Australian celebrity: I said those shockingly racist things because I was on painkillers.
Me: Pssh, I've been on strong painkillers for weeks, and I'm yet to say anything racist.
Also me: WHAT IF I HAVE AND NO ONE TOLD ME?!?!?
Still me: No, no, my friends would be the first people to call me out. I hope.
Me again: Also, maybe I should go to the doctor about this pain?
And ... me: Don't be ridiculous.
Tags:and dreamwidth, lolstralia, chronic illness
The advantage of NaNo is that you don't have the luxury of sitting around being paralysed by all the things you don't know, and just writing helps narrow down the things you need to learn. And, for example, no matter how much you might want to print out a series of incredibly detailed maps of the Hoddle Grid c1910, then annotate them based on archives of The Argus until they're more or less current to 1924, those shenanigans will just have to wait until December.
Helpfully, my main character is no longer the nebulous blob of vague likability and stereotypical spunkiness she was when I first had this idea. I mean, she's still not what you'd call multi-dimensional, but this is Draft Zero, a chance to outline, get to know the characters and see where the plot takes them. (You could call it Outlining Via Pantsing.) She's getting there, and so am I.
- I've worked out that the terrible nerve pain I've been getting in my hands for the last few weeks is psychosomatic and stress related. I've turned into the Mrs Bennet of legal assistants.
I have a job interview on Friday, which I won't discuss in a public post except to say that, while it looks like an interesting role, the potential for dysfunction is quite high, so this is much about me interviewing the employer as vice versa.
- Aldi's $5 rosé is indeed excellent.
- Mary S. Lovell's book on the opium wars is informative and often entertaining, but also full of patently untrue statements, like "nobody in this day and age is still angry about British imperialism." Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh ...
(I was going to say, has she even met Tumblr, but aside from the strong likelihood that the answer is no, I will never forget the post about Empress Dowager Cixi that said she was a terrible and problematic leader because she refused to let the British take control of China.)
- today I bought milk that was already sour, and cheese that was already going off, and earbuds that just plain didn't work. I am possibly cursed. Although I exchanged the earbuds with no dramas, so maybe it's just random bad luck that's mainly attributable to a probable overnight fridge failure.
A couple of weeks ago: the gastroenterologist said my bloodwork indicated I was having a major arthritic flare-up.
YESTERDAY: I go, "Hey, I'm tired all the time and routine activity wears me out, I wonder if this is related to the arthritis?"
Sometimes I'm a bit slow, okay? Although Google tells me denial is a common feature of flare-ups. I keep going, "Well, I'm not in that much pain, really, just [insert laundry list of aches]." (But seriously, I've been in much worse pain before, which is why I didn't really notice the rest.)
Anyway, today I'm going to take it easy, work on a few things, tidy up a bit, and play Mass Effect. I took the weekend off gaming, on account of how Harbinger kept killing me, and that's kind of embarrassing since he's a bit crap. Although his whole "You will know pain, Shepard" routine always makes me smile, because it puts me in mind of Na'Toth and G'Kar's cheery "You will know fear." / "And you will know pain." / "And then you will die." routine in early Babylon 5.
And that makes me smile, because it reminds me how ME and B5 are very similar in a lot of ways, and B5 would have been so much better if Jane Shepard had replaced Commander Sinclair in season 2. Not to mention the passive-aggressive rivalry between the Minbari and Asari for the crown of Best and Most Wisest Space Elves Who, Okay, Sometimes Snap and Kill a Lot of People.
On the other hand, if we merged the two universes, between the Krogan and the Narn, the entire galaxy would be drowned in Sad Lizard Tears. (Krogan cry on the inside, okay?)
Exciting fact! Coeliac disease is also an auto-immune disorder, and is closely linked with rheumatoid arthritis, and also every other condition in my immediate family.
For now, I am to be entirely gluten-free for six weeks, then have more blood tests, and (she thinks) I will be able to have occasional amounts of gluten and not worry too much about cross-contamination, etc.
Having been gluten-free for four days, I have to say that I have not suffered a single digestion malfunction, and I'm in slightly less pain.
