la_belle_laide: (D)
My either/or for most of last month (and all of this month so far) is either write in journal / do anything else OR do manuscript critiques with my good friend [Bad username or site: ”spatterdash” @ livejournal.com]. And the critique trades have been SO STUPID MUCH FUN that I've just gotten so involved in them. Can't stop won't stop. (Fun fact, I still think of “spatterdash” as “d_r_o_n_e”.) This is the most fun I've ever had trading crits. It makes a big difference when it's something you look forward to—reading the other person's work, as well as getting feedback on your own—instead of dreading it.

But I should write a few things down, too, like about this past few weeks in general.

It seems like so many of my close friends are having massive anxiety / bouts of depression lately, all at once. And this kinda includes me, too, with the anxiety. Some of the things I can laugh about (like the other day, I read something about how the shape of certain toddler's heads can cause intra cranial pressure and brain damage and I FLIPPED OUT, went nuts for a few days, called the doctor, the whole shebang, doc told me to basically chill,) and other things are really sticking with me, like the way that Medicare only lets women over 65 get one checkup EVERY TWO YEARS WTF, and how dangerous that is? Major issue sticking to the inside of my skull right now!

Here's a thing that pissed me off and worried me, too. So last week, a friend of mine wrote a post about how important it is to keep your cats indoors for various reasons. I totally agreed, seeing as how I, at the time anyway, had a tiny baby oriole who'd been attacked by a cat. (Oriole—which Callum named Siba—later died. :( ) And also because cats take dumps in my yard, I don't want cat turds in my garden, and dogs eat the poop, which, you know, makes them very ill. This happened to a good friend of mine recently.

So then another gal comes along, and I've been sort of HitRECord friends with her for about five years. Not super close, but like, we used to chat all the time in TinyChat, on Facebook, whatnot. So, she comes along and replies that she keeps her cats indoors, but not because she cares about the stupid birds or my gross f'n dogs, like why would she care if my stupid dogs or some dumb birds died?

And now I'm like... Wow? How do you say that about someone's dogs, right? I know a lot of people don't take pets, or pet-owners seriously. I get that to a lot of people we're considered a little flakey or whatever. There's lots of stuff I don't particularly care about, but I wouldn't say that to people I knew who did care.

So I felt like something else was up, and I messaged her like, Dude, wht the hell? Why would you say a thing like that? Is something wrong? Because I totally thought we were okay. I always made nice comments on your art, the pics you post of your cats, have always supported you on hR, and, you know, sort of pathetically, I thought we were kind of friends?

And she wrote back, “I don't owe you anything just because you liked a few of my things, THAT'S NOT HOW I ROLL, so just unfriend me or whatever.”

And I say, “Well, I've always felt that the only thing you owe someone who is kind to you, is kindness in return. That's how I roll, so, you know. And I have to say, I will miss our chats, if that's how it's to be, because I always did like you.”

And do you know what she replied? “You are honestly no loss to me.”

Okay, what the hell with that? And let me say that this is TOTALLY out of the blue. And logically, I'm going, “Well, obviously, she is an asshole of gigantic proportions, so let it go.” But the irrational part of me is going, Did I miss an episode or something? Was I evil to her in a way that I didn't realize? And then I start freaking out, thinking, do OTHER people feel that way, too? Do all of my other friends kind of secretly dislike me, or just put up with me or something? Who is gonna do that next? Someone I'd really super hate to lose?

This kind of stuff doesn't end after high school, you know? Goes on and on well into adulthood and comes from the most surprising places.

But anyway. So I'm trying not to dwell on that too much. I mean, I know whatever is up is her problem and totally not mine anymore, I'm just stuck thinking about, “But what if everyone else...?”

Aside from that. Yeah, so I had that oriole, who was a little beauty but didn't survive, and I also have a little baby crow, who Callum named Matu. A really good little crow.

Callum named them Siba and Matu because lately he's been making up his own words and using them in songs, and then dancing along when he sings them. “Siba, mati, matu, YAY!” “Siba, mingo, mango, mingi, YAY!” And he does these moves like the Maori Haka, which he's never seen, so what even.

He actually did something hilARious last night, had me in tears laughing, but it's TMI and I would hate to put that out there but OMG. So funny.

Callum is really into birds in general, as I think I've mentioned. (How could he not be?) But now, aside from knowing all the kinds of birds in the yard, and all their calls, he also knows their babies' calls. “Mahh mahh beebee grack-ow. Ree ree beebee stee-ling!”

And today, he actually told me the story of what happened to him in the morning: “Gram-gram work. Things to do. Guy-guy Gram gram! Wah-hah-hah. Cam-cam blue truck, fire truck, yay! Guy-guy truck! Wah-hah-hah. Gram-gram cookie. Thankee gram-gram. Wah-hah-hah!” Which basically means: “we went to visit Grandma at work, but she had things to do so we said bye-bye, and I LOST MY CRAP IN THE STORE BECAUSE I WANT GRANDMA. Then I played with some cars and trucks in the store, and I had to stop doing that, too, so I FLIPPED OUT CRYING. Then we saw Grandma again and she gave me a cookie, which I had to stop eating once I got in the car, so I CRIED THE REST OF THE WAY HOME.”

And he's actually awake now, which is like fifteen minutes too early for him to be awake from his nap. And I didn't even get to check Tumblr one last time. But I did send out my email/story section to Spatterdash, so that's a huge achievement for a day like today. :)
la_belle_laide: (D)



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Today is such a gorgeous day. LIke Bob Marley said, “Sun is shining, weather is sweet.” I took the dogs to the beach for a long walk, and I’ve been outside setting up bird feeders and putting my tropicals out for the season, scrubbing bird baths, re-arranging things, etc. just to be outdoors. Everything is so green and lush, and it smells like the ocean and apple blossoms.

The latest Hyperbole and a Half  gives people a really intense look into what depression feels like. Reading it has made me so grateful that I’m able to enjoy days like today, and more understanding of people who can’t.

So, here's how the rest of my week went. I finished up my last (so far) day of work. I don't plan to take too much time off, because I honestly can't even afford to, so I only hope the clinic will still be there when I get back.

Then I had a doctor appointment, which are once a week now; kind of a pain. I had a different doctor, some dude, whom friends assured me was very chill. He was nice, really; looked at the birth plan I'd written up and agreed with everything on it, etc.

But here's what happened: he was running an hour late. The nurse who weighed me was pissy and in a huge rush. She didn't wait for the scale to stop tipping and she wrote down that I had lost two pounds. (Maybe I'd lost one, or just hadn't gained. Which is totally normal.) But then the doctor saw it, and he thought I measured too small, didn't look right or whatever. So he made me go back for another ultrasound 4 days later. I pretty much had a feeling nothing was wrong and they were just being stupid about it and trying to get some more money, but of course, you worry about things like this anyway.

But, I went back Tuesday and had yet another different doctor who was like, "Umm, why are you here?" Even the u/s lady was all "Everything is perfectly normal, what is the meaning of this?"

So now I'm super annoyed and I hope I don't get this doctor for delivery, because he seems to be an alarmist.

They also keep pestering me to get internal exams every week. (Sorry, TMI.) I keep declining. I think you only need maybe one, before the due date. They were really insistent and totally confused about why I was turning it down. The nurse was literally like "You're really not doing it? I mean... your pants are staying on?" YES, FFS. They were so insistent about getting all up in my puanani that I began seriously to suspect their motives. >_> Back away from the vagina, people.

(A few years ago, Jo-chan and I were trying to come up with some way to invent one of those spring-loaded boxing gloves that you could stick between your legs during an OBGYN exam. It would have a trigger or something that you could pull when the doctor went down there for a look. IDK, I still think that's hilarious.)

But enough about my crotch.

I was supposed to have new windows by now, but contractors across-the-board suck. I'm sorry to any contractors who don't. I don't believe in you; you're like Santa Claus. Not that I can actually afford new windows, but the ones in my bedroom (which is going to be the baby's room) are cracked. Like seriously cracked, completely broken, ice on the inside of the windowsill, black mold building up, can't-get-room-above-50-in-the-winter kind of broken. My Mom actually put it on her credit card, tbh, paying like 50 bucks a month. Anyway, originally they were going to put a rush on it and get it done in the beginning of May, but, contractors, you know. "Beginning of May" means "end of June, maybe."

