gwyn: (buckaroo jidabug)
I'm sitting out on the balcony of our amazing ocean-front hotel room, watching the surfers and the people walking along Ocean Blvd. beach walk and enjoying the weather, waiting for Tina to wake up again. She went off before dawn to do sunrise photography, a perfect complement to the sunset photography she did on the roof terrace last night. It was stunning, some small band of clouds suddenly making an appearance just as the sun went below the horizon so that we got crepuscular rays. Toward the actual sunset a number of people joined us on the terrace and everyone was asking her about her professional equipment.

I bought a fancy cocktail in the bar and brought it up to lie back on the chaise and drink while waiting for sunset, and of course spilled it right away. That was really the only major downside of the day--even with a last minute gate change to the far satellite terminal at the airport, it wasn't as crappy traveling as usual, and I even had a middle seat free next to me, which is unheard of on Alaska flights--the guy in the window seat and I were looking at each other like "dare we hope?" as they closed the doors. Made the trip a lot better.

Lindbergh airport is nearly exactly the same as the last time I left it--ten years ago. I was surprised how little it had changed. It looks like they're making some cosmetic changes to the terminal Alaska flies into, but otherwise it's largely the same. And as we were driving around yesterday, I realized there were still so many businesses and buildings that haven't changed in a decade, either.

Oooo! An armada of pelicans just flew right in front of my face!

Anyway. That makes me feel probably even sadder than I was coming down. But it's so beautiful right now that it helps mitigate some of the sadness--today it's going to be 71 F and we're hoping to head over to Coronado. We went to the Cat Cafe we'd read about on Cute Overload yesterday, which was nice, and stopped for food nearby. Downtown/Gaslamp district has changed the most. It used to be just business and the Horton Place mall, and now it's absolutely filled with condos and apartment buildings and everything's bustling. At one point I was just standing there blinking, realizing I didn't know ANYthing of where I was, that I couldn't identify a single thing. And felt incredibly old, too.

But this is the first time I felt like I really understood why my sister loved living here. I had always had the dream that eventually I'd move down here with her and we'd live in a house and complain about the kids these days and have a million cats. Maybe I'll still move down here (hah, like I could afford it), and yell at clouds in her memory or something. But it's so gorgeous, and still a small city in spite of everything, a beach community still in so many ways. Pacific Beach was always my favorite, and the hotel is fantastic, really chic and lovely but still has that feel like it belongs to a beach community. I could get used to the terrible water if it came with sunshine and the occasional marine layer cool day, just the things sis_r liked best.

We went to Joe's Crab Shack for dinner last night, where I'd gone with sis_r years ago before it became a big chain. Got too much to eat, but it was strange, going there and then walking by the bar where we'd played pool. I don't know that there's a part of town I don't have a memory of her, and maybe that's the thing, I need to come here more often and make new ones.

God, I don't want to leave and go up to that putrid hotel in the putrid airport district of LA. :::cries forever:::

mmmm hunky surfers in half-off wetstuits walking by...
gwyn: (bucky confusedface)
I got two valentines in the mail these past two days--one from [personal profile] sperrywink (with chocolates!! and a Captain America valentine!!) and one from [personal profile] dine. Couldn't have come at a better time since I've been feeling really blue again and battling the worthless/pointless feelings about writing and vidding.

Went up to Vancouver last weekend and stayed at a posh hotel. My friend was going to a hockey game, whilst I stayed safely ensconced in my toasty room with a lovely view, reading and writing fanfic and eating things that are bad for me. Honestly that's my idea of a good time. We went to the bar both before and after the game, and I had the charcuterie and it was utterly divine, and on Friday, the day we went up, we went out to dinner at our favorite place, a Belgian restaurant. I felt bad for my friend in that she had to walk all the way down near the restaurant again the next night for her game, but I do like walking in that city, even though it's always fucking raining when I'm there. Vancouver is now the second most expensive city to live in, besting even NYC, which is kind of mind-boggling when you think about it. Of course, when we were leaving, we got sunshine finally, but at least that meant a less terrifying drive back. I was just sad her team lost the game; it's never fun to drive all the way up there and watch your team lose.

Finally--finally!--getting into reading the Fraction Hawkeye books proper. It's taken me forever to do more than read a random book here and there. Of course it's even more wonderful when you're reading it in linear order.
gwyn: (steve rogers fullhouse)
Thanks for the birthday greetings! It was a pretty good day overall -- I met up with [personal profile] minim_calibre for sushi lunch, and she was kind enough to give me an adorable blue Captain America bag, and inside it she'd put her chibi Cap shirt that I had admired when we got together a while ago. I went to the store where she got hers, but they were all gone, so I figured it was no Cap for me, but she wanted to get another one in a color she prefers, so she gave me the shirt off her back!

Then I got home and found a beautiful floral bouquet and chocolates on my doorstep from [personal profile] killabeez, which was so uplifting.

I had drinks with my neighbor, and then watched the first Cap movie while I read fanfic, so all in all it was a very Capilicious birthday, which is a good kind to have. The only bad side of the day was that holy crapballs was it raining -- the streets were mostly flooded everywhere I went, and I nearly got creamed by a large van in Ballard going about 40 through a blind intersection that left me really badly shaken. It was a very close near miss, and I was definitely thinking of the two other people on my flists who actually did get in accidents on or around Thanksgiving.

I got some messages from sis_r's friends, and I haven't heard much from them in a long time, so that was nice. One of the hardest things about not having anyone around anymore is that I feel like I'm the only person left who remembers my sister, like her imprint upon the world has just vanished except for me. So I'm glad that there are a couple people who still do remember her birthday and that she was here in the world.
gwyn: (troy abed hug)
I had a lot of fun last year doing the December talking meme. I hesitated this year, thinking I would do it and then suddenly panicking, but I'm gonna go ahead and do it. Or try to. Yeah. I'm committed.