I'm trying really, really hard not to be that person who talks about her food intolerances all the time, but it's a challenge! So far I've discovered that gluten-free bread is much nicer than it was a couple of years ago, although one slice does not make enough toast soldiers for the perfect boiled egg. And I'm really going to miss dumplings and steamed buns.
(Luckily, I'm not really into cakes or biscuits any more. And gluten-free pies seem quite nice so far!)
In matters unrelated to my digestion, I'm sloooooooooooooooooooooooooooowly catching up on Welcome to Night Vale. I feel quite disconnected from the fandom, though, because not only am I quite uninterested in Cecil/Carlos, but I don't even like Cecil that much.
See, WtNV is, on some levels, a satire of America. And Cecil represents those parts of the mainstream media which congratulate themselves on insightful and truthful journalism, while they're actually shoring up problematic power structures. This was driven home in ... I think it might have been "Eternal Scouts", where the city council decides that death is a privilege earned through productivity, and there's the whole death-as-health-care-analogue routine. I find it hard to like a character who's sincerely spouting Republicanesque opinions, you know?
Also, more generally about WtNV, because the only voice we hear is Cecil, I just find the whole thing quite ... dudely. I know Mara Wilson and Jasika Nicole turn up later, and there are women being discussed, but they aren't exactly there, you know? And I struggle with media that's devoid of women.
Media that's not devoid of women: Mass Effect. I feel a bit bad about my decision to have Shepard stay faithful to Liara through this full playthrough, because I just love Garrus so much. On the other hand, do I love him as a pixel-friend, or as a pixel-love interest? Who knows?
When I'm done with Pointy Cheekbone/Tight Bun Jane Shepard, I'm going to have a go with Joan Shepard, The One Who Looks Like Lucy Liu, and she might get a Garrus romance. If she's lucky.
Arm: healing! I mean, that's how I interpret the nagging itch. Most of the redness has gone, too.
Ankle: sore! I think I overdid it yesterday. For one thing, we control our audio with foot pedals, and it turns out I'm strongly right-footed. And, yes, it's the right ankle that's sprained. Even so, it's not unbearable.
Ovaries: HAH! I HAVEN'T COMPLAINED ABOUT THESE YET! I've had nagging pains in my right side since before Christmas, which at first I put down to some kind of phantom gallbladder syndrome, but I finally went to the doctor last week, and he poked and I yelped, and apparently it's probably something in the ovary department. His money's on a cyst. At least, unlike a surprising number of my friends, I made it through my US trip without an ovary literally exploding.
White Lotus fic: remember how I was crowing that my prompt was exactly what I wanted to write? Yeah, not so much. I have 1014 words, none of which relate to the specific prompt except in terms of the pairing, but I'm sure I can fix that before it's due on, um, this weekend.
TV: Parks & Recreation is so amazing, you guys. Well, not the first season. I had a dream last night that I went back to watch the first season, and it was brilliant. Then I woke up and remembered how terrible the pilot was. But seasons 2-5 of Parks & Rec are so amazing, you guys. The Carrie Diaries is less amazing, what with the post-pilot episodes so far being a bit generic, but I think it has the capacity to improve. If not, at least it's a chance to admire Freema Agyeman in a series of improbable and terrible outfits. Finally, Breaking Bad is quite brilliant, although I'm quite mystified by all the people who say Walt crosses the line in season 4 or 5. Were they not paying attention to the attempted marital rape in the season 2 premiere? Anyway, I'm convinced that, however the timeline works out, Walter White is actually the son of Pete Campbell and Peggy Olsen that was given up for adoption. Turns out that Pete's sense of white, male, middle class American entitlement with a seething underscore of potential violence is genetic.
Books: Are pretty great. I just finished For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund, a retelling of Persuasion set in a dystopian (or, more accurately, post-dystopian) New Zealand. With steampunk elements. It was quite excellent, and well worth the trouble I went to in order to get a copy. (For some reason, I could buy a prequel novella from the Kindle store, but not the actual novel. In the end, I had to buy a hardback edition from The Strand in New York.) Now, naturally, I'm reading Persuasion again. Turns out I own three copies. This seems reasonable.
