Dec. 2nd, 2018 09:39 pm
rowyn: (Default)
Saturday was Community Day in Pokemon Go. Actually, this entire weekend has been a kind of make-up session in case you missed any of the previous Community Days. As it happens, I missed all of the community days prior to August's, because I started playing at the end of July. So I had been keenly interested in getting in some extra Pokemon-hunting time. I have also finally made a dent in my oversupply of pokemon items. I had been at the point where I had to throw away normal pokeballs to make room to give and receive gifts. (My pokemon leveling strategy is highly dependent on giving and receiving gifts, so doing so is important to me outside of the actual contents of the gifts. Also, you often get things from gifts that I am not oversupplied with).

My usual Pokemon behavior is "just catch absolutely everything you see", so I've been doing a lot of that. But I've been most focused on catching Dratini, Larvitars, and Beldums. Dratini and Larvitar are because I hadn't gotten the most evolved form for either of those yet, and they are both good combat forms that I have often wished I had. Beldum's most evolved form is Metagross, and I got four Metagrosses during the Community Day in October. But I only got one with Meteor Mash and I deeply regretted that, so I'm trying to make up for it now.

Anyway, all the critters are spawning all weekend long, but the hours for the Community Day bonuses (XP, Stardust, and hatch distance) were 1PM to 4PM on Saturday. So I went to the Plaza for those hours like I usually do. The weather report said "50 degrees and cloudy" when I left the house, so I wore a sweater and a light jacket. The actual weather was "45 degrees, drizzling, and windy". It was surprisingly unpleasant. I was sorely tempted to call it quits an hour in. But I stuck it out anyway. I got into five raids, including two for Cressalia, who I failed to catch. Fooey. I don't know if Cressalia will still be around for January's Community Day. I have not yet been motivated enough to try meeting up with the Discord Pokemon players for raiding outside of Community Days.

Because the Community Day spawns were still spawning, it didn't really feel like the event was over at 4PM. I went home anyway, to check on Lut. Lut wanted fast food for dinner, so I went back out for Arby's, and then stayed in the rest of the night because inside was warm and outside was not.

I watched episodes 11 and 12 of the new She-Ra. I am almost done with the entire season! This is the first show I have successfully watched by myself since I stopped watchng My Little Pony alone. (For the first four or five seasons, I watched some MLP on Youtube and the rest with Terrycloth when I visited him. Then Hasbro started telling Youtube to pull down any episodes posted and I gave up. Netflix has MLP now, so I might pick it up again, I dunno. I still watch Terry 's favorite episodes when I visit, but I haven't visited as often so the show developments feel much harder to follow.) Anyway, the new She-Ra is fun. A lot of my friends comment on the "lesbian subtext", but the thing that struck me more was the lack of heteronormativity. To be specific: like the original 80s show, the new She-Ra has one regular male cast member, Bow. Bow is not presented as a love interest, however. He has been Glimmer's best friend for years, and there's one episode where he goes with a different character to "Princess Prom". The B plot of this episode is "and Glimmer is really anxious and jealous over this". But there is nothing remotely romantic or sexual about her jealousy. Glimmer is afraid she and Bow will grow apart, or that Bow will leave her behind because he has made new friends and he will like them better. Absolutely no one says "yes, Glimmer, this is a reasonable concern and we will validate it because clearly You Love Him and you should feel threatened that He Loves Another and people can only love one person. So you need to Win Him Back, or Let Him Go."

No, the tenor of the B plot is "Glimmer is overreacting, and while her anxiety is understandable, it's normal for people to have multiple friends and it doesn't mean Bow won't like her anymore."

Some people discussing the show have said that Princess Prom proves there are canonical lesbian relationships because some of the background couples are FF pairs. But in fact, everyone at Princess Prom refers to their date as a "plus one", and most of the relationships the audience gets any insight into do not have any more romance to them than Bow and Glimmer's. Seahawk is the only character in the entire show to speak in an explicitly romantic fashion about anyone, and the object of his affections openly disdains him.

Regardless, I really liked the way the show handles Bow and Glimmer's friendship, and just the overall indifference to setting up an overt romance between anyone. The show's important relationships are those of family, friends, rivals, allies, and opponents. I love seeing these take precedence. I am not going to object to lesbian or straight romance in the show in the future, but I like the flavor of it as it stands.

Today, I wanted to go to Panera to eat breakfast and write. I asked Lut if he wanted me to bring him anything back, and he said no, so I drove happily away and had a nice breakfast and a frozen mocha and wrote 1200 words of The Twilight Etherium because I felt like it. I decided I'm allowed to write while I'm taking a break, if I feel like it. I'm just not allowed to feel bad if I don't write.

Wait, wait, why would I ever be allowed to feel bad for not writing? *eyes that last sentence suspiciously*

Apparently that's supposed to be more like "I'm not allowed to guilt myself into writing while on break."

*still kind of dubious about the value of this method of inducing productivity*

I left Panera around 10:30 to pick up Lut's meds and to check on Lut. He was awake and hungry when I got home, so we went out to Applebee's for lunch. Applebee's turned out to be out of their Triple Chocolate Meltdown dessert, which is sad because it's my favorite of their menu items. But lunch was fine.

After lunch, Lut took another nap and I snuck out to go to the mall to mall-walk for exercise and also Catch More Pokemons. I walked for about an hour, then sat with my laptop in the group of comfy chairs inside the mall's main entrance. I wrote most of this entry there, in between spinning stops and catching pokemon.

When I got home, Lut was awake again. We cuddled up and watched Ant-Man and the Wasp again. After the movie, he went to bed, and I walked across the street to sit in the hotel lobby by their pokestop and finish this entry. And write a few hundred more words of The Twilight Etherium. I will probably go home after my current lure runs out, since it's getting late. And evolve a bunch of pokemon so that I can get pokemon with all the limited-availability moves before I run out of Community Day weekend.

Altogether, I am happy with my weekend. It feels shorter than usual, because I spent so much of my Friday of in the car. But it's worth the drive to see Jenn. ❤️ I think some of my "the weekend feels short" is because next week is the first time in four weeks that I have to work four days in one week, instead of three. I really want to drop to three days a week as my actual schedule. I should just do it. It'll be a bit of a financial hit and probably mean that I will have to withdraw money from my retirement accounts early. But that's a doable thing if it turns out to be necessary. And the last few weeks have reinforced how much nicer it is to work three-day weeks instead of four.
rowyn: (Default)
When my house was originally built, it had a basement but no interior staircase, only an exterior door. At some point before I bought the house 15 years ago, amateurs added an extension, pretty much for the sole purpose of enclosing a stairwell to the basement. It has electric lights but no outlets and no heat. The shingles from the original exterior are still in place on the inner wall of the extension. There's some space in addition to the stairs, but it's pretty much an overgrown hall. On the main floor, in the space behind the stairwell that was billed as a "sun porch", we put the cat's litter boxes and a bunch of miscellaneous junk we don't have any other place for and never use.

Several days ago, I came home to find an enormous pool of liquid in the middle of the floor in the cat's area, surrounded by litter boxes. It looked like water and had no odor I could detect. It looked like more liquid than one cat could reasonably contain. The ceiling and all walls were dry. The puddle did not extend to the walls.


I cleaned it up. Maybe Lut or I had sleep-walked, spilled a glass of water there, put the glass away, and left the puddle. I got nothin'.

The puddle has not returned since.