Pick a date, any date:

1. [profile] daria234--A vid you would like to make or see made for a rare pairing.
2.
3.
4. [personal profile] sholio--a narrative trope you like, and what makes it appealing to you?
5. [personal profile] ixchel55--What inspires you to make a vid? Do you go crazy for a show/pairing/movie and then shop around for a song that matches it? Or do you hear a song and think 'Man, what a great vid that would make' and then think of a fandom to match it to. Inquiring minds want to know!
6. [personal profile] roseveare-- Talk about the show Miracles. I remember that vid, so you're one of about three people I'm aware of that know this show.
7. [personal profile] chelletoo--What is your favourite city that you've visited? and what makes it your favourite?
8.
9.
10. [personal profile] musesfool-- tell me about Steve and Bucky and all their feelings for each other
11.
12. [personal profile] umadoshi--Where would you like to go that you've never been, and/or what place that you've traveled to would you most like to revisit?
13. [personal profile] ranalore--What makes a good vidding song?
14.
15. [personal profile] grammarwoman--Is there a fandom you resisted but fell into anyway, or one that you thought would be a great fit for you but turned out bleh?
16.
17. [personal profile] dine--I'd love to hear about a vid idea you have, but will probably never actually make (and why not)
18.
19.
20. [personal profile] sperrywink--Tell me about creating the Shelter vid. (song choice, clips,
rebuilding it, etc)
21.
22.
23.
24. [personal profile] batdina--how about a memory of your childhood that you love to remember.
25.
26.[personal profile] trepkos--What time period would you want to live in, if you couldn't live in this
one, and why?
27.
28.
29.
30.
31.

I'm trying to gear up mentally for my birthday on Friday. You'd think after all these years, having a birthday alone would get easier, but it just seems to get harder and harder without sis_r. And it's always extra worse when it's on or just adjacent to Thanksgiving, because she was usually home around that time and girl loved to shop at all the fancy shops downtown, so the Black Friday sales were very happy-making for her. I might, if I think I can find the mental space, do a fic-prompt thing on my Tumblr and spend the day writing ficlets or something, I don't have that many followers so I can't see getting a deluge of prompts or whatever. I don't know. We'll see.

For the sweeties who've asked--I really don't need or want anything, honestly. The nicest thing anyone could ever "get" me would be something like comments or feedback on a fic or vid, or just being there to let me whine a bit about how much I miss being a twin. Or if you're local and want to hang out and have a drink or something (preferably someplace far away from a mall), let me know.
gwyn: (stitch)
I've been really struggling again with the worthless feelings and the not wanting to get out of bed because why bother. So I never seem to get around to posting. And it isn't helped by the dismal weather we've had since I got back from my trip.

I had to take Blues in to the vet a couple weeks ago, because he'd gotten in a fight and was doing pretty bad, and he was mostly okay but it did give us a chance to look at his terrible teeth, and they had got so bad just in the past few months that I had to schedule him for a dental right away. So they had to remove his left top fang, which broke off sometime last year at the tip, but there was just enough of a crack up above the gumline that they removed it. He's been stoned to the gills from the pain shot they gave him, which is always entertaining, but I feel so sorry for him. He had extractions before, and apparently cats can reabsorb their teeth (WTF!!!), which has also happened, so he's gonna be a toothless old man by the time he's ten, at this rate. He's been obsessed with getting outside since midsummer; nothing I can do deters him and he's already tripped me so many times trying to get out that at some point I'm going to actually break a bone when I fall. It's really a good thing he's so fucking cute, because he's a terror and he's the most expensive cat I've ever had. He's going to break me in every way, he really is.

I met someone when I was at [personal profile] cesperanza's a couple weeks ago when I was in NY, and I thought, when she and [personal profile] geekturnedvamp guided me back to my hotel on the subway, that she was someone I could totally be friends with -- the whole night I just kept thinking how incredibly funny, smart, witty, and cool she was. After I got home, the friending/following commenced, but I found out on Saturday that she had passed away, and I was just devastated. I hadn't even really got the chance to know [personal profile] divanoir, yet, but it's made me so effing sad. She was way too young, and really just such a cool person, and I am especially sorry for her friends in NY, many of whom were there that night, because that's going to leave a big hole in their lives. But I'm also glad that I was there, and that everyone had a reason to hang out that night.
gwyn: (sam wilson falcon)
Haven't been able to do the positivity meme day 4 because I just don't have anything positive. I am basically consumed with feeling worthless and pointless and wondering why I spend so much time creating fan works. And then on top of that, I'm working on this awful misogynistic thriller book, of course written by a man, where we're supposed to feel sorry for the serial killer because of the abuse he suffered that created his pathology. That kind of thing really doesn't help your depression.

1. I am going to a hockey game tonight with [personal profile] raveninthewind so that's at least one thing.

2. Got all my hotels lined up for DC and NYC.

3. It looks like I'll be able to meet up with [personal profile] dorinda and [personal profile] kerithwyn while I'm in DC, so yay.
gwyn: (al cheers)
I'm going to be in Washington DC and NYC in a few weeks -- I'll be in DC on the 15th, though I get in kinda late in the afternoon, and then my BFF and I are heading up to NY on the 17th for a couple days up there, returning to Washington on Sunday the 19th. I leave for home late in the day on Tuesday the 21st.

So with that schedule in mind, I wondered if there's anyone who feels like meeting up. I'll have my friend with me in NY, but he's what I call fannish adjacent -- he's a fanboy without really being in fandom, and he's well versed in all my current obsessions, so he's safe for fannish meetups. I haven't made a hotel reservation yet but the place I'm looking at is near Times Square. I'll probably be in a couple different places in the city in Washington.

I don't have a lot of plans other than to hang out with my friend and see some places I haven't been to before. I want to see the High Line when we're in NY, but that's my main focus besides shopping because I always love shopping. So that leaves me with meetup time, for once!

And I don't have much for the positivity meme day 3, but I'll use this, I guess.

1. Got my plane tickets for the trip.

2. Am going on a trip, which, since my plans with the BFF for Hawaii in October fell apart due to his life issues, is at least something to look forward to.

3. Uh, made nominations for both Yuletide and Festivids that are adjacent to my current obsession with all things Winter Soldier.

Positivity

Sep. 25th, 2014 12:24 pm
gwyn: (justified logo)
[personal profile] mlyn tagged me for the five-day positivity meme a while ago, but seeing as how it takes me hours to get out of bed in the morning because I keep hoping I won't ever wake up again, I didn't really have anything to put in it, and I doubt I'll be able to make it work for five days. Also, I won't tag anyone.

But! I did have a couple positive things happen yesterday so I will try it out.

