eurydicebound: (strawberries)
So. In trying to do the counting points thing this time around (wherein I really need to pay more attention again -- this is about the point at which I stop being able to brain it), I gave up on soda for the umpteenth time. And that, you see, is when the interesting things started.

Now, Ohio is somewhat unusual in that in its stores, you can get sucrose Coke rather than HFCS Coke. With Pepsi, the only option is cans of Throwback if they have it in stock, but with Coke it's reliable. I don't know what strange law makes it this way, but it's so. Not sugar, mind you (still have to get Mexican Coke for that) but far closer. This is relevant shortly.

So, here's the thing. I'd been drinking mostly sucrose pop for a while, then, but still getting bottles or fountain out elsewhere. When I started dieting, I (mostly) stopped doing the purchases out. What I discovered is that not only did I lose a lot of water weight -- my fingers stopped feeling so puffy, in the mornings, especially if I've been up and around and moving like I should--but that my nighttime stomach issues went away, something that's been a mild but sadly reliable part of my life for ages. To test the hypothesis, I picked up an HFCS soda again, and the gas and bloating came back and persisted through the next day. Got rid of it and didn't drink more, and I stayed feeling better.

So. I dunno if it's a mild corn issue or fructose maladsorption (it's a thing, really), but whatever it is, I'm happier like WHOA without HFCS, and honestly keeping the corn presence minimal in my life as well. It means I don't eat a lot of processed food, but then again, we really didn't anyway. I can have a soda now and again (I think I'm at 3 or so a week, which is reasonable if not perfect) if I'm willing to make room for the calories, and I can have better health through label reading. It's a far more preferable thing.

For anyone else out there... I'd recommend seeing if you can cut HFCS out of your diet and see if any mild digestion issues clear up. If so, I'd love to hear about it.
eurydicebound: (Default)
I planned this weekend, for the first time since bronchitis and illness, to go to the gym today. Not only that, but I planned to start a new regimen wherein I get up with Matt in time to go to the gym before he has to leave for work, since I like afternoons better but cannot be consistent with it on our schedules. This means I got up at 6 AM to go to the gym. And I did it. I didn't bitch (much), I didn't drag my feet, I got up and put on the gym clothes I'd set out the night before and drove myself to the gym, and there I made my body do things, and then after a half-hour's workout I came home. I didn't move mountains, but it was more than I've been doing for the first day back. Once my side is healed up I'll start doing weights again -- right now I'm afraid of reinjuring something when it's so close to being fixed. Laughing still hurts, though. When it stops hurting, I'll lift heavy things and work on getting some muscle tone back. For now, though, cardio will suffice.

I'm under 225 again as of today. I got down to this weight last time before stalling out, after months of trying (I lost like 7 lbs total last time and mostly kept it off--only gained back 3). This time it came pretty easily. Let's see if exercise and sticking to points will keep it going.
eurydicebound: (Sherlock)
1) We had a plumbing leak in the basement whenever the ground floor shower was run. Fearing the worst, as neither of us are the least bit handy in this way, we knew we had to call a plumber. I decided to join Angie's List and found a discount coupon, and from there found a seemingly well regarded plumber in the area. They came out, looked at it, figured out a fitting on the showerhead had broken and it was leaking down the inside of the wall, rather than the pipe in the wall having the leak. They'll be out today to fix it as they didn't have the part they needed. Cost? About $150 total. AMAZING.

Yes, I admit, in a perfect world we'd just fix it ourselves for $20 or something. But honestly, this house is already a Frankenstein nightmare legacy of homeowners who "did it" themselves. There's scarcely a right angle in the place and don't get me started about the sewer line or the electrical. If anything in this house were reliable or made sense or was laid out in an orderly fashion, I'd feel better about winging it, but as it is, I'm happy to use the more expensive but more reliable services of a professional.

2) Back on the Weight Watchers horse. I'm keeping all my totals in an Evernote notebook this time so I won't be spamming my friends list with them. A week and a half, and at last weigh-in there were 2 lbs lost. Not great, but not bad either. My back feels much better from where it got strained/sprained/bruised/whatever with all the bronchitis coughing, and I'm not in pain whenever my core muscles get used now. I'll be getting back to the gym again this week (I've started shifting my schedule to get up at ungodly in the morning to accomplish this) and that should keep it going again.

3) It's really freaking cold here. Like I-need-to-find-a-better-scarf-to-walk-around=on-campus cold. Damn.

4) We got a new printer for the business. Our old one, which wasn't that old, was supremely cranky and flat-out refused to print about half the time. This one is a laser printer and wireless, and it's all like magic. Not color, but we hardly ever need to print in color anyway, and certainly not for business stuff.

5) Oscar movies! Thus far we've seen Frankenweenie, Snow White and the Huntsman, Wreck-It Ralph, Lincoln, Zero Dark Thirty, Brave (naturally), Moonrise Kingdom, Life of Pi, Les Mis, and we have Beasts of the Southern Wild, Pirates!, and ParaNorman on DVD here still to watch. Setting the animated films aside for now, here are my thoughts:

Lincoln: I was surprised at how much I liked this movie. I'm always wary of Spielberg when he gets onto a hero worship/nostalgia kick, as with War Horse last year, but it was really well handled. It's really more the story of the 13th amendment than a Lincoln biopic, and I honestly prefer it that way--it gets past Spielberg's particular directorial weakness. Tommy Lee Jones was just amazing; he's my pick so far for supporting actor. Awesome score, too. Daniel Day-Lewis was incredible as always, but I'm still watching movies, and I'm not ready to say he was necessarily better than Hugh Jackman, and I haven't seen the others yet.

Zero Dark Thirty: I wasn't excited about going to see this one, but in the end it was very good and very compelling. I've seen a lot of talk about whether or not it's trying to justify the use of torture. I didn't read it that way at all. I think it very effectively showed the costs of torture on both the victim and the torturer, as well as the difficulties and benefits of working with and without it from a spy's perspective--which is not exactly balanced in itself. I am newly struck by just how good Jessica Chastain is. She should be getting a lot more attention as an actress than she is.

Life of Pi: I'm not going to say it's my favorite movie thus far, but my god, is it ever pretty. The acting nominations that aren't there for this film are a crime and a shame. The screenplay was really really good, and the score was exactly on point. I recommended it to my parents for their viewing, and I wouldn't mind seeing it again.

Moonrise Kingdom: Up for original screenplay, I think. I can't quite say I hated it, but I didn't like it. The only scenes I really enjoyed were the ones with Bruce Willis, which says something about his ability as an actor, even in a Wes Anderson film. It's just odd. Definitely not my pick.

