Monthly Archives: February 2015

A very long list of pangrams

A pangram is a sentence containing every letter in a given language.  Here’s a list of a bunch in English (plus a few others).  I have some favorites.

No kidding, Lorenzo called off his trip to visit Mexico City just because they told him the conquistadores were extinct.

Forsaking monastic tradition, twelve jovial friars gave up their vocation for a questionable existence on the flying trapeze.

Murky haze enveloped a city as jarring quakes broke forty-six windows.

King Alexander was just partly overcome after quizzing Diogenes in his tub.

And, because I am twelve…

Prodigal lesbians from Venezuela know just exactly how to eat quiche.

The risque gown maked a very brazen exposure of juicy flesh.

The sex life of the woodchuck is a provocative question for most vertebrate zoology majors.


Life update (including the Against Me! concert)

Against Me! was amazing.  That was Thursday night in Orlando.  The Valkyrie and the Naiad got to meet Laura Jane Grace after the show, and they were over the moon about it.  The Valkyrie got Laura to autograph her Midori cover with a Sharpie.  It’s awesome.

Other stuff that’s been going on:

I’m not going to be able to have my hysterectomy this Wednesday.  I’m sick.  Breathing hurts, my sinuses hurt…  Yeah, no surgery.  I’ll schedule it for May or so, after my semester is over.

This last Wednesday I found out that the Valkyrie didn’t know she was triggering me for all these years.  We were both horrified that I’d never told her, that she’d never known.  Talking about it made everything better.  I’m so happy.

Thursday I had lunch with my former BFF.  She wants to be friends again, saying she’d never stopped being my friend.  She just needed time to heal from the death of her cat while she was away, and that seeing me reminded her of the cat.  She doesn’t seem to understand that she could have said that to me in one sentence way back when and we could have avoided everything that happened after.  She says she’s sorry for being an asshole about it, but… I dunno.  We’ll see what happens.

Friday I attended a seminar about dealing with compassion fatigue.  It was… okay.  Not as good as I’d hoped for, and the heteronormativity of the old white cis male presenter annoyed the fuck out of me.  (Seriously, for a laugh he had talking dolls that were supposed to be the perfect girlfriend and boyfriend.  The girl said shit like, “It’s okay that you left the toilet seat up, honey.  It makes it easier for me to clean.”  The boy said things like, “Can we go cuddle and just talk?”  It was offensive as fuck.)

Saturday I ran errands and then laid around the house a bunch because my hip hurt.

Today I drove up to my mom’s house (75 miles away) to do some stuff around her house for her.  I am very annoyed that my sister can’t drive the five minutes to Mom’s house to change a freaking light bulb.  We had a nice lunch, though, and I dug through a 13 year old box that I’d left behind when my ex-boyfriend and I broke up.  There was one of his sweatshirts in there.  Now I have long-sleeved shirts belonging to two dead exes.  (The other is a jacket given to me by a girlfriend around the time she was diagnosed with a brain tumor.)  It’s… weird.  Also in that box was a forgotten and unopened gift from a friend who killed himself about five years ago.  I haven’t opened it yet.  I’m not ready.

And that’s been my week.  I’ll probably go to bed early tonight, as the Valkyrie has physical therapy in the morning…

Fauxdori update

I continue to use the hell out of my Field Notes-sized fauxdori.  I thought I would share the way I’ve been using it, since I just started a fresh FN for daily pages.  (I actually used one up.  Shocking.)

Daily pages have the day’s tasks and appointments.  I’m dating a week out at a time.


I also write from the back of the notebook forward, on the left hand side.  The very last page is for testing inks.


The page behind that is for undated tasks.  Other undated lists (like a running grocery list) go behind that.  The notebook is done when my daily pages and the back pages meet (generally somewhere around 80% of the way through the book).

Next up is a Field Notes Ambition Edition datebook.


Appointments and future tasks go there.  I’m liking this book so much that I want to order another set of Ambition notebooks just to get the datebook, in case Field Notes doesn’t put out another datebook next year.

Wrapped around the datebook are a Midori Passport zipper pocket/insert pocket, and a file pocket I made myself out of a UPS mailer.  I have some Post-It Notes stuck on there, and the little key you see is a spare bookmark for if I put in a fourth book (which I think about doing sometimes).