Oh, here's another thing. I have Havoc outside today. It's not his first time outdoors (I've dragged his entire cage outside a few times, to get him some sun, even though this totally panics him,) but it is his first time in the aviary. I figured, I'm not using it for a while, let's see if he can stand it out there. And honestly, he's been screaming so completely non-stop lately, I have no idea what's causing it but it's driving me insane. Today when I took the dogs to the beach he screamed so loud and so long that I could hear him from my car, down the block. O_O

So, I put him outside and set him up with a bath, perches, food, peanuts, and a toy. He was hysterical for about five minutes until he discovered his water bowl. Then he had a drink, got on a perch, and chilled out. He's nice and quiet now and I am a much calmer person without him screeching the way he has been. I think I'll put him out during the day, and bring him in at night. (He could stay out at night since I fixed the aviary all secure, but IDK, I'd probably be too nervous.)

Oh, and I had Sano's bloodtest done again this month. Once again, everything is normal. (*knock on wood!*) This is the first time in years he's had platelets in the spring. Haku is still having seizures on his new meds, so it's not a totally perfect situation, but Sano not being on pred is totally new. The only thing I did differently this year was give him coconut oil with his dinner, because I read some anecdotal stuff from people with ITP saying that it had worked for them. Very odd. I even started cutting down on his SUPER EXPENSIVE Chinese Medicine pills. Maybe I can get to the point of filling them every 40 days instead of every 20, saving over $100 a month. Let's hope.

As for the rest of today, maybe I'll do a little writing, maybe some recording for HitRECord, maybe some laundry. I've already had the dogs to the beach this morning for a nice long walk, and done lots of outdoorsy work and now my hips are aching again. Well anyway, won't be long now!

Sun is shining, weather is sweet. :)

la_belle_laide: (mantis)



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Last night, Havoc had a meltdown that was so intense, I was afraid for him. I've never seen a bird do this before. I was chilling out on Tumblr, everything in the house utterly quiet, when I heard him make this low, frightened sound like I'd never heard him make before. The only way to describe this sound was utter fear, even though I have never heard this noise in my life. You could just feel it.

When I went into his room, he was out of his mind. I've never seen a bird get this hysterical before. I actually thought he was neurological, that he had West Niles or something. He didn't know why he was in a cage, or in a room. He couldn't find his perch, just flapping around madly, panting and freaking out. And he didn't know who I was. This hysteria went on for about an hour. Even after I turned off his light to let him go to sleep (and darken whatever he might have been looking at that scared him,) I could still hear him shaking in his cage. And when I'd turn on the light to check on him, he would hiss at me, with his feathers all puffed up. Havoc gets annoyed and irritated and he doesn't want to be pet or carried, and sometimes he hisses meaninglessly when he's feeling bothered, but this time it was because he honestly didn't know who I was.

Then he fell asleep, and woke up fine, like nothing had happened.

What. The. Hell.

I wonder what he saw out there? He's seen cats, raccoons, mice and rats go by before, so I can't imagine it was anything like that.

Anyway, I'm glad that's over, and may that crap never happen again, jesus.

I finished watching Lost, and, WHAT. Really, WHAT? I feel like all seven seasons totally trolled me. I'm not going to say anymore about it, because people who read this LJ haven't seen the whole thing yet. So no spoilers. Just know that I was not pleased with the last five minutes.

I have been having some crazy dreams. In one, I was at the beach down the road. Again, it's a dream-beach: never the way it is in real life, but always exactly the same in every dream. What is it with that? I have a lot of dream-places that are like that. They are only vaguely similar to the actual places, but are laid out, detail for detail, the same in every dream, from one to the next, even if the dreams are years apart. I mean, are those like, real places in parallel worlds or something? So bizarre. Anyway, I was at that beach, paddling out into the water on a chair, so that I could get a picture of the sunset. I know it sounds boring, but something about it was really intense.

Then, a few nights ago, I dreamed that I was watching TV somewhere and this nature show came on, talking about a building called "The Cascade," where, if you could get past the waterfall and get to the top of it, your most important question would be answered. After that, I was driving home from somewhere, and I decided to take an alternate route. I got lost, and ended up in front of The Cascade building. It was really high, and the floors got narrower as it went up.

My Dad was there, telling me that I had to press certain buttons in a sequence in order to get past it. He said he'd figured out that if you press one button, it would deactivate a barrier, but activate another one farther in. (I play too many video games, it's true.) Then he demonstrated by pressing a button that had a picture of a small rock on it. When he did this, the waterfall in front of the building came on. Some of the other buttons had labels, like "rain" and "river" and things like that. Dad said he had to go meet someone, and he'd be right back.

Then I ran into my brother, and then Lao Shir. They were also trying to figure out The Cascade, and how to get to the top. My alarm went off before I could figure it out.

Wow, I guess the surface of that dream is very sort of Buddhist or something.

Work is pretty much what it's been: good weeks with tons of clients, slow weeks with next to no one. But fun, nice, mellow.

Still hot here in the afternoons, cold at night and in the mornings. Jo-chan started college again and is here every Mon-Tues and then Wed-Thurs. It's nice, we're still watching Doctor Who, and we've started re-watching Sorcerer Hunters. That show still cracks me up every time.

This, that, and the other.
la_belle_laide: (mantis)



vBulletin statistic







So, apart from everything that went on in that locked post, it is, in fact, summer. I finally got into the whoreson pool. I had to put the new steps together (and, eff it, I put the steps in backwards, I still have to fix that – when I feel like it though. Not now.)

Jo-Chan is here 3-4 days of the week, so that's been really nice. Last night we were at Mom's, sat around having ice cream and watching Dr. Who (I mean, what else? :D )

And I neglected to mention, two weeks ago I lost my oldest fish, my silver angel Quatre. That really sucked. Quatre was a great fish.

So now I guess I had better start fixing to paint up that room, finally. You know, I should just do it instead of stalling. I guess I just can't decide what to make of it. I got some paint samples last week; I should really try them out. I've messed about enough in that room, including one failed attempt at knocking down a wall that I later decided to keep. Ehh. I still call it "Gram's Room," too.

Got two robins in the aviary (Thor and Loki,) and one busted-foot starling inside, named Koko. This bird just won't grow the hell up. Well, he was totally imprinted before I got him, so that probably has everything to do with it.

Oh, and I saw Batman: The Dark Knight Rises. Because, you know, my husband Tom Hardy and my BFF JGL. I had some Batfeels about it—well, some Banefeels, if we're being honest—but really I had a lot of Batthoughts, too. Some of them, I guess, sort of controversial. What else is new though?

So this is about The Dark Knight Rises, and it is, I think, spoiler free. But I'm cutting it anyway.
Probably not spoilers, but still. )

Just saying. I mean, other than that, TOM HARDY.

Also want to mention, I've been watching BBC's Shakespeare series, The Hollow Crown. So far, Richard II has been my favorite, but really I think that's because Richard II is a better play than Henry IV 1&2, and Henry V. Rory Kinnear and Ben Wishaw were astounding. Well honestly, the whole cast is astounding.

Do you know how hard it is to do Shakespeare? To understand every word, and then make every word understood for a modern audience? Shakespeare has never presented me with any problems in terms of following along or understanding (Elizabethan and Jacobean tragedies were my focus in college,) but I realize a lot of people have some trouble with the language. So, Shakespeare done well has a director and actors that convey the meaning with perfect clarity. I see a thing happening in this production that's kind of fabulous, really. The actors are so good that people are following their cues and understanding every word. I only know this because it now has a HUGE fandom on Tumblr. Some of the people involved in the fandom are young. Like, pre-Shakespeare young.

Yo, Shakespeare has a fandom. There is fanfiction. Fanart. Roleplays. People are RPing Henry V. THAT IS AWESOME. I don’t care what-all brings people into Shakespeare. I’m so happy that BBC chose the Avengers Hottie Of The Month to act in this, because now all these young kids are seeing, and getting excited about, Shakespeare. I’m happy that it has an actual fandom. This is stuff that people (like me) study/studied so hard in college, writing endless theories and theses, researching, picking apart plot and subtleties and characteristics, symbolism and meanings behind meanings. And what is so amazing is that this is what fandom does on its own. Fandom doesn’t need to be told by a professor to write a three-page essay about Prince Hal’s relationships with his lowly companions like Poins (Pointz, when I read it,) and Falstaff, vs. his relationship with his father and such. Fandom’s going to do that anyway and put it on Tumblr and LJ.

When fandom gets invested in a story, it wants every little piece of it. It wants every “meta” (we just called those essays,) every bit of speculation, every basis in history, every nuance of opinion it can get its hands on. I paid to study this stuff. I lived it and loved it for four years (and beyond.) And now, the internet just gives it up for free!

Shakespeare has a fandom. It’s brilliant!

Not to mention that the acting is spotless throughout, god. I love seeing Shakespeare come to life, and this series is such a dream.

Them's my thoughts on The Hollow Crown, something I'm hugely into right now. In fact, going to finish the series tonight.