Les Miserables: I know this seems to be a love it or hate it sort of a movie, as in if the thing you love about Les Mis is the singing, you will hate it, and if you love the story and the characters (or if you're new to it), you love it. I loved it. I love that they sang during the filming and recorded it, I love that they let you get up close to the actors, I love that the songs are acted rather than performed, I love that the singing sounds like real people--because if there was ever a play about the non-elites of the world, this is it. I can believe in this Les Mis in a way that the stage production can't aspire to. Also, Anne Hathaway as Fantine--simply amazing.

Snow White and the Huntsman -- it's definitely pretty, but that's about the best thing going for it. Not prepared to say it's the fairest of them all, though, especially seeing what they did in Lincoln and Les Mis.
eurydicebound: (Default)
http://www.asia.si.edu/exhibitions/current/peacockroom.asp

I was fortunate enough to get to go see the Peacock Room today. I'd heard about it in my art history class as an undergrad -- the idea not only that one person would design a room to show off their collection, but that you'd get Whistler to do it, and then that other people would buy it and disassemble it and send it to another continent... Well, it was kinda crazy and I got into it.

Then, lo and behold, I find out that it's on display at the Smithsonian until Feb 2013. Boom, it's on my list of things I have to see.



I didn't get to see it with the shutters open, sadly. That's okay, though. The picture above doesn't do it justice. Everything is blue and gold. The room is so very tall, with custom lights and painted ceilings. The backs of the shutters have golden peacocks painted there, and all of the glasswork is themed. It really, honestly, was one of the most beautiful pieces of art I've ever seen in my life. At the other end of the room is a huge Whistler painting, The Princess from the Land of Porcelain. It was breathtaking.



Whistler is not my favorite artist. He was a character, which makes me laugh, and I admire his work, but I don't love all of it. It is not without its issues, and I think his quality varied depending on what he was working on. Not all of his efforts were equally successful (as compared to my feelings regarding John Singer Sargent, for example). But... my god, this was absolutely incredible, and if I live to be a thousand, I will never forget it. I saw a great many wonders today at the Smithsonian, but this crowned them all.

eurydicebound: (Default)
So, the idea of this is that you get your best memory, worst fear, and relationship status from one year of your life. I got this from Janna, who gave me 29. If you want a year, ask and I'll give you one.


29 -- That was 2000. Wow, that really was a year. So, that year I started out in Albuquerque, got laid off, got a job in Chicago, and moved into editing for a living as well as cross-country. I had my first and only Chicago winter, and it seemed like things were going to finally get better after a long spell of not so good financially. David and I were both working, and if money was an issue, it wasn't that bad of one, all things considered. The biggest stresses were taking care of two little ones with no family or near friends around. That said, that was my year at FASA, and I could never regret that, period.

So. The best memory from 2000... I remember sitting in the bay window of our greystone, second floor, on July 4th, watching the fireworks on the street go off. My kiddos were sleeping despite the pops and cracks and light show, but it was cool enough to have air flow through the house so you could have the windows open and be comfortable. It was one of the best July 4ths ever, and I was completely content.

Worst fear -- worst fear was that it wasn't going to last. David was actively unhappy there, and nothing I could do seemed to fix it. Also, we were both broke and stressed, as we didn't /quite/ make enough money to get by and neither one of us could do much about it. I was due for a raise in a year or so that would make up much of the difference and get us above water, if only just, and we had hopes for David's work, but... well, it was all up in the air, especially if David couldn't get himself in a better place emotionally. And he kinda resented me working at FASA and not him, I think, at least a little -- enough to make it harder than it might otherwise have been. It's hard to feel like you're on solid enough ground except that it could fall tumbling away at any time.

Relationship status: married with two little ones. Coming up on 10 years at that point. Divorce was a million years away then -- or at least so it seemed. Not true, but it seemed. Was not the brightest bulb re: relationships at that point.

So there you go! Gosh -- things have definitely changed for the better all around. Happy 2013!
eurydicebound: (Default)
I think I may have found a topic. I thought of it a couple of days ago, and now I dreamed about it last night. It was a sucky dream, mind you, and not one I'd enjoy having again, but I think it rather means that my topic has legs. I think it's going to be the intersection between the Gothic and Things, particularly in terms of genre formulation.

I don't know. I might yet come to my senses. Perhaps this has been written on extensively and I just don't know it yet. We shall see.

Travel!

Nov. 19th, 2012 11:09 am
eurydicebound: (Because I Love You)
OMG, I've been something a mid-west traveler for the past couple of weekends. It's been wonderful and tiring and LOOK I Have Something To Write About.

So, last weekend we went to Chicago for an overnight, me and Matt and Sarah. We got up in the morning and drove into town, passing through Toledo and such places. We got to about South Bend around lunch. The interstate rest stop fliers pointed to an orchard and winery in Niles, MI, which was only about 10 miles north of the South Bend exit, so we headed up that direction. Urbanspoon also mentioned some restaurants in Niles. In particular, we lighted on Olfactory Hue Bistro ("Smell Color Cafe? And what's the rating? Let's go!") So we went and discovered that Niles is a delightful tiny sleepy town, and in particular, that the Olfactory Hue Bistro is out-fucking-standing. I had a croque monsieur, Matt had a ribeye sandwich with a fried egg on it, and Sarah had a huge freaking salad that I can't remember much about except that the homemade balsamic vinegar dressing was amazing. We lingered over food such that we didn't have time to stop at the orchard if we wanted to make our ticket times at the Shedd Aquarium, but we saw that it would be open the next day, so back to Chicago we went.

The only other meaningful stop we made was in Gary, Indiana. This wouldn't be worth mentioning except that Sarah had to stop, so we unwittingly got off the interstate at the exit for downtown Gary. We found an open eyeglasses store in a former fast-food buildings (I'd have to think it was once a Wendy's) and Sarah went in and asked to use the restroom, and amazingly they let her. It was the Only Thing Downtown -- everything else was closed storefronts and dilapidated buildings and urban decay and city death. *shudder* Poor city.

From there, we escaped with everything but small pieces of our souls and drove straight on to the Shedd Aquarium. We had purchased our tickets ahead of time (always purchase your tickets ahead of time) and thus skipped most of the awful line and went straight inside. The aquatic show was fun, the sea otters were adorable, and much fun was had all around. The shark tank was really quite beautiful, and the ray display (set down below floor level with a glass floor above for part of it that you can walk on and see through) was very fun. We missed a lot of the central displays just due to time, since we had to get on to dinner and checking into the room, but we saw everything we really wanted to see.