1. I got podficced! Since hardly anyone even reads my stuff, I never in a million years imagined someone would ever podfic a story I'd written, but my Yuletide story from 2010, Lesser Angels, was read by chemm80, and it has nifty cover art and a song and it's so, so cool to hear someone read your story. Somehow this story is the gift that keeps on giving -- it's probably the only time strangers have approached me to talk about a story I wrote, at a con.

(Podfic of) Lesser Angels by Gwyneth (20 words) by chemm80
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Justified
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Justified - Relationship, Raylan/Tim
Characters: Tim Gutterson, Raylan Givens, Art Mullen
Additional Tags: Podfic & Podficced Works, Podfic, Podfic Length: 20-30 Minutes, Audio Format: MP3, Audio Format: Streaming
Summary:

After Bulletville, Tim gets the chance to know Raylan a little better.



2. I saw that my right front tire was really low when I came out of the market yesterday, and managed to get home to put the groceries away, even on the really badly paved roads in my area, and in my driveway I saw the nail in the tire. There was just enough inflation to get to the Les Schwab tire place about a mile away, and they were able to fix the tire, and they didn't charge me. I guess since I was a new customer, they gave it to me gratis -- which is a pretty good strategy, because you can bet I will be back when I need new tires. I'd heard their service was legendary, and it is definitely true.

3. The second-run theatre in Kent was still showing Captain America: The Winter Soldier this week, so I got to see it one last time with [personal profile] minim_calibre on Tuesday. That was my 21st time in the theatre.
gwyn: (steve and bucky)
God, what a week I'm having already. I got so fucking sick on Sunday, and I don't know if it was the new med I'm trying or food-borne illness or what. I didn't react the normal way I do from food poisoning, so it seems weird, but I was trembling and sweating like crazy, and decided that I wanted to lie down on the cold tile floor because I thought I might pass out. As I leaned over I passed out, taking a header into the wall. Since I was wearing a large clip to hold my wet hair, the clip shattered and drove some pieces into my scalp, which hurt so bad that it arrested my passing out, so…yay? But I realized later that I really bruised my hand. So I was sick all fucking day, I mean, it just kept coming even though I hadn't eaten anything. Didn't get hardly any work done; for a while all I could do was lie in my reclining chair and cuddle Mr. B to me and read Tumblr.

Speaking of Tumblr, I wrote a little meta thingie about Steve's choice of his old uniform and why I think that he also did it for Bucky here if you're inclined to read such things. I'm sad because I didn't get any time to work on my Steve/Sam double date story from being sick, but I guess somehow I always find time to think about Steve and Bucky. ::is pathetic::

I have had this question on my mind for a while and keep forgetting to ask it. One of my Happy Endings vids is being blocked on YouTube. I'm pretty sure it's the music company, apparently they haven't read the memo about making more money off fan works than official videos. I can't for the life of me remember what language to use to protest the blocking. Does anyone have anything they can share with me so I can respond to the claim? The thing is, there are pretty much no fan vids for Happy Endings, so I'd actually like people to be able to see it with, you know, the music. I'm really frustrated because this is different than previous blocks I've had, and it being such a vanishingly small fandom with no real vids to speak of, I don't want to just let it languish. I know how I feel when I want to find vids for something, and there's nothing out there.
gwyn: (bucky winter soldier)
Wow, it's been more than a few weeks since I posted. So, uh, updates on some of the stuff from last time: I took Billy to a new foster home that has two dogs we're hoping he can model himself on. He was coming around a bit more after a few days, but he still had such fear issues on walks after the dog attack that I just felt it was better for him -- and I had to find a place for him to stay, anyway, for the weekend while I was at Bitchin' Party (aka Pacificon). I'm still really sad, because I had quite fallen in love with him, but hopefully it'll make him more adoptable -- even when a dog is as cute as he is, people are wary of dogs with fear issues.

I haven't heard anything about him, but I'm going to ping them at some point to see how he's doing. I thought I was going to get a senior poodle gal, but they've never been back in touch. Animal Control hasn't, either, and the fuckwad with the loose dog isn't responding to my calls. I don't know what to do at this point; I'm not good at this sort of thing because it brings up my social anxiety issues in a big way. It's really easy for people to tell me to keep calling him or call the construction company, but that kind of thing is really agonizing for me. Just calling the times I've called was hard enough; to have to keep doing it...I don't know. Especially since I have a number of other anxiety-provoking issues at hand right now.

Anyway. Today I had my yearly checkup with my doctor, whom I love. I spoke to her about the challenging experience with the back doctor and what I was supposed to do, and she's going to follow up on some stuff for me, and she suggested I go back and just be really clear about what next steps should be, etc. She's focused on getting my back better, and though she wants me to do some other things, she said she wants that to happen first. I don't know what I'm going to do when she retires. Even though I've considered moving away from Seattle lately, I'd be willing to fly back here for my yearly appointment and pay out of pocket just to keep seeing her.

I've had another one of those situations where I have two books due at the same time, one of them a guidebook to Ecuador which was updated this time not by an author but by a fact checker, who apparently never learned basic grammar or spelling. It's hilarious -- anything he or she has updated I can spot instantly because they're so completely horrible. And the novel that I just finished has the most bizarre punctuation I've ever seen; the copyeditor was new so she didn't deal with it with the author, just left me this vague note about the author using things "stylistically" so there wasn't much I could do, but I have to admit, I'm going to be very interested in looking at reviews on Amazon or Goodreads to see what people say about it. I tend to really think the self publishing and ebook revolution is mostly a good thing; this, however, is the kind of thing I don't like about it. There are no real gatekeepers anymore.

I went to see Captain America: The Winter Soldier again yesterday. Stray thoughts:
Still full of feelings )
gwyn: (al cheers)
I've been meaning to post for days, but I always seem to be overcome by ennui whenever I think about it. I have only a couple days to finish my partial Team Hot Dads story before work comes in, but I can't seem to settle down and do it. And tomorrow I have to go pick up a new foster dog -- I was going to get a little shih tzu called Cordelia Chase, who has one of the worst stories I have ever heard, but she's not ready to go yet (still weaning pups and still battling a number of illnesses), so I'm going to take one of a bunch of chihuahuas that are literally wasting away in a shelter. I hope there's less drama this time than I had with Ginny in the first few months.