Today, I went to clean the litter boxes. A dying wasp was on the floor among the litter boxes. I stepped on it to finish off the dying process.

Then I noticed another dying wasp.

And a wasp corpse. And another wasp corpse. And


Poll #19745 WHAT THE HECK
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 14


View Answers

There is a natural spring in the middle of the floor with an invisible trapdoor. The wasps built a nest down there. The cold snap drove them to the main floor but not fast enough to save them.
0 (0.0%)

The wasps brought the water in tiny buckets and then took a really really long time drowning. Also, they hid while you cleaned it up.
5 (35.7%)

Like Lut, the house has cancer. Wasps and puddles are its tumors.
1 (7.1%)

Remember the Basement of Doom? It's spreading.
4 (28.6%)

2 (14.3%)

0 (0.0%)

House actually build atop the Hellmouth
2 (14.3%)


View Answers

Have you considered cleaning the litter box more often?
0 (0.0%)

Or just, you know, cleaning in general. Maybe the wasps are nesting in all that stuff you don't use.
1 (7.7%)

Maybe the house needs chemo.
0 (0.0%)

Do nothing and the ghosts will let you be. And kill the wasps for you. You don't want HEALTHY wasps next time, do you???
4 (30.8%)

Nuke it from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
8 (61.5%)

rowyn: (sledgehammer)
Lut was discharged yesterday! 
I forgot to bring a snack or lunch to work yesterday. I can't remember the last time I forgot food.  But I was only working until 2:30, so I figured I would get something when I left.  I had a couple of mini Twix bars out of a co-worker's candy bowl.
Lut called at 1:45. "I'll be ready to go at 2:45!" So I left work at 2:30 and went straight to the hospital, arriving at Lut's room around 2:55. I packed up the stuff in his room and paged a nurse to get his remaining beverages out of their fridge (this hospital keeps their snack room locked up).
Nurse: "He has one medication to get from the pharmacy. I called them earlier and they said it's ready for pick up.  Why don't you pick it up, call us when you've got it, and then we'll bring him down in the wheelchair* to the front entrance while you bring your car around?"
* Lut can walk, but he tires quickly and the hospital is ginormous.
So I shoulder several bags full of stuff and go down to the hospital pharmacy on the ground floor.
Pharmacy: "Lut? We don't have anything ready for Lut. We don't even have anything on order for him.  We have some incomplete requests that they never finished?"
I called Trask and asked him to page the nurse, to see if this was something we could only get from the hospital pharmacy or if we could get it filled at our regular pharmacy.  Then I walked back to the car, dumped off all Lut's stuff, and walked back up to his room.
Nurse: "Sure, we will give you a paper prescription! You can get it filled anywhere. Just waiting on the doctor to sign it!"
Me: "You can't call it in? Uh, okay."
After another wait, we finally leave the hospital at 3:55.  We wade through the beginnings of rush hour traffic, and go to the Wal-Mart pharmacy two miles from our house. 
Wal-Mart Pharmacist: "Oh, this is a compound. We don't do compounds here, sorry. Some of the Walgreens do.  CVS on Noland Road, maybe?"
So I go to Walgreens on Noland Road, which is across the street from the CVS, figuring I'll ask CVS next. 
Me: "Can you fill this?"
Walgreens: *takes script, takes all my insurance info*. "It'll be ready in an hour, hour and half."
I went home, made dinner, ate, talked a little to John when he messaged, and played a game of Small Worlds online with him. By now, it was 7PM and I hadn't yet heard from Walgreens, apart from an automated text asking me to acknowledge that I wanted texts, and then a second text confirming that I did. I called Walgreens. Their automated system had no record of my order. I waited on hold for several minutes to talk to a person. The person also had no record for my order. She went to talk to the pharmacy. I waited on hold for several more minutes.
Walgreens Pharmacy: "Oh, I thought I paged you before you left. We can't fill this. I just put it to one side."
Me: *drives to pharmacy, still screaming*
I waited several minutes at the useless Walgreens pharmacy to retrieve the piece of paper, and took it across the street to CVS.
CVS pharmacist: *makes many sympathetic noises as I complain vociferously about Walgreens* "We do compounds here, but we usually send them to our overnight pharmacist. I don't know if we have this drug in stock. I will look." 
Me: "He's supposed to get this four times a day and the hospital had only given it to him twice when he left."
CVS pharmacist: *ransacks pharmacy looking for drug* "I'm afraid we don't have it. It's pretty obscure; a hospital pharmacy will probably have it but the other ones only would if someone else had recently placed order and they had some of the powder left over me."
Me: *thanks nice CVS pharmacist and tries not to cry*
Me: *calls hospital pharmacy to make sure they can produce this tonight*
Hospital Pharmacist: *checks* "Yup, we can."
Me: "You're open 24 hours?"
Hospital Pharmacist: "Oh, no, we close at 9PM."
Me: "Okay I can get there before nine."
So I spent another 30 minutes getting back to the hospital pharmacy, waited 20 minutes to get drugs, and finally went home so I could dose Lt. About 2 hours apart, because it was so late by the time I got home with drugs.
I guess the moral of this story is:
1) Eat lunch so you are not furious over every problem that arises
2) Never leave the hospital without all the medications you will need that day, whether or not it delays you.
Still.  Six trips to four pharmacies over the course of six hours, to get one prescription filled. x_x
Hospital Pharmacy: C for not having the prescription ready the first time (after telling the nurse it was ready! What the heck, pharmacy?), but at least made up for it by getting it ready the second time
Hospital nurse & doctor who signed prescription: C- Maybe it's not their job, but I feel like one of them should have known I was not gong to be able to get this prescription filled same-day anywhere else. 
Wal-Mart Pharmacy: B. OK, he couldn't do it, but he knew that right away and attempted to redirect me to someone who could. And in fairness, if I hadn't needed it filled same-day, the CVS would have been fine
CVS Pharmacy: A+ pharmacist actually knew what she was talking about and gave useful advice.
All of this aside: Lut is home!  \o/ ♥
This is a profound relief. 
We are back to the 24/7 care routine, with daily visits to the clinic.  On Monday, they will once again attempt to collect stem cells.  This is scheduled for five days, which is interesting because previous attempts had all said "might take as much as three days". I am not sure if this is because it might actually take five days of collection, or if it's more "if your counts are not high enough to start collection on Monday, we tentatively plan to try again on Tuesday and maybe Wednesday, so here's some extra just-in-case appointments."  We're at the clinic now and the doctor is supposed to see us this morning, so I'll ask him about it when I ask about his meds.
rowyn: (Default)
I won Nanowrimo on Sunday. I made a point of getting it done then, because this week marks the beginning of a new stage of augh so much doctoring in the cancer-treatment process. I am not going to go over it all right now. It's pretty much two solid months of stress and horrible, compounded by my job previously telling me that I could not take unpaid time off and by me being too low on PTO for all the free time the doctors expect me to donate.

This will be managed. Probably by spending a lot of money. -_-

So I started Monday morning by calling Snake n' Rooter to have them install a replacement shower head, and a replacement garbage disposal. The big disadvantage to garbage disposals is that when they stop working, which they will, you can't just go back to not having one. It messes up the drain flow and you end up with rotting food stinking up the kitchen.

The shower head I could've replaced myself, but I figured I would be lazy and have the plumber do it since I needed to call one anyway. Garbage disposals are complicated.