The third and last book is a Clairefontaine Life Unplugged notebook, which I’m using for a journal.  It has more pages than Field Notes, and the heavy paper is great for fountain pens.


My violet Pilot Decimo is currently the one that lives in the pen loop.  I still have the old-fashioned key as a charm, and the key bookmarks.


It really is a nice little book.  As I said, I’m always tempted to stick in a fourth notebook for lists, but non-task lists live in Evernote and it’s silly to not leave them there.  My main timekeeper is Google Calendar, which I share with the Valkyrie and the Naiad, but I like having a paper version handy when I’m making appointments over the phone.  I hate having to pause a conversation to put the other party on speakerphone so I can bring up the calendar app.  I just update GCal when I get off the phone.

So that’s my current setup.  I wish I had a set of leather stamps so I could put something cool on the cover.  My name, or some neat design.  I’ll have to think about it some and see what I can come up with.

Insomnia, and an unexpected gift

I haven’t slept in over 24 hours.  Still not tired.  Not good.  I was feeling really bad and down on myself, but someone on my favorite knitting forum offered to send me a Pilot Vanishing Point for nothing more than postage.  My flabber was ghasted.  That’s a $140 pen.  She doesn’t like it, so it’s mine now.  And it’s even black, which is the color I wanted.  I’m sending her handspun yarn in return.  It’s the least I can do.

Fuck gender, fuck everything.

I am not a man.  I’m not a woman either.  Just some fucking freak in the middle.  I realized this tonight when the Valkyrie and I were having… not an argument, but… she said something about me being a man and it just felt so wrong, I’m not her husband, just her fucked-up spouse…

We seem to be doing this thing lately, when I get upset she gets scared and lashes out verbally, and when she lashes out verbally I get severely triggered and have flashbacks to being talked to the same way by my abusive ex, and then I freak out and yell at her and she gets more scared…  It’s fucking awful and I don’t know how to make it better, I don’t like getting upset at her, but I keep getting upset because she’s accidentally triggering me so often so I’m on edge all the time because of the constant flashbacks and I don’t know how to break this awful cycle.  Seriously, I’ve been thinking about my abusive ex so much that I thought hard last night about looking him up on Facebook and seeing how he’s doing because he’s been on my mind so much.  It’s sick.  It’s not the Valkyrie’s fault, I just keep getting drawn deeper and deeper into those memories because I upset her and then get triggered, and she hasn’t done anything wrong and god I just want to stop thinking about my ex and all the horrible things he did to me.

I’m going to email my therapist now.  We have to find a way out of this…

Birthday, and applying to grad school

Yesterday was my birthday.  It started off just after midnight, when the Valkyrie and the Naiad and I all exchanged presents.  V got me an adorable owl coin purse…

From JetPens

and a Manatea tea strainer that had me laughing my ass off.

From Amazon

I had seen both these things online months ago, thought they were adorable, and never got around to buying them for myself.  Which means they were perfect presents.  The Naiad bought me a Lamy Al-Star in Ocean Blue, and some gorgeous BFL wool.

Woolgatherings BFL from the Naiad

I had bought Valentine’s presents for the girls.  The Valkyrie received a handful of awesome washi tapes, instead of roses.  They were skulls and circuit boards and black lace and…  there were six different ones, I think.  And I got the Naiad a glass dip pen and a subscription to Goulet Pens’ Ink Drop, which is for both of us, so we can try new fountain pen inks every month.  V&N exchanged presents, too — N got V a nice pen and some washi tape (as V is obsessed with the stuff), and V got N a really pretty amethyst ring.  They were all mushy and it was totes adorbs.

Saturday morning I spent an hour and a half in a Barnes & Noble with my mom, sis, and sis’ family.  We had a great time.  The B&N we met at is huge.  The cafe has spinach-and-feta-stuffed soft pretzels that are to die for.  Mom and I will definitely be meeting there sometimes.  Anyway, I was talking to my sister about whether or not I want to reapply to grad school.  She said that I sounded like I did.  So this evening I wrote up my application essay.  I’m having a few people look it over, and then I’ll submit it tomorrow.  Gulp.  Sis got me an Amazon gift card, which I used to order a canvas backpack.

