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Nov. 19th, 2014 10:09 am
the_rck: (Default)
Since I signed up for the most recent multi-fandom friending meme, I thought I should write a little introduction to myself, just in case anyone pops over here from there.

Note 25 Sept 2015: I'm dealing with breast cancer right now, and I talk about it uncut. I'm doing well and not in any danger, but I know that many people would rather not read about it. I should be past everything but the tamoxifen by the end of this year.

Bits and pieces about me. Possibly more than you ever wanted to know. )

[sticky entry] Sticky: Sticky Post

Jun. 19th, 2037 04:56 pm
the_rck: (Default)
I mirror at least 95% of my content on LJ and DW. Read where you're most comfortable.

My friending policy is pretty open. If you want to read my journal, go ahead. I won't mind. I don't automatically read in return. I used to, but my time's a little more limited now than it was then. If you feel like dropping me a comment to let me know why you friended me, I'd appreciate it. Sometimes I have no idea at all and wonder.

If I'm reading you, I'm interested in something that's in your journal. I don't expect to be read in return but certainly won't mind if I am. I know that I have more time for reading online than most people do, and I know that my entries about my every day life, parenting, chores, etc. aren't of much interest to most people. That's all fine.

I don't lock very much. Right now, it's just an occasional post about my adolescent daughter. She's embarrassed by me talking about her online, so this is a compromise. My book logging, DVD logging and fic announcements will always be unlocked.

Also, if you stop reading my journal, feel free to take me off your list. I won't be upset. (Though if I think we know each other well or if we're acquainted offline, I may inquire as to why.) I may or may not stop reading you in response. It will depend on what sort of content you post and whether or not you lock most of of it.

I don't post fics on LJ or DW. I don't post fic fragments on LJ or DW. My fic can be found at my website or at AO3 ([archiveofourown.org profile] the_rck) or, for those things not explicit, at fanfiction.net as therck. I mostly write for Weiss Kreuz and The Chronicles of Narnia, but I've written a fic or two in a wide variety of fandoms for various exchanges.

I don't often use cut tags. Mostly, I use them for lists where I think people will only be interested in some items and for discussions of writing that go more than a paragraph or two or that have details that I think might bother some readers.
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An AO3 fic tagging question— How is it best to tag for something squicky that looks like it might happen in a fic but doesn’t? I know that this, a potential forced pregnancy, is a deal breaker for some readers in a rather nasty way. I hesitate to tag it straight up because it doesn’t actually happen. It goes beyond being referenced, though, because the POV character seriously considers it (she can shapeshift, so she can be coerced only up to a point on that subject) and isn’t happy about it.
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The Community High School meeting was terribly crowded. They were trying desperately to figure out where people could sit/stand and still be able to see. The meeting was in an auditorium, but it was about half the size of the multi-purpose room at Cordelia’s current school. There was an opportunity to talk to teachers and current students after the main meeting, but Cordelia wanted to go home, so we didn’t.

I got the application filled out and sent in within about twenty minutes of us getting home. It was a very short form, mainly contact information and me having to say that yes, we really, really do live in the district. The only thing that took thought was getting Cordelia’s student number because I don’t have it memorized. Fortunately, she does.

My appointment with my psychiatrist went well. We talked about strategies for using the Ativan, and she suggested that I use it 'aggressively' for a couple of weeks and see how that goes. She told me that she thinks I’m a very, very poor candidate for hypnotherapy (something certain people have been trying to push on me). We are going to talk about talk therapy options in a few months, probably once Cordelia’s settled at whichever high school she ends up going to.

I started sneezing around the time Cordelia left yesterday, big sneezes. I routinely take an antihistamine, so all I could try was Sudafed. That helped, but the sneezing came back at bedtime. Sudafed helped again, so I was able to sleep eventually, but I’m not happy about this. It feels like an allergic reaction, but I can’t imagine what I’d be reacting to. No new toiletries or cleaning products. Cordelia wasn’t wearing her sandalwood scented new cardigan. It’s January in Michigan so pollen is pretty unlikely. I did some digging around that raised dust, but I did that after I had taken the Sudafed which would make the timing beyond odd.