My love and epic feels for Pacific Rim have not died down at all, but it seems as if everyone else's has and it's following the typical path of a movie fandom, where fewer and fewer things are created for it. I was intrigued by the sudden rash of gifsets I saw on my Tumblr for The Musketeers -- I mean, it came out of nowhere, and I had no idea where it was showing and why so many people were posting about it. And now my curiosity has been sated; this weekend I went over to hang with [personal profile] killabeez and she showed me the first two episodes, and I adored it.

I have a long history with the Musketeers; I first read the book in, I think, fourth grade, and I was completely hooked on it, and then there came the Richard Lester version when I was around 12 and I fell completely in love with everyone. I am disturbed by my apparently constant attraction to Athos, and this is no different than any other time, because right out of the gate I loved him sticking his head in a bucket, but what really surprised me was that I fell completely head over heels for Porthos. I mean, in the Lester version, Athos was played by Oliver Reed and even though he was a judgey misogynistic bastard he was hot as hell and a good friend and companion to the others; d'Artagnan was swoony Michael York; and Aramis was Richard Chamberlain in his glory days. But Porthos was played more as a buffoon by Frank Finlay, and he was adorable but not as sexy as the others.

I'm really enjoying reading about Dumas's father in the book The Black Count, whom Porthos is modeled after, who was this dashing black man, so it's super, super cool to see a dashing black man portray Porthos. At first I didn't think he was attractive, he has a kind of pug face I don't usually find appealing, but now I see that still pictures don't always do him justice -- he's just amazing when he moves, and when he smiles his dazzling smile. Aramis is of course sexy, as he should be (well, I mean, he's played by Santiago Cabrera, so duh), but I think this d'Artagnan is a bit more teen love interest than I'm usually into (although not nearly as bad as the one in that Milla Jovovich thing a couple years ago), so although I like him, he's not nearly as fun as the three musketeers.

I'm really looking forward to seeing the rest of the episodes. The color palette that I saw in the gifs looked atrocious in those first few weeks, so I was kind of expecting something terrible, but wow, it's gorgeous. They make great use of the Czech locations. I really like Constance, and while I'm a bit down about Milady being just bad to the bone instead of being motivated by what happened to her before the story takes place, I'm willing to wait to see what happens (just please don't let her kill Constance!). Still, those are small complaints, I thought it was quite fun even if the plots are a little throwaway, and like I said, I'm strongly predisposed to this as an entertainment (along with other Dumas stories, among the few books that I have re-read in my lifetime).

In other news, Blues broke one of his fangs off the other day. I found the tip of it near the dining table, so I assume he was either chasing his spongeball and smacked into a chair leg or the table, or else he was tormenting Olive and did the same thing by harassing her. We need to give him another dental even though he had one just 9 months ago, because his teeth are so abysmal, so they will x-ray it to see if it's cracked above the gumline. His quest to become the world's most expensive cat continues.

I ended up just DLing the Veronica Mars movie and watching it at home. I enjoyed seeing everyone again, but I definitely had some issues with it. I may or may not write them out later once I've watched it again. I am glad, though, that it's done so well in the theatre opening weekend. Maybe we'll get another one sometime soon.

Recently I finished the last of the six Winter Soldier compilation books I bought a while ago, and my Bucky feels have reached almost hilariously epic proportions. I don't know how I can stand to wait till after opening weekend to see it, but I can't really handle opening weekend of movies like that anymore. I can't wait in line. But the one compilation I'm missing was the third part of the death of Captain America, and I need to go out and find that one so I can have all the back story. I just don't trust that something from the comics won't pop up that would help me out if I knew about it, so ... I'm a completist, if nothing else. Ugh, it's so close and yet so far for the movie. SO CLOSE and yet so far!

Lately I've wondered if I'm not developing early onset Alzheimer's or something. Over the course of the Escapade trip, I lost my complete itinerary, my room card key, my camera, and between security and the gate, I lost my boarding pass. None of these things have ever happened to me before. Ever. I'm way too anal retentive to lose that kind of important shit. And Tina says I seemed a little spacey, although I didn't feel like it. Thank god that the housekeepers at the hotel turned my camera in; I had to have it shipped home to me, but at least it was there and intact. I may not have liked the hotel for the con, but I can't fault them for finding the camera and sending it back to me.

Some really grararrry stuff is happening with my teaching situation at the UW, but I'll save that for another time since, you know, grraarrr. I need to get back to working on my Club Vivid vid and that kind of mindset won't help me.
gwyn: (mad men sally rainbow)
I'm definitely not doing the patriotic thing for women's figure skating this year (I refuse to call it ladies' skating, because I mean, if it's men's figure skating, then by freaking god it should be women's, those sexist idiots at the IOC) after having seen Gracie Gold's racist tweets. I do like Polina Edmunds who's coming up right now as I type this, but I still want to see if Yuna Kim can pull it off again. There are a lot of other skaters that I like too, so it's easy to cheer for anyone other than Gold.

Oh wow, Kim just landed her first jumps perfectly. I hope this signals a better couple nights than the men's programs. I discovered this year that ice dancing isn't my jam. I mean I like it okay, but it kind of bores me a bit, and the music always feels so samey samey to me, the programs seem that way too. This year was pretty enjoyable in that everyone did so well, but of all the skating, that's the one I care least for.

I've been kind of down in the dumps lately. I had an MRI a couple weeks ago for my back, and went back to the spine doctor on Friday and it was just really bad news. Nothing I didn't expect, but I was hoping for more...hope, I guess. As we expected, I have two bulging disks at the bottom of my spine, and arthritis in my lower spine, and the disks are very compressed (which explains why I'm a half-inch shorter than I used to be). She pointed out how strong the muscle mass in my upper back was, but how weak it was in that area around the disks.

Mostly she seems to want to give me stuff for pain and for restless leg syndrome, which I'm not concerned about because I have bigger fish to fry. And I can't really understand a lot of what she's saying. I asked about cortisone shots, but she said it's just temporary, though she set one up for me so that I can have it before traveling -- except, of course, they couldn't get me in before my trip to Los Angeles next week, and it requires you to have someone you know give you a ride home, no cab or bus, and I have no one who can do that for me. So I didn't set up a shot, and I'll just power through.

Basically it comes down to going to physical therapy, doing my exercises, and pain relief, and I'm really feeling down about it, because I didn't really want to just throw pills at it like they did with my dad. I watched him become an invalid over the same problem, his spine crumbling away, and I still remember seeing the doctor with him and the doctor shrugging and saying, essentially, "sucks to be you."