We then went to check in quickly (Club Quarters, Central Loop -- trying to figure out how to get in on a membership to that place) and off to Uptown to our restaurant, Demera. They served Ethiopian food, which none of us had had before. Our waiter was cute and El Salvadoran and hadn't been working there too long, so he forgot our appetizer and kind of got the timing of getting our food out to us all off. That was all forgiven, though, because the food was absolutely amazing (as was the shai, as was the bura (coffee)), and we couldn't actually finish all of it as it was. We did a family-style sharing meal with one each beef, lamb, chicken, and fish dishes, and four vegetarian dishes as well, with a fresh salad in the middle. Honestly, the whole thing was absolutely amazing. I am a new disciple of Ethiopian/Eritrean food, and I'm trying my darndest to figure out how to get teff flour in Cleveland so we can make our own injera.

From there, we'd initially intended to go to the Green Mill jazz club and have drinks and hear music (which was right across the street), but then a friend had mentioned Gorilla Tango theater and they have geek burlesque -- Star Wars burlesque that night, to be frank. We then drove over to Bucktown and saw A Nude Hope, which was honestly so much better than it had any right at all to be. Fantastically fun.

At that point, we drove back and went to our room, which was down tiny little hallways but the room itself was clean, spacious, and comfy. If I could get membership (which drops the room price down to an absurdly low rate for something downtown), I'd stay there again in a heartbeat. The location simply can't be beat.

The next day we were going to go see where I used to live, but we slept in a bit and walked over to a brunch place (Wildberry) on the north end of Millenium Park. It was a wait to get in, but it was totally worth it. And then we went and walked around the park and saw the huge bean and saw the amphitheater (I totally wanted to go down to the stage area and sing something, but I restrained myself. Another day, perhaps). At that point it was time to go if we wanted to make the orchard before they closed, so Humboldt Park and Puerto Rican food will have to wait for our next visit.

On the way back, we did stop at the orchard. They had all manner of fruit wines and ciders, and we bought maybe more than we should have. The raspberry was awesome, the peach a bit less so (they couldn't do tastings, so we bought blind). They also do their own meads from honey collected onsite, which should be ready in December. We may be back.

This weekend, Matt had ASHA, which is the national conference for speech-language pathologists. He went down midweek, driving -- it was in Atlanta, which is where his brother and SIL and their kids live, so he got a chance to see family while getting his continuing education credits for the year. I went down on Friday (one-way ticket bought with miles, thank you American Airlines) and caught up with them. On Saturday morning, I got up with him and went to the convention center down by the Olympic park and graded while he did classes. On the way back, we went over to Stone Mountain and I saw where he used to live, and where White Wolf's offices used to be, and we ate at a German restaurant called the Village Corner that he used to love to go to. Our waiter was very nice, but the cultural differences ("I'm told I should have coffee, so I'll have some when you come by next, please." "Well, don't you mind well." *internal snarl*) struck home to me. I may pick up the accent, but I am not from there.

From there we went back and hung out with John and Morgan and the kids--we were planning to play Monsterhearts, but timing didn't pan out and as tired as I was, I couldn't feel as bad about that as I wanted to. The next morning we got up and had breakfast, and John made eggs benedict (I have an awesome brother-in-law) and we visited more about games and politics and sociology and stuff. After breakfast, we had to leave as Matt had to work today. We found another winery we wanted to stop at -- this one in Knoxville -- and so we made our way up I-75.

Knoxville, as it turns out, is utterly charming and its downtown is great fun. I'm really interested in going back and spending a night or two there at some point and exploring -- so much going on there. We ate at a nice Cuban place called Sangria's for lunch, and their food was very nice. We were sad we didn't have time to try their paella, as it is made from scratch and takes 45 minutes. Another time, though. We walked around and saw stuff and ended up down at the Blue Slip winery, which did have tastings and was really quite awesome. We bought quite a bit of wine again there, and ended up walking back and got ice cream at a little frozen custard place (where evidently I left my purse, which is being shipped back to me :( ) and then, happily fed and with new wine to drink, we got back on the road.

I'm really happy to be home again -- the dogs evidently missed us, despite having John to rely upon. I love traveling, but I can tell it was time to come home again for a while. It was wonderful to see Matt's family again, though. I am newly struck at what a shame it is we must all be so far apart. That's pretty much my life, though, and I am grateful we all see each other as often as we do.
eurydicebound: (Because I Love You)
I am thankful and relieved and elated about some of the things that happened last night. If Romney had won, I would have been worried. I would ahve been unhappy. I would have probably been launched into some sincere political activism, and that is extra bandwidth I don't have at the moment. I am happy that Obama gets a second term in which to learn from the first, and I have hopes that some of the things I don't like might turn around, while things he's broken ground on can be moved forward. I am at the same time sincerely sad for those of my acquaintance and family who believed that Obama would be horrible and were ready to accept anything else, regardless of how nonsensical their choices might seem. There was no good alternative presented, so therefore they had very few good options.

This lack of good options is what has me most concerned, though. We need a two-party system to be functional -- heck, I'd be good with more parties than that. But at least two parties have to show up with their A game to make that work. They have to know what the hell they're talking about. They have to have plans and decisions that are based in some form of reality, where there are numbers that actually make sense and plans that have some basis in what can actually be done. They have to agree on the basic reality in which we all live, even if they would move on that playing field in different ways... and we just didn't have that. Romney was never a realistic candidate because he honestly didn't have a plan and didn't have a point of view, and whenever he would come into contact with someone who wanted information, would instead say either what he believed would play well at that moment, to be taken back later, or that they didn't have to explain anything right now. What the hell kind of answer is that? And as for other party candidates, the problem is that their platforms are so polarized that they aren't in contact with reality either and don't have individuals who have the experience to serve as a real president with things like foreign policy and economics and such. They're effectively artifacts of a pre-Civil War political landscape, wherein the world was much more isolated and everyone was equally ill-prepared -- and that's not the way the world is anymore.

Honestly, if any of them had a real plan that would work, it wouldn't be that hard to get interest. If the numbers backed any of them, they could make arguments to get money. But in this ideologuic political landscape that is the 2000's, no one seems to believe that you have to know what you're doing to be president, that just sliding by is sufficient because you can get people who know that for you -- the thing is, that really doesn't work either. If you're afraid of real numbers, you can't be president. I just hope to god we continue to remember that after Obama is done.
eurydicebound: (bleed words)
I'm trying to write an autobiographical snippet for a class assignment... and, since I actually did keep a journal, I've gone back to look at it to get the dates right. Ten years is a long time to think back to, frankly.

I started keeping my journal in 2002. My marriage fell apart in 2003 (although our financial situation cratered in 2001). This means that my efforts to trace back land smack in the middle of the whole thing... and god, it still hurts to read. I don't think it would necessarily feel like that to anyone else, but... damn.