I guess I’ll see what happens when this dose of Sudafed wears off in a couple of hours.

When I was a teenager, I used to occasionally get bouts of sneezing and runny nose that weren’t colds and had no explanation I could figure out. They’d last 24-48 hours and then vanish abruptly, and I wouldn’t have any other symptoms. They could happen at any time of the year, too, and started up once every month or three. I don’t think I had them once I started college, though.

I’m in the process of switching bras again. I keep hoping I can stop wearing them, but the lymphedema gets worse when I don’t. It’s also worse if I wear the Fruit of the Loom bras, just not as bad as with nothing. I have two Just My Size bras that I bought via Amazon. I thought I could try one because they’re about ten dollars plus two dollars shipping. It turns out that they’re more or less what I was actually looking for right after I had the lumpectomy. They’re just not tagged with any of the keywords I was using to search.
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I didn’t end up taking an Ativan last night. I slept better than I feared I would but not as well as I hoped (mostly because of being too warm, I think). Scott apparently slept really terribly, and Cordelia woke up with a crick in her neck.

Scott’s sister is coming down for lunch tomorrow. I need to pick a place to eat. I don’t want to go into town because of parking issues and because of me not being able to walk far. We went to Saica (Japanese) last time. There’s an Indian place in the same strip mall and a Syrian place that does carryout. There’s also a Thai fast food-ish sort of place, but the one time Scott and I looked at there menu, there was nothing that I both could eat and would want to. There’s a Panera and a Qdoba and a burger place across the street.

I’m rather wishing that I didn’t have an appointment this afternoon because today’s university e-newsletter contained an advertisement for a talk on queer manga by Erica Friedman. It’s from noon to 1:30, and my appointment is at 1:30 and a twenty minute walk away. I suppose I could go to the first hour and then leave, but a twenty minute walk would not be good for my tendinitis, and the buses aren’t convenient for that (the bus would require more time and about half of the walking that just walking would).

I mean, as a cis, het individual, this isn’t a personal topic of importance. It’s just something that I’d like to know more about. I also think that people like me need to seek out education on topics like this.

For right now, I’m going back and forth between getting things ready for the cleaning lady and doing mindless busywork, sorting lists of things into other lists. I ought to try to finish the two books that are due Sunday and can’t be renewed, but I’m not sure I have the brain for it right now.
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I’m finding my anxiety really frustrating right now because the point at which I realize I need an Ativan is generally several hours after when I needed to take it in order to get any benefit from it. When I wake with a migraine or get up after almost no sleep (and all of it anxiety dreams) or when I have massive anxiety related reflux, it’s too damned late for the Ativan to make me feel better.

The Ativan won’t help at all when I’m groping my way through my day due to having not slept worth anything. The Ativan also won’t help much when my body is responding to stress that is already past. That’s a common thing for me and often more disabling than the impact of the anxiety on my ability to do what has to be done because the physical impact accumulates, building up pain and brain fog and… It all makes doing the next thing that much harder and that much more likely to have worse effects on my body.

I’m about 85% sure that the reflux trouble I had Monday night/Tuesday morning was my body’s reaction to dealing with two appointments and all of the time outside the house between them during the preceding day. I’m currently debating taking an Ativan before bed. I don’t want to, but I have an appointment tomorrow. It’s not an appointment that would usually be all that hard, but it’s a week when I’m already thoroughly stressed out, and we have a meeting to go to tomorrow evening.

But I might actually need an Ativan more for the meeting (required informational thing for Community, one of the schools Cordelia is considering. There are later sessions, but putting it off will ratchet up my anxiety. Also, the others don’t fit our schedule nearly so well) in the evening. There are going to be a lot of people, and I’d be surprised if the space is particularly large. I don’t deal well with that at all. I’m not supposed to take more than one in twenty four hours. I don’t know— Maybe one now and then one tomorrow at bedtime to deal with some of the after effects of the appointment and the meeting?