I told the plumbing service that I was available 8-11AM and after 3:30. Lut had an appointment at 12:45 and I wanted the plumber to have time to get both done before we left. They called back almost immediately, and said they'd send someone after 3:30.

After that, I called the disability check people to get a debit card set up for Lut. Their voice mail did not have an option for "get a debit card" or "talk to a person", although the website promised the former. I tried "send your payment to a debit card" and this got me to a human. Miraculously, I did have all the information they wanted for the debit card. So I got that set up, and the rep told me, "You will get the card in 4-6 weeks and after that it'll take a month or two until the disability payments are sent to it, so he'll get 2-3 more checks."

We haven't cashed the checks he has gotten so far. You can't endorse disability checks to someone else, so I can't deposit them in my account. Lut's driver's license expired in 2015, so he doesn't have photo id. I asked the rep if we can put the existing checks on the debit card when it arrives. Rep: "No! But any bank will cash them, even if he doesn't have an account. They're federal checks."

I told Lut, "We need to get you a valid id. We should do this today, if the DMV will take your old driver's license as proof of id to give you a new non-driver's id. Before your appointment because we won't have time afterwards."

So Lut got in the shower while I went online to see what he needed. A birth certificate, which we didn't know where it was, and proof of residency, which the uncashed checks should work for. It didn't say about using an expired ID to get a new ID. I called, and it went to voice mail, so I left a message. I sent a message through the online form, too.

I told Lut that I wasn't going to drag him to the DMV until I knew whether or not this would work. At 10:30, I got a call from the plumbing service: "We have someone who should be able to get there in 20-25 minutes, which is right at the end of your window, I know ... "

I said okay; it didn't seem likely that the DMV would get back to me in time for us to get a new ID anyway.

At 11:15, I figured the plumber wasn't coming and turned on the dishwasher.

At 11:30, the plumber showed up, and I turned off the dishwasher so he could work. It took him 20 minutes to install the shower head. By 12:30, he'd managed to get the old garbage disposal uninstalled. I shrugged and left him there alone to finish it. I think the chances a guy from a service would steal from me are near-zero. The main disadvantage is that there is a much better chance that some seldom used thing will turn up missing and I will wonder "Was it him?" -_- Even though it won't be.

Appointment went as normal. Lut's platelets are up for a change. \o/ But his white blood cell count is still down. Welp. They gave him his chemo shot. Next week will probably be the last of those, as he's going to the care of the bone marrow transplant team instead.

At 2:15 (!) the plumber called to let me know he'd installed the garbage disposal and .. the plumbing part worked? "It ran for half a second and then stopped. I think there's a problem with the switch. I'm very sorry, but I'm not an electrician."

Me: sor that's $400 to not fix the problem ARGH.

After finishing with cancer center, we went home to wait for the social worker. She showed up a little after 4, instead of at 3:30. We filled out the Medicaid app and assembled what we could of supplemental documents they'd want. They wanted a birth certificate too. Social worker: "You can order one online for $31.50 and it'll arrive in a few days."

So after she Ieft, I started to apply for a birth certificate online. This went smoothly for several steps. Then it asked me for his parents' full names.

Lut's father deserted the family when he was seven.

"... do you know your father's full name?"

Lut: "Nope."


Next plan: tear house apart looking for birth certificate.

Lut thought it was probably in the four cubic feet of solid paper jammed into the two drawers near his computer. I pulled out ALL the papers. I dumped 2/3rds of them in his lap, and took the rest -- most of the folders and envelopes and stuff -- into the living room to look through.

Fifteen minutes later, I actually found it.

*does all the happy dances*

After this, I decided to cook dinner. Once in the kitchen, I realized I'd never re-started the dishwasher, and flipped the switch for it.

Nothing happened.

I fiddled with knob and dishwasher lock a few times, and then started cursing the plumber roundly for not only not getting me a working dishwasher but also breaking my dishwasher.

Then I decided that, before I finished freaking out and exploded on the phone at the service, I would check to see if dishwasher & garbage disposal had their own circuit and it had flipped.

It had.

I went back upstairs and dishwasher worked again.

After the dishwasher finished, I tried the garbage disposal switch.

Nothing happened.

Oh well. I flipped it on and off a few times because why not --

-- and on the sixth flip it ran.


It's run a couple of times since so ... maybe it works fine now? I got nothin'.

I wrote a few hundred words in what was left of the evening, and talked to John on the phone for a bit, and played a few games with Terrycloth. Then went to bed early because Lut had a super-early appointment downtown.

Google said the drive would take 21 minutes. I alloted 45. It took 28 to get to the hospital, 3 to find parking, and 12 to get from the parking spot to the actual office where the appt was. So we got there about 2 minutes early.

And then they asked if we'd gotten paperwork in the mail to fill out. x_x

So we filled out 20 pages of new paperwork and saw the two youngest and most attractive doctors I've ever met. They were rehab specialists, and did lots of tests on Lut's reflexes/strength/sensitivity etc. He was feeling pretty good this morning, and did fairly well on the tests. The doctors gave some advice on exercising more (this is becoming critically important to Lut's chances here.) And they cleared him to continue with the bone marrow transplant process. \o/

Afterwards, Lut managed the walk back to the car. I took him home, went to work, and mailed in the Medicaid application.

I still have to mail the social security disability people about why he only gets $30. And get Lut a state id. But these things are fairly straightforward, at least. I might have to take a long lunch to get the state id settled, but I can stay late. Shouldn't need any more time off this week.

And this afternoon at work, my boss got back to me and said I can have unpaid time off as necessary. YAY!