Also, the song of this summer is "We Are Young" by Fun.

HOSTILE

Jul. 5th, 2012 07:18 pm
la_belle_laide: (Effing SPACE)



vBulletin statistic


Let me tell you about this goddamn pool. So the guy came over on Tuesday and he agreed that it looked all kinds of wrong. Yet, he still couldn't figure out how to fix it. He said he'd drain it, so as not to put pressure on the sides, then look at the manual some more and come back to try to fix it on his day off. He put the pump in the pool and I said, "When will you be back? Tomorrow?" No, not until Saturday. I said, "Won't the liner dry out and tear by then?" He said it would be fine.

Yet everyone else who's ever had a pool said that this was the worst idea ever, especially in this heat. With only one foot of water, the liner was going to crack for sure, and then the wall really would get pulled down.

So here we are, a Thursday, and the pool is being refilled. Only to be drained again tomorrow night. Such an abhorrent waste of water, and such a huge water bill. If he doesn't show up Saturday, the whole thing is pretty much screwed. I am so mad right now. A lot of money went into this pool, and it's money that I could really actually use, you know? It's over 9000 degrees right now, and around here, it starts to get cool in the middle of August. >_<

Jo-chan got a job around the corner from here, so she's spending half-weeks here until university starts up again. Today was her first day. It's nice, having her around. Tonight we're celebrating her first day on the job with ice cream and a movie (and not swimming.)

I really freaking miss Kung Fu, y'all. I could go practice it in my yard, but A) over 9000 degrees and B) I've never been self-motivated. Mostly, I miss training with the people I train with. And also, yeah, training. I feel stiff and inflexible and like I'm losing all my muscle tone. However, I'm saving a lot of money. I have been jogging a few times a week (the heat doesn't bother me when I'm just jogging; it's a lot less taxing than KF,) but it's not the same. But, I really do need that money.

I did get some more blood test results back, and am glad to say that they were all really awesome. My homocysteine was in the normal range, but a little high for my nefarious purposes. The nurse practitioner said she was going to send me a prescription for a supplement (that I will throw away because the last time they gave me a prescription for a supplement, it had Red40 and saccharine in it. Really? Are you trying to give me cancer? The whole thing is such a racket.) I looked up what can cause elevated homocysteine and I read lots of things about "anger" and "hostility" LMAO. Maybe I'm hostile because people are dicking me around! Haha, no but it wasn't really elevated, in fact it was right in the middle, but still, the lower the better.

So I bought some folic acid today, after a lengthy discussion at the store with some rep who kept trying to tell me that I didn't need folic acid, I just needed her company's one-shot pill dealy thing which the store didn't have, but I should totally just "run down to Whole Foods" (forty miles away) and grab some there. I had found folic acid, but not the vegetarian kind and she was pretty sure that this store didn't have any of that anyway. Then she sat herself down—in the aisle--in front of the vegetarian folic acid that I had originally asked for. I reached around her and grabbed it anyway. Supposedly it lowers homocysteine, but that encounter made me feel, you know, somewhat hostile. ;D

Apart from all that, I released my three baby starlings today. The aviary is empty, but I have two little robins who are fledging, and tomorrow I'm getting a fledgling sparrow that someone kept for three weeks. I go through this every. Goddamn. Year. It's the same exact conversation. "I found this baby bird and I really want to do the right thing but I don't want to release him into my yard/don't know how to release him/I don't think he can fly but I really love him and I fed him some strange-ass thing since I found him, oh, and I've had him for like a month." GOD. Why do people do this? You have my goddamn phone number, why did you not call me the first day you found him?

HOSTILE.

I guess this entry could have been a lot more cheerful, sorry. ^_^


la_belle_laide: (D)



vBulletin statistic




Haku's seizures are getting closer and closer together again. He had one this morning at around 6:30. That's only twelve days since the last one. I called Genius Vet and she said she would like to test his Kbr levels. ($151 jesus) Also, while he's there, she'll put an acupuncture tack in his ear to see if that helps. (Which she will do for free because she's the BEST.) So that's going to be on Thursday. If neither of those things work, then it's time to try Keppra. Which is supposed to be a great drug and awesome and no side effects (but honestly, everything has side effects,) and if it comes to that, then that's what we'll do. Except Keppra is a few hundred bucks a month. *cries* Why can't medicine be cheap?

One thing I need to remember to ask about is the side effects of raising Krb to 3 ML. I don't like what I'm reading there and he's already at 2.5.

Also, my chiropractor said he would take a look at Haku, too. So maybe I'll give him a call and see if I can bring Haku on in Thursday, closing time.

In non-dog related news, my own Dr. appointment is tomorrow re: the Sjogren's syndrome thing and the lymph nodes that he wants to "take a closer look at." So we'll see about that. And then the following Thursday I have another Dr. appointment. It's like I'm making up for lost time, weeee! AND, Monday I have an appointment with my boss, who is an acupuncturist. I've only ever had that once, when she put a tack in my ear, and the effect was immediate. I'm a little nervous, but still looking forward to it. It should be interesting.

Three of my favorite birds this year have died, so that sucks. However, two days ago I released my twelve starlings, just by opening the aviary door and letting them mosey on out whenever they wanted. Which worked out great, except within the last two days, they've all mosied back on in. Actually, that's fine; I don't have anyone else in the aviary, so they can come and hang out in it for a while if they want.

Also on Sunday, I finally got together with my friend Jennel, after ages and ages of us trying to get together. I'm not even kidding when I say that, in the past, every time we've made plans, something horrible has happened to prevent it. Like, catastrophe, hospital, accident, sickness horrible. But on Sunday she came by, I set up my massage table, we did tarot readings and had pizza and talked for hours and it was great. The curse is broken. :)

Tonight, Jo-chan is coming by because she's minding Boychild (and Haku) tomorrow.

Oh man, it's the early afternoon and the dogs are jumpy. I'm jumpy too. Apparently, yesterday, someone got raped a few blocks from here. They haven't apprehended anyone yet (in fact, there is no news on this at all, anywhere.) And just an hour or so ago, shots were fired on the next street over. I actually heard them and thought maybe hunters were out and about in the woods, even though I don't think it's hunting season anymore. What is happening to this place?



la_belle_laide: (Wildflowers)



vBulletin statistic



My dang computer keeps crashing and saying it's a "kernel panic." My momma didn't raise no dummy, I know what that means, and it's not anything good. So I've been trying to back up every last thing, though I've run out of space on my external hard drive and I know I'm leaving some stuff out. But I've got the most recent photographs, videos, and the novel. What I will lose is all of my programs. And that blows.

Thunderstormy tonight, and probably for the next few days. I don't have any appointments tomorrow, so I'll go into town, I guess. Then movie night with my best friend Glassworker. Tuesday after work, will probably see my cousins, and Wednesday, Gold Dragon, and Thursday I have a doctor's appointment.

Oh, I have to get all sorts of tests. It's really weird how it worked out, too. For a few years I've had these lymph nodes that become palpable and then don't go away. I went to my primary and he basically told me, "That happens to thin girls, don't worry about it, just ignore them. If it's something bad, then we'll deal with it." (Same doctor who said to me, "Wow, I hope that'll be okay," when I dropped a rusty pool down my leg and told him I was allergic to the tetanus shot.)

ANYway, this all came about when I took Haku to the vet about a week and a half ago because I thought I was feeling one of his lymph nodes, and I had a major panic attack and ran him down there first thing to see Genius Vet. We got on a conversation about lymph in general and I mentioned what always happens with me.

She said, "Do you have really dry eyes?"

Boy, do I! They couldn't even do Lasik, my eyes were so dry. They had to do PRK and even that exacerbated the problem. When I sleep, my eyelids stick to my eyes, and when I move them, it tears the cornea. Which is mad painful.

"Do you get dry lips?"

Oh hell yes. A few years ago I tried quitting lip balm and I woke up with pieces of my mouth all over the pillow. (That's real attractive.)

"Do you have any joint problems, any rheumatoid?"

As a matter of fact, when the doctor did surgery on my knee, he said I probably had juvenile rheumatoid since I was twelve.

She said, "Sounds like Sjogren's syndrome. And I only know because I have the same thing."

I went home and looked it up, and it turns up that I have quite a few of those symptoms; such as getting random little dots on my skin every few years. Spicy foods make my tongue bleed (so gross.) Insane sensitivity to sunlight (I need to wear sunglasses even when it's overcast.) "Cold asthma," which with me, translates into an inability to take a breath when it's really cold and dry outside. I guess it's why I love the humidity. (I always have to stop jogging as soon as it gets chilly and dry, and heaven help me if someone's burning a fire.) Miserable allergies, sensitivity to chlorine, constant need for skin lotion, eye-drops, lip balm, and other suchlike.