I feel like this is a sentence. You know, like "You're just going to become an invalid." Some of the things in PT help a little, like the TENS device, but I mean, it's just treating pain, not making the inherent situation better. And I guess that's what feels so hopeless. And two and a half years of hardcore workouts and eating better than ever didn't help me lose an ounce of weight, so I just wonder how much doing the back exercises are going to help. I feel like it's going to make traveling not really much of an option for me.

Everything's affected by pain levels, too -- whether I can do social things, whether I can vid, how much work I can do at my desktop computer, if I can work in the garden. I just want to participate in my own life. I've seen what chronic pain has done to so many of my friends, too, so I know what kind of an effect that has on you.

Anyways, I'm off to Escapade next week. We're going down a bit early and going to Palm Springs/Joshua Tree for a few days before heading back to LA. I'm doing a panel with raine_wynd for Pacific Rim (come join us on Saturday afternoon!), and I just finished a tribute vid for Paul Walker for the vid show, which made me cry my eyes out working on it. I do not recommend making tribute vids for someone you loved when you're depressed, I'll tell you whut.
gwyn: (cocktail social kerry beary)
Last night as I was going to bed, I discovered that I'd missed most of the free skate for women, as well as the short program skating, and who knows if there's been any men's skating I missed. I was able to catch the Canadian skater last night, but not the rest of it. For some reason I guess I thought skating would be more toward the middle of the Olympics, and now I can't figure out how to find what I missed. Is there anywhere a skate-loving girl can go to watch just the skating programs she missed? I pay zero attention to scheduling and sportsing stuff, so I don't know what TV is doing these days, and if they're streaming things that will allow you to watch as you please, or what. I remember the insane difficulty I had trying to get hold of the opening ceremonies two years ago for the London Olympics, and I don't know if anything's improved or not.

I have Hulu Plus, but I don't have on-demand for sattelite. Does Hulu even carry sportsing? I have a torrent client so if necessary I could ahem, if anyone knows of a link. YouTube seems to take down everything the minute it's put up.

In other news and tangentially related to sportsing things, I went to the rehabilitative medicine place at the clinic I go to, and saw the spine doctor there. I still would much rather have gone to the place killabeez went to, but at least it's a start. I don't know what I think of the doctor. She's very...speedy. She talks fast, and has enough of an accent that I can't folllow what she's saying because of that. She gave me a presecription for something that she said would help the restless leg syndrome that plagues me, and the bladder issues that have made my life miserable since menopause started (both the RLS and the hot flashes are related to needing to pee, which I need to do pretty much every five minutes).

I didn't realize they were an antidepressant until I got them. I'm not so keen on that. I gained so much weight that I cannot get off after two years of hardcore workouts and eating better than I've ever eaten from the last antidepressants, and they give me dry mouth like whoa, not to mention a bunch of other issues. For the first week they did make me sleepy, but not much else, and last night I couldn't sleep till after five a.m., so I'm not sure this is helping. But here's the weird thing -- how do you taper off of capsules? With tablets you can cut them in halves and quarters, but capsules you can't. Anyone have experience with nortriptyline?

She also gave me a prescription for the high-strength Aleve, but while that's nice and everything, I didn't want to throw pills at this. I want to fix it, not mask the pain. So I had an MRI on Wednesday. The fucking Seahawks had a parade in downtown and then some rally at the sportsing field, which turned traffic into a mid-day nightmare, and my appointment was of course downtown, a few blocks from the parade route. Really, this idea that everyone is supposed to give a shit about a bunch of spoiled, overpaid assholes and shut down the entire city so we can celebrate them enrages me. People were pissed because many schools wouldn't shut down for the day. Where the hell are their priorities? I just don't get it. So that cost me a fair amount of money, just because I had the misfortune to have my appointment scheduled before they sprang a surprise parade on us.

Since I'm paying for all this out of pocket (with the ACA, my insurance had to change and my deductible is even higher), it's hard to swallow paying more just because people want to stand in sub-freezing weather and cheer a bunch of spoiled athletes. And I will have to pay for the physical therapy, as well. That's been OK, there's a place near me and they seem genuinely interested if figuring out things I can do that will help but not necessitate a lot of appointments. On Friday we did the recumbent bike, some back exercises, and then they gave me electrical stimulation, which was kind of fun! They put an ice pack down, and these electrodes on your back, and you get these tingly little currents sent through the area around the spine. I kind of enjoyed it, and I felt great for about ten minutes until I had to get in the car again.

There isn't anything major on the MRI, they said, but I'll know more tomorrow. I'm relieved that there's no rupture of the disk, but that also means this is probably never going to go away, just be managed, which is depressing. I'm trying to remember that I know a lot of fans who've been through similar things and they're doing OK, and not focus on how I saw my dad's back issues turn him into an invalid who could hardly even stand up.

We had a lovely snowfall here on Saturday night, and it was fun to walk around the block (I never get to trot out my snow boots!) in the late-night dark with the flakes falling on me, utterly silent and beautiful except for the crunch crunch of my feet in the powder. Snow here is usually on top of a layer of ice from rain, and having fresh, soft powder on bare ground was a real treat. Even the slush on Sunday wasn't too slippery, and I walked up to Starbucks on mostly still snowy paths. We just don't get it here that often. The kitties of course were annoyed. Blues used to love playing in it as a kitten, but not as much anymore. Olive does this sort of kitty version of a sigh: she takes a deep breath, flattens her ears, rolls her shoulders, and steps out into it to find a place she can go potty, like the brave little toaster she is.
gwyn: (walken wonderland)
[personal profile] devilc asked: You did some major work on Chateau Gwyn about 5-7 years ago. Any updates?

Sadly, not much. I spent most of my money on relandscaping the backyard, which I documented in my journals. It was very expensive, and while it really helped fix a lot of the worst problems, it didn't turn out how I wanted it and between my back problems and my lack of time, I can't keep up with the maintenance for my no-maintenance garden. It needs a lot of work, otherwise it's becoming not unlike the jungle I had previously, which was what I spent all that money trying to fix.

I mean, it's way nicer in most respects -- I have a back deck that I can have parties on in summer, and the fence is such a vast improvement. But the gravel path has been taken over by feverfew and catchfly and weeds, and the Japanese sedge grasses I didn't ask for took over everything and crowded out the plants I did want, and the fountain broke this spring and I have no idea how to fix it, so I never used it all summer. I really missed the fountain, and the birdies did too.