I might actually be fine if I wait. I just also might not. I feel okay right now, but I might not realize there’s a problem until 2-4 hours after I go to bed. I’m terrible at acknowledging that I need help sleeping. And waking with a migraine isn’t something I’d know about until Scott’s alarm goes off.
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I’m finding both the Habitica website and the Habitica app very frustrating and buggy. The app is better than the website in terms of functioning at all, but there are things I can do from the website, if I can get it to load, that I can’t do from the app. I’ve tried the website in both Firefox and Chrome. I keep getting unresponsive scripts (Firefox) and notices that the entire page is unresponsive (Chrome) and things that ought to display and then disappear (streak achievement notices mostly. I can’t even get in far enough to disable those) that instead stay and cover the screen so that I can’t do anything at all or see anything at all.

I’ve been trying to get the website to behave for over an hour. I should probably give up, but… Part of me thinks that, if I can just manage to turn off the stupid streak achievement notices, I might actually be able to use the site.

The problems with the app are two fold— It keeps giving me 'communication errors' that lead to double posting of things I add to my to do list or tasks being marked as complete without me, as far as I can tell, getting any xp at all for them. This is all while I’m at home and using our wifi.

We ended up dropping by the downtown library last night. Cordelia wanted us each to pick out a movie for the family to watch later in the week. She got Disney’s Snow White, I got Groundhog Day, and Scott got the Green Lantern movie (he says he feels he shouldn’t be mocking a movie he hasn’t actually seen).

We went for gelato after visiting the library. I had sassafras, Cordelia had tiramisu, and Scott had… um… I can’t actually remember. Cordelia really, really wants to get out of the house every evening. We’re having trouble coming up with places to go at 7:30 at night that don’t cost money. She refuses parks because of the cold (and Scott and I don’t really want to go to parks in the dark in January anyway, but… It would be cheaper).

On Sunday, we drove out to Skyline just to take a look from the outside. It’s a pretty big building on a large lot with two sports fields (that we saw) and tennis courts. Cordelia was more boggled by the amount of parking than by the size of the building. Pointing out that some high school students drive to school helped explain the size of the lot to her. She had been thinking that the school just had that many employees.

I have just barely passed my minimum word count on the Small Fandom Big Bang story. I’m not sure where/how to end it. I think that I need to wrap it up close to where it is now because, if I go on much farther, I’ll probably be committed to another 20000 words before I find another stopping point.

Today’s to do list:

Bake bread.
Make two phone calls.
Change sheets.
Do my daily chores (dishes, sandwiches).
Write something.
Work on backlog of library books/CDs/DVDs.
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I need someone to bounce ideas off of for a WIP. The bit I need help with is a descriptive passage in a Weiss Kreuz story. I don’t think that canon knowledge is necessary because I’m pretty definite on the starting choices for the house I need to describe. The things I need to figure out are tiny things that would look wrong because the house’s appearance is drawn from a particular character’s mind. I want hints that he’s holding things together less well than might be expected by my POV character. I don’t want to beat readers over the head with it, though.

But I’m really, really terrible at this sort of description, and the story’s been stalled out for months on this section. I will likely put [insert description here] in and come back to it later, but the problem will still be there, so I thought I’d ask if anyone feels up to helping.

I’m pretty sure that the starting setting for furnishings was Danish New Modern and that the house used to be bigger than it is now and had rustic cabin retreat as the setting for the exterior and layout. The things the occupant uses regularly will still be in good shape; it’s everything around the edges that should be iffy.
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I had a dental appointment yesterday at 11:00. My bite splint is definitely not long for this world, so I have an appointment soon to get an impression made from which to make a new one. The first one lasted about twenty five years, so I probably won’t need a third. We’ve cleared it with my dental insurance that they’ll cover it, so that’s not a concern.

Scott bought one of those OTC one-size-fits-all bite splints this weekend. I’ve been eying it dubiously because my mouth/jaw is noticeably small compared to most people’s. There aren’t any instructions on the package for what to do if the thing doesn’t fit. Scott says he’ll use it if I don’t, and I expect that he’ll end up with it.

I also discovered that my U of M insurance has been paying for all my dental stuff. That’s not how it’s supposed to work by the terms of my long term disability, but the dentist’s staff is afraid to upset things by trying to shift to the insurance through Scott’s employer which ought to be paying first, and I’m looking at the bureaucratic hoops involved and cringing. This is not a hill I’m willing to die on.