If that is what I have, mine seems to be mostly in my damn face. No worries, it's not fatal or anything. Higher risk of lymphoma, but I'm always on the lookout for that anyway and I take lots of lymph-draining supplements. It's not a bad disease really, just an uncomfy one. There are tons of worse things, right?

Plus, the years of relying on oils and lotions and things like that have made my skin super-youthful and my hair really healthy. So that's one good thing!

So, while Thursday isn't my primary Dr. or rheumatologist, it's still a Dr. visit and I'll ask her where I should start. Maybe she can refer me to someone or something.

That's the story with that. It's probably the least interesting thing going on, but I wanted to document it anyway.

Over on HitRECord, my naughty little (published) poem is getting lots of play, including a Dramatic Reading by Joe, (which is now one of his featured records!) TONS of voiceovers, and even some amazing songs. And my erotica parody has become a voice-over show. This one is amazing, it has music!

So fly.

As far as birds, I've got twelve starlings in the aviary (currently making a ton of damn noise and freaking out in there, which starlings tend to do at night for some reason,) and a nest of three babies indoors, along with one nestling grackle. The four of them don't seem to be doing well. I wonder if it's because I'm using a different kind of food. Either way, I don't care for the situation. :( I want to raise a nice big grackle this year, like I did last year. No other birds so far; no robins or bluejays or redwings, no sparrows or orioles or titmice, no catbirds or mockers (I haven't had a mocker in YEARS, wtf. One year I had seven of them.)

The search for a literary agent continues. Last night I had a dream that I had an offer of representation. Ahh, please let that dream come true!

All righty, well, off to drink some juice and watch Lost. Did I mention I'd started watching that? Only seven years late!


la_belle_laide: (Wildflowers)



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So a couple have things have gone on, some good, some bad, some still up in the air.

I'll start with the bad first, because it's what's on my mind. HitRECord, you know, is a nice little community - okay, it's really not so little, but you do get to know some folks. One of my pals there is a gal named Inky. She lives in Hawai'i and for a while we were working on some poetry translations on the site. Then she went away for a long trip, but had to cut her trip short because her boyfriend Niko (Honeyboy on HR) was very ill. Cancer at only 30, unable to get chemo due to a heart condition.

Inky and Honeyboy went traveling around the islands of Hawai'i together for a few short months. During their trip, they were taking photos, writing, tweeting, and exchanging packages of goodies and trinkets with other HitRECorders. Every Friday was Aloha Friday, where we would all send songs to each other on Twitter. Niko sent lots of my favorite music; I'd have fun identifying the singers and bands.

Just last week I went out and bought all sorts of Long Island goodies to send to them: local chocolates, trinkets, and some local honey for Honeyboy. I didn't have a box to send it in; figured I'd get to the store last Friday and bring it to the post office.

But Thursday night, Inky posted to let us all know that Niko had passed on Wednesday evening. She sent his last photo from his phone to his Twitter: a picture of the sunset out his window, titled "Goodbye Sun."

So everyone is heartbroken, and I have this package of stuff sitting here, addressed to both of them, and I don't know if I should still send it.

I came home from work today to find two packages had arrived. One was the HitRECord book that two of my writings made it into.

The other package is from Inky and Niko. It has a card from them. "Sending you lots of aloha and hugs and kisses, XOXO Honeyboy," and "Lots of love to you! XO Inky" They must have put it in the mail that Wednesday. And I just don't know what to do with myself over this. I think I should send the package anyway.

That was the most important, and of course the worst, thing that went on this week. Me, I can feel sad and cry and go about my business, but I know that his family and friends don't have that luxury today. My week still has some happiness in it. I get that.

Some of my happiness this week is, as I mentioned, getting that book in my hands. It's gorgeous, so much better than I thought it would be. The whole intro by Joe is about patriarchy and sexism, and why he changed the ending to the story. The second "intro" is by his Mom, which details the War On Women and why books like this are necessary. She talks for a while about the terrifying bills that are being put on the table (and some passed, barring women from testifying,) and then says,

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My two pieces are in here, surrounded by beautiful art. Here's the funny thing: the first one is on page 39 and the second one is on page 45. I have a thing about numbers adding up to 3 and 9 so I'm like "OMFG IT'S A SIGN."

I also finished up the revisions requested by that one rad agent. I "finished" them, I should say, and then I stressed and stressed, and hemmed and hawed and fussed and revised again, and then once again. And then, yesterday, I sent them out. Now, I'm convinced that I only made it worse. I could only have screwed it up more. I just don't know what to do sometimes, who to listen to!

But also, a few agents held a "Twitter Pitch" contest, which is what it sounds like. You reduce your novel to 135 characters (leaving room for the tag,) and pitch to them via Twitter. Well, the one agent who showed a little interest in mine has a thing against stories with a time travel element. BUT, she also said it sounded cool anyway, and I could go ahead and query her to give her more info. I know it's not the kind of thing she represents, but something must have sounded kind of good for her to say that! So I figured, why not? And queried her, too. Can't hurt. :)

I am running out of agents to query, though. I'm getting a few nibbles and a few "You're good, but I'm not in love with this." What if no one falls "in love" with it? Then, I guess, I shelf it, start up with some of my other books and such. Get one of those to sell. Then maybe someone will be like "Do you have any trunk manuscripts?" Haha, yeah. But I don't want this to be from the trunk. It's my favorite.

So that's more or less what's been going on, aside from the stuff I'm going to put in the locked post. Today is the first really hot hot day, and my first day in shorts (once I came home from work, that is.) About two weeks ago I fixed the aviary door. I just need to put another latch on the bottom, just to be on the safe side (didn't need one for ten years, but I'm not going to make that mistake again,) and then hose it out, set it up, and put my twelve bastard starlings into it. Will probably do that tomorrow. Then maybe I'll get my winter clothes put away. I did that much earlier last year, I think; maybe two weeks earlier. But it's been super chilly this month.

Oh, in the meantime, hey. You can order this gorgeous FEMINIST retelling of a fairy tale, with poetry, stories, thoughts, essays and really beautiful art. Scroll down to the $20 one. ^_^




la_belle_laide: (D)



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Today I got my first babies of the season. And guess what they are? Yes, a nest of starlings! Shocking. Usually it's either three or five. This time it's four. And as always, there's one teeny one that the rest of them sit on, who has to be coaxed to eat.

I can't believe this is my thirteenth season with this. Time sucks.

Other than that, let's see. The Red Riding Hood book comes out on the 15th. That's my second time being published, both in HitRECord books. I'm excited about that, and I can add it to future query letters. Right now you can't order the book on its own (you need a subscription) but soon, you'll be able to get it by itself. That's when I'm going to pick up a copy, maybe two. ^_^ Just 'cause.

Last night I went out with Glassworker and we saw The Avengers. Well actually, first we watched Thor at my house (and I ate a slice of pizza and an entire box of girl scout cookies) and then we went out to the movies (where I ate a pint of ice cream and half a box of After-Eights. Fabulous.) But I really liked The Avengers. It was woman-friendly (only a few female characters, but were treated as human and as part of the team, AND just as badass if not moreso than the men – thank you again Joss Whedon,) and there were some genuinely hilarious parts. Quite a few times, we were both laughing pretty hard.

I actually have a lot more news than this, but it's for a locked post.



la_belle_laide: (Default)



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Now to catch up on everything else.

I never caught the stupid cat that killed my birds. It stayed trapped in the aviary, with a trap set for it with some food as bait. For three days, it didn't take the bait. The day of Bai Si, it somehow pushed the aviary door outwards and escaped. I still want to catch it because I still have birds in the yard. So I still have the trap, and I'm gonna set it somewhere under the bushes.

The day that it happened, I went into the aviary to take the birds' bodies out and bury them. The entire time, the cat was hissing and growling at me. I couldn't leave them in there. I buried them just outside of the aviary and put up a bird feeder at the site. That day, all three of the released birds came back to the aviary and just stood there, looking at the cat. Birds are amazing, aren't they?

Also, I got a goldfish. I was never going to get one, because they can grow to 8 inches and you can't put any other fish in the tank (goldfishes make a lot of waste,) but then I thought, you know, I see all these people keeping these really hardy goldfish, and they're so pretty and cute and they live forever. So I got a tiny little calico one and I named him The Doctor. Now, by my Mom's suggestion, the tank is called The TARDIS. Which is so hilarious.

Speaking of Dr. Who, last night I watched the tenth episode of the third season, Blink. This is, I guess, the most famous Dr. Who episode, and with good reason. It's terrifying. I legitimately had nightmares all night, about the Weeping Angels. Seriously, the entire night. Which is awesome; it's been so long since I've seen something fantastic enough to give my nightmares. This inspired me to try to do a Weeping Angel costume for Halloween. Don't know if that's going to work out or not, but I'm going to try.

