremors, but if I did, I can't find it, and generally my journal!GoogleFu is pretty good. I did find a note that the one they just gave me (perphenazine 4mg, 1-2 at bedtime) is the one they gave me to replace the one that gave me shakes, and I apparently stayed on it until I stopped being as manic and didn't need the extra boost anymore. So that explains why the two were linked in my head. I need to talk to the nurse, but I think I'd be more comfortable taking it only on nights when I'm wound up, unless I need to maintain a constant dose. It's got a really interesting set of interactions with my other meds, too, including one "you're kidding, right?" So yes, checking with the nurse this week.

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Hudson seems to be settling in nicely. (The cats are pretty dubious about the matter, but they'll chill out soon.) In the meantime, Hudson walks politely -- as long as he doesn't see a squirrel or another dog. Fortunately, I have background in large dogs, so I cinch him down and scold him mildly and he calms back down. Turned loose in the backyard, he runs in excited circles and bows and bounces to invite you to come play. Angela wants to take him to the dog park, but I'm unfamiliar with how they work. I should probably ask [personal profile] thingswithwings for advice.

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So we got a dog yesterday; his name is Hudson*. I kind of wish I knew why, but since we got him from the shelter, we won't be finding out. He's definitely part Catahoula -- the markings are very distinctive -- but he's not solidly-built enough to be full-blooded, which is probably just as well, since they're big enough to flatten adults without trying too hard. They also have no undercoat whatsoever, so we're going to be getting him a sweater for going on walks. He was given up by his previous family because he was too big for their apartment. =(

He's very smart and very well-mannered, if a bit clingy at the moment, but I expect he'll mellow once he feels a little more secure about us bringing him home; at the moment, he doesn't like being in a room without a human in it and is currently dozing on a pillow in front of the couch.

It's been a while since we had a dog, so we're having to establish policies for the family. No dogs on the couch. Walks go out the front door, potty trips go out the back; that way we can tell what he wants by which way he runs. No, Erinn, you cannot give the dog your plate when you lose interest halfway through eating. Since we haven't had a dog in Erinn's lifetime, he's not currently allowed to take the dog out alone, only with someone, just in case something goes wrong. I'm sure I'm forgetting things, but that's a start.


*If link breaks, I apologize; it goes to his listing on the pet adoption site, and I don't know how long those stay up. But hey, pictures!

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The camp area has since been turned into a park and baseball field, but they put up a little marker, which I took a picture of.

I'm told this was actually a pretty good area to end up. A lot of people in this area are German-descended. Some of them still speak some German, some don't. Either way, almost all the young men had gone off to war, and this is farming country. To keep the farms running, they used the German POWs as farmhands. My mother told me that a few of them didn't go back, though we don't know if they had nothing to go back for or if they liked it here. But I remember hearing stories about the local families making sure that the men were included in holidays and basically treating them as visitors rather than prisoners. I don't know if they would have gotten the same effect in an area that was maybe more French, or more English, but that's apparently how it went in the Germanic areas of Texas. They were young men "just like us."

Picture and text of historical markerCollapse )

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I told an Army girl recently that I've seen a polish that would look good with the standard uniform, but I can't find anything good; all the greens in my collection are either emerald-y or Easter-y, and a quick Google search isn't turning up any good possibilities. I'll probably hit up a few stores when I get a day off, but suggestions would be awesome.

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Daily happiness:
1) Cara cara oranges are back! I adore these. They're slightly pink and more tart than regular oranges. I thought at one point that they might be a grapefruit hybrid, but apparently it's just a coincidence.

2) I got the last two bags of SweetTart gummy bunnies in the store, which will hold me for maybe a week, depending on my work schedule. I tend to take some to munch on during the day to keep my mouth moist and my blood sugar up.

3) I got an apron! I've been after one for about 2 years. Turns out I just needed to ask the right person. ^_^ This is nice because my work skirts don't have any pockets, so I end up taking a little bag to keep my assorted stuff in: meds, phone, debit card, pens, folding fan.... So now I have pockets on a string and I am pleased.