My husband just came in. My life is so much better now.
eurydicebound: (bleed words)
Well, in the UK, anyway. Close enough.


And if I leave you:
It will not be your fault.
My choices
Whispers of myself
Siren song, forever fading
Broken words and bits of glory
These are the things that lured me away.

And if I leave you:
I will know I failed you.
My issues
Orthagonal to reality
Fighting my way through filters
Bright gardens with locked gates
These are the places I could not reach.

And when I leave you:
It will be against my will.
My failure
Fighting with gravity
Inexorably pulled from orbit
Spinning out to distant stars
These are the courses I could not hold.

But until I leave you:
I will fight to stay with you.
My Love
Longing for you
Magnetically pulled into your field
Cleaving to our uncommon lives
You are the place to which I will return.

Michelle Lyons-McFarland, 2012

Games!

Sep. 25th, 2012 08:58 am
eurydicebound: (writing)
Taking an autobiography class right now. Doing so has pointed out to me the odd, half-life someone would find if they read my LJ -- the archive is not the same as the thing, you know?

Ah well. Enough of that.

So, I've been designing a game. This is my very first game that's all my own -- my first solo credit, as it were. It's called A Tragedy in Five Acts (I'm still working on getting the website set up to reflect it) and it's a one-night, one-shot story game. Basically, you and four friends work together to create a five act (three scenes in each act) tragedy that has a Shakespearean feel to it. You bid points before each scene to see who wins narrative control, and then you play the scene out. The person with the most points at the end wins control of the final scene's narrative and can hand out fates for all the characters -- Exiled, Forsworn, or Dead.

Each player has a set role (Daughter, Foil, Lover, Parent, Authority) that they can define as they like, in whatever bare bones setting and time period everyone agrees upon (it's a Shakespeare play -- setting is mostly just window dressing). Each character has extra narrative control in one of the acts, determining scene beginnings and endings as well as entrances and exits in a given scene. No character can show up in more than two scenes in an act, but people can play NPCs (recorded on the Dramatis Personae page).

In addition, each character has a fatal flaw. These flaws give extra points when you reveal them, but then they also dictate your actions once revealed. You can't have a character in a tragedy without a fatal flaw, after all.

Your goal in this as a player is to be the last one to die, thus making it all about you and winning the right to name the play. You can fight it out until the end, choose to support other players, or die/leave early and influence play on your own terms.

Now, as an English major, I think this game is really cool. But one of the things I love about it is not just the play, but how it breaks down what makes a Shakespeare tragedy Shakespearean. There are building blocks -- common roles, relationship webs, etc. that he uses that let you emulate the feel of his plays. That's really exciting to me, that chance to recreate that sort of "oh this is okay -- oh crap no it's not -- aw shit this just came off the rails -- oh wait, it might work out -- GAAAAAAH *stab* *sob* *fall over*" roller coaster experience that is so quintessential to Shakespearean tragedy.

I like that it has room for all sorts of interpretations. I like that the meta-game aspect of it takes the focus off the horror of the characters situations and lets you get that cathartic feeling. I like that there is enough room to tell the story you want to tell and let everyone have their moment in the spotlight. I like that there's both co-op and competition. I like that everyone has equal roles in telling the story, so no one has to be the GM all the time. I love traditional RPGs, but I really do enjoy the chance to have a more focused evening now and again, especially at cons, and I think Tragedy really shines in that mode.

***

I like designing games. There, I said it. That said, it's hard for me as an RPG designer, because the games I enjoy the most have systems that are very evocative of a specific play experience designed for that game. I feel like generic systems don't actually mesh to different stories, they shape the stories to conform to what the system can support. This means that, to me, every GURPS story feels like a GURPS story, and every D&D story feels like a D&D story. Human psychology is oriented to choose from what's in front of us, not dismantle our options and make a choice off the menu in hopes that it'll be fulfilled. By setting a specific system into play, you're setting the allowed choices for the characters to make -- and while individual choices can take you off the map, they rarely do so from a system perspective unless your player simply doesn't know how the system works or what their character can do.

I am okay with systems shaping stories, really. Most of my favorite long-term play RPGs do exactly that and do it well. That can be a lot of fun. But I'm also just arty enough to have ideas about emulation and crafting mechanics to do what I want them to do in order to evoke a certain feel in play.

For example, I've pondered doing A Comedy in Five Acts as a companion piece to Tragedy. It seems like something of a natural fit -- parts of the experience are actually pretty similar, and his comedies are, if anything, more formulaic than his tragedies. The system will have to change, though, because the meta game aspect is not well suited to the continual effort to come together that is the core of a Shakespearean comedy. You can't be trying always to win over the others and still have all your characters come together harmoniously in the end.

I dunno. I have ideas. I think some of them are clever in their own ways. Hopefully the market will think so too, because I don't think I'll stop designing on and off any time soon.
eurydicebound: (Default)
Wow, this is a crazy end of the summer sort of thing. So, GenCon. And school. And everything.

For starters, the boys passed the Wolves Initiative with flying colors. Their final test was a trip to Cedar Point and being largely independent the whole day. They chose to hang out with us for a goodly chunk of the day, but mealtimes were on their own with money provided. They learned some important lessons in thinking through their purchases in advance, but it was all good. These skills were tested the following week at GenCon, which was way harder than either of them had appreciated, and they both told me they were glad for the Wolves initiative. They did really well, though, with all the curveballs our scheduling threw at them, as well as the crowds and whatnot. They managed their money well enough that we supplemented it again at the end and they bought some cool stuff. Will found his inner geek is a cosplayer, so that made it all that much more fun for him to see everyone going around in costume. He wore the tunic he bought on the last day around the con and home, and even the next day a bit. He wants to construct a "blacksmith's apprentice" costume. :)

And now, GenCon. I was an Industry Insider Guest of Honor this year, and I was thrilled to be on a series of guest panels. There wasn't a lot in the way of other guest obligations -- effectively six hours of programming along with whatever other obligations I had, like helping out at the IGDN booth (the Independent Game Designers Network).

I had six panels that I did in whole or part, split mostly between women in gaming and editing work. The one that was slightly different was Hunger Games, an equal opportunity dystopia for your gaming table. This one used the Hunger Games as a model for a dystopian setting you could use, and kind of evolved into talking about how to run a dystopian game that wouldn't run off players. I really enjoyed doing it, even as I realized there aren't a lot of women running GM sorts of panels. I think I might need to fix that. On the one hand, I feel conflicted about the women in gaming panels... it irks me that it's necessary, and that I could still get questions (however half-tongue-in-cheek) of "why do we want women at the table?" I continue to feel like we should be past that at this point, and I'm continually surprised and frustrated to discover that we're not. Editing too felt a bit like preaching to the choir, attended more by editors than publisher-writers, which is who I wanted to reach. Apparently there's an indie prejudice against editors. Who knew? Explains a lot, though.