Speaking of watching awesome things, I saw Warrior the other night. It was only playing in Southampton, and only for a week, so I had to run out and grab it.

Now first, the things I didn't like. Let me just get this out of the way. I hate the role of women in most American martial arts movies. All they do (in most of them) is first: try to hold the man back. "I don't want you to fight! Wah!" And then they relent, and alternately hide their eyes and cheer. That honestly sums up the characterization of all women in most American martial arts films, and this one was no exception. That really, really irks me. I'd rather, in that case, if they left women out entirely, if they're just going to delegate us to the sidelines like that.

Secondly, the ending left me unsatisfied. SPOILERS )

So, aside from those things, it was a really intense ride. I really liked the grappling too, because a lot of that is stuff we do in class as well. Grappling and anti-grappling, actually. They did a lot of the same exact take-downs and joint-locking that we learn. In fact, the one major arm lock that Brendan keeps doing is the one we always review in class.

Do I need to say how awesome Tom Hardy is? He's terrifying. He's actually got very few lines in this film, but he doesn't need a lot. He's just one of those actors that you can't stop watching because he's so unafraid. He doesn't care what he looks like, what you think of his character, if he's being judged. That's the best kind of acting. He just goes in and does his job, and it's 100% convincing. You forget you're watching Tom Hardy. He really is a forger.

His eyes are amazing. I'm not talking about "Oh he's so hot, he's got these big grey eyes" or anything like that. I'm talking about that thing that he does in every single movie when he's playing a scene that's any kind of cold, or distant, or angry. He's so menacing and predatory when he does that, and it gives me a shiver. I'd hate to be looked at in such a way.

Anyway, I realize its theater run is probably already over, but if you missed it, do catch it on DVD when it comes out. The performances were awesome.

All right, now I guess it's time to straighten the house a bit, clean the fish tanks (the TARDIS, I mean,) and dick around on the internet for the rest of the day.
la_belle_laide: (Default)



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Last night, the stray cat (or neighbor's cat, or feral cat, I have no idea,) pushed through the crack in the bottom of my aviary door. Or maybe it was this morning, while I was in bed. It usually starts to lurk by around 1 AM. I heard it howling first thing when I got up this morning and I immediately had a bad feeling. I didn't hear any of my birds.

It's trapped inside my aviary. It killed all of my birds. Morgan, a robin I was going to release today; Hotch, a non-releasable robin with a missing wing-tip, and Car, who I had for 4 years. Car was my surrogate to all of the aviary birds, teaching them how to eat on their own.

Their bodies are all still inside the aviary and I can't get them out yet, because I don't know if this cat is feral or has mites or what. I'm just waiting for a word from animal control. Maybe they can come and take it away forever.

And maybe it gets a nice indoor home from now on, or maybe it has Fe-Leuk and they put it to sleep or something, I don't even care. I just hate it and I want it gone and I want to bury my birds.
la_belle_laide: (D)



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So these are the notes I took on Haku's bloodwork:

Liver elevated, only slightly. 131 is normal he is 197. We'll wait on that. T4 can affect liver too.

Kidneys are okay

Thyroid low .3 - going to add free T4. Probably tuesday.

PB is a bit low 15-45 is normal and he's 24. So room to grow.


I'm so pleased that his kidneys and everything else (aside from liver) are within range. I'm concerned about his liver values because he's only 6, and that's a young age for it to start spiking already. This could be from the phenobarb (which is why I'm hesitant to raise it once a year) but a little research showed me that liver values can also be raised due to low thyroid. His vet is sending out the rest of the blood for a free T4, so that will tell a bit more.

Last year when he had three seizures in a day, I panicked and rushed to raise the phenobarb without checking everything else. So now I'm trying to chill a bit and look for more options. Actually I'm waiting for his other vet to call me back, so I can throw some ideas around with her because she is amazing.

In other news, on Wednesday (today is Monday) I released three birds: Reid, Penelope and Emily. I've seen Emily flying around the house, just today I saw Penelope, and every single day I see Reid. He comes back to the aviary a few times a day looking for food. So I've taken to putting worms and seed in a dish for him in front of the aviary door. He flies gorgeously and he won't let me catch him to put him back in. He's weathered a few thunderstorms and heavy rains already, so I know he's doing all right. He just wants the food I was feeding and doesn't want anything else. A few years ago, I had a few starlings that kept coming back for about a month after release, but aside from them, I think this is the first time that a bird has so aggressively hung onto his aviary. Literally. Like, right now, he is clinging to the aviary door.

Here's a pic of him as a baby in my hand, and then from the other day, free and plucking around for food outside the aviary. )

Anyway, I held back Hotch and Morgan, because Hotch's wing still doesn't look good enough for release, and Morgan had some crappy tail feathers. They're in the aviary still, with Car.

Inside I still have JJ and Rossi, as well as Rose, all sparrows.

You know what I forgot to mention? I started watching Dr. Who. I guess it was only a matter of time before I got into it, right? And now I really like it. Which I guess is also to be expected.

So let's see. Today I was off from work (just didn't have any appointments,) but I went in to get a treatment myself. How nice! Paycheck won't be as awesome next week and I'll just have to make do. But it's a nice day off, at any rate. And Wednesday is my last Hula class until part two starts. Two women are staying, two already dropped out, and I have two more who are definitely interested in the next group of classes. Those will start after Labor Day. It's a really nice little setup I've got there. I'm happy with it.

Also there is a nice guy who wants to hang around with me, which is always fun, isn't it? We'll code name him Kiros, because that's who he always reminded me of, Kiros Seagill from FF8 (he had the same hair when we met, like ages ago.) yesterday we went to the beach and then decided we were going to make a Kung Fu movie one of these days. So that was pretty cool.

I have work tomorrow, one 60 minute and 2 90 minutes (that adds up to like, four treatments the way I look at it.) Then Kung Fu. Last Hula class of this session on Wednesday. Off Thursday and Friday, work Saturday, and then on Sunday is the Bai Shi ceremony, and I'm not even gonna lie, I am so nervous about that. I've been to one, but I still feel like I don't know wtf to do and I'm going to mess it up and do something ridiculous. And we have to give a speech, too. *flutter*

Also recently, the Empress has been involved in this project. Basically she's auditioning for a movie and the prospects keep getting narrowed down, and she remains in the top five out of thousands. OMG. SHE WAS HAPPY. )

What else what else what else? The new pool is up. It's been up for about two weeks, but we can't seem to get the guys to come and finish the job. All that remains is to put in the skimmer (lots of cutting into the liner for that) and hook up the filter. So the pool is half-filled and the water is already all green and junk. Also, today is the first chilly day. It's nearly the end of summer already. *Mourn* You'll note that above I said the words "Labor Day" as if it wasn't too far off. It's really not.

And it's not just the temperature either, that's closing in. It's the light. Today is the first day that I noticed that "end of August" slant of light, you know. It's hard to ignore, once you see it.

*Sigh* The turn of the wheel, isn't it?



la_belle_laide: (mantis)



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Today it hit 105. See, now this is my summer day. It was already 95 when I went outside at around 10 AM to take the dogs out. Mmmmm that is some delicious weather. I realize I'm the only person on the planet who loves this, but I do. And tomorrow is going to be even hotter. Of course, I will be at work, where even in the warmest room (which they considerately give to me,) the AC is cranked down to freezing. However, I'm allowed to close the vent, which I do.

While I'm talking about work, I want to talk about this one CD that gets played on repeat there. Every time it comes on, it's so loud, with these overwhelming strings. It's supposed to be relaxing, but it's like a six-minute funeral dirge. It is so awful. It comes on and all I can think about is protracted death scenes and long, painful farewells. It's six minutes of mawkish noise and I hate it. I hate it so much I very nearly have to buy it, just so I can put it up somewhere and say "Isn't this song a mawkish dirge?!" and have everyone agree with me. It's called "Breath of Morning" which to me sounds like "morning breath" but whatever, that's not even the point.

Sad, overbearing songs aside, let's see, what else is going on aside from the heat? I got a new betta fish, that's one thing! His name is Shemar. Don't even laugh at me. He's pretty. Check him out.
Shemar )

See how he's mostly blue, but the red shoots out from his body to his tail and fin? He's really cool looking and badass so his name is Shemar.

Now, everyone look at: my leg )

It looks a bit better, right? It's stopped oozing blood at least, but still bruised up. When I came home from Kung Fu on tuesday though, my ankle got all swollen again and I had to ice it. Still, it doesn't hurt except down by my ankle where there is a hard little knob of pain. Actually, it's starting to itch. Now you all know.