4) Angela is taking me to see Ariadne auf Naxos in Houston on May 1. We're doing a matinee so we don't have to get a hotel room, just drive down and back up. We saw the soprano doing Zerbinetta in Rigoletto recently, and she's just AMAZING. (Although the opera itself is desperately in need of a Sassy Gay Friend.)

(ETA: Oh yes, and World of Warcraft has added Guild Chat to its iPhone app, so I'll be able to hang out with my people even when I'm not at the computer. Whenever they get to my server, anyway.)

Daily un-happiness:
1) I bought the last two bags of SweetTart gummy bunnies in the store, which means I'm going to have to quest afield to find more.

Animal lovers bewareCollapse )

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I thought I remembered that my windows can open from the top as well as the bottom!

Air conditioning's broken and it's in the 90s, which is a bit warm for my taste. (Okay, at the moment it's only 75°F, but that's not the point.) Plus my windows have a simple bar latch that prevents them from being opened more than a couple of inches unless the latch is closed, and that's only possible from the inside. Little bit of extra air + ceiling fan + sleeping on top of the comforter -- and I normally sleep under multiple blankets even in the summer; I like the weight. I gave serious thought to turning off the computer, but in the end I just couldn't make myself do it. I have a hard time sleeping without the whirr of the computer fan; it makes me think something's wrong.

Theoretically the repairman is coming out in the morning to see if he can't get us up and running again. My sister's threatening to move into a hotel if it's not fixed by Sunday night, so she can get some quality sleep before going back to work Monday.

---

In further unpleasant news, I think the cable box is not much longer for this world. It's almost hot enough to grill a sandwich. I'm not sure what temperature the box is supposed to be, but I'm pretty sure that's not it.

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Officially 35 in 2 1/2 hours. I hear that I’m supposed to dislike birthdays by this point, but the way I see it, I get the same amount older every day, it’s just that one day a year people give me presents for it.

Being, well... me, I'm going to try to get up early so I can do up some sparkly make-up and nail polish, apply a couple of green glittery temporary tattoos, pop on a tiara, and go to work as the Birthday Fairy. (Previous bosses have managed to avoid this by realizing I'm a freak and giving me the day off. Current boss less clued-in. Bwahahaha!!!)

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I didn't know quite what to say today. I was attending a meeting of my local school district's special education department on educational opportunities for autistic children -- my son is currently in the process of being evaluated for Asperger's Syndrome, and his teacher thought it might be a useful resource -- and the subject of DARS came up. DARS, or the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services is an agency that, among other things, helps people with disabilities find jobs. They helped me find my current position, and if things go badly when my store closes its doors next month, I'll contact them for advice.

So I raised my hand and explained a little bit about what they did and what they had done for me. I'm bipolar and suffer from anxiety issues, so the first thing they did was send me down to UT Southwestern to attend a class on handling emotional problems: recognizing your triggers, planning coping strategies, that sort of thing. Pretty CBT stuff, and very handy. (Love my Ativan, but it can't do everything.) One of the things I thought was especially useful to know was that, unlike a lot of the agencies people will probably be dealing with, DARS doesn't have an age limit. They'll help you at 16 or 60 or anywhere in between.

Immediately after my comments, a woman at the table in front of mine leaned over and tossed a folder Post-It note in front of me. It read, "I'm also bipolar." I grinned at her and stuck the note on the front of my handouts, and on the morning went. And then break came, and she edged over -- I never got her name -- and said, very quietly, that she thought I was very brave to be able to just say it like that. My mouth kept going, but part of my brain stopped, and then restarted but in little circles. Brave? Why would it be brave to admit to suffering from a common medical condition? I know it used to be something people hid, but I thought we were doing better about that, and she couldn't be much older than I am....