Next week will be harder, but we will persevere.
rowyn: (Default)
 I played a lot of Yohoho! Puzzle Pirates this weekend, and didn't do a whole lot else. Y!PP released a new Steam-only ocean with some metagame changes, but it's mostly the same PP I knew and loved and may be hooked on again. I did cave and buy the DLC that keeps you from being nickle-and-dimed for various things. Although I may wind up nickle-and-dimed for Poker, but I dunno. Poker was a good way for me to make in-game currency many years ago, but (a) poker is boring and (b) they took away the high-stakes table and it's hard to make enough profit at the lower ones to justify the time and (c) you only really need in-game currency for the meta game and looks, neither of which I care about much. (To be honest, I care about dressing up my avatar more than I care about the metagame.)
Lut pointed out  that I was very successful In Y!PP at brutal PvP pillaging, but it was all at the poker table, not on the seas. This is ... very apt. It's not that I am particularly good at poker, it's more that most Y!PP players don't really understand how the odds work in Hold 'Em, and I have a high risk tolerance.
On Saturday, Lut and I went to Costco so we could try all the samples and because Lut hasn't gone to Costco in several years. (I got a Costco membership again because I have a car, but we cancelled the old one ages ago.) This was Lut's first shopping expedition in four months or so. He did pretty well! But I took him straight home after we left the store.
On Sunday, I spent some time on the phone, talking to my parents and to friends. John called, and it was good to hear from him again. I also wrote a thousand words of new material for book two of my duology, to expand one of the denouement scenes that I felt was kind of phoned-in. I got some more Puzzle Pirates in, too. Book Two is basically done at this point. Alinsa hasn't really started Book One layout, though, so there's no big rush to kick Book Two out the door. I will read my expanded scene one more time before I pronounce it done. Probably not gonna do anything else with it, though.
Feels weird to finish the second book so easily, when I struggled so long with editing the first. But the second book is a lot shorter, so there was (a) less to edit and (b) no pressure to find words to cut wherever I could.
Monday was All The Errands. I am officially a Reduced Hours employee at the bank, meaning I work 30-35 hours a week, instead of 36-40. My current schedule is Tue-Fri, 8 hours a day, with Mondays off because Lut has chemo then.
So my Monday was:
8:00: Call Disability folks, because they sent a letter asking us to and this is the only time Lut and I are both available at the hours specified. Leave message.
8:10: Call Disability again after realizing they stapled an unrelated person's notice to Lut's. Leave another message.  
9:30: leave house with Lut
9:40: stop at McDonald's for Lut's breakfast
10: Wait with Lut at cancer treatment center
10:15: Watch Lut get blood drawn
10:30: Go back with Lut to talk to nurse
11:00: Talk to oncologist with Lut. White blood cell count is high enough that he can get chemo, yay!
11:25: Leav Lut to get actual chemo. Go to DMV to get form for handicap placard for car.
11:50 Hang out at Panera with my Surface, and edit The Sun Etherium.
12:45: Go back to cancer center.
12:55: Drop off handicap placard form for doctor to sign. Wait for Lut to finish treatment.
1:15: Stop by Walmart to get frozen veggies for me and baby asprin for Lut, because his next-step chemo treatment has a side effect of blood clots, so they want him to take a blood thinner.  
1:30: Stop for frozen custard.
1:40: Look in vain for a place that will sell me a replacement recycling bin because the  one we currently have is disintegrating.
2:10: Get home, chat with Lut about various things, put away groceries.  
3:00 sit down at computer.
3:15: doctor's office calls that DMV form is ready.
3:20: Get DMV form, go back to DMV, get in wrong line, get in right line, get called up. "Er ... Sorry, we can't accept the form without the disabled person being present, unless you're their spouse. But! Here's a form he can sign and then we don't need him."  
4:15 Get home. Fill out form, have Lut sign, and put it in mail, since it doesn't need to be done in person at all.
4:30-10; strip bed, do five loads of laundry, make bed, put away clean clothes. Also make dinner in there somewhere.
Doing laundry didn't take all of those last five and a half hours, but it definitely took a chunk out of them.
Tuesday, I got home to find yet more paperwork, including a ginormous form that Lut and I already filled out a month ago. The other form was from a law firm for my insurer, who wanted to sue someone so my insurer could get out of paying Lut's hospital bills. I wrote "none" on it a lot. SORRY INSURANCE COMPANY BUT YOU CAN'T SUE CANCER. I also swore disproportionately, because I am just really tired of dealing with bureaucracy plus cancer. Guys, I got to the end of my rope six weeks ago and it's just flailing and cursing now.
I started to fill out the ginormous form again with Lut, and quit after thirty minutes because guh. I figured I could finish it Wednesday night. I also got a request for a big packet of stuff to send for a book thing next month and it's like a ten day deadline and ahhhhhhh.
Oh, and I checked Lut's voice mail and he had a message from his neurologist's office that he needed a follow-up. Which I'd been wondering about. 
Wednesday morning, I called Disability again, and this time they answered! And didn't even tell me "we need to talk to Lut not you"!
Me: Hi, you sent a letter that we needed to call?
Social Worker: Oh, yes, we haven't gotten any of the forms back from you yet.
Me: ... I sent in everything, what are you missing?
SW: *pause* Oh, so you did.
Me: ... so do you still need us to fill out this ginormous form you mailed two days after the other letter?
SW: No, we got that. We just need stuff from the cancer center and the rehab place. I'll call them. Thanks!
Me: ... you're welcome? 
So I am not super-reassured but I'll go with it, I guess?
So I can just worry about assembling stuff for the book thing, which is cool, I promise, and I will tell you all more about it when I know more myself.
I also called neurologist's office:
Them: "we can see him this afternoon!"
Me: "... can I have a little more notice than that?"
Them:"Howabout Friday afternoon?"
Me: "Okay."
So I got that approved by my boss and told Lut.
Things are happening and I am getting stuff done on many fronts, almost as if I were a real adult and not an obvious imposter.
I had, briefly, lost my "fake adult" feeling while commuting twice daily to the hospital, but apparently it grows back. My brain keeps reminding me of all the things I haven't gotten done yet and I want to tell it JUST LET ME HAVE THIS OKAY?
rowyn: (worried)
Thank you, everyone, for your well-wishes. ♥

Lut's biopsy results came back yesterday and confirmed multiple myeloma. His oncologist started him on an antiviral yesterday, and today he stars chemotherapy and a steroid. The oncologist thinks that this has a good chance (70%+) of improving his situation, including his mental state.

His mental state has crumbled almost completely. He still knows who he is, and who I am, and that's about it. He's paranoid and delusional, and generally angry at everyone around him for holding him captive while we try to get him healthy enough to return to reality. x_x

The oncologist said it would be 6-9 weeks before we know if the chemotherapy is working. His nurse yesterday thought the steroids might have a beneficial effect on his mental state in the short term, like the next few days.

I hope so, because he's only gotten worse so far.

I looked through his gmail and found email addresses for three of his siblings, from 2009. I tried emailing them this morning to let them know. One of the addresses bounced. I don't know if the others are still active or not.

I have a rental car for a month. I think I should probably buy a car. I am not ready to face doing that yet, and I kind of need to.

In theory, he qualifies for Medicaid and disability, especially since we're not married. Since we're not married, I can't sign documents for him. He is neither lucid enough nor tractable enough to sign documents himself. I haven't figured out how I am supposed to get around this yet. I will talk to the hospital staff today and see if they know. The application form wants a bunch of medical specifics that I don't have anyway.


Jun. 28th, 2017 08:36 pm
rowyn: (tired)
Some time-consuming family health issues have left me flattened lately. And I don't want to talk about it, but I did want to say that this is why I haven't been posting Poll RPGs for the last few weeks. I've been doing some editing, but I don't seem to have much brain for writing new stories now. x_x

But all will be well, and all will be well, and all manner of thing will be well.

So posts will continue to be sporadic and at random and probably lengthy intervals. Y'all take care of yourselves. *hugs*
rowyn: (tired)
For most of my life, when my dreams have a memorable location, my brain uses a real building for the layout. Usually it's a house that I lived in, but sometimes it'll be a workplace or something. In the dream, the house I grew up in often stands in for some totally different place by dream logic: we're in a post-apocalyptic laboratory that oddly looks just like a 200 year old rambling three-story house. Architecture design is not my strong suit.

But over the last few years, I've had several dreams where I'm living in a house that my parents passed down to me. It's always the same place in my dreams, but it's not a real place that I've ever been to in waking life. In the dream, I am so convinced that this is a house that I grew up in that when I wake up, it'll take me a while to remember the house is fictional. Also, my parents are very much alive and not going to pass down a house to me, thank goodness.

I dreamed about it again last night. It was cluttered with stuff, like back-to-back dressers in the bedroom, as if it had already been furnished and then someone just jammed in the furniture from another house wherever they could fit it. That was an artifact of inheriting the house. It was huge, room after room after room, all of them with too much stuff. Two stories. There was a long balcony facing the backyard along the second floor, and a separate apartment in the house was sublet to other people. We shared the back balcony. The back balcony has an outdoor staircase going down to the backyard. The master bedroom had a partially sunken hot tub/bathtub, with padded sides. I would like to note that this would be a cool thing to have in real life, although not if it was going to leak the way the dream one did. Dream-Lut and I don't sleep in the master bedroom, because it's too crowded with stuff. We have a couple of rooms that are relatively decluttered and we mostly stick to them. In the dream I thought "I should get rid of this stuff we're not using and don't need, we'd have so much more space."