I also want to show you guys my ice peen, and I'm not even putting this behind a cut because it's too amazing. This is an actualfax ice cream I was eating the other night:

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Okay, so I did the top of it on purpose by sucking on it, but come on now, seriously. WHAT IN THE WORLD, how did it get to look so... Just so. You can't even deny that that is amazing.
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It's like art. I was only being a little bit cheeky and that's what came out. I haven't been able to replicate it since then. BUT I WILL KEEP TRYING.

And here is me today )

I look like someone's overheated Italian Mama in a sack dress. I was inspired to go outside and pick some grapes after I took this photo of myself, so that's what I did. I picked grapes and I gave them to my aviary birds. (Six of them now: Reid, Penelope, Hotch, Emily, Morgan and the ever-present Car. My two sparrows, JJ and Rossi, are still inside. Good batch this year though.)

I know what else I wanted to document. The other night, I started watching Dr. Who. All of my friends are really into it and I was looking for another show that I could set down and enjoy every few nights or so. I've only seen 3 episodes as of yet, but so far I like it. It's made me miss London, even though I was only there briefly. I think often of going back. I really hope to, someday.

Oh, and! I'm reading Atonement. God, what prose! But according to every review I've ever read, no matter what happens between page one and the end, it's the final page that breaks your heart. Every review is saying something like "I'm writing this after sobbing for a few hours." So I'm really curious as to what happens on the last page. I can't wait to get there. Well, and dreading it, at the same time.

I think that's about it. Anything else would have to go into a locked post.

And I have to remember: go dancing in the park Monday!


la_belle_laide: (D)



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Hey self, so check it out. Fluker Farms really does have the cheapest worms. NYWorms doesn't charge for shipping, but they jack their prices to a ridiculous level, so really, shipping is actually included in the price. You'll think it's going to be a few bucks cheaper than Flukers but guess what? NYWorms hits you with sales tax. AND their worms are smaller. So, when it doubt, go with Flukers.

With that out of the way, I've got all my birds in the aviary today. The stupid thing is so busted. The door is missing the bottom hinge, and the screen is still ripped from last year (that awful time the starling ripped it apart, then died horribly as he got himself stuck in it. >_< ) I tried to mend it with tape but I'm still not 100% happy with it. Tomorrow I have to get out there and just use stupid duct tape. I tried actually to duct tape the door, but that failed and wasted most of the roll. Ugh.

At any rate, the birds are settling nicely out there. I also got a new one today, a fledgling grackle named Emily. A vet from Oakdale drove all the way out here to drop her off to me. Unfortunately they kept her for about 3 weeks giving her nothing but soaked catfood, the really toxic kind that all vets use. No vitamins or anything like that. I think she did have some berries at lease. That aside, they really cared for her. Her feathers look nice and she is very sweet and darling. I put her out with the others. So now, aside from Car, it's: Reid, Penelope, Emily and Hotch.

Oh, Hotch is the robin with the broken wing, right? I got him from The Bad Place a few weeks ago, with a big blue bandage on the wing. I felt that the bandage was done in a way I don't usually like, but then I figured I was just being petty, because of how I feel about that place. Well, I took the bandage off two nights ago and wouldn't you know? The wing-tip wasn't just broken – it was broken off. Like, hanging by one tiny thread of tissue, flapping around uselessly. You know what, I just pulled the damn thing off and hoped for the best.

I figured Hotch wouldn't be able to fly, but that I'd give him a go in the smaller aviary within the aviary outside. Well, don't you know, he's just out there showing everyone else how it's done. I'm not sure if he's going to be releasable, but it's worth giving him a shot.

So that's what I did today; I spent a few hours trying to repair the aviary, and at least getting it all cleaned up. That job is never as huge as I think it's going to be, really. Then I got all the birds out there, met and hung with the nice vet who brought Emily, and cleaned up the old cages for putting away.

You know, I look at the aviary and I think, "Where did I find the patience to build this?" My Dad built the foundation – I don't think I would have been able to do that. The way he measured the 4X4s and put them into the ground so that they were all exactly of a height (I can't even explain how tricky that must have been.) But then he went into the hospital (this was 2002) and I finished the whole thing. I put up all the rest of the frame, piece by piece. Nailed the mesh from top to bottom, 8X8X4. The wire, what didn't fit, I literally sewed together with metal twine, for hours a day. I remember it being really meditative. I remember getting up extra early so that I'd have all those hours of daylight to work. I remember working until sundown on some days. Then I'd call my Dad at the end of the day and tell him about the progress that I had made. He'd go, "Don't use the powersaw, okay, wait till I get home to finish the door." Then I'd use the powersaw and tell him the next day and he'd laugh. He'd say, "The door is going to be tough though; let me handle that." Then I made the door and told him about it and he was like, "You framed it out? You used braces? We ought to go into a building business together!"

I wonder what it would take to get me to do something like that again? It was how I learned that I really like power tools, stuff that you can plug in to do work quicker and easier. I like the way they sound and feel. I have always liked the smell of sawdust, though. :) That's probably because when I was wee, my Dad used to build all sorts of things and the garage would smell like sawdust for days and days. That always meant that something cool was about to be finished.

Wow, tangent much?

Point is, the birds are outside, I am always nervous on their first aviary day, and don't buy from NY Worms, because Flukers really is the cheapest of all.



la_belle_laide: (D)



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I posted this photo on Tumblr tonight:

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With this text:

This is how you cuddle a crow, if you are a crow’s people.
Crows can only have people if they forever can’t have the sky or other crows because they are life-long sick or unflyable. And crows can only have people if their people is allowed to belong to a crow, legally. Crows’ people has to know all kinds of things about their owner-crow.
Such things as, what sort of troubles crows can get and what to do if that happens. Such things as, crows like to scream CAW, DAMN IT, CAW at all hours. Such things as, if crows can’t have other crows then their people has to give them cuddles and kisses, because crows subsist on cuddles and kisses just as much as on chicken and fruit and bread and eggs and cooked sweet potatoes and leftovers and worms and other suchlike.
Anyway this is one way to cuddle a crow. There are many other ways, too, as well as scritching and such.


And it got about sixty reblogs in about an hour. O_O NEAT! People really do love crows and animal stories.

I also finished and posted my 4 minute jaunt around Long Island, for HitRECord. It was fun creating it. I went everywhere, recorded all the pretty things I saw, etc. I really had a blast going around and searching for things to put in the video.

Two days ago, I took Sano outside and shaved him down. He looks so goofy without his fur but he is so much more comfortable and his skin has calmed down a bit. I'm starting to wonder if his skin gets really bad after a round of pred. I've never put that together before. It might be.

Last night, SB, Jo-chan and UD came over to my Mom's house for dinner and video games. We ate too much and laughed for hours. Did I mention that my Mom bought me Soul Calibur 4? Well, it's hilarious. Apparently if you take enough damage, your character's clothes come flying off. I purposely let Kilik get hit a lot. Also you can dress them in these insane outfits. Jo-chan put Kilik into this total S&M bondage looking outfit, pink. It was awesome.

Today I tried to knock down the remainder of the pool with a mallet. It didn't work. So I gave up and went inside. Gold Dragon called and we talked for about a half an hour.

I think tomorrow I might actually go to the ocean for a while. ^_^


la_belle_laide: (D)


We had another broadsword seminar last Sunday, where we completed the form. Again I had to bring my wonky Haku along with me, and everyone was very patient with him, and he was a pretty good boy.

This week also marks the return of a training brother who was around when I first started; I mean like, very first started, my first few months, when I was a white-belt. After a few years away, he's back again and that's really nice. Let's name him Kiros after Kiros Seagill, because that was the first thing I thought of when I met him. (He had similar hair and, well, was similar.)

And I guess it's all right to say this now, because it's out of the bag and the whole school now knows about it. Sifu is planning another Bai Shi ceremony, which is where a Sifu "adopts" certain Kung Fu disciples into the lineage. He did one a few years ago, and one many years before that. This will be the third one, which makes it pretty rare. Well anyway, I was one of the students he chose for the Bai Shi. So that is pretty fly! Because it's quite an honor / responsibility. Also he chose Lady Chrysanthemum, Snarklit, and a few others (whom I've never really named because a few of them are still new to me, even if they've been training for 8+ years. Remember that our old school closed and we moved to the bigger school last Autumn, merging all the classes.)

If you're wondering about Empress and Gold Dragon, they were Bai Shi'd a few years ago. :)

Not sure when the ceremony is going to be, but I'm looking forward to it! All sorts of Sifus from all over the place are going to be there. And after the ceremony, we all go out and party. I like getting together with my training family in any context, so it's going to be quite the experience.

