Category Archives: random updates

Life update, Halloween edition

Lots of stuff has been going on, mostly good things!

Social: I’ve been leaving the house and hanging out with people!  Which means I need to give a few people some nicknames. (Pause…)  Done.  I even made a page for my cast of characters.  Yesterday I hung out with Zelda for like 6 hours.  Her friend Domino joined us for lunch, and we hit it off too, and then the three of us spent like an hour in Joanns gleefully shopping for 70% off Halloween decorations.  Last Sunday I had coffee in the morning with Rose for two hours, and then spend the afternoon with Zelda.  I am such a social butterfly.

Hellooooooo nurse: I’ve been contemplating having a sex life again.  I don’t want love, but friendship with benefits would be awesome.  I’ve even been flirting with people.  Shocking.

Brain Fun: doing fairly well on most days. There was a four-day depressive streak last week during which I only left the house once.  And the week before that I struggled with occasional bursts of impulsive recklessness.  Like, “if I ride my bike down this 65mph highway, it’s not like I’m actually attempting suicide, right?  I mean, it has a bike lane…”  But mostly I’m okay.

Thursday I started decreasing my Lamictal dosage.  I’ve been on 200mg twice a day for years, and I’m fed up with the severe memory loss it causes.  I’ve forgotten almost everything I learned in college.  I don’t remember most of my childhood.  The memories are still there, I just can’t access them.  (Thanks to my psych degree and a stint volunteering in a neuropsych lab, I know a bit about memory testing and have done some.  I store memories just fine; it’s retrieval that’s the problem.)  I consider this to be the best way to lose memories, as it means I have a chance of regaining access.  If I wasn’t storing them when they happened, I’d be completely SOL.

Lamictal is what prevents my mania.  If I start getting manic I’ll just sedate myself and then resume my former dose.  Easy.  I hope this works.

Therapy: haven’t had an appointment since my last update.  I’ll have one tomorrow, though.

Cycling: still doing it, although not as much as I’d like.  That whole reckless thing has made me a little scared to ride much.  I’ll talk to my therapist about it.

I’ve resumed my daily walks, though.  Because outdoor exercise of any kind helps my mental health.

Crafting: two inches left of Nephew’s pillow.  I’ve been spinning a lot.  Nothing else, though.  I’ve been too busy reading.

Reading: alllll the books.  So many books.  Mostly paper ones.  All non-fiction.  Which reminds me, I should update my Goodreads account.

Cello: I’ve stopped lessons until January, so that I can afford school and Christmas presents.  I’m sad, but I’ll be back to it in the new year.

Follow-up from last update: I had to reschedule the dentist, because I’ve been having some trouble with nausea.  The craft fair this last Saturday was fun, although it was just me and Mom.  I got a new journal.  Now I just need to keep up with it.

Upcoming plans: Hiking November 11th!  So excite!

Energy is back!

Since my last post, I went back up on my Trintellix.  (Which used to be called Brintellix, but it sounded too much like some other drug — Brillenta, I think? — so they recently changed it.)  I am happy to report more energy and more Getting Shit Done.  In the last two days, anyway.  It’s a start.

I have a skirt.  It’s ankle-length and black.  My sister got it for me yesterday at Target, as I’ve had the weird urge to wear one lately.  I put it on with a black T-shirt and my purple Docs, and I didn’t feel even slightly feminine.  Gender-bendy as fuck, instead, which is exactly what I wanted.  I look transmasculine/androgynous even with the skirt on.  It’s lovely.  It really brings home my personal definition of genderqueer: my brain leans more towards female even though I feel gender dysphoria about my body and want it to be a cis male’s.  “Gender dysphoria” is a misnomer, really.  My gender is fine.  I am very happy with it.  It’s my body that’s wrong.  So shouldn’t it be called “sex dysphoria” instead?  At any rate, I want to paint my fingernails and toenails black sometime soon.  And buy some boxer briefs to wear under the skirt.  Thigh chafing hurts.