Anyway, they've not been a particularly interesting set of dreams otherwise. I just find it curious that my brain has finally devised its own set for a dream and now it keeps wanting to re-use that set instead of one of the real places I've been to.
rowyn: (cute)
I've been crossposting from Dreamwidth for a while, everything except The Moon Etherium; its autoposter can post to LJ or DW but not both. It crossposts from ladyrowyn.com/TME.

Like most of my friends, the recent change to Livejournal's TOS convinced me LJ was no longer a secure Internet home. It's been sliding that way for years, obviously. Just as obviously, I'm slow to take the hint. Leaving LiveJournal for Dreamwidth at this point is not so much "abandoning a sinking ship" as "abandoning a ship that already sunk and is a rotting shark-infested hulk at the bottom of the ocean for a different sunken ship. But this one's not rotting or shark-infested!"

It could sail, I'm sure, if it just made it to the surface.

But while I have zero confidence in LJ at this point, and no intention of modifying my content to conform to Russian law, I'm not deleting my LJ. Because I'm an American citizen, LJ's actions against me if they decide I'm violating their ToS, are pretty much limited to "delete my account". I don't see any reason to do that for them. As Xyzzysqrl put it, "I'll not give them the satisfaction of walking."

Besides, any resources they waste deciding that my writings about bisexuality and polyamory are a problem are resources not being used against some much more vulnerable Russian citizen, so fine. Bring it on.

It was LJ's 18th birthday yesterday. It makes me nostalgic for happier times on LJ, when it was a growing open-source platform about the free exchange of ideas.

LJ did an infographic for the occasion, with a stats block for users. It feels strange to crosspost this, or to post it at all, but I will anyway. It's been a long time. Maybe it deserves a marker.

#mylivejournal #lj18 #happybirthday

rowyn: (Me 2012)
Some time shortly after I moved to Kansas City -- so almost 20 years ago, I'd guess -- I visited my friends and relatives on the east coast. One of the things I wanted while I was out there was cheese blintzes. These are a kind of crepe wrapped about a filling of sweetened farmer's cheese. I love them and you can get good ones in restaurants on the east coast, and mediocre frozen ones in groceries, and you can't find them at all in the midwest. (Or they are horrible imitation cheese blintzes full of sorrow and despair, like the dreadful cottage-cheese-stuffed-pancakes that IHOP used to sell).

We went to one restaurant for breakfast that had a huge buffet, and my sister, Margaret, told me that they usually had blintzes out. But we went through the buffet and there weren't any.

So when the waiter came over to ask how we were doing, I asked if they had any blintzes. He told me he'd see what he could do. Several minutes later, he returned with a plate of them, to my delight and surprise.

My sister*, Margaret, commented afterwards, "That just made me realize that, if you want something, sometimes it helps if, in some fashion, you actually tell somebody that you do."

For whatever reason, this moment has stuck with me since then. I was thinking about it on Tuesday, because my department was buying pizza for all the associates on Wednesday, and the coordinator emailed me to ask what I wanted. Pizza is not my favorite food, although there are a few kinds that I like and one that is even sold by a pizza-delivery place. But my absolute favorite thing from a pizza-delivery place is Domino's "pasta in a bread bowl", which is, by the way, amazing. It's like pasta inside a deep-dish pan pizza. I get it with alfredo sauce and spinach and pineapple.

I am the only member of my department at my location, so I decided, what the heck, I will ask for the kind of thing I actually really like, even if it is complicated and not actually pizza. And I gave my pizza preference too, just in case.

The coordinator emailed me back: "I think we can get you your very favorite thing :)".

So that was my lunch Wednesday, and my lunch again Thursday because the thing is large and chock-full of about a billion calories (I think they baste the bread bowl with garlic butter or something. It is so delicious).

Anyway, it made me silly-happy to get the thing I wanted instead of a thing that would be merely okay. Sometimes it is high-maintenance to ask for what you want, but sometimes it works out just fine. ♥

* Technically, Margaret was my sister-in-law at the time. She and my brother have since gotten divorced, which happens and my brother has a new wife and I love her too. But I am keeping Margaret so she's still my sister.
rowyn: (worried)
I went to Starbucks on Sunday. The weather was iffy for bike riding: small chance of showers before 2PM, than larger chance of rain/thunderstorm after 2PM. So I left the house a little before 11AM and planned to get home by 2PM.

The three-mile ride to Starbucks is a lot longer when it's cold and damp and I haven't regularly biked outside in several weeks. An eight-mile ride to Panera (sixteen both ways) was out of the question, given the probability of rain and the narrow window in which I was likely to avoid the worst of it.

At Starbucks, I ordered chai with no water, on the advice of a Twitter friend. It was very crowded at Starbucks, so I took the only empty table, a small high one in a corner, with a man at the adjacent table also using a laptop. We exchanged a few amiable remarks about the crowd and then devoted ourselves to our respective electronic devices. After five or ten minutes, the man left, and I had the corner to myself for a few minutes, until a different man approached. He said, "Good morning," in a friendly way, and offered his hand.

"Hi there!" I replied, cheerfully, because I am not adverse to a few minutes of random chitchat with strangers at a coffee shop. I shook his hand.

"What I am about to say will change your life!" he told me. He sat down, shifted to close and leaned back to look at my laptop screen.

My categorization instantly went from "friendly stranger" to "scammer." I am not one of those people who has been so conditioned to be polite that they will be nice to anyone, no matter the circumstances. I am fine with being rude. "Excuse me," I told him. "I am very busy." I changed the angle of my body and my laptop so that I could use it without him seeing my screen, and then I steadfastly ignored him. Or more accurately, did not visibly react to anything else he did.

He muttered something like, "Fine, I'm never gonna tell you", to which I thought great, please shut up and leave me alone. He continued to mutter at me for a few minutes, sitting sideways in his seat so that he could face me. Then he shifted to face forward, and started loudly telling a group of three women three tables away that someone had taught Jessica to be racist. I don't know who Jessica is or what she did that was racist. I am pretty sure that the three women he was ranting at did not know either.

At this point, one of the Starbucks baristas caught my eye with a look of 'do you need help?' and I tried to signal 'HEAVENS PLEASE YES' without actually saying anything or acknowledging Creepy Guy's existence. I was fussing with my bag to get out my headphones and iPod in an effort to get a bonus to my Ignore Harassment roll.

The barista leaned against Creepy Guy's table and told him, firmly, that he was being too loud, and he wasn't even a customer, and he needed to stop annoying the patrons.

Creepy Guy shut up for about five minutes. I had my headphones on by this point. I'd been trying to get some writing done but was making very little progress because DRAMA. After five minutes of peace, Creepy Guy decided he needed to talk at me again and started talking loudly and waving his hand in front of my laptop screen. I turned the volume up on my iPod. He touched my arm. I told him not to touch me again. He subsided for a bit.