I really did enjoy GenCon, despite being exhausted and needing better shoes for concrete floors (seriously, what do people wear to get through that?), but I could have used a little less "oh, you're a girl? Let me show you how to play!" from a number of people. Some of that's unavoidable, though, and I came out of it better this year than I have in years past -- and much better than some of the other female guests. I guess somethings really don't change.

Regarding school, Went on Monday to meet with the prof I'm co-teaching a first-year SAGES class with. I thought it might be really science-y, and while I can teach for that, I'm not terribly familiar with the disciplinary conventions for hard sciences. Turns out it's a class made of awesome. It's called "Naturally Spicy," and it's about how spices work in food and providing a real-world example and background for chemistry through cooking and history. I'm THRILLED. So excited. I have to get my lessons planned out and ready, though, preferably by tonight. I have made progress, but I'm still working on it. I'll have it done later, though. *squee*

Orientation for school is this week. It's good to get back and meet up with everyone, so that's good, but the schedule is all over the place. I'm going to be glad to have a set schedule starting next week. My boys are going home and that kinda kills me. I'm trying not to think about it, though, and just enjoy the time I have left with them -- it's got to get me through another six months.
eurydicebound: (Default)
From Captain Awkward, a post put in response to a letter on creeping and rape culture:

"The extra fun thing is that being a woman with AS can make you particularly vulnerable to sexual harrassment, too! Both because there is no allowance made for women struggling with interpreting social cues correctly – in fact, a lot of the shit women get is predicated on that kind of thing: let us contemplate how the entire “what did you think would happen if you [went home with a guy/invited him to your room/smiled at him/wore a skirt/etc. etc.]” line of reasoning works out for Aspies, hm? – but also because those nice other aspects of AS that hardly ever get talked about can play into things. Things like sensory sensitivities and difficulty dealing with unexpected happenings and certain verbal issues that can crop up. Ex: getting groped unexpectedly is never fun, but if you’re super-sensitive to touch it can send you into sensory overload and that’s… bad. Overload is kind of an unpleasant state to be in! You might not be able to communicate anymore! You might not have enough cognitive processing left to figure out how to get away safely! It might be a state in which you really, really shouldn’t be around a boundary-disrespecting predator!

Or if you have difficulty switching gears when something unexpected happens having a random guy start harrassing you when you’re minding your own business can have unfortunate consequences! I once ended up with my ability to understand spoken language going away for a bit when I was stressed in a strange city and a guy approached me in the street and started hitting on me (I mean, I think he was – I caught “you’re beautiful” before my auditory processing cut out and then everything was just noise). NOT SAFE. Luckily for me he left when I kept repeating “I’m sorry, I can’t understand what you’re saying” and my hearing came back after a time and I managed to get home okay. I’m also lucky in that my brain didn’t just go into emergency mode, which means smiling and nodding and agreeing to everything until I manage to figure out where I am, who this other person is, what they are saying, what I am saying, and what exactly I should be thinking about this situation. Because it kind of likes to do that when I’m bowled over by Unexpected Conversation. This is also Not Safe."

------------------------------------------------------

This is so me. I have been really fortunate in my life regarding sexual situations and predators... but part of why that's been is that I have been incredibly paranoid about going to spaces that are overwhelming or where I'll be around people who might be flirting with me, because I already know I won't see it until I'm uncomfortable and I'm awful at communicating it and getting it to stop once I am. I've had people -- and by people, I mean men -- who backed me up against trees in isolated areas, cornered me, and tried to feel me up after they made sure that the men who would normally help me in those situations were distracted. I've had men flirt with me and get to the point of touching me without me realizing what was going on -- really, I had no clue until there was shoulder rubbing and too much contact. I've had people think that my lack of initial reaction to flirting meant assent, and then I had to try to explain that I didn't mean it when they tried to make out with me -- something no one wants to hear (talk about an awkward situation). I've tried to tell men no and failed because they didn't want to hear it, finally having to seek out nearby friends to act as shields and get me out of situations I could not manage to extricate myself from. I learned that if I am willing to go with a man into a private, isolated setting, I had better be prepared for some sort of sexual encounter -- because unless a guy broadcasts that to me very clearly, I won't necessarily see it coming, especially if I'm feeling overwhelmed or I'm impaired in some way (like say alcohol). If I'm not, I don't let myself get into that situation, period. If my no is not clear, my yes will be -- but that's in part because I work to make sure that anything that's not a yes does not come up at all, lessons learned from past experience.

Some of these guys were completely inappropriate and seriously boundary-crossing. Some of these guys just didn't know me and thought things were okay because I didn't stop them or say anything -- I don't blame anyone for this. How could they have known? But it brings so much back for me to read the above... it's a rather unfortunate reminder. The guy with the tree... he tried to bring me drinks. He didn't realize I didn't drink at the time, and I turned down everything he brought -- but what if I hadn't? And telling people after the fact didn't change anything. I still had to talk to him the next day, had to duck him for the rest of the event, had to plan my way accordingly, had to hope that my partner at the time turned down said guy's girlfriend, who'd been sent to get him out of the way, and didn't want to keep talking to/seeing her, as that meant creeper guy would have access to me. Even after the fact, my partner never spoke to the guy and neither did any of the friends I told. I was on my own to deal with it, preferably without making a scene. And none of it was something I could have handled well on my own. I didn't have the vocabulary or the ability to quickly shift gears, or to deal with being overwhelmed, and still cope.

Not sure why I'm posting this tonight. Just needed to put it somewhere, I guess.
eurydicebound: (Default)
Whew. Today was a good, absurdly productive day in terms of the place in which I live. I set out to clean my whole kitchen, but I ended up with only 2/3 of it clean. Now, that 2/3 includes the stove and most of the counter space, and the clean includes cleaning the stuff that lives on it (appliances, canisters, etc) so that probably edges me up to 3/4, but still. I gained a drawer after I cleaned out everything in it, so that's a net plus for storage space, even, which makes me really happy. Two more drawers to go, but not today.

The real gains here, though, are in the living room. Between the boys and I, we busted that shit out. The whole place has been vacuumed and dusted to within an inch of its life. I've hung up the curtains Sue graciously gave us (the ones that turn into thermal curtains when you put the liners in) and the whole room looks so much better. I need a lampshade for the lamp that Al fixed, but that's minor. The mini-blinds in the far window have been taken down, ostensibly to clean them, but then we all decided it looked so much better without that they've been given a pass, and thus I don't have to keep cleaning them! Huzzah! There's a huge freaking tree between the bay window and the main road anyway, so it's not as though anyone can see in.