Arm remains stupidly painful to touch, move, have any kind of pressure on (including the weight of sleeves, blankets and bandages), and also I don't recommend bumping it on walls. But my temperature has stayed down, and I'm a day into a ten-day antibiotic course, and Jerkface the Cat is being very nice to me because he knows he's been bad.
Actually, it started on Thursday evening, following a day featuring more sex offences than usual (to transcribe, not to witness or experience), which came following a week featuring more sex offences than usual. Work over, I was out with friends, on my way to see Neil Gaiman speak, and I rolled my ankle as I crossed the tram tracks on Bourke Street. FAIL. It's quite mild, as sprains go, and on my good ankle, which means it will heal in a few weeks rather than six months.
Because I am a superstar, I sent my friends for first aid supplies, then wrapped it, iced it and took an anti-inflammatory, and hobbled down the block to see Neil.
THAT WAS PRETTY GREAT, BTW. The interviewer was overtly fangirly in a highly embarrassing way, but Gaiman was hardcore professional and ducked and weaved around the silliness to basically say what he had set out to say all along. He read from his upcoming novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, which sounds rather good -- samples of the first few chapters were also given out -- and talked about his many, many other projects. He also discussed his relationship with Amanda Palmer, how unexpected it was to find himself married to an extroverted, frequently naked (his words) rock star, and their different attitude to the boundary between public and private life. On that note, his expression of DO NOT WANT! PLEASE STOP TALKING ABOUT THIS! IT IS EMBARRASSING AND INAPPROPRIATE BUT I AM MUCH TOO POLITE TO SAY SO when the interviewer started talking about his hypothetical children with Palmer was kind of priceless.
He also discussed his new Doctor Who episode, "The Last Cyberman" (he's not certain this will be the title when it airs), and was able to exclusively reveal that it has Cybermen, and also other things.
There was less about his writing process than I would have liked, but I was fascinated to learn that he earns about $300 for a short story these days, and can simply call up friends and ask to borrow their holiday homes to stay at and write. I need more friends with holiday homes, that's all I'm saying.
Then we took a taxi home, because ANKLE.
I had totally planned to go to work on Friday, because it's a long weekend, and a day off would involve faffing around at the doctor's and getting a medical certificate. But when I got up, I couldn't really get further than the lounge room without pain, so ... I took the day off. And then hobbled to the doctor and spent two and a half hours waiting, because I didn't have an appointment and the receptionist had forgotten to enter me into the electronic queue.
Armed with my medical certificate, I bought some medicinal chocolate and red wine and hobbled home to spend a peaceful evening watching Parks and Rec and embroidering a plump girl in a spacesuit. At some point, the cat came in and jumped up on my windowsill. He's not supposed to get up there at night, because other cats wander around, and he tends to freak out and attack people when he sees other members of his species. The vet said it's a mixture of PTSD and an anxiety disorder, and we give him 5 mg of Prozac a day.
Anyway, I saw him get up there, and I thought, well, I should get him down, but my ankle hurts, it's all the way across the room, I'll take my chances.
BAD MOVE. Because wouldn't you know it, he sees another cat, freaks out, and suddenly I have bites and scratches all down my right arm. And on my hip. And on my leg.
So I fight him off, and he runs away to hide, and I have to take a minute because there's blood everywhere, including all over my bedding, and then I freaked out because I couldn't find the antiseptic cream. IT WAS GREAT. There was crying! Finally I hobbled into the bathroom, applied tea tree oil (which is supposed to be an antiseptic) and anti-bacterial soap, and lots of band-aids.
Half an hour later, I replaced most of the band-aids and went on feeling AGGRESSIVELY SORRY FOR MYSELF.
Eventually I went to sleep, and obviously I was really tense, because I woke up with pain everywhere, but especially my arm and ankle. Some of the scratches are showing signs of infection, and I had a fever, but paracetamol got that down. Suffice to say, in 21 minutes I have a doctor's appointment to get ALL THE ANTIBIOTICS, and should probably find some shoes that will fit over my bandage.