Hurricane Hermine: why didn’t they call it Hermione?  It would have been so much cooler that way.  Anyway, we lost power several times during the night, but it always came back on within ten minutes or so.  My mom’s room is in the back of the apartment, and mine at the front; our rooms are the same size, as are our windows, but the placement of the rooms meant she couldn’t hear anything but rain.  I, on the other hand, spent all night listening to howling winds try to break my window.  It wasn’t scary, just annoying because I was trying to sleep.  If it had been daytime I would have enjoyed the sounds, but by two in the morning I was ready to get out my isolation headphones.  (I wasn’t the only one listening to the storm.  Several of my local friends were also awake and posting on Facebook at that hour.)  We weren’t damaged, our cars weren’t damaged (despite being under a giant tree), and we didn’t even lose internet for very long.  A lot of locals got it worse; when I went to get my hair cut Saturday, there were women there talking about not having their power back until that morning.

And now, for some goth shopping: Joanns has these cool 16″ vulture skeletons and I want one so bad.  Or the owl ones, the owl ones are badass, but more expensive.  I don’t want them enough to pay $30-40 for one, but damn they’re cool.

Boneyard Vulture at Joanns

Oh fuck, just looked at their site, to get a pic to share, and their Halloween stuff is 40% off.  It can go next to the head-on-a-silver-platter, which still resides on my bedroom dresser.  That really was a good idea, I think.  Which reminds me, I still need wall art for my room.  I should probably get that instead of the vulture, but I can buy art posters all year round.  Ooh, they have a small tombstone for $4.  My dresser is going to look awesome.  My wallet always hates me in the fall, because ALL THE HALLOWEEN STUFF!!!

One other little DIY project I want to do is get a bendy black Halloween spider and make it a tiny bit of knitting-in-progress and bend the front legs so it looks like the spider’s knitting.  I’ll give it teeny needles and everything.  Maybe stick it on a black wreath for the front door.  Spiders spin, and mine will knit as well.  Maybe the knitting will be from that fake cobweb stuff?  Oooooh.

Oh oh oh — I can buy fake black roses this time of year, too.  Neeeeeed.  Okay, shutting up about Halloween goodies now.  But when Eris (my kleptomaniacal black kitty) starts walking around the house with a black rose in his teeth, I will totally be taking photos.  (And, if they’re any good, using them as profile pictures in my online haunts.)

Knitting: the green and black shirt continues, in off moments.  My main project is place mats for the dining table.  They are bright yellow, in a basic basketweave pattern.  When Mom and I moved into this apartment, most of her decorating stuff was blue and yellow so we stuck with it.  Happily, the paintings on the walls look like Tim Burton took drugs (happy ones) and painted them.  So at least a little of the living room is to my taste.

Spinning, weaving, and sewing: haven’t done any of it since the last post.

Cello: not since Monday or so.  As I said, I’ve only been feeling better for two days.  Mom just left for a party, though, so I’ll play while she’s gone.  I feel weird about playing with her here, because I feel like it has to be annoying to hear me play the same thing over and over.  Especially when it’s the same three or four notes over and over…

Okay, enough babbling.  I think I need to go buy a vulture skeleton now…

Last week sucked.

Sometimes, usually when I’m depressed, I go through periods when I don’t want to talk to anyone.  I’ve been having one of those.  So hello to my online friends, I’m not dead or anything.  Actually, yesterday was fantastic — I woke up with a ton of energy, and set about cleaning my bedroom and bathroom.  Did two loads of laundry, swept and mopped the tile areas of the house, even washed a dozen skeins of handspun yarn.  And went for two walks. And started knitting the pillows for the living room futon.

Today I woke up a little slower but still did a 5 mile walk, then babysat, then ran errands, then got a bunch of online crap done.  So I’m doing pretty well on the productivity front today, too.  Still have to go to the grocery…

I did my July budgeting.  Ugh.  Spent too much this month (purple Docs, I’m looking at you, you beautiful things).  Something I’ve figured out in my budget spreadsheet (which probably everybody else knows, but I haven’t had credit cards in ages) is to calculate the amount of interest I’ll owe if I don’t make a decent credit card payment, and wow does that work as motivation to keep my balance low.  Because losing $50 to interest payments will piss me off.  So I’m not doing that, and July will be tight.

