Monthly Archives: July 2014

Upcoming: Steam Powered Giraffe!

Next Friday I get to see Steam Powered Giraffe in concert.  The paranoia is better, because my new friend Jen (whom I met on the SPG fan club forum) pointed out that David has blocked other innocent fans for no apparent reason.  So it’s him and not me.  Whew.  I’m going to get Bella’s shawl done this weekend so I can wet finish it and have it ready to give her on Friday at the autograph session.  Well, not actually give it to her.  Show it to her and offer to mail it to her, because the band has said they don’t have room in their suitcases for larger presents.  They have a PO box for fan stuff, and so if she likes it I’ll send it there.  I’m joking with Jen that the band will give me funny looks if I show up smelling like tequila, but that being a bit fortified before meeting them really would help.  Heh.  I’m not really going to do that, but it’s a nice thought.  SO NERVOUS.  But I’m glad I’m sane enough and reassured enough to go.  I hope it lasts!

When I send the shawl (if Bella likes it!) I’d love to include other handmade goodies, for the guys.  I could use some ideas.  Part of me wants to go overboard and make them light cotton throws on my loom, perfect for napping under on the sofa.  But seriously, that’s probably overkill.  The problem is that they don’t need anything warm because they live in San Diego.  Maybe I’ll ask for ideas on my crafting forum.  Although the throws really aren’t that hard if I tie on the new warps instead of rethreading the heddle.  Hmmm.  I know I live in Florida, so I should know what kind of things to make for fellow warm-weather fans, but I don’t make stuff for many men.  Handspun, handknit hats, maybe?  Hmmm.


It’s been a rough week.

I sorta stopped eating for a couple of days because I thought I didn’t deserve food.  I ate dinner but nothing else for three days.  As a result I got lethargic and confused and didn’t do much but sleep.  The confusion added to my paranoia and wow did that suck.  And I didn’t take my meds two nights in a row and…  yeah, I was a mess.  Today I’m better, though.  It was a rough start — the kittens got me up at 8am but I fell back asleep until 15 minutes before my 1pm dental appointment — but I went to the dentist anyway (just a cleaning, and they’re less than 5 minutes from my house) and have been okay since.  I’ve even gotten some stuff done.  Woo!

I have had appointments every day this week, and I had to reschedule the last three days’ worth because of all the mental fun.  So I’m extra glad I made today’s appointment.

Yesterday I had to go by the vet’s to pick up tapeworm meds for the babbies.  I don’t know how they could have gotten the worms, but they did have fleas when we adopted them.  They seem to be fine despite shedding bits of worm out their bums.  Gross.  We’ve been playing a lot with the fishing lure toy.  I had gotten them one when they moved in, but they weren’t that interested in it.  So I got one that makes a little rattle noise when I was at the pet store Monday night.  Oh boy do they love it.  So we’re playing at least once a day, sometimes more, for at least 15 minutes a session.  They’re eager to get out of the bedroom, and I let them run around in the hallway (with the baby gate at the top of the stairs so they can’t get out), but I’ve been too crazy to clean the den enough to let them  have the run of the entire upstairs.  I’ve got to do that over the next day or two.  Maybe now that I’m feeling better…

I’m a pig and it’s not my fault.

From the NIMH page on schizophrenia:

People with negative symptoms need help with everyday tasks. They often neglect basic personal hygiene. This may make them seem lazy or unwilling to help themselves, but the problems are symptoms caused by the schizophrenia.

I am messy.  Very messy.  A slob.  But I can’t help it.  Back before my breakdown 14 years ago I kept a pretty neat house.  Since then I’ve been at varying levels of disaster when it comes to cleaning up around me.  I manage to do some cleaning sometimes, but I just cannot keep things straight on a regular basis.  I try.  I come up with plans to help.  I tried Flylady and Unfuck Your Habitat.  But I can never do it.  One time my MIL called me a slob and I broke down sobbing, because I try but I can’t do it.  It’s taken me years just to be able to shower regularly.  I can’t take my medication without help, most days.  So my part of the house gets so bad that I start freaking out when I walk into rooms and I eventually clean everything up, but the Valkyrie and I live in two rooms and we don’t have places for everything and she can’t help much because she’s physically disabled and I am incapable of doing it on my own.  My MIL has a cleaning lady who comes in once every two weeks to do her part of the house, and she does our bathroom.  Otherwise that would never get clean either.  My BFF has helped me a few times and it’s nice to have help.  MIL keeps offering but the Valkyrie doesn’t want her upstairs.  I like our privacy too, but I’d love to have her help me once in a while but she’ll see for real what a pig I am and I’m ashamed.