So that's why I've been sort of tight-lipped about Kung Fu lately, because I didn't want to spill that news before everyone in the school knew, and since lots of them read this LJ (*waves*) I was practically sitting on my hands, waiting.

Anyway, at the sword seminar I think I pulled every muscle I own. I thought today maybe I'd broken my femur or something and was walking around on a compound fracture. Like in that, 'you dread sitting on the toilet' kind of way because you know it's going to hurt like hell. But then I went to class and my broken femur felt much better while we were doing kicks. By the time I came home, my femur was broken again.

But I still had fun showing the sword form to a training brother who hadn't done it yet.

Pics of this. )

That there is my shiny new blade, the weapon-grade one. It's lots of fun learning to use it without cutting off my ear.

Now then, what else? Oh, I know. My beautiful Handsome Bob died a few days ago. Don't know why or how, except that when I got him the manager warned me that he might already have been a bit old. Still, I don't seem to have any luck with bettas, do I?

And apart from that, my Gran's dog Belle is looking worse and worse. Some of you know Belle, the mastiff that my Gran left behind when she died. Belle's about 12 now, which is ancient for a mastiff. It's getting to the point where she can't walk. She needs a sling to go outside every time. But it's a tough decision, because when she's hungry, she still gets up to eat. I always feel like if an animal can still eat, they still have something to live for.

Still, I can tell it's getting close to the time. That's going to be a tough one.

However, I've finally got some birds too! Remember a few weeks ago when I had that "sparrow" named Jack? Yeah, I have lost my touch big time. That was no sparrow, that was a Cardinal. So now his name is Jack Not Sparrow, and he's gone to live with my lovely bird-friend, Crow-Lady.

After Jack left, I got a message from my beautiful friend Jennel from The Bad Place, saying that they had a few birds for me, if I was willing to take them. One of the vets there, I've remained friends with. Let's call her Dr. Gillian because she looks like Gillian Anderson. Dr. Gillian brought 3 birds in cardboard carriers to my shiny new job. I was so happy to see her, and she told me how glad she was that I was working in such a beautiful and mellow place these days.

The birds are lovely, too. One baby robin (which I later found out they'd kept for weeks and weeks instead of handing it over to a rehabber, wtf?) and a robin with a broken wing. And also one that mystified everyone which was supposed to be a grackle, but instead is a wee baby redwing blackbird. BB RWBBs are such a treasure. I haven't had one on years, and I'm thankful he's with me. His name is Reid, after Spencer Reid from Criminal Minds. The fledgling robin is Penelope, and the broken-wing robin is Hotch. Remember I had a rescue budgie named Derek? But I gave him to the kid next door.

Here are some pics of this year's babies and rejects. Here are some pics of this year's babies and rejects. )

In doggie news—my doggies, that is—Sano is totally off pred. Huge joyful hurrah for that, and knock on wood. Haku's got all 4 feet on the ground and has less of a limp. He actually tried to do his Saluki run the other day. And he kind of did it, too. Hesitantly at first, and then with an obviously remembered joy. I was like, "HAKU, NOOOOOO!" but my heart was like, "HAKU, YEEEESSSSS!" Still I had to put a stop to it, though, because really he's still on a broken leg. So. Soon though, I hope.

Jo-chan has been spending lots of time over here, helping mind the Boychild. I'm grateful for the help, but really I'm also grateful to see her so often these days. She and Boychild are so funny together, too. They remind me of me and SB, when he was that age. Fun times. ^_^

I think that's all the news that is fit to print. There is stuff that's unfit to print, of course – or at least unfit to print in an unlocked post. I may or may not print the unfit stuff in a locked post. :D





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May. 31st, 2011 10:30 pm
la_belle_laide: (Default)


My gourami Eames most definitely ate my angelfish Trowa. Eames was dead in the tank this morning, bloated with black scales that he couldn't get rid of. I am so horrified.

Work was slow today; I only had two appointments. But both people were awesomely nice, run to work with, and tips were good.

Beaches are closed. EIGHTEEN FOOT SHARKS, WTF. Thresher sharks, wtf even are those? If I saw something like that coming toward me in the water, I would chew my own veins out. Also, the sgt. in this article is my cousin. :)

This the only bird I've got so far:
Photobucket

A sparrow, ridiculously yet shamelessly named Jack.

It's hot hot hot and I can't wait for it to get hotter.

So far I've got five and possibly six students lined up for my dance class. Got to get those flyers out! Next week, I won't forget them.

Movies tomorrow? HOPEFULLY.
la_belle_laide: (hula)
Last Saturday after work, I was outside with Sano when I heard my neighbor's kid shouting about this cool bird she'd found. She was outside riding bikes with her brother and their friend. (Tangentially: these are the kids of the guy I used to ride bikes with when we were that age. Last year he moved back in next door. His kids are actually really nice.) So, I put Sano inside and went running over, figuring she'd found a baby bird or something. Because, it's almost June and I haven't had a single baby bird yet. (WTF.)

But it wasn't a baby. It was a full-grown, blue and green parakeet. We all kind of circled around it and finally I managed to catch it in my sweater.

Photobucket

This is Derek. He's named after Derek Morgan from Criminal Minds. He's got a band on his leg and I should really check it. Now that I'm thinking about it, that's not a bad idea.

But if no one claims him, I guess he is my parakeet. He's pretty cute, and I'll always take a bird in need, so there it is. :)

Also this week, I got a new broadsword! This one has an actualfax live blade (just a lot thicker,heavier, steel, and sharpened.)

Here, under the cut. )

Wow, look at how gorgeous that blade is! I'm just afraid that once I start using it, I'll cut myself in half. Can't tell you how many times I've whacked myself with the broadsword I've used for years. It's a lot thinner, lighter and not as sharp. Guess I'm going to have to start slow and stop making stupid mistakes.

Today is the first warm, sunny day of the season. It has rained every day for over two weeks and not gotten above 60. I'm sick of it! I still have my stupid winter clothes out. Not awesome.

Here is some excellent news, though. My job did a press release not only about hiring me, but also about the Hula class they want me to teach. Within hours of the release, four people signed up. They have until July to sign even more. So I definitely have a class to teach over the summer and I am SO STOKED. I hope I get tons of students, and of all different age groups.

The people I work with are really sweet and fun. I feel like I'm finding a little niche there and it's one that I like. I know now, realistically, that I'm going to have to find other ways to supplement my income. I'm going to have to freelance – which is just as well. I just need to figure out a few things before I start doing that. Although, I am getting some nice change for the Hula classes. :D Which is going to take the edge off Haku's vet bills a bit, too.

Just yesterday I was talking to a darling friend of mine about vet bills. I know I bitch about them a lot and am always talking about them. But I don't think I've ever specified how much the vet bills actually were.

Since May of '09, between Sano and Haku, their veterinary bills have hit upwards of about $45,000 dollars. That is three zeroes you see after that. It might be more by now, with the monthly meds; I haven't counted those in yet.

But since '09, Haku has had 5 surgeries. He's had an MRI, spinal tap, ultrasound, and countless x rays. He's had months of rehab, weeks of hospital stays (which can be up to $100 a night.) At least one of Haku's conditions (the missing kidney) can be traced back to Dr. Dickwhistle. That's not official, but I've asked vets and techs all around the island (without mentioning his name) and they seem to all agree that it's likely that Dr. Dickwhistle accidentally cut Haku's ureter while he was up there looking for a second testicle during his neuter. Spay. Speuter. Whatever.

Sano, since '09, has had X rays, ultrasounds (on his liver, due to one vet accidentally doubling the dose of his meds and blowing out his liver AND his bone marrow,) three-week stay in the hospital last autumn, and three blood transfusions – each at a thousand or so dollars each. He also gets bi-monthly blood tests for the ITP. The ITP is also a result of a mistake by Dr. Dickwhistle, but that one was a willful mistake.

One of these days I've got to take a picture of the "dog pharmacy" as I call it. You'd have to see it to believe the amount of pill and supplement bottles that line the counter.

So, yeah. Over forty five thousand dollars in vet bills over the last two years. That's more than my college cost.

I still want to punch people when they tell me that it's not worth it to keep taking care of them. Also, before anyone says "YOU SHOULD GET PET INSURANCE," rest assured that neither dog is in any way insurable with their preexisting conditions. Pet insurance. I wish.

Anyway, that's just what was on my mind.

So now I've got this parakeet—and I think they're also called budgies? I hope so, because "budgies" just make me think of Monty Python. So far he has not flown out of my lavatory and infringed on my personal freedom.