Oh! AND the proof for curse the darkness came in! And all the problems were fixed! And we ordered books which, while not there on the first day, should be there on Friday, we think! EEEEeee! So pleased.

And then -- THEN -- I made a friend! I'm so pleased! I met a woman who just moved to the area from the west coast to start her first prof gig. She knits, and is vegan, and has stripes of unnatural color in her hair. She is of my people -- not the vegan part specifically, but it's hardly the first time. :) We met for coffee, essentially having a friend date, and got along well enough to go back to her place and knit for a while. I know it sounds like an odd thing to be quite so happy about, but it's a hard thing to find new friends as one gets older, and this went remarkably well. Having a new knit buddy would be fabulous, and is a huge step to sort of rounding out my life.

Also, the town of Oberlin can be my bestie -- OMG am I in love. If I could get a job there once I'm done, I'd be so amazingly pleased with life.
eurydicebound: (bleed words)
I've been meaning to post on this for a while now. Now, as I'm going to be starting my PhD... well, it seems a good time to do it before I move forward.

I was really clueless about my Masters program -- what I was doing, what I wanted to do... I feel like I sort of blundered my way through it. I was frankly absurdly lucky to get into CWRU in the first place. It shouldn't have been possible. I didn't get into it thinking about what I'd do if I didn't want to get a doctorate, or what my actual odds of finding work were... I just sort of went into it with a sort of blind faith that I'd get where I wanted to be, without really thinking about what would go into getting that degree. Some of that is inevitable, I suppose -- every commitment is made without being able to see really what one is getting into. Some of it was due to the sheer range of changes I've undergone in the past two years. Changing city, changing school, changing relationship status, changing family arrangement -- the words look simple on the page, but they are anything but. The repercussions of them continue still.

The past two years have pushed me far beyond what I thought I could do, and pointed out to me certain areas in which I have definite deficiencies. Time management is not in my skillset -- I've developed some tools to deal with it, but in part all this has done is point out the edges of my blind spots more distinctly, not made me any less blind in dealing with them. My executive functions are weak, and I'm having to put work into making them better. Whether or not it's paying off I can't really say, but I think there's some improvement in asking for help and devising strategies, if nothing else. Knowing where I'll likely fall down in handling something somewhat reduces the odds of it happening with any real severity at least.

The downside of all of it is that I've become more and more aware of my own Aspie symptoms. I would like to get it diagnosed, but my insurance (while covering the diagnosis) will not then cover any treatments that might apply to the condition. Since headaches and some stomach issues and other things are often comorbid with/arguably a symptom of the condition... well, I can't take the risk that I couldn't get treatment for them. Maybe in a couple of years I can get a diagnosis. It would make a difference in the latitude I'm allowed for my blind spots in my work place -- one of these days I'll likely move forward with it, but not now.

Things my MA has taught me:
I'm at my best when I'm at bold. Subtle arguments and actions almost never serve my purpose as well as clear statements, even though they can seem more comfortable to me at the time.
I can't be all things to all people.
I'm at my worse when I'm not interested in my subject.
I'm good at helping people communicate, and better yet, I enjoy it.
I have the skill to be a good professor.
My department is small and limited in a number of ways, but there is some very good stuff here and I'm pleased with it.
I would like to eventually teach at a university that has a graduate program in English. I don't need it to be a big university, though, at least not necessarily.
I am willing to make trade-offs in the prior realization in order to make my life work for myself and those I love. I am jealous of some of the things I hear about other programs, because I know I could do those things... but I wouldn't actually want to give up what I have for that.
I'm not an Americanist.
I have problems viewing an MA in English as anything but a stepping stone to a doctorate.
I'm kind of a generalist at heart, and it's making finding specialties hard. I sort of knew this, but it's really very true. I want to teach all the things.

When I look at CWRU in particular... well, primarily it's a sciences school. When you're in the English department at a sciences school... well, that kind of says it all. The department is good, don't get me wrong. But it doesn't have a great deal of depth in most areas, and the function of the department is not cutting edge theory and research. The function of the department is perhaps muddled even unto itself, trying to carry forward a liberal arts tradition in a school that is divided on the concept on the best of days. And yet... for all that a more cohesive department and approach might make things more successful for the department overall, being able to ask those questions and struggle with their application has made me a far more thoughtful teacher, I think. The space fostered by disagreement has given the department's students room to grow -- or at least it did for me. I don't disagree with anyone's decision to go elsewhere at the end of a couple years here, but I've really valued the chance to not have a teaching philosophy shoved down my throat and develop my own ideas.

I dunno. These two years have flown by. I've sort of come to the conclusion that the purpose of an MA (at least in my department) is to give you both a rough generalist overview of English studies AND to sort of hit the highlights of an academic career in the discipline (and the training for the beginnings). I think the latter was more successful than the former for me. I feel like they rely on the requirements to cover a broad spectrum of literature, but the requirements are neither specific nor especially deep. Granted, it's a two-year program, so I'm not sure what else could be done insofar as that goes. Not to mention that part of the function of an MA is to help people moving on to a doctorate continue to narrow their field of focus, not expand it. The one point where this falls down is the MA exam, I think, which goes back to a broad grounding in the field when the two years leading up to it are only half-devoted to that topic. I think it was much more successful in teaching research, in prepping for serious academic writing, and in teaching pedagogy and giving teaching experience. Where I think it falls down somewhat is in its attempts to teach about academia as a career, which isn't a stated goal but I think ends up being part of the experience. Treating it directly might be more helpful, but it's hard to say. Certainly, I feel that I accomplished those goals as a result of my MA studies.

I'm rambling.

Overall, I'm really glad I did my MA where I did and on what I did. For all it may lack certain perks of larger, more prestigious programs, it also allows a nuts-and-bolts intimacy with the process and the career that I think gets passed by in those same programs. I know what I want to do and the kind of place I want to do it in, and while I may still be pinning down the details... well, being able to know this much about what a PhD requires and what a career as a prof is like before beginning my PhD is about as much as one could possibly hope for. It certainly beats committing to this path and then figuring out you hate it -- something I'm grateful to CWRU for having shown me.
eurydicebound: (Default)
So... picking up where we left off, Setia snuck out and met with an unknown guy at the fountain in the garden. They started things off with intrigue challenges, determining which one of them would approach first. The guy was revealed to be Darian, who declared himself charmed and interested in Setia -- not that he wasn't going to marry Gineva, as he was willing and able to do that, but there wasn't any reason for him not to have a lover on the side. He suggested that he could arrange for Setia to move to his household. She claimed to be tempted, but didn't accept outright. There was smooching, though, when he asked, "do you yield, lady?"