I don’t know what to do.  I need help.  I seem to be incapable of helping myself.  I spent the last hour crying because I’m so angry at myself, and because I feel helpless…

Adventures in cell phone service

We were paying $275 for three of us on AT&T.  Verizon had a better deal, better coverage in our area, phones that could all be hotspots, and iPhones very cheap.  Wednesday I signed us up online.  I think they thought I was an identity scammer because I was at their site through a VPN service, so they turned me down.  So today MIL and I went into the store to fix it.

We were there a little over three hours.  THREE.  Their system said they’d shipped us phones, which they hadn’t.  So we had to go through this whole thing.  And the sales guy said the only way to fix it and get our phone numbers switched over was for us to only have temporary numbers for a couple of days.  We said no way, we need to be able to have our real numbers work, and so he spent two hours on the phone trying to get it set up for us.

Around 2.5 hours we were all getting really tired, and Sales Guy said…  I forget what, but it made me ask him if our old phones would still work with our real numbers until the switch happened.  He said yes, and I got really mad.  He complained that it only would have taken 5-10 minutes to get it set up if we’d done it his way, with the temporary numbers.  I replied that it was his fault we didn’t do it that way, because he told us our phone numbers wouldn’t work for a couple of days.  I had asked him repeatedly about this, and he never bothered to mention the bit about our old phones still having our real numbers for a while longer.  He started giving me shit about how his way would have been better and I was pointing out that we would have done it his way if he had been straight with us and he started complaining about how long he’d been at work, implying that I had no right to say I was tired of being there.  I get it that he was stressed and frustrated, but it was his fault he had to do all that extra work.  I felt no pity, especially since he was getting really bitchy.  When he finally got everything fixed he didn’t even tell us to have a nice day.  What an ass.

At least I have a phone that holds all my music now.  That’s something, anyway.

Navel-gazing: labels

It seems like in the last year I’ve started to move away from labeling myself.  There are things I am, like “atheist”, but I don’t define myself by them anymore.  I’m just… me.  Which is weird, since I spent so long looking for a definition that fit me.  Maybe I’m finally becoming comfortable enough with myself that fitting into a group isn’t as important. I have friends and family who accept me.  I don’t seem to need any more than that at this stage of my life.

What brought this up was emailing with a new friend about there being a new geek/gaming pub in Orlando, called the Cloak & Blaster.  I told her I’m interesting in going because of their craft beer selection and lack of dudebros.  I don’t really game, and I don’t consider myself a geek anymore.  I’m not involved with any fandoms, I’m not into SF/fantasy, and I don’t work with computers anymore.  I still read some comic books but I don’t geek out over them like I used to.

I know people who talk proudly about how “weird” they are.  Maybe I’m jaded, but I don’t think of people as being weird.  Everybody’s different to one degree or another.  Normal doesn’t exist.  What’s normal for me might not be normal for someone else.  So I get really annoyed at people who feel the need to point out their supposed weirdness.  It’s probably just me and not them.  If it makes them feel better to remind people how different they are, I’m not going to stop them.  I’ll just continue to silently roll my eyes and move on.

I’m tired…

BFF’s niece returns!

AC, the fourteen-year-old niece of my best friend, has returned to stay for an indefinite period of time.  BFF is happy about this, and so am I.  One, BFF is less stressed when she’s got a munchkin around to take care of.  Two, AC is a really cool kid and I’m looking forward to spending time with her.  She remembered an offhand comment I made when she visited a couple of months ago — that I’d never seen My Neighbor Totoro — and she brought the DVD with her because she wanted to show it to me.  How sweet is that?

Yesterday I got up at 8:30am due to hungry babbies.  I saw my vocational rehab counselor at 11:00.  I failed a class in spring because I was struggling with mental illness pretty bad for a couple of months.  Much to my relief, my otherwise stellar record allowed me to get funding to retake the class.  Whew!  I was so worried I’d be kicked out of the program or something.  But no, everything will be cool as long as my therapist and psychiatrist write letters saying I was sick but am doing everything I can to get better so I can finish school.  Not a problem.