My big goal is that I would like to do something with the front of the house, but the expense holds me back, and I can't decide if that's more desirable than fixing up the bathroom. I did put in shelving and storage in the garage, which I love, but again, that stuff is so expensive that it's meant I couldn't do other projects like the bathroom, which I would love to do. I dream of having a tub I can actually fit in. These ridiculous bathrooms that can't accommodate a person over 5 feet 6 are just... if I could afford to move, I totally would, just so I could have a real bathtub I could lie down in.

So I mostly just redecorate. I've been collecting a lot of midcentury modern style stuff, art for my walls and lamps and things. It will never look appropriately atomic, but I do what I can because that's my favorite style.
gwyn: (mack daddy)
Sleepy Hollow on Monday fucking cracked me up. It's basically this horrible, cheesy, SyFy movie called Mandrake, starring my object of adoration, Max Martini. A monster made of sticks and vines and roots that bleeds and wants to kiiiiiiilllll you. (Seriously, the shit I'm willing to watch for this guy. I don't even know.)



Look out!

Although if they'd watched to the end of the movie they'd have known that an ax wouldn't solve the problem. You have to sacrifice a white person.

(And now I hear that Max is going to play the bodyguard of the sex fiend in Fifty Shades of Gray? I can't tell if he just has the worst agent in Hollywood or he has really bad taste himself. How does he go from Pacific Rim and Captain Phillips to shit like an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie and Fifty Shades? Saving Private Ryan to Mandrake? Oh Max, I love you, man, but geez. At least we'll have Crisis starting up on NBC in January. That's...something.)

In other non-Mr. Peak Capacity Fancy Cocktails related stuff, I bought myself a birthday present yesterday by getting a new iPhone. I'd considered getting a different type of phone but I'm just so very down on anything Google-related lately and I despise the way they are forcing me to create Google+ identities for anything I want to do, so in the end I went with the 5s, and they didn't have any of the "gold" ones so I was getting a silver one just cuz it was my birthday. I don't normally like gold, but I really liked the champagne color that it really is, so I was kinda disappointed. While they were setting me up, the FedEx guy came in with some boxes, which contained two gold phones, so I think my sister's amazing karma was shining down on me then.

She always had things like that happen to her; it was one of those many things where I was like, How are we twins again? Because everyone who knows me knows that if it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have any luck at all. But whenever we did things together, the planets aligned or something just because I was close to her. Birds suddenly appeared, stars fell down from the sky, all the boys in town followed her around, etc. etc. I miss her so much, and not just because she had amazing luck.

I must say the phone is screamingly fast compared against my old iPhone 4. I never thought I'd be a smartphone user, and resisted for such a long time, but now I can't imagine living without one. It has a thumbprint identifier. I don't really need a security protection, because I'm the only one around my phone, so I'll probably turn it off, but it works amazingly well. The new icons sure are a joke, though. Man, as soon as Steve dies, they make terrible design decisions.
gwyn: (penguinsucks infinitemonkeys)
Because life hasn't been bad enough and I haven't had enough fucking medical mini emergencies this year, now I have fuckin' pink-eye. I have no idea how I got it.

All this week, my right eye and then the last couple days, both eyes, have watered ceaselessly, and it often looked like I was practicing that "single perfect tear" moment. Then last night I had trouble sleeping because of all the watering, and woke up looking like my eyes had been surgically altered to create an epicanthic fold. I suppose I could have thought of it like Kirk being altered to be a Romulan or something, but I just couldn't believe my...uh...eyes when I saw them in the mirror. I immediately got "Turning Japanese" as an earworm. It's kind of surreal to see your normal big round blue eyes suddenly look so dramatically different.

Over the course of the morning they became redder and redder. But you know, I'm such a dimwit that it didn't occur to me I could have conjunctivitis. I've never had it, I've never seen anyone I know with it (not that people I know haven't had it, I've just never seen them with it), and my first thought was that I'd developed sudden allergies to my kitties. Or that Olive was bringing me some kind of blinding pestilence from the greater outdoors and by sleeping near my head, she'd contaminated my sheets and I would go blind.

I have this irrational and deepseated fear of losing my vision. I mean, I'm phobic about it -- years ago, a light bulb exploded in front of my head when I was pasting up my newspaper (ha! take that, kids these days), and I was so shaken up by it I couldn't work. Nothing happened to me, but it hit my phobia so bad that I was late to the printer. So of course visions of slowly sigh-eradicating diseases or toxins were going through mind when I posted a question to Metafilter about it, and a bunch of people said it sounded like viral pink-eye. I didn't want to go to urgent care because of cost and I hate that place, but I went and he said, yeah, conjunctivitis but let's try Refresh eye drops and Claritin first before you fill the prescription, and hopefully you can just tear it up and not have to use them. Considering the antibiotics issues I had this year with the cat bite, I'm all for that.

Honestly, two rounds of eye drops (most of which have ended up all over my face and neck), I'm feeling a tiny bit better, and the slight fever is going down a bit now. For a while there my eyes were really starting to hurt. I have a lot of reading to do tonight though, so we'll see how well I do with my Mr. Magoo vision.

Really, WTF universe? What did I ever do to you, you rat-fucking bastard?
gwyn: (george _jems_)
The past two days have just been so, so awful. I don't have any icons of people sobbing from frustration and pain, but if I did I would use it.

I woke up on Tuesday morning to an overpowering stench in the room, and thinking it was my kitty Olive, who sleeps near my face, I was grumbling about my stinky kitties when I heard Ginny scratching at her crate door, something she never does. She had peed on the rug -- something else she never does -- a couple weeks ago, and so I'd got back in the habit of closing her crate door at night. She loves her crate, is in there most of the time, so she doesn't mind the door being closed, but I'd wanted her to feel more like this was her house and she could move around and had left it open the past few months.

So the stench was coming from her crate -- she was huddled in the only spot in the crate that wasn't covered in shit and puke. She has this weird habit of backing up against something to poop -- a plant, a post, a tree trunk -- and she'd had some kind of massive diarrhea attack and poo was all over the walls of her crate, and in the front was a pile of barf. Of course I let her out and she immediately started shaking poo all over the place. As I leaned down to stop her, I felt my lower back just ripping, and the chronic disk problem I've had just went from bad to horrible.