Gineva, on the other hand, had an audience with Darian's father, Royce. He drunkenly asked her questions about her interest in Darian, her ambition for her family, and whether or not she had good birthing hips. She put up with it, but she wasn't thrilled with the end result -- and the fact that Darian had vanished from the scene did not make her happy. Ser Talon saw his opening and rushed to comfort her, wondering if he could find a way to bring her around to marrying him.

Se was drunkenly tossing darts when Gineva broke away and pulled him out, asking where Darian was... and for that matter where Ducaleon was. They went off in search of their brother and possibly their parents as well.

Riordan walked Rhenya back to her room, to be dealt with tomorrow. Lady Siobhan gave her word that the family would do what they could to assist her. She had Ducaleon stay behind, however, and explained exactly what threat Rheyna posed to the family -- to Gineva's match, to the family's honor and fortunes, and to Dorne as a whole. Riordan saved a child -- or at least didn't deny doing so. If that child was Elia's or could be said to be without contradiction, they would support her claim, and thus would a new rebellion begin. Siobhan made sure Ducaleon knew that she did not and would not hold him responsible for any role he might have in bringing her here -- or in making her go away.

Meanwhile, after Lord Riordan leaves Rheyna in her room, Oberyn comes in and reveals that he eavesdropped on the conversation in his mother's room. She flatters him, trying to draw him onto her side, and exacts an oath that he will not reveal who she is, seeking his loyalty. He feels duly flattered and crushes on her, a reaction she encourages, and sends him on his way with a little flirtation, leaving him practically glowing -- until he runs into his whole family. Unused to seeing the glowering, emo teenager in such a good mood, Se immediately guesses that Oberyn has been with a girl. Oberyn agrees, a bit too readily, and so he and the other siblings being sort of ganging up on him to try and find out what he's been up to. Intrigue challenges followed, finally wearing him down until he revealed that Rheyna liked him (still not telling who she was). Ducaleon reveals to Se that at least Rheyna is not their half-sister as Se had believed.

While they're all talking, however, they hear screams coming from the direction of Rheyna's room. They all run along, stopping in their rooms along the way to pick up their weapons. Upon arrival, they're shot at by someone hiding in the shadows by the stairway at the end, Ser Talon takes the hit, but recovers while Se skewers the unfortunate assassin. They go on to break into her room to find Rheyna fighting off three assassins, barely holding them off. A melee ensues... Se kills one more, Gineva kills another, and Ser Talon fights off the third in melee.

They turn to Rheyna, trying to make sense of what happened, and she breathlessly moves to Ducaleon, who offers an arm to her... and then with his other hand slips one of the assassin's daggers between her ribs, his mother's words echoing in his head.

And with that cliffhanger, the season ends.
eurydicebound: (bleed words)
Okay, so I have to say this, and then I'm done. DONE.

1) The great tragedy here regarding Colorado is that someone was insane and did something awful, and some people died and a lot of others were hurt. The great tragedy here has NOTHING to do with the franchise or the IP or anything. If that's what is catching you up, you're doing it wrong.

2) By extension, if you are primarily horrified because this is so not a Batman thing to have done... just see #1. You are being horrified because your geekverse has been shaken, not because of what happened. This is not about you. Shake it off and focus on #1.

3) If this is hitting home for you because someone who was disturbed liked the thing you liked, and yet was still a measurably disturbed individual despite sharing a love of superheroes, then you're functioning under one of the Geek Fallacies (or better, social monkeysphere fallacies, as I like to call them) and you need to revisit #1 as well.

Geek is not a badge of pride; it is not a measure of social cred; it is not a community of equals; it is not an inclusive club of vetted individuals; it is not a sign indicating "these are my people and no other." It is just an indication that you like quirky stuff. Both good and bad guys like quirky stuff. Geekiness is not identity, and everyone is better off if you don't mix the two.

The tragedy is that people lost their lives. DC, the Batman IP and the Christopher Nolan film will fucking cope. If that's where you have your sympathies... then I guess I just don't have anything to say to you.
eurydicebound: (Default)
So, when we left our family of honeybees, they were returning home from having had their luncheon outing spoiled by a kidnap attempt from a very charming bandit who went by Nymeria Sand.

Se was disturbed by the fact that he'd killed people (handily, too!). Gineva was still flirting hard with Ser Talon. Oberyn was crowing over his triumph, and Ducaleon was trying to keep Se and Oberyn in line while being quietly concerned about this whole Nymeria-"audience with his mother" thing.

They all arrived back at the castle, and things picked up from there. There were instructions waiting for them, courtesy of the steward. Gineva went upstairs and found Septa Setia, who was instructed to help Gineva try on the three gowns her mother had laid out for the evening (one in virginal white, one in a northern style in pale gold, and one traditional Dornish gown in burnt orange with gold embroidery. Gineva chose the Braavosi gown she'd bought Across-the-Sea and sent her mother one in blue that she'd brought back as a present, at Setia's suggestion. Setia was supposed to oversee Gineva, but ended up assisting her in this minor rebellion instead.

Ser Talon, lovestruck, realizes that he's up against some heavy competition, and he wants to appear to best advantage. His regular clothes, however, will not do at all. He starts figuring out a way to obtain an outfit for the feast night tonight -- and then realizes he's too broke to afford a fancy dress outfit of his own. He has friends with money, though, and sets his sights on Se.

Se went to his room, trying to work this out. Gineva stopped in to see him on her way to her chamber, telling him he did the right, in fact the only, thing. This didn't seem to help him significantly.

Oberyn decided that he needed to summon Lady Siobhan to the audience chamber so she could meet with Nymeria, three hours before her late-first-husband's funeral anniversary feast. As he's 14 and kind of snotty to the seneschal, this only went so well. After cooling his heels, waiting for his mother, the seneschal comes back and says that his mother requests his attendance in her chamber. Oberyn goes to see his mother and receives a lecture on how his behavior was inappropriate, and how the news that he captured a bandit should be given in person rather than summoning her to stop her preparations, and that it will be dealt with. Oberyn proceeds to sulk, and is sent off to gather his siblings to find out why the 14-yr-old is the one passing this news along.

Meanwhile, Ducaleon saw Nymeria to a side chamber, asking her questions and trying to put her off while offering hospitality to her. She gratefully accepted the water and a chance to clean up, but would not be put off from her request. She did, however, accept his offer to speak with Lord Riordan instead.

So, Oberyn finds Se and Gineva, and Ducaleon is on his way up regardless, and all of them meet up at Lady Siobhan's room, where Lord Riordan is. They get mildly reprimanded and sent back to get ready, all but Oberyn, who gets in a bit more trouble about decorum and whatnot. Everyone else listens outside the door with varying degrees of glee. Ser Talon finally gets up the nerve to ask for a loan, and Se obliges him.