Then he started fussing with the chair opposite his table. He positioned it so that it filled the space between his table and mine, and then put his legs on it, which had the effect of boxing me in between my table and his legs. I gave up on waiting for him to GO AWAY and left by shoving my table out from the wall so I could sidle past it. I sat down at a different table, because some spot of pride in me felt that, well, I'm not bothering anyone and I shouldn't have to be the one to leave. Also, it was sprinkling outside and I was hoping for a break in the weather before I left.

Creepy Guy remained a few minutes at the same table. Brave Barista approached him again, presumably to say "QUIT IT." Creepy Guy followed me to new table, tried to talk to me, touched my arm again, which got me to say "Don't touch me" again without me ever taking my earbuds out or hearing anything being said. Brave Barista had More Words for him, then went back to work.

A minute or two after that, Creepy Guy finally left.

After Creepy Guy left, Brave Barista came back to my table. "I want to apologize for that man -- "

"Oh bless you for finally driving him off," I told him.

"Yes, well, I'm afraid he's been around a lot lately and bothering the customers. We'd called the cops, and I was actually trying to stall him until they arrived so that he could be banned." Brave Barista gave me a little Starbucks gift card and apologized again.

I did a little writing. Maybe twenty minutes later, Creepy Guy returned to the Starbucks, but he didn't approach me. He talked to some other patrons and bought a sandwich. Brave Barista, whose name proved to be Dan, kept an eye on him.

I'd been tweeting about this whole episode as it unfolded, and I started to tweet "Why can't I meet weird strangers who are funny at the coffee shop, like Ursula Vernon does, instead of weird Creepy Ranting Guy?"

And then I stopped, and thought about some of Ursula Vernon's tales of interacting with strangers. Some of them are genuinely merely bizarre, and some are just funny. (There is really no way to relate the star-crossed love of a rooster and a turkey without it being funny.) But most of them are funny as much because of the way she tells it as because of what happened, and some of them are pretty awful once you take them out of the context of "Ursula Vernon boggling humorously at how is this actually happening to/around her." If I'd listened to what Creepy Guy had said, and if I'd had her gift for humor, I might have been able to showcase his rantings as "weird and funny" too, instead of "ZOMG WHEN WILL THE COPS FINALLY GET HERE".

So I commented on that fact instead. Ursula replied with, "Yes, but that's my coping mechanism for creepy things, so it's okay! We all have different coping mechanisms!"

Creepy Guy did come back to sit next to my table again. I don't know what he said, because I turned up the music as soon as he returned. He reeked of alcohol now.

Not long after, two cops actually showed up and bracketed Creepy Guy while he was sitting two feet away from me. I paused my music to listen as they took his name -- somewhat dubious on whether or not he was telling the truth about his name -- and told him he was banned from the Starbucks, and he'd better not already be banned from the plaza because if he was they were going to take him in. They escorted him out of the shop.

I would call this a victory for my "Ignore Them Until They Go Away" method, except that I had to leave myself ten minutes later, to dodge the anticipated storm.

But the thing that stuck with me from the whole incident was that realization about how the line between "funny" and "distressing" is in significant part based on your attitude and the way you tell the story. It also made me realize that I cope with awkward/uncomfortable/creepy by trying to ignore it and carry on with the thing I wanted to do. It's the same coping mechanism I developed in grade school to deal with bullies. In fact, Creepy Guy had NOTHING on the kids who harassed me in junior high. He wouldn't even be in the running. By childhood standards, this barely even qualified as an attempt at harassment. Twelve year-old me would be so jealous that this is the most obnoxious stranger I've dealt with this decade. SO JEALOUS.

I don't know how to tell this story so that it's funny, but I am thinking about that now. I don't think I have the right temperament to treat this kind of awkward/unpleasant situation with a sense of humor (never mind having the comedic gift to make it actually funny). Still, it's an interesting thought.
rowyn: (studious)
I will be at WorldCon this year! As I've mentioned a couple of times before, and probably should've mentioned again before the day it starts. Oops.

I'm on two panels:

Love And Trophies: Friday evening 7-8PM
Austen and Shelley: Sunday afternoon 1:2PM

Other than that, I'll be wandering around doing usual con things, starting this evening. (I will not be staying late into the night at the con tonight or tomorrow, but might be on Friday and/or Saturday)  If you'll be there and would like to meet up with me, you can message me here or on Twitter -- I'll have my phone with me and will check in regularly, I'm sure (I get notifications on it and am as likely to see them as phone calls or texts.)

Hope to see some of you there!
rowyn: (sledgehammer)
So, since my ceiling collapsed, I've contacted six different contractors.  I have thus far gotten exactly zero estimates. Response has been:

  • Two contractors who called me on 7/7 and said they would call back to make an appointment. Never heard from them again.

  • Two contractors that I left messages for and never heard from.

  • One contractor that made an appointment, showed up on time, told Lut how he'd recommend fixing it, and did not give Lut a price. He said he would write up an estimate for me and send it.  That was a week ago. Never heard from him again.

And then there's Crestwood Painting, whom I'm going to call out because I am especially unimpressed by them.  On Thursday morning, 7/7, I used their web form to make an appointment.

Yesterday, I got a confirmation email from them that they would be out, to remind me to be home for the appointment at 1:30PM.

Today, three hours before the appointment, I got an emai saying "oh, your job is too small for us. We're cancelling the appointment."

Because at no point in the last 11 days could anyone look at my message and see what my request said.  Bear in mind that they didn't get any new information from me: they are responding to my original request for an appointment.

Also, PRO TIP: do not have your system send reminder for appointments you're not going to keep. >_<

In the meantime: I have no freakin' idea how to get my ceiling fixed, since "contacting firms that say they do ceiling repair" is obviously not the way.

I'm gonna try my friend who used to work in construction.  Maybe he can tell me. Oh, I could try calling my insurance agent, too.  (I have a high deductible so I doubt insurance will pay for anything, but perhaps they'll know people who don't just say they do repairs but, y'know, ACTUALLY DO THEM.)

Right now, Terry's suggestion of "just never look up" is looking better all the time.


Jul. 10th, 2016 09:50 pm
rowyn: (Me 2012)
This weekend I:

  • Ran three loads of laundry

  • Put away two of them (the last one is towels and can wait in the dryer until the next time I happen to go downstairs).

  • Put anti-flea powder on the carpeted stairs to the basement and vacuumed them. My indoor cat has fleas.  WHY. I got the anti-flea stuff from the vet for the back of her neck 6 weeks ago and have given her two treatments so far, but the fleas Will Not Stop.  I am keeping them in check by flea-combing her daily and vacuuming the whole house every day or two, and have sprayed several times. But the basement stairs are attached to the area where I keep the litterboxes, so I hadn't done them. When I did laundry I realized the steps were flea-ridden.  UGH.

  • Scheduled an appointment with a contractor to get an estimate for replacing the fallen ceiling section.

  • Started and mostly finished a cover painting for The Moon Etherium.

  • Watched Disc 1 of SyFy's "The Expanse".

  • Went out to eat on Saturday

  • Wrote a hundred words of Birthright

It's that last one that's making me feel like I did nothing at all this weekend. Spending ten hours on a painting doesn't count for my brain. Stoppit, brain.  Just stop.

It's not that late on a Sunday but I kinda want to just go to bed.

Anyway: no new disasters so far this weekend! \o/ So there's that. 
rowyn: (studious)
I was not totally idle while I was visiting friends (Sophrani and [livejournal.com profile] kagetsume) and my parents for a week, because my father goes for a two-mile walk every morning and I went with him.