So I had to clean her up (her spreading shit all over everything I'd just washed), clean up the debris, bathe her, then wash the crate out and sanitize her bedding...it took me over four hours to get everything clean and the crate still smelled like shit. The cats were freaking out because I had to clean things before I could feed them and getting in the way. And I could tell Ginny felt horrible, and she kept cowering down and rolling on to her back, poor kid.

So that wasted most of my day, and after everything was finally finished I bundled her in the car and we went to Dairy Queen for an ice cream because I was so fucking miserable. The smell just took forever to go away, and her poop was still too soft and runny at night and I was worrying about her tummy problems so I put piddle pads everywhere around the house.

Then yesterday on our morning walk (she didn't want to eat her breakfast, and was shaking a bit), she had bloody diarrhea, and I asked the rescue folks if I should take her in. Of course, all this is time I needed to work on the book that's due tomorrow, but they wanted me to take her to the vet they use. After my workout and the chiropractor, where I had a nervous breakdown about all the money I've spent on my back and it's not getting better (worse, in fact, since the past month I've had a whole new back problem that was ruining my life) and I'm so sick of being in pain, I took Ginny to the horrible vet's.

I despise this place. But most of the rescue groups in town go there because they're cheaper and they give discounts, and they're open all the time, and all that. I mean, I HATE this place. It's gross, I can't understand what any of the doctors say because most of them are relatively new English speakers, and it's in a really low-rent neighborhood that brings in lots of people who are really unenlightened about what it means to have pets, and you see some just really awful things. Including, as I was waiting for Ginny, a woman bringing in her dog in a blood-soaked towel screaming about him being run over by a car and help me save my baby and her guts are hanging out.

I am notorious for being a soft heart, and I can't stand any form of animal harm or suffering. I mean, I cannot stand it. I have never seen anything this awful, except maybe the time I was there and a couple were picking up their dog that had been attacked by a coyote and was covered in hundreds and hundreds of stitches and drainage shunts. No, this was more awful. And then the front desk woman took her into a room with the dog, and started telling her up front how much it would cost, and the people in the lobby with me were all just, WTF? Who cares, just save the doggie.

The vet came out and asked if I could come back for Ginny at 7. There was no way I could stand a drive home and back, I was in such screaming agony, so I drove down to the area I grew up in as a teen, to Denny's, and got some dinner, but I felt like barfing the whole time and I was shaking like a leaf. I had tried to help the woman calm down, get her to breathe and focus so she could call her boyfriend, not pass her fear on to the poor little dog. She was covered in blood. It was so, so horrible.

When I finally got back there, I asked the woman at the desk if the dog would make it, and she shook her head. She told me why she had been mentioning cost to her -- I guess this woman has come in before many times, and she's really belligerent and bullying. Not that that made it feel any better, but at least I could see why she had done that up front while they got a doctor from the back area. I just wanted to break down and cry, the stress of all this crap and having a book due and the constant, unending pain, which is so much worse in the car.

Ginny may have a potential adopter that we're meeting on Saturday, which I'm glad about but also bummed because I'll have to miss my writing group, which I love. She's a little better today -- they gave her fluids and some injections which I don't fully understand, but her poo seemed a little better this morning. I have to give her pills, something I always hate doing when you meet a potential adopter because sometimes it freaks them out that they're getting an unhealthy dog. I've had her longer than any other dog I've fostered; I don't understand why, since she's actually pretty adorable and mostly awesome.

And at least I was able to finish the book this morning, but I have to go back through it now and fine tune the edits. It's been hard to concentrate because of the pain. Anyway, like I said, it's been a really, really bad couple of days and I wish I could just sit down with some alcohol, but I have work to do now. If you feel like sending me something happy in comments, I would love that.
gwyn: (serious bznz littlespank)
Would anyone be willing to beta a Pacific Rim story for me? It's kinda sorta vaguely a sequel to the first one I wrote, and I'm working on it now and it's around 5,200 words, but knowing my tendency toward verbosity, I'm sure I'll rack up some more words in that count.

Man, I have been having some fun with health lately. First there was the lingering effects of the cat bite, namely, that the intestinal issues from the antibiotics were really kicking my ass and I was beginning to fear they wouldn't get better. If I never drink another glass of keffir, or acidophilous, or kombucha, or eat yogurt, it will be too soon. Then on Saturday I developed this searing pain in my back, as if I'd been scalded. At first I thought it was the tightness of a new bra, but it just kept getting more and more painful, until Monday I had to finally call the doctor. I mean, I figured that unless the bra was poisoned or something, it didn't explain the burning pain that couldn't stand even the touch of sheets on it.

My trainer had developed shingles, and I thought, well, that's what I must have, because I'd heard about the searing pain they caused for many years from my dad. But when I looked it up, they said shingles weren't contagious, yet the symptoms I had were exactly as they described. Fortunately I got in to the doctor and she said that the width of the sensations was a good sign it wasn't going to develop into the rash (apparently many people experience pain up to a week before the rash appears) -- it only happens on one side of the body. She said I could be the one in a million, though, who had it jump to the other side, so I was supposed to watch it for a week and see, but in the meantime she prescribed excellent painkillers (damn, I wish I'd taken these for the cat bite when she prescribed them for me just in case) and alternating ice and heat, and total rest, and so far that seems to be going well. She's concerned I might have injured on the disks in my spine, since all the thoracic tests didn't show anything.

I'm tired of having stupid problems with my body. Every time I make progress with my workouts, I get sick or injured. Bleh. And it makes sleep just this completely unobtainable goal, and me very very miserable.

I need to think about what to offer and request for Festivids. It's hard because there is really only a handful of things I want to vid or to watch right now, but I feel like I should spread out the possibilities as much as I can. But right now all I want to do is vid Luther and Pacific Rim, NOW, and not wait until next year!

I need to talk about this season's TV, but I'm having mixed feelings about a lot of stuff, and sometimes I don't want to piss on other people's fun stuff. But it's like it's all bubbling up inside me.
gwyn: (mack daddy)
So I found out that my beloved Max Martini (whom [personal profile] joatamon rightly identifies as "you beautiful singularity of hoyay you" because he is truly in that pantheon of actors who seem to have massive hoyay chemistry with whatever guy he's working with) is going to be in the season premiere of Person of Interest. I've tried to watch POI now for two years, but for whatever reason, it just doesn't take for me. Everyone I know is massively into it, but...it's very meh for me, and I don't know why. Admittedly I didn't see the first couple eps so the worldbuilding is lost on me, and I have creep-factor issues with the two lead actors. I even watched the second season gag reel so I could see things in a different light. Still not interested.