At the local NAMI meetings, people have talked about the stigma of mental illness and how people look at you differently after they know. Maybe they do. I've never noticed that myself, but I've never been good at social cues, and bipolar disorder is a fairly invisible illness, especially with treatment. (I actually got in a brief argument with one of my supervisors last week over whether I was, in fact, bipolar. I'm not sure what he thought it should look like, but he was sure I was lying to him, for what reason I have no idea.) I take my pills, I see my doctor, I monitor my condition and take good care of myself, and I do just fine. I can never take it for granted, and there are a lot of things that I'll never be safely able to do, but that's okay. I have to deal with some medication side-effects, but I can live with that. (Although I really, really wish the tremors hadn't been apparently permanent, but most days they're not too bad; you can only really see them if I hold my hands out.)

My only conclusion today is that somehow I never picked up shame. I would be ashamed to steal, but I have no hesitation talking about my illness or my son's, any more than I do talking about my father's heart condition or how reckless my mother was when her gall bladder got infected and she wouldn't go to the hospital, even when her temperature got up to 105F and her lips started to turn blue. I'm equally shameless about sex; I took one of my coworkers to the local sex-toy store for an 18th birthday present, that being the age at which it becomes legal to admit to having genitalia in Texas. (Though it's still illegal to sell vibrators; they're all labeled "novelty items" "for external use only." In one particular case I saw one marked as a cake topper, which was an interesting mental image for an 8" dildo.) I've been pointing out the condom clearance sale to the customers, mostly the younger couples. I picked up a box of 12 for under $5, and the exp date isn't til late 2013. I also snagged a pack of 3 glow-in-the-dark for $1.25, just because I've never had any and I couldn't resist the opportunity. (Working for an AIDS resource clinic for a while in college may have helped with that one, but I'm pretty sure I was always SEX=YAY! I suspect I got it from my mother, whose commentary -- not even advice, but just casual conversation -- on sex dates back further than my 30-yr-old sister can remember.)

I just.... I didn't know what to say. I don't know what to say. I suggested she drop by one of the NAMI meetings, partly because it's nice not to be alone and there's usually some good advice going around, but mostly because nothing will cure you of shame faster than hearing other people's stories. (A friend of the family spent $10,000 in a couple of days in a manic period and accused her husband of hiring someone to kill her. Makes losing your job because you took too many sick days seem a little less embarrassing.) Still, it feels like there should have been more I could do. I don't like to think of people being afraid to admit the truth about themselves, whether it's mental illness or sexual orientation or kink or whatever. I may blink and say "Huh. I didn't know that," but that's about it. I might ask a question or two for clarification if you seem interested in talking about it. But to me, knowing that my coworker Abby is bisexual is filed somewhere along with the information that she loves to go to Olive Garden. It's just a fact.



Now I want an icon. "BI(polar). BI(sexual)." I dunno, it seems like there should be something clever available in there somewhere. *shrug* And now, to sleep. I probably should have mentioned the disability thing to my current manager at some point; her predecessor knew, but somehow it never came up since then other than as a passing reference to my anxiety pills. Which means that, instead of my usual 20-ish, I'm putting in 34 hours this week, more than anyone else in the department who's not a manager, and I have no idea how I'm going to do this. *whimper* So far I haven't had any breakdowns, though someone did find me lying on the break room floor last week listening to music and doing some deep breathing on lunch.

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I won't say I have multitasking issues, but I just realized that I put my towel in the bathroom as the first step towards having a shower and washing my hair about 2 hours ago, then got caught up in transferring files from the old hard drive to the new one and completely forgot about it. I think it's still early enough that I won't disturb people, though. (That's one of the few things I miss about having my own apartment: showering whatever time of day or night I felt like it. 2am steaming hot baths are a wonderful thing.)

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So this year I did the Halloween Inquisition; I couldn't pick, so I went with Trick *and* Treat. Which is why my bed it now covered in a scattering of scented goodies of various types, and a few random things as well.

Read more...Collapse )

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  • 00:28 @elizadushku I once drove my car into wet cement. It had just been smoothed and not marked off. I had to be rescued. #
  • 08:24 Getting breakfast while Frank at GM pokes at Ange's car (@ IHOP) 4sq.com/dbLryA #
  • 19:15 Possibly phone shopping for Ange (@ Sprint Store) 4sq.com/axII2I #
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