...one hour later, I'm happy to report that I waited only three minutes to see the doctor this time, and now I have penicillin. And two more boxes of band-aids. And a fresh tube of antiseptic cream. And one episode left to go of Parks & Rec season 4.
In conclusion, I think this weekend is going to get better, starting ... now. And feline anxiety disorders are no laughing matter. And they make special band-aids for bendy joints now, which is clever!
1. JK Simmons is SO GREAT, you guys. Have I mentioned my secret crush on Tenzin lately?
2. I'd really like to see fic where Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce get the contract for Aperture Science Innovations. I mean, their workplace health and safety records are almost on par!
3. I'm wondering just how annoying it would be to have turret audio as my text notification sound.
4. Dr Google tells me that my back pain is caused by sacroiliac joint dysfunction, which I have to concede fits all the symptoms. I took it to the doctor, but he briefly poked at the wrong part of my back and told me it's a muscle spasm caused by being overweight. Arthritis? no, no, overweight. So that's annoying. Although he did give me a prescription for Panadeine Forte, which is handy.
I'm tossing up whether or not to go to work tomorrow -- my chair at work is much more ergonomic than anything at home, but I seem most comfortable when I can lie on my stomach for long stretches. I may push through to the weekend and then spend that in bed.
(A major factor is that I used up all my sick leave when I had the surgery in May, so if I take the time off, I don't get paid for it.)
This is EXTRA ANNOYING because, while I didn't mind missing work yesterday, today is the March meeting of Fuck Yeah Book Club, and the book in question is The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner, which I put into the hat a year ago and have been waiting impatiently for it to come out since. Piking out does mean that I don't have to be there if everyone hated it and judges me accordingly, but I was going to make a cake! Alas, in my current state, it will be a CAKE OF DEATH.
Bah. I have showered, donned clean pyjamas, and now I'm going to go BACK TO BED with the next Trebizon book. Why aren't Enid Blyton's school stories available as ebooks, hmm? Then I could really have a nostalgia fest!
Incidentally, if anyone didn't know already, Nickelodeon has (gasp!) actually started promoting Legend of Korra with a viral marketing program called Korra Nation. On joining, you get emails about new content -- mostly concept art so far, BUT I LOVE CONCEPT ART -- and for sharing the links on Facebook and/or Twitter, and recruiting members, you accumulate points with prizes. (Which are officially for people in the US only, but I just got samples of the Korra soundtrack, and if I'm lucky enough to win one of the limited edition posters I'm just going to hope one of my US friends will let me give their address.)
I'm charmed, btw, to note that a lot of the promotional stuff has been happening on Tumblr. The way of the future, and where the target audience hangs out, etc. And one of the creators has had a Tumblr for weeks and there's been no wank, which is impressive when you consider the track record of other showrunners in social media. It helps that he just keeps his head down and posts concept art and sketches and occasionally his fan art for other shows.
Only, at the very last minute I realised that (a) I needed my birth certificate, and (b) I can't find it.
So I had to call up and cancel the appointment, and the next available one is in a MONTH, and that's more time I have to put off my passport application, and in the meantime I need to tear my room apart looking for my birth certificate. Which should be around! Because I only got it last year (on account of how extracts, which was all my parents were given at the time of my birth are no longer valid ID either), and then I had to make all these applications for security clearances at work. So where is it? (I checked my desk at work! I know I did!)
So NOW I feel like a big, cranky failure. And so I want to go around the internet and tell people that their stupid ideas are stupid. Like a well-known fat activist blog that was talking about how rheumatoid arthritis is seen more in slim people than overweight, and I was like, YES, BECAUSE ONE OF THE FIRST EFFECTS OF THE DISEASE IS WEIGHT LOSS AND MALNUTRITION, AND ALSO, FUCK YOU. (I believe the pattern is for dramatic weight loss followed by gain due to lessening of activity, and also the preventative drugs. Looking back, that may have happened with me, although it's hard to tell since I came out of remission right around the same time I had appendicitis and didn't eat for three weeks.)