Still, lots of rich restaurant food and less exercise than usual, so a mediocre month for that. Also, my bike broke at the end of the month. -_-

I put together about half of an outline for The Sun Etherium while I was visiting my parents. I was not happy with what I had so far and didn't feel like it was gelling, though. So I put it aside and hauled out  Birthright again towards the end of June, and wrote perhaps 4000 words of it.

I had a good conversation with [livejournal.com profile] alinsa about the problems I had with the climax of Birthright, where she gave me some enormously useful ideas. \o/ I may actually finish the draft this time! (Let's not talk about the edits. *shudder*)

The Business of Writing
I contacted two different artists about doing the cover for The Moon Etherium. Both asked for more details about it. Neither got back to me after I provided details, not even to say "No, thank you". In other news, trying to hire an artist is every bit as awful as I expected it to be. -_- Hey, [livejournal.com profile] okojosan, I don't suppose you want to do a fantasy/romance book cover?

I wish I could mock up a cover image that I liked even as much as I like the cover for RA, but no luck so far. I will probably try another professional or two, then give up after they also ignore me and use one I do myself. v_v

I did a lot more editing on The Moon Etherium while I was in North Carolina and before. I need to do a final read-through and there are a few more changes I might make. I decided to let the book lie for a while before that. Maybe a month. We'll see if I make it that long.

Not a lot. A couple of pencil sketches that I liked, a few color doodles that I didn't, another cover mock-up for The Moon Etherium.

My mother addicted me to Spider Solitaire (it's more interesting than regular solitaire, I promise).

I plaed some Hold 'Em poker with my father's poker group, which was fun. ♥

I spent a week in North Carolina visiting friends & family!

My vacation was surprisingly relaxing. Usually I come back from vacations feeling like I need another vacation, but this one was mellow and I had lots of time to myself to rest and play with electronics. And edit my book. It was good.

Home has not been so good, what with everything falling apart. -_-

Goals for coming month
I decided to do Camp NaNo and set my goal at 20,000 words on Birthright. I'm at 9500 now, so that's going fine. Also, I am back to counting words, since I did that with The Moon Etherium and it worked great and even came out at estimated length.

In other news, I now consider a thousand words a day to be a modest, easily-achieved goal. Kind of "minimum effort if I want to consider myself to be trying at all". So that's a thing.

Depending on how writing Birthright goes, I may or may not get back to The Moon Etherium for my penultimate editing pass. We'll see.


Jul. 6th, 2016 08:46 am
rowyn: (downcast)
The man who put my lunchbag on the bus told me that he saw someone else looking through it, and didn't know if anything had been taken. "That's all right," I told him. "There's nothing of value in it but these." I waggled my leashed keys. "Which are only valuable to me."

This morning, I checked the top pocket of it, where I sometimes keep $20 for emergencies. I'd thought it was empty because I'd spent it without replacing it. But no, there was $20 still in it. Apparently, whoever went through it was only looking for identifying info. ♥


I called Rick at the bike shop at 4PM yesterday. "I forgot to mention, but the back tire had fallen off the wheel when I tried to change it and discovered the broken axle (or broke it). Will you check and make sure the tire and/or tube is okay?"

"It's holding air fine," he assured me. "Been inflated for two hours, no problems."

He repeated this when I picked it up 90 minutes later.

This morning when I got it out of the garage: completely flat.


I kind of feel like the universe is telling me, "Quit dreaming about retirement, quit living in fantasy worlds, and just PAY ATTENTION to the real one. Like a real adult."

I don't know. I've been trying to keep a positive attitude but it's wearing on me. v_v
rowyn: (worried)
On Saturday or Sunday, Lut commented, "Is it just me, or is that crack in the ceiling getting bigger?"

I looked up. A crack ran much of the length of the ceiling over Lut's side of the den. "I don't know. I don't remember it." I didn't think too much about it: cracks happen sometimes. House shifts or whatever.

Tuesday night, as I sat at my computer and my cat, Kali, sat beside me in Lut's seat, I heard distant fireworks. Guess some people aren't done with the fourth yet, I thought. I felt bad for my cat. Then there was a sound like hail. My cat looked up, glanced at the window, and the hail intensified. Kali bolted from the room, as is her wont whenever strange noises are coming from the sky. She's sure it's going to fall on her.

Then a six foot by three foot section of the ceiling collapsed over Lut's seat.


OK then.

It rained down in chunks of plaster and sheet rock. We have about 8 garbage bags partially full of the stuff now. "Partially full" because it is heavy. I'd guess that section of ceiling was 150-200 lbs of stuff.

My cat's lifetime of paranoia about the sky falling on her? NOW TOTALLY JUSTIFIED. If Lut or I had been sitting under it, we'd never have gotten out of the way in time. Kali: NO PROBLEM. She was out of the room and probably halfway down the stairs before the first chunk fell.

We have it mostly cleaned up now, though bits of dust are still settling from the ceiling boards. No signs of water damage. According to the internet, apparently ceilings just spontaneously collapse some times.


I will keep an eye out for other cracks. There aren't any in the rest of the house. I checked.

I leave you with a small section of the kind of wreckage that covered half of the room. All the electronics seemed to have survived, so that's good.


Anyone know a good plasterer?
rowyn: (exercise)
Today was the day I tried to fix my gaffes from the weekend.

I called Enterprise this morning: they had found my phone, but I'd have to pick it up: they wouldn't drop it off for me. Rats.

My second thought was to rent a car for an hour, have Enterprise pick me up, then take the car to get my bike, drop off the car, and bike home. But Enterprise does not rent cars by the hour, and the one-day fee seemed excessive to my needs. Blah. My new plan became "take bus to the bike shop, then bike the 2.5 miles to rental car place, then bike the 3.6 miles home". This is a short ride by my standards: my usual after-work ride is around 10 miles.

I brought my backup phone to work, hoping I could write on it, but its keyboard is in terrible shape, with many keys often unresponsive. I wrote a few hundred words using the virtual keyboard, but it was just too painful to do any real work on.

I left work at 4PM, so I'd have some slack if I missed the connecting bus. The best possible time was 38 minutes, but I took an hour instead. I was ridiculously anxious through the bus trip. Not having my phone and not being able to confirm things on the fly with the net made me nervous. When I finally got off the second bus, I got half a block away before realizing I didn't have my lunch bag. I hurried back to the bus and made the driver wait while I tried to retrieve it. The bus was full of helpful people trying to soothe the crazy lady who didn't understand how buses worked and lost stuff. One nice woman who'd been sitting next to me at the bus stop exclaimed: "Oh no! Was that black bag yours? You left it on the bench at the last stop."

Oh. Well, kind of a shame she didn't ask me about it at the stop, but hey, at least I knew where I'd left it now. I thanked her sincerely and let the poor bus escape me at last. My lunch bag had nothing of value in it except for the key to the bank and the key fob, which would probably be expensive and annoying to replace if I didn't recover it. :/

I got my bike from the shop, and a new helmet because I'd forgotten mine and I was supposed to replace it anyway, and Rick threw in a bungee cord so I could tie down my purse, because I hadn't brought the bike basket along when I gave him the bike.

Then I set off for the rental car shop!

Within a mile, I already felt kind of unwell and nauseated, surprisingly so. It was a hot day, 95 or so, but I often bike in that kind of heat and it's never been a problem unless I've gone for several miles without shade. But I made it to the rental car shop without incident, collected my phone, and set off to Wal-Mart to see if my bag would still be where I left it at the stop. Even with going back to the bus stop, the whole trip would still only be 7-8 miles: again, shorter than I usually do.