I am, however, spending the $70 to get my current bicycle tuned up.  The woman at the bike shop said they might be able to fix my setup so that riding is more comfortable for me, because, after thinking about it some more, a new bike is definitely not a need, and I’d be better off spending that money (basically the same amount) on a college class, because learning things is more fun than riding bicycles.  If I still want a new bike by Christmas, I’ll consider getting one then.  In the meanwhile, I’ll see if I even enjoy riding once my current bike is set up/tuned up.  Because, while walking is awesome, and I’m still doing a lot of it, Florida is fucking hot in the summer and it would be nice to feel a little breeze on my face during my daily workouts.

Speaking of walking, I mapped a new route this afternoon.  Took a drive down the opposite way I normally go, and it’s quite beautiful.  And shady.  Yay trees!  It’s 3.5 miles round-trip, which means it’ll be good for days I want to do a short walk.  (My long route is just under 5 miles.)  And I have to take my camera one day, because it’s beautiful down that way.

I’ve been able to read again lately.  I’m almost finished with a book on the history of the American highway system.  It’s fascinating, although I’m sure it sounds dull to most of you.  Next up is a book on how Dante’s Inferno permanently changed Western society’s mental picture of Hell.

While I’m on the subject of media: As previously reported, Mom and I were binge-watching The Blacklist through Netflix.  We quit on Friday, because the stupid burned so much that it’s not even worth watching for James Spader.  It just… it was never that good to begin with, except for him, and it just kept getting increasingly dumber throughout the season.  We finished it (season one), but fuck that show, seriously.  Last night we started Luther.  So much better.  (Mom has a thing for crime dramas.  She reads crime novels, too.)

And now, for something completely different: I started seeing the new therapist last week, and I like her bunches.  Hopefully she can help me get over my PTSD shit.

I’ll leave you with a picture of Loki showing his belly.  Because he’s cute.

Upside-down Loki

Hey, more cyberstalking!

I got a text from my ex today, asking if I had a copy of our marriage license.  Because apparently my ex-FIL’s wife was looking for it online and couldn’t find it, and was claiming that my ex and I were never legally married.  I assume that she was looking in the wrong county; our wedding was in a different city than where we got our license, and ex was able to find it online with a quick search once she knew what county it was.

Considering that ex-FIL hasn’t spoken to his child in four years, why the hell do he and his wife care?  Do they think I can somehow go after them for alimony in the divorce?  Because I’m pretty sure that, even if I was inclined that way, you can’t sue your ex’s parents for marital assets.

So yeah, they’re stalking us again, for no valid reason, and coming to some of the weirdest conclusions, as they always did. I suspect this will only end when they die, even after the divorce goes through.  I’m not angry so much as baffled that they don’t have anything better to do…

To bicycle, or not to bicycle?

I hate my bike.  It’s a GT Aggressor hybrid, about ten years old, and I hate having to bend over it and put all the weight on my hands.  It sucks.  I was looking at cruiser bikes online and thought that I could sell my GT and get one of those.  I went by the bike shop my sister uses to see what they had.

Saleswoman: What’s your budget?
Me: $200-ish. I think I want a cruiser.
Her: We can do that!
She shows me a cruiser in my price range.
Me: what I really wish I could get is one of those Dutch-style commuter bikes, they’re really cool but I can’t afford one.
Her: Here’s one for $300, and we set it up for you, and the first tune-up is free instead of $70, and you get discounts on parts, so you save a lot of money, if you really want one.  Also it’s black.  You said you like black.
Me: drooooooooool
I pause.
Me: I wish I could ride more, but I’m always afraid of going too far from home and the bike breaking and me having to walk it back or get stuck.
Her:  Good bikes kept in shape don’t do that.  Learn how to change a flat and you can go anywhere.  And later you can upgrade to fancier tires that rarely go flat.  You shouldn’t have to be afraid to bike!
Me: …I think I’ll start putting away some money…

I don’t know if I’ll do it or not.  I mean, it doesn’t hurt to save more money anyway, but I don’t know if I’ll put it towards a bike.  I know some good places to ride that aren’t on the street, like the walking/biking path I always take my walks on, and my aunt is retired and into biking so I could maybe do longer rides with her, if I got some endurance built up…  I’ll think about it.  No harm in thinking.