I expect I shall be seeking procrastinatory activity while I turn my room upside down in search of my birth certificate (and, not coincidentally, assemble my new Ikea bedhead/bookshelf and reorganise all my stuff into neat boxes), so if anyone wants a CRANKY OPINION, now is the time to ask. I shall endeavour not to bite heads off.
ETA: BIRTH CERTIFICATE! NEVER LEAVE ME AGAIN!
I still went to the doctor that evening, and he was not entirely sure it wasn't broken (apparently ankles can fracture without much swelling or bruising? Well that's a fact my inner hypochondriac has stored away for future worry!) so he went me for X-rays. They all came back normal, so now I just have to ... do that thing where I wait for it to get better.
So now I can limp quite handily, and don't do that thing where I go to stand up, but freeze for ages as I work up the guts to put weight on it. Now I'm all, I'M WALKING, IT AIN'T NO THANG! Because my feet like to screw with me, my left ankle is very sore today, but I think it's annoyed at having to bear all my weight.
Today, because I'm going a bit stir crazy, I'm accompanying the flatmates to the newly-opened Top Shop. I predict there'll be maybe half an hour of walking, and then I'm going to hole up in Villa and Hut with a book and a pomegranate chai. But at least I'll be somewhere different!
Back in August I slipped over and sprained my left ankle rather badly. Last week, tired of the constant swelling and limited movement, I took it to a physio. He gave me a bunch of exercises, but warned that there was more serious damage to my right ankle, probably dating back to the time I sprained it in 2007 (and 2006 ... and 2005), leaving it more prone to injury and long-term damage.
Yesterday, I slipped over and sprained ... my right ankle.
Have to say, the highlight was nearly fainting on the footpath of Sydney Road. I've never almost fainted before. I don't recommend it. Then it turned out my usual doctor's surgery was closed, because it was a public holiday. And now I'm basically confined to my bed, since I can't even limp yet -- more of a shuffle -- and putting anything heavier than fabric -- a cushion, say -- on the outer side is agonising.
I am spending my time reading classic Avatar fic "Another Brother". It's not bad, but I have to say I'm up to chapter 17 of 25 (so far) and I'm not hugely impressed -- a lot of Katara's moments of awesome just don't happen, girls fall for Zuko instead of Sokka, and the punctuation is really terrible. Sorry, "The punctuation is really terrible." Liz said. (Also, apostrophe's for plural's, who's for whose and vice versa, and "borders" and "boarders" are different words.)
I have written very little. I've watched fewer episodes of The Wire than I would have liked, since I kept getting home from work late. I piked on frabjous's birthday dinner.
On the upside, selvage is visiting this weekend! My ankle's swelling is finally going down! And according to a Tumblr meme where the last song you listened to will be played at your funeral, I get to posthumously inflict this on my grieving friends and relatives:
So I guess that's better than a kick in the head.
ETA: AND I have written. I was like, "I've been at this for ages and I've barely scratched the surface. ...wait, have I really written 1100 words this morning? Is that the end of the section? GO TEAM LIZ!"
Granted, that's basically 1100 words of "Dear Azula, do you like me? Tick  yes /  no. Love Toph." BUT STILL.
"It looks like a very bad sprain," he said, "but there might be a hairline fracture that's disguised by the swelling."
WELL, THANKS, DOC.
Though seriously, I am familiar with the ways of sprains, and that's what this feels like to me. On his recommendation I rented some crutches, but the only kind they had in my size were elbow crutches, which put a lot of strain on my hands. So mostly I'm sitting in my armchair with my foot propped up on my desk chair (currently being iced again, because the swelling isn't going down at all) with my laptop in my lap and my desktop set up to watch TV if I'm in the mood. And my quilting and my ebook reader are by my side. Oh, and my sketchbook. Boredom is not really a factor at the moment.
Two extra days off work would be a great opportunity to work on my Avatar Big Bang, especially since there was unexpected kissing in the last bit I wrote, but this kind of physical discomfort doesn't really lend itself to writing. A summary of where I'm at:
Azula: "Kissing you is not the worst thing I've ever done, but I'm not touching you again until you've bathed."