I started to feel faint as I biked up a long gentle slope a half-mile or so shy of Wal-Mart. Maybe I should catch the bus at the Wal-Mart stop, and skip the last 2-3 mile ride to home, I thought.

In the last blocks before the bus stop, I started talking to G-d, which is a thing I do now and then and don't usually write about. I'm not entirely sure why I don't write about it. Because it's navel-gazey? Because I'm not properly religious? Because don't want to inflict the disquieting experience of listening to other people talk about their take on religion on my friends? These are pretty good reasons. But I will write about this bit anyway, because it amused me.

"So, hey G-d," I said, out loud because I don't care if passing cars think I'm a crazy person. "It's been a long time, and I have no right whatsoever to ask a favor of you because this entire situation is my fault and the result of me not paying enough attention to what I'm doing and the things I'm supposed to take care of. But I would still really appreciate it if my lunch bag would be where I left it. And if not, that's okay too. It only costs money, and that's what money is for." I gave a little sigh. "It seems I've been saying a lot of that lately. Anyway, that's enough about me. How are you? Work going all right?"

I don't think G-d talks to me any more than he talks to everyone else in the world, which is to say "all of the time but usually we don't understand and even when we think we're listening, we've got a good chance of getting it wrong." I didn't hear an answer, but I started grinning anyway, with this sense of G-d spreading his arms: "Hey, I've got the best job in the world!"

I laughed. "You're only saying that to cheer me up. You've got a terrible job. People are always asking You for stuff." And then I smiled more, because it didn't work. I couldn't picture G-d moping. "Okay, fine. God's job is great." I laughed. "And yes, the cheering-me-up part is totally working."

I arrived at the bus stop. My bag was not on the bench where I'd been sitting. A man standing nearby said to me, "Are you looking for your bag? I put it on the bus." He pointed to a bus waiting to leave. I marveled at my timing, hopped on, retrieved my bag, and thanked the nice man.

At this point, I should've loaded my bike on the bus's bike rack and taken the bus home, but I thought I was feeling up to biking the last few miles. This was ... true in the sense that I did in fact bike the last few miles to home, and false in the sense that I had to stop three times to rest because I was worried I was going to fall off my bicycle No idea why this ride was so grueling. Ugh.

But I made it, and I have all my possessions back, and I'm feeling back to normal. And feeling grateful to all the people who are watching out for me when I'm not. ♥
rowyn: (Me 2012)
Lut and I don't have a working car, so I rent a car about once a month so we can get groceries and run errands. During most of the year, I get a car from Friday afternoon to Monday morning, because Enterprise has a $10-a-day special from autumn through spring for Friday-to-Monday rentals.

But they don't run this special from Memorial Day through Labor Day, so I only get a car for one day during the summer weekends. When I rented a car at the beginning of June, I got it from 2PM Saturday to 2PM Sunday, because I remembered my local Enterprise was open from noon to 3PM on Sunday, so I could get a ride home at 2PM.

I arrived at 1:45PM and discovered they'd changed their Sunday hours to 10AM to 1PM.


I drove home, dismantled my bike, put it in the trunk, drove back, put my bike back together, and biked home.

So this weekend, I reserved the car from noon Saturday to noon Sunday, so I'd be sure to arrive before they closed. On Saturday, I packed up my dysfunctional bike and dropped it off at the bike shop. I really only needed to leave the rear tire, but it turned out he was closing early that day because of the holiday weekend. So I left the whole bike so I could go back for it during the week by bus or whatever, and bike home on it.

On Sunday, Lut and I went out for breakfast and to get a last few things from the store. At breakfast, I commented to Lut that I could walk home from the rental car place if I had to, but it'd be an annoyingly long walk and I didn't have the bike to make it now. So I really needed to be sure to return the car before 1PM.

When I left the house to return the car, I checked messages on my phone, and put my phone in one of the cup holder slots during the drive over. At the rental car lot, I parked, locked the car, unlocked the car, did a once-over to of trunk, backseat, and front seat to make sure I'd gotten everything. I noticed my rental agreement curled in one of the cup holders, so I pulled it out. I locked the car again and went over to the building's front entrance.

It was locked.

I checked the side entrance. CLOSED FOR HOLIDAY JULY 3-JULY 4.


Guess I can walk home. It's only 4-5 miles, I thought. (Turns out to be even shorter -- 3.6 miles). I dropped the car keys in the return slot, and started towards the street. I reached for my phone: I can write while I walk!

Except that it's not in my pocket, or my purse.

Did you notice what I didn't grab out of the car when I did my final check? YES THAT WOULD BE MY PHONE.


Grumbling to myself that I wanted a do-over for the last minute, I started across the street. I kind of had to go to the bathroom, and there was a gas station a hundred yards in the opposite direction. But I didn't really have to go yet, and there was another gas station about halfway between the rental car branch and my house, so I figured I'd stop there.

Determined to make SOME use of the time even if I couldn't write, I set about plotting the next several scenes of Birthright in my head. I thought about exactly what needs to happen, and in what order, and how the climax will unfold.

About thirty minutes later, I got to the gas station. The clerk told me they don't have a bathroom.



I walked the rest of the way home, plotting out bits of novel and actually pretty happy, because I could finally see what it was that I needed to do next, and where everything had been leading. My toes started to develop sore spots -- I dunno what it is with my big toes now, but if I walk more than about 1.5 miles, I start to get blisters around the bottom joint of the big toe on each foot. I noticed this when I was visiting my parents, because my father and I went for a 2-mile walk each morning.

When I got home, I commented on this confluence of unfortunate events to Lut, and he said, "That's the kind of sequence that would make me furious if it happened to me."

But I'm actually in a good mood because I KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT IN BIRTHRIGHT NOW. I can write it! Maybe even quickly!

So the first thing I did (well, after using the bathroom), before I even wrote this, was write dump a detailed outline for the next events out of my head and into a text file. I have 950 words of outline now. Yeep.

Now I will take a little break to have a snack and relax, and then: MOAR WRITING! \o/
rowyn: (tired)
So the dentist visit was to check on a tooth that has been checked on three times in the last eight months. In November, he filled a cavity in it and warned me that it might be dying. "But I don't think so, because it would hurt a lot more."

It mostly stopped hurting after that, but I went back a week or two later because it'd started again. He filed down a high spot and I left. Five months later, it started hurting again when I chewed on that side. I went in, had the filling filed down again, he warned again that it might be a problem at the root "but it would hurt probably hurt more, so hopefully not." It stopped hurting again.

Last week, it started hurting when chewing on that side again. It still didn't hurt much -- like a 1. It had never risen above a 2.T he top felt sharp, like a broken edge. I made an appointment yesterday for today.

It had fractured down the middle.

So he poked about to see if he could salvage it with a root canal, but nope. Dead tooth. He extracted it. Now I have a giant hole and a mouth full of wet gauze and a dentist convinced I have insane pain tolerance.

I wish I had insane pain tolerance. The giant hole hurts a lot more than the tooth had. It will probably be a week or two healing.

I am at Walmart, waiting for the three different prescriptions to be filled: painkillers, antibiotic pills, antibiotic rinse. Then I guess I'll go back to work. Today is going to be awful anyway. I might as well get paid for some of it.

April 2019



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