Tropical storm memories

I hate tropical storms. They remind me of the time, back around 1995, that my evil ex-boyfriend forced me to drive in one from West Palm Beach to Miami, on the interstate, in a car with no air conditioning and only one working windshield wiper. To get a UPS for his computers so he could keep the internet up during the storm. He didn’t go with me, of course. I went alone, and had to drive with the windows down because the windshield kept fogging up otherwise. The drive wound up taking two hours each way.

That was the evil ex who used to beat and rape me if I made a mistake in his home business’ accounting software, or did anything else wrong.  I was 17 the first time that happened, but it wasn’t the first time he hurt me.  I was into BDSM, and he would ignore my safeword even if I was chanting it while sobbing and screaming.  Lovely man.  I was already broken, from repeated rapes at age 13, and he convinced me that he could fix me.  I just had to do what he said.

Tropical storms will always remind me of him.  Terrible, awful memories…

Sleeeeeeeep

Sleep is a beautiful thing. My cold still hasn’t gone away completely — it’s been what, three weeks? But since Friday my sinuses have been clear enough I’ve been able to sleep with my CPAP mask on. Ohmygod it’s so wonderful. To give you an idea as to the difference, my Fitbit tracks sleep, and during the worst of my cold it wasn’t even registering more than two hours total asleep because I was sleeping so badly. Now I’ve been registering ~8 hours a night and it’s been blissful. Even if the Fitbit isn’t accurate, you can still get that there’s a massive difference.  I haven’t needed to nap, either.  Mmmm sleep.

My daily walks

Every day, twice a day, I walk the same route down a street near my house.  It’s a fairly busy two-lane road, but there are some beautiful forested areas on the north side of the road — the side with the walking/biking path on it.  And two creeks.  And a cute footbridge.  So this morning I took some pictures.  The full photoset is here.

Morning WalkMorning Walk

Morning Walk

A few days ago I installed the Fitbit app, curious about how many steps I take on my walks and eager for my actual Fitbit to come in this week.  (It shipped yesterday.)  Turns out that a 5-mile walk, for me, is about 14,000 – 15,000 steps (variation is because the app is not quite accurate).  So I’m near 30K per day, which is kinda cool.  Also cool is getting the “Marathon” badge (logging more than 26.2mi, naturally) in less than a week.  I walk regardless of the numbers, but I get a kick out of seeing the data.  And hey, badges!  Because who doesn’t like unlocking cheevos?

Exercise gear

Exercise gear is evil. As in, I am buying some. Some of it will come in very handy for my daily walks: a small hydration backpack, a sun hat, and some new socks because I’ve worn through the six-pack I bought in January. Seriously, they all have holes now. Because I’ve walked like 700 miles since then. (I average 200 a month, but April saw me sick for two weeks.)

Also, if you need a Fitbit, for the love of Bob buy it off Ebay. Sooooo many people sell them off after their initial fitness kick passes. You can get them half price if you can handle a small amount of cosmetic wear, and the bands are cheap to replace if necessary.

The thing I didn’t need… well, depending on the definition of “need”… The whole time I was taking photos of the gorge I was terrified I was going to drop my iPhone off the side. So I bought a cheap digital camera. And it happens to be waterproof, because future hikes will include watery places. It too was bought off eBay.

I spent a couple of hours today organizing my digital photos. I had a shitload that were unorganized. Some will be going on Flickr. All of them are stashed in my Dropbox account now. Go me.  I posted the best of my hiking photos to a Flickr album. Got some really good shots!