Plenty of stuffs going on in Kung Fu as well, but that will all be for later posts! ^_^

I'm off tomorrow, except for taking Haku to his physical therapy. I've been taking the dogs to the beach a lot, on my days off. Maybe I'll take them again after his rehab. They have such a great time there and I get lots of videos.

Oh, I should also mention that last Thursday, as I was walking along the beach with the dogs, I dropped my camera into the bay. I had to actually go into my piggy bank for the first time ever to get some cash and buy a new one. I got a little Canon PowerShot for like $170. Ugh, still a lot of money, but I legitimately couldn't go more than a few hours without having a camera. Which is crazy. Anyway, it's fuchsia.

So, that's what's been going on in this neck of the woods for the last week or so. Guess I'll wrap this up now.

ETA: last minute! My cousin just brought over a baby bird. Finally! Her dog had it and it looks slightly worse for wear. But let's hope he'll be all right! ^_^
la_belle_laide: (Default)



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I'm so lame, I haven't updated in forever. That's what happens when I start to get my groove on with HitRECord stuff.

So what I've been up to lately is recording this huge, ridiculous dissertation in response to a qustion Joe asked me about a poem I wrote, which was about the similarities between Chinese creation myth and real science. He asked for a clarification of a few terms in Chinese. Predictably, I'm running off with it like it's a thesis. :/ I hope he doesn't regret asking.

So I've been doing that, and as part of it, I had to learn to animate. I kind of suck at it, but, here's a bit of animation I did for the project. It's a process, okay? ^_^

I'm just mostly flaily and squeeful because he said "more dope rhymes," hehe. I can do that! :D At least I hope I can.

So that's how HitRECord regularly eats my life. I sometimes ask myself why I endeavor these things, when really it takes up so much of my "free" time. But, "free" time? WTF does that even mean? If I wasn't creating some self-indulgent thing, I'd be looking at other people's art, or reading, or writing. Learning how to animate, even if it comes to nothing, is still a worthy endeavor. It's creation, which to me is never about the final result. Well, okay, sometimes it is. Writing, eventually is about the final result. But when I'm in the process of writing, of creating something new, I'm not often thinking, "How can I make this rule?" I'm mostly just thinking, "this is fun."

It was the same with animating that sequence, and with editing the film. There's really no reason to do it other than that it's fun. It's a good way for me to spend my time. It's meditative and enjoyable. Though occasionally tedious, as last night when FCE randomly erased SIX HOURS OF WORK and then Corel Painter, not to be outdone, also randomly deleted FIVE HOURS OF ANIMATING. Really. Two different programs, two different glitches. I about blew a frigging gasket. EFF those two programs, eff them in the face with a jackhammer. But yeah. Aside from that.

Got one more rejection from an agent I decided to give a whirl. And still waiting on feedback from the one I mentioned last time. I still have a list of agents I haven't tried yet. THAT'S PLENTY OF CAKE. ^_^

Also waiting, still, on my test results for my state boards. Results are about four weeks away now, and TBH, I am starting to feel nervous. I put the test out of my mind for the most part, but then once in a while it will occur to me and I feel squirmy about it.

Work is decent. My boss tells me they're going to make me "elite status." Which is very gratifying. Also, some job opportunities on the massage business end. Actually, a lot of those, and some of them sound really, really nice. I totally understand that there's going to be some reality to this, and it's not going to be all sunshine and giving massages to awesome people who like me, and huge paychecks and tips etc. I mean, that's a total fantasy, but it'll probably fall short of that. However I still feel confident that I'm going to find my niche.

Haku is still going to physical therapy. He's making some progress but his leg still isn't what it used to be. He is still hobbling on three legs. I just want to see him run again. I really hope that when this befrigged permafrost becomes less perma, he'll actually want to run, or at least jog, and he'll figure out "Oh yeah, right, I need the 4th leg for that." Though hopefully it will happen even before then.

Oh! I think I figured out what was up with Fox, my woodthrush who was having seizures. Well, I put a little thought into it and came up with the fact that he's a migrating bird, and by now he would be somewhere down south. But he missed his migration, obviously, and he's inside a house in the winter, getting very little sun. So I thought, maybe vitamin D? I supplemented him with extra vitamins. I haven't seen any seizures since then. (*Knock on wood.*) Keep your fingers crossed for him because I would love to release him in the spring!

In Kung Fu we stopped doing broad sword and started trapping and push-hands. The Gold Dragon returned to class, which is awesome. Lady Chrysanthemum is coming back from her trip on Tuesday. Homeslice has been coming around again, too. Te Ji Nan and Empress are obviously there. Maximus is away on a modeling job. O_O But he'll be back next week. If we had SnarkLit back from college, it'd be like the old gang. :D

Umm. It's like ten effing degrees here with gale force winds.

SPRING TIME PLEASE THANKS.

Okay. Back to editing!
la_belle_laide: (Default)



statistics for vBulletin



I'm so lame, I haven't updated in forever. That's what happens when I start to get my groove on with HitRECord stuff.

So what I've been up to lately is recording this huge, ridiculous dissertation in response to a qustion Joe asked me about a poem I wrote, which was about the similarities between Chinese creation myth and real science. He asked for a clarification of a few terms in Chinese. Predictably, I'm running off with it like it's a thesis. :/ I hope he doesn't regret asking.

So I've been doing that, and as part of it, I had to learn to animate. I kind of suck at it, but, here's a bit of animation I did for the project. It's a process, okay? ^_^

I'm just mostly flaily and squeeful because he said "more dope rhymes," hehe. I can do that! :D At least I hope I can.

So that's how HitRECord regularly eats my life. I sometimes ask myself why I endeavor these things, when really it takes up so much of my "free" time. But, "free" time? WTF does that even mean? If I wasn't creating some self-indulgent thing, I'd be looking at other people's art, or reading, or writing. Learning how to animate, even if it comes to nothing, is still a worthy endeavor. It's creation, which to me is never about the final result. Well, okay, sometimes it is. Writing, eventually is about the final result. But when I'm in the process of writing, of creating something new, I'm not often thinking, "How can I make this rule?" I'm mostly just thinking, "this is fun."

It was the same with animating that sequence, and with editing the film. There's really no reason to do it other than that it's fun. It's a good way for me to spend my time. It's meditative and enjoyable. Though occasionally tedious, as last night when FCE randomly erased SIX HOURS OF WORK and then Corel Painter, not to be outdone, also randomly deleted FIVE HOURS OF ANIMATING. Really. Two different programs, two different glitches. I about blew a frigging gasket. EFF those two programs, eff them in the face with a jackhammer. But yeah. Aside from that.

Got one more rejection from an agent I decided to give a whirl. And still waiting on feedback from the one I mentioned last time. I still have a list of agents I haven't tried yet. THAT'S PLENTY OF CAKE. ^_^

Also waiting, still, on my test results for my state boards. Results are about four weeks away now, and TBH, I am starting to feel nervous. I put the test out of my mind for the most part, but then once in a while it will occur to me and I feel squirmy about it.

Work is decent. My boss tells me they're going to make me "elite status." Which is very gratifying. Also, some job opportunities on the massage business end. Actually, a lot of those, and some of them sound really, really nice. I totally understand that there's going to be some reality to this, and it's not going to be all sunshine and giving massages to awesome people who like me, and huge paychecks and tips etc. I mean, that's a total fantasy, but it'll probably fall short of that. However I still feel confident that I'm going to find my niche.

Haku is still going to physical therapy. He's making some progress but his leg still isn't what it used to be. He is still hobbling on three legs. I just want to see him run again. I really hope that when this befrigged permafrost becomes less perma, he'll actually want to run, or at least jog, and he'll figure out "Oh yeah, right, I need the 4th leg for that." Though hopefully it will happen even before then.

Oh! I think I figured out what was up with Fox, my woodthrush who was having seizures. Well, I put a little thought into it and came up with the fact that he's a migrating bird, and by now he would be somewhere down south. But he missed his migration, obviously, and he's inside a house in the winter, getting very little sun. So I thought, maybe vitamin D? I supplemented him with extra vitamins. I haven't seen any seizures since then. (*Knock on wood.*) Keep your fingers crossed for him because I would love to release him in the spring!

In Kung Fu we stopped doing broad sword and started trapping and push-hands. The Gold Dragon returned to class, which is awesome. Lady Chrysanthemum is coming back from her trip on Tuesday. Homeslice has been coming around again, too. Te Ji Nan and Empress are obviously there. Maximus is away on a modeling job. O_O But he'll be back next week. If we had SnarkLit back from college, it'd be like the old gang. :D

Umm. It's like ten effing degrees here with gale force winds.

SPRING TIME PLEASE THANKS.

Okay. Back to editing!

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