But I keep watching so that I'll have at least some frame of reference. I was completely confused by the second season most of the time, especially when I tuned in and there was a whole episode about Sarah Shahi, which should have been great because Sarah Shahi, but just sort of pissed me off since I didn't know what the fuck was going on. I never do when I watch it. On one hand it's a cheesy CBS procedural, on the other it's...I don't know. Skynet becoming sentient? Or something?

Max has a 98% chance of playing the bad guy. I had figured his apparent life goal of "guest star on every television series since 2005" might take a back seat due to his high-profile roles in Pacific Rim and Captain Phillips (which I canNOT wait to see; every time I watch a commercial or trailer and hear his smoky-whiskey-tinged voice going "Captain Phillips, can you hear me?" funny things happen in my lower belly), but it's nice to see he's still doing small screen stuff. The problem is, as I mentioned, he's ALWAYS a bad guy except the 2% of the time when he gets to play someone cool, like Billy Cooper in Numb3rs. He's almost always a law-enforcment officer or a military-type person -- I think because he does have a true military bearing and conveys command presence more than most actors. He's an outstanding gun actor, too, and that often comes across really well. If I understand correctly, his mom was either a cop or a private detective, and he learned weapons handling early, so I'm sure that helps.

But it breaks my heart that he's almost always a corrupt or psycho LEO or military guy. Castle, Hawaii Five-0, the various flavors of CSI, you name it, Burn Notice, Dark Blue, he's a bad guy. I imagine that was to some degree why he was so popular in Numb3rs -- not only did he and Don Eppes give off massive, massive "they're boffing" vibes, but he was a good guy and so didn't get killed off in the end by Our Heroes, and you could imagine him and Don riding off into the sunset together to boink each others' brains out. And apparently he's playing a naval officer in POI? The worst was on Criminal Minds, where he played a vet with PTSD issues who has a mental break after an accident and goes on a killing rampage, including killing his own parents because he thinks they're impostors. He had a terrible beard that hid his pretty ginger face and he was just so very psycho. I still haven't watched his episodes of Lie to Me, though, so I don't know if that breaks with the pattern and screws with my percentages. (And theatrical movies are really different, he's been a good guy in a lot of things, though TV movies are a different ballgame, too.)

I'd love it if I'm wrong and he's not a bad guy. But the percentages aren't with me. I was so very surprised when he turned out to be a good guy, and not get killed, in Pacific Rim. I spent the entire movie saying to my friend, "He's going to die now. He's going to die, I can't watch." He starred in The Unit for four years, and I never did figure out what they were trying to do with his character -- they made him really sweet and loving, but they also did this weird "maybe he hit his wife once/maybe he didn't/his wife is a disaster area who does terrible things to him/what the fuck is going on here" thing that I have like a whole essay in me about but since no one I know watched the show, it's kind of pointless to write (I really hate David Mamet, you know?).

Anyways, I'll be watching the season premiere of POI through my fingers, I'm sure.

I'm getting a lot better in the cat-bite department, but the antibiotics are giving me migraines, which is...really bad. Imitrex does incredibly weird things to me, so I don't like taking it, but thank god I've had it, some of these have been really debilitating. I thought at first it was due to dehydration, but I don't believe that now. I'm not sure what the trigger is.
gwyn: (pussypad kerry beary)
Just wanted to say THANK YOU to everyone for the kind comments and support about the cat bite and the allergic reaction. The past week has been...really weird, but having you guys for support made it a lot easier. I completed the IV antibiotics on Friday, and the cellulitis (the infected tissue in my arm from the cat bite) was reduced quite a bit. In the pic below, you can see some pen marks on my arm; they usually draw the boundary of the infection to keep track of where it starts off, and they don't want it to spread past that when you start treatment, mine spread a little farther but not too much, and it definitely had scaled back a lot by Friday. The two right hand puncture wounds were the worst, but the left top one was really gross so I left the Band-Aid on. ;-)

arm bite

I will continue to take antibiotics for the next week, and most of the redness is gone by now. I wish the pain was gone too -- that part is definitely harder. Anything touching the arm, especially pressure on the puncture wounds, is still just really effing painful, and it's hard to sleep since I'm a stomach sleeper and my arm rests at my side. I'm still taking pain meds and Benadryl to get rid of the allergic reaction, but my joints are a lot less swollen now and the aching and feverish feelings is mostly gone.

The hardest part is that I'm kind of afraid of Blues now. I just don't feel like I can trust him at all, and it's hard coming to terms with the fact that he's no longer my sweet little boy. He was always such a sweet, tender, loving little guy until he hit about three, and then he put on a growth spurt, gaining about four pounds and three inches in length. He also became a bully to Olive, and basically acted like a...frat boy. He was about 80 percent of the time a sweet, fun guy, and then 20 percent of the time an entitled, mean, bullying little shit monster who seems to think Olive and I are here to serve him. He is relentless in his pestering of her, and went from a guy who was always trying to get her attention in a "HEY LADY! LADY, HEY!" kind of way to pouncing on her and biting her neck. She could totally kick his ass, too, but she never does, and I feel so bad for her.

He cuddles up to me in my sleep in the mornings, but there have been times where, since he's a ginormous cat now and a bed hog, I try to move him over a bit and he'll start kicking furiously with his hind claws at my hand, and nipping me. He's never bitten through skin, though, and I think that it's probably likely that he'll do this again, despite the horrible reaction I had and that he was probably hurt by how hard I slammed him off of me. I just...I don't know how to get him to behave; Olive learned really fast that biting at hoomin was not a good idea, but Blues is just apparently incapable of learning lessons. I've picked him up a few times and tried to cuddle him but I just feel really wary of him now. I hate that. Those kitties are the only thing keeping me going and it's terrible to fear one of them.

He also never used to talk, now he sits in the kitchen and endlessly wails to be let out, which I won't do, and that seems to piss him off as well. Arg.

I had been making progress on my Idyll Challenge story. This set me so far back on my book that I haven't been able to work on it (and honestly, it hurt to type, so there was that). I doubt I can make the 22nd deadline.

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