When his chastisement is done, Lord Riordan comes out. He talks with Se, reassuring him about what happened, and then proceeds with Ducaleon down to the room. He walks in, greets Nymeria, but then a strange expression of recognition passes between them, and she says, "I seek the Golden Lion." Ducaleon and the others are dismissed from the room, while Riordan and Nymeria speak. When they come out, a few moments later, Septa Setia is summoned and requested to help Nymeria dress for the feast and to find her a chamber for the night. "She is to be treated as an honored guest." Ducaleon catches up with Se and shares his suspicion that Nymeria might Riordan's natural daughter.

Siobhan asks Gineva to wait as well, and then she requests that she change -- they want to present a "proper Dornish maiden, not a wild woman." While her mother appreciates the present, she doesn't change her mind. Gineva then goes and dresses in the burnt orange outfit, in traditional Dornish style.

Once Nymeria is settled, Setia attends to her own dress. Instead of dressing plainly and severely, as Lady Siobhan requested -- twice -- Setia adds a little glitz to her gown and hair, setting her token of office -- a crystal, in her hair above her forehead and weaving gold into her auburn locks.

So, with everyone settled, the dinner begins. Darian Martell is seated at the head table with his father Royce (the eldest heirs' uncle), Lady Siobhan and Lord Riordan, and the two heirs -- children of her first husband, in whose honor the dinner is being held. At the table on the right are Gineva, closest to Darian, Oberyn, and Se. Across the hall are Ducaleon, Nymeria (he's her dinner partner). Down another set of tables are Ser Talon on one side and Septa Setia, down the other, furthest from Darian.

The dinner proceeds -- Darian and Gineva flirt back and forth appreciatively but in keeping with decorum. Toasts are made. Food is eaten. Nymeria is graceful and has suprisingly good manners. Lady Siobhan and Lord Riordan both seem a bit pale and distracted, but this really only manifests in slightly less sparkling conversation and neither of them glancing toward the table where Nymeria sits. Ser Talon is eaten up with jealousy, watching the match being made in front of him and Gineva in a positive spirit about the whole thing. Oberyn glowers a lot and ends up being dismissed early, as punishment for his earlier stunt. Setia receives a message through a server, praising her beauty and asking her to be at the well in the grove at midnight.

At the first convenient moment when it will not create alarm, Lady Siobhan rises and begs leave of the company, claiming fatigue and sorrow. Riordan escorts her out, stopping to give her love to Ducaleon and tell him to escort the lady to S's chambers at the first opportunity for discretion. The party continues through dessert and drinks, but breaks up relatively early -- a somber affair. Oberyn (hiding in the hall rather than going to bed -- sneaky teenager) follows his parents up to their room, disappointed at not getting anything more exciting out of it. Ducaleon and Nymeria travel upstairs as well, while Se gets drunk and flirts and fondles with anything or anyone willing, and Gineva flirts with Darian and (more discretely) Ser Talon, keeping him involved.

Ducaleon arrives at his mother's room, and asks if it's true. Oberyn stands outside while Ducaleon can't get away and hears/sees his father stand up and say, "May I present Princess Rhayna Targaryen, daughter of Elia Martell and Rhaegar Martell -- the rightful heir to the Iron Throne," as Rhayna curtsies to Lady Siobhan to the room's general horror and awe.

And that's where we pick up next week!
eurydicebound: (coffee)
OMG we did so much yesterday. Holy cats.

So, yesterday we:

- Bought beds for boys
- Cleared out about half of the office (and 3/4 of the furniture that needed moving)
- Finished clearing the china cabinet
- Got the china cabinet out of the dining room and listed on freecycle
- packed up the random glassware and vases we didn't want and got it to Goodwill
- moved bookshelves into dining/gaming room
- loaded bookshelves
- cleared space in kid rooms for desks
- moved desks into kid rooms
- moved old computer into Teagan's room
- cleared out old dresser that belongs to Heather's mom
- got old dresser out of house and into car, waiting to deliver it to said mom-person
- got small shelves for towel storage
- moved desk into space where dresser was for my workspace
- rearranged library books, including some semblence of order (thanks Sarah!)
- moved DVD cabinet over out of nook to where a bookcase formerly was
- moved ex-entertainment-center cabinets over to where DVD case formerly was
- got rid of old IKEA bookshelf that had given up and had a shelf collapse
- moved kid toys and books into kid nook, made of ex-entertainment-center cabinets
- moved chests into less obtrusive/more attractive places
- hung some art
- figured out how much paint to buy to paint the bedroom
- vaccuumed lots
- dusted lots

Whew. We're not done, unfortunately... there's still more we need to do to make it all work. I'm pretty happy with it, however, all things considered. It's a great start. :)
eurydicebound: (coffee)
I ended up going through today and discovering that our current grocery purchasing doesn't work with my brain. It's kind of crazy... but I'm trying to work it out.

When I go through the kitchen, I don't see available lunch food. This is silly, because there is food... so the question is, what is it about what's there that makes me not accept it? I'm sort of going through my reactions and sorting it out, and I'm discovering that it's a mix of latent poverty issues and spectrum stuff.

1) Hot dogs. We're out of buns, though... and that makes me not want to touch them. Years spent eating hot dogs with slices of bread that get gummy because the bread is cheap, because buns are a special occasion thing you can't afford. Hot dogs without buns because they're cheap. I just... I can't. It makes me feel desperate.

2) Tuna for tuna salad sandwiches. Again, something between feeling stressed for time to make tuna and something about money -- tuna is cheap. Tuna salad and egg salad are both poverty foods, because cans of tuna come in bulk and eggs are cheap for the number of meals they give.

I realize that I used to make myself feel less broke by splurging on food for myself -- buying the good stuff when I could, ordering out when I was stressed or pressed for time. I gave myself that luxury, even when it was a bad idea. But now my money is not just my own and my guy cooks for me and I already know that most of the quick-nuke processed food is crap -- it doesn't even taste good, by and large. But it means flavor and convenience and not feeling completely broke and desperate. This is a really unfortunate groove I cut in my psyche, and it's something I need to find a way to break free of now that it isn't my life anymore.

One thing I need to do is find a way to manage my needs for lunches and meals better, which means planning ahead -- as the resident student/full-time-shift-worker this summer, I'm not often the one to go to the store. I don't tend to think about it if I'm not going to the store. And then I end up triggered a lot or a little, depending on the day, but all of it could be fixed if I'd just think ahead.

I don't know. It's a strange thing that I don't tend to think about much, but it's there. I hate that it's there. Now to figure out what to do with it.

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