Toph: "You are such a princess."
Azula: "...that's kind of a sore spot. I'll set you on fire as soon as I'm over this endorphin rush."
Incidentally, because everything I suffer these days is essentially self-inflicted, that rash I was complaining of the other day? Yeah, if you're lactose intolerant, you shouldn't eat ice cream. I JUST FORGOT, OKAY? I mean, it was so long since I had ice cream, I just didn't quite make the connection. So I have high-strength antihistamines and some hydrocortisone cream, which has taken out the itch, but I still have bright red patches on my cheeks. GOOD TIMES.
Meanwhile: ow. TO THE DOCTOR! I might also get him to have a look at my knee, since I landed so heavily on that that I didn't notice the pain in my ankle right away. I had almost forgotten about it until just now, when I bumped it lightly and spent five minutes with REALLY QUITE A LOT OF PAIN.
In conclusion, tiny yum cha dishes, however delicious, are inadequate sustenance when the waiters keep refilling your wineglass.
Harvey isn't back yet. Stupid cat. He's going to be in so much trouble when he saunters in. Right after I finish cuddling him.
2. If I never see another essay, LJ entry or blog post that begins, "While other little [persons of same gender] were playing with [toys stereotypically associated with said gender]", it will be too soon. I played with trucks as well as dolls, and my doll-play involved fraught interpersonal dramas that wouldn't have been out of place in Russian literature, had Russian literature been about plastic people in space. And I wasn't a particularly special or unique snowflake. Neither are you.
3. Speaking of fraught interpersonal dramas, I have written 500 words on my AU Big Bang. Although said words are so very purple that the Victorian Era is embarrassed for me.
4. There are children playing games and throwing rocks at each other in the alley that runs outside my room. This is disturbing to both me and the cat.
5. I had a nightmare that I was stuck on an island and my e-reader wasn't charged. This is extra-strange because I'm currently in the middle of a dead-tree book, although I have to say that it isn't very good, and I'll be picking up something else right as soon as my e-reader has power.
6. Doing so would, of course, be easier if Borders hadn't, as part of its administration process, stopped accepting gift vouchers online. Now that the axe has fallen and none of my friends have lost their jobs (yet), I can bitch about the annoyance of having had $70 in vouchers, all allocated to ebooks, and then having to spend them in store instead.
7. Last night I finished my Star Trek: The Next Generation re-watch. So that was nice. I had some proper thoughts about "All Good Things...", but a night has passed, and the only one that remains in my head is amusement that I counted more than 10 cats in Data's future home. Anyway, I've now seen every episode of TNG except "The Outcast". Which I wasn't allowed to watch as a kid, on the grounds that it was intended as pro-gayism propaganda, and which I declined to watch this time on the grounds that it's massively homophobic.
8. Now I very much want to keep going with DS9, but I'm not in the mood for Voyager. This is a problem. I'm tempted to put all of Trek on hold and watch Fringe, which seems to have eaten my LJ friends' brains in the same way that Avatar has eaten mine.
9. I was going to complain about the tumbleweeds over LJ and DW, being that since I filtered out all the fight clubs, it's taking me about 10 minutes a day to read my friends lists. But then, just at the moment being online for me involves adopting a kind of hunch and squinting in order to read, so I shouldn't complain.
10. That is all. FOR NOW.
There was no pain or bruising, so I put some ice on it and went to bed. Cut to this morning, when I've woken up to find a sort of hard, painful lump on my thumb and limited mobility. Here, have a picture of the lump. Okay, it just looks like your average knuckle, but that's with my thumb straightened out (as far as it will go, which I'll grant isn't all the way all of a sudden).
So that's great, because it's not as though I use my hands for work or anything. But it doesn't seem too painful to type, and it's not like the keyboard makes much use of the left thumb (...sometimes for the space bar, but I think that's it). I'm going to strap it to the rest of my hand and see how it goes.
I guess, what with our admin assistant having just been made redundant, I could be put on admin duties until it heals. But I'm pretty sure that would call for a pay cut. Bugger. Bugger, bugger, bugger.