After B&N, Mom and I went to lunch at Red Lobster.  It’s a birthday tradition.  She’s taken me there for my birthday lunch almost every year we’ve lived with/near each other since I was a kid.  I didn’t get the annual Birthday Daiquiri because drinking makes me feel awful these days, but I had lobster tail and shrimp scampi so I was happy.  After dinner I got my gift from her, which was the Cuisinart electric tea kettle I’d been drooling over for a while.

For dinner back at my house, we had steaks, and I consumed a pound of cooked and peeled shrimp with some of my MIL’s delicious homemade cocktail sauce (with enough horseradish in it to completely clear out my sinuses).  For dessert there was a cake, and there was singing and candles.  MIL gave me two Lamy Al-Stars, in ruby red and raspberry.  They’re both pretty rare pens.  They were not a surprise, as I’m the one who ordered them with her credit card.  But I love them all the same.

I had a bit of a cry last night because I was missing my BFF, but otherwise had a nice time playing Dying Light with the girls and knitting.  I didn’t get to bed until after six this morning because I was covered in cats.  After I got up this morning, MIL and N and I went to the Russell Stover outlet, and I behaved myself.  Shocking.

Okay, back to working on my grad school application.  I don’t have to do too much for it, as all my paperwork and recommendations from last year are still valid.  All I have to do is some minor stuff, and then turn it in.  Wish me luck.

Dental fun

Last February I had my annual dental checkup.  Dentist found a cavity and told me I was going to need a root canal.  I believed him.  When his colleague went in to do the procedure, he found that it was only a cavity.  I assumed my dentist had made a mistake, and thought nothing of it.  Until last week’s annual checkup, when he did the exact same thing, and quoted me $2000 to fix the tooth.  This time I went for a second opinion, at a dentist’s that my MIL’s friend works for.  Yep, it was just a cavity.  Again.  I think my now-former dentist is either incompetent or else an extortionist.  Or possibly a sadist.  Anyway, I’m not going back.  New Dentist is kind and seems to know his shit.  After I got numbed up he drilled and filled the cavity in about 10 minutes.  No pain, no trauma.  I’m definitely sticking with this new guy.

New Esterbrooks!

Two Esterbrook J fountain pens have found their way into my possession.

Red Esterbrook J says not to hate her because she's beautiful

Esterbrook J fountain pen

Aren’t they pretty?  The green one, with a #1554 nib, came from an FPN member.  The red one, with a #1551 nib, came from an eBay seller who turned out to be local.  So I went and picked up the pen in person.  It’s lovely, but the nib is shit.  So I’ve ordered a replacement from Anderson Pens, who gets mentioned fairly often on the Pen Addict podcast. I was going to buy the new nib from the eBay seller, but the one from Anderson will have been restored, unlike the eBay guy’s.  (He doesn’t restore pens, just sells them as-is.) I’d like a smoother nib.  The current one is scratchy and too wide.  (It’s a medium-fine.)  I’m going to put a fine stub nib, #2314F, on the green one, just for fun.  They’re cheap, and I love being able to switch out the nibs on my pens.

Splitting pills

Saphris, my anti-psychotic, makes me sleepy.  So I was taking it at night.  Last week I was having positive symptoms (aka hallucinations and delusions, although not super intense ones, and I was aware of what was going on)  so Thursday I asked my doctor if I could split the dose, 5mg twice a day instead of 10mg at night.  She said sure, so I did.  But it made me sleepy in the mornings, so Sunday I skipped the morning dose with the intention of taking 10mg at night.

In retrospect, this was a really dumb idea.

I was freaking out, getting obsessive about my planner and pens in unhealthy ways (as I’m prone to do when I have symptoms), and having hallucinations.  So this morning I’m back to twice a day, with the addition of a Ritalin in the mornings to keep me from falling asleep.  I hate that I have to use a secondary medication to stop the side effects of a primary medication.

Mental illness sucks.

Private Reserve Ebony Purple

I tried out some PR Ebony Purple in my Kaweco Sport last week.  It didn’t go well.  I figured I hadn’t flushed the pen well enough when I tried to put in another ink, because it kept acting like it was drying up.  I finally gave it another flush with soapy water, and after that it worked fine with the Noodler’s North African Violet I put in a cartridge (with a syringe).

Tonight I decided to try it with the PR ink again, and… it clogs the fuck out of my Kaweco, apparently.  I had to completely flush it and re-ink it with the N.A. Violet again. Hopefully it will behave now.

Oh, and this happened:


And that’s after two handwashings!