Got home, went to lunch with MIL, and tried to save my crashing laptop.  I succeeded.  I did a full backup onto an external hard drive to be safe, and figured out what software was causing the issue.  Uninstalling it and upgrading to the new version seems to have taken care of that problem.  Now I have to diagnose an issue with my network adapter next time that goes haywire.  My laptop is 7 years old and has been very good to me.  I want to hang onto it a while longer if I can help it.

Speaking of tech, our cellular contract with AT&T is up, so we’re switching to Verizon.  32GB iPhone 5s’s for $149, hell yeah.  They’ll arrive tomorrow.  and then we can trade in our 4s’s for $100 gift cards.  Awesome!  My MIL is very sweet for getting us new phones.  Bonus is that Verizon allows all the phones to function as hot spots, so we don’t have to pay any extra for that.  Very cool.  this comes at a good time, as my iPhone 4s is not doing too well.  I used to be able to go three days without charging; now I have to charge in the middle of the day as well as overnight.

Anyway, AC’s flight got in at 9pm last night, and after we picked her up we got dinner, so I didn’t get home until after midnight.  Stayed up until 3-ish then crashed hard.  Aaaaaand got woken up again before 9:00 by the babbies.  Such a cute way to wake up, I can’t really complain.  although there was a nap this afternoon…  :D

Flashback to Connor Prairie

Someone on a forum I frequent mentioned interactive history museum Connor Prairie today.  Instant flashback!  I lived in Indiana for a few years as a kid. At the time I was obsessed with Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books because they talked about how old fashioned stuff worked, and Connor Prairie had real live people doing some of that. It was the first place I ever saw spinning in action and I wanted to do it too. I used to watch the spinners until parents or teachers dragged me away. (My school went there every year for a field trip.) My mom had an antique-looking spinning wheel that didn’t work, but I tried for ages to get it to work. I was like 7 or 8 at the time. I tried carding cotton balls on my mom’s hairbrushes, too, but got in trouble. This was the same age when I got my Fisher-Price weaving loom and was addicted to making scarves that I gave to my mom. I hadn’t thought of Connor Prairie in years.  I thanked the person who mentioned it.  Those are nice memories.

Today in therapy: it’s all about reactions

Therapist told me an analogy she hear once from a NAMI instructor who taught the family members of mentally ill people about coping with the disease. Imagine this: you’re wading in the ocean up to your knees. A wave comes. To a neurotypical person, the wave hits your waist and passes by. For a sick person, it’s like a tsunami — threatening, overpowering, a crisis. Totally accurate. If a neurotypical person has a bad day, it may suck. But the same this that cause that person’s bad day can drive a mentally ill person to a dangerous and scary place.

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Some happy stuff!

Today I woke up at 8:30 (thanks, hungry babbies).  Made five important phone calls (I lost a credit card somewhere in the house and had to replace it, I set up a dentist appointment, etc etc).  Got some packages prepped to go to the shipping place, mostly returns.  Had lunch with MIL.  Ran a zillion errands.  Remembered to take the recycling to the curb before it started raining.  I did pretty well.

This evening I focused on spinning.  Lots of spinning.  Interweave Press, producer of tons of excellent crafting content, had a one-day sale: three video downloads for $29.  Considering the videos are normally like $20 each, I scrounged up the dough.  I’ve wanted Abby Franquemont’s Respect the Spindle DVD for a couple of months now.  It hadn’t finished downloading, so I watched the first DVD of a two-parter on spinning cotton.  Then I tried out the methods on my takhli.

Not great, but a good start.  I need more practice.  I am bound and determined to get good at spinning cotton. The takhli can produce cotton yarn faster than a spinning wheel can.  I must do this.

When I started to get tired of practicing, I did some long draw with BFL on my lightweight Snyder spindle.

I am very pleased with that.

And I continue to work on plying my purple MIRLA batts.  Here’s the bobbin I’m storing the yarn on once it’s complete.

It’s so soft.  I just want to pet it.  In fact, I probably will, once it’s in skein form!

I’m also reading a book, frequently while I spin on my wheel.  (Haven’t done that today, though.)  It’s Susan Strasser’s Never Done: a History of American Housework.  It’s a feminist history of how women spent their days before modern appliances, and looks at how women were viewed and the relationships between different classes of women (like between wealthier women and their servants).  It’s quite fascinating.  I definitely recommend it.

So anyway, that was today.  I should sleep soon.  Have shit to do tomorrow!