Cordelia (no school due to MLK Day) and I had lunch at The Brown Jug and then found seats at a Starbucks just down the block to wait for it to be time to go to her dermatology appointment. I think we were there for an hour and a half. It was very crowded, and we had to share a table with two university students who seemed to be studying for a chemistry class. At least, they were talking molecular structure, so I assume chemistry.

Cordelia tried a new to her thing from the Starbucks menu and discovered that some things there aren’t to her taste without adding sugar (it was some form of latte, so I didn’t suggest adding milk).

It cost us $25 to get the cab to the dermatologist. If we’d gone home, it would have been between $11 and $15 for that trip and then another $17 for a second cab to the dermatologist’s office. I spent more than that on lunch and the coffee at Starbucks, but… Cordelia really enjoyed being out.

The dermatology appointment was at 3:45 and was basically just for prescription renewals. Scott arrived at the office just as we were heading back and chose to wait in the waiting room. We stopped at Plum Market on the way home to get more liquid stevia for my morning tea.

There is no school today due to ice on the roads. For some reason, we never have delayed start times. Either school starts on time, or it doesn’t start at all. I was very grateful for the reprieve because I was up until about 1:00 with inexplicable reflux and then up at 4:00 with a recurrence of the problem. I couldn’t think of anything except stress that could be causing the problem, so I took an Ativan at about 12:30, and that settled things long enough for me to get about three hours of sleep. At 4:00, I took my thyroid medication and then realized that I couldn’t deal with the reflux problems, so I ate some vanilla ice cream which helped vastly and let me fall back asleep after Scott got up. I can’t use liquid antacids because they make me gag (and shouldn’t be taken in proximity to the thyroid medication anyway. I think the recommended gap is four hours in either direction. Other meds are either one hour before or at least two hours after), and I really needed something that would coat my throat and deal with the acid stuck there. Ice cream wasn’t ideal, but I couldn’t think of anything else with even a chance of working. Water tends to make things worse.

Our upstairs toilet has started running and running after it’s been flushed. Jiggling the handle seems to settle it, but that needs to be done a few minutes after flushing, not right at the time. It’s also not something that we’ve trained ourselves to yet.
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I’ve posted four stories today, three from Fandom Stocking and one in the House of Sulfur and Mercury series.

Title: With Bitter Herbs and Rue
Fandom: Sky High (2005)
Rating: T
Characters/Pairings: Layla Williams
Tags: Introspection, Post-Canon
Length: 449 words
Summary: When Layla knows she right, she doesn’t let anything stop her.
The fic at AO3.

Title: Too Tender to Know Change
Fandom: The Pretender (TV)
Rating: T
Characters/Pairings: Miss Parker, Jarod
Tags: Post "Island of the Haunted", Amnesia, Ruthlessness
Length: 405
Summary: There are things Jarod could do and won’t. There are things Miss Parker can do and will.
The fic at AO3.

Title: Yesterday’s Fabric
Fandom: Labyrinth (1986)
Rating: G
Characters/Pairings: Junk Lady (Labyrinth)
Tags: Worldbuilding
Length: 287 words
Summary: Most girls stay, but some don’t. Agnes deals with them all.
The fic at AO3.

Title: Your Future Has a History
Fandom: Chronicles of Amber - Roger Zelazny
Rating: M
Characters/Pairings: Luke | Rinaldo, The Ty’iga, Merlin, Ghostwheel, Luke | Rinaldo/Merlin, Luke | Rinaldo/The Ty’iga
Tags: Rape/non-con, Captivity, Stockholm Syndrom, Suicidal Thoughts, Ambiguous/Open Ending, Demonic Possession, Alternate Universe - Dark
Length: 5227
Summary: Luke meets someone from his past and faces a real choice. Part of House of Sulfur and Mercury.
The fic at AO3.
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I wrote one more ficlet for [community profile] fandom_stocking. I have tabs open for three more stockings, but I’m pretty sure I won’t manage to write anything for them because my mind is completely blank. Given a prompt, I might manage something, but just fandom and characters and likes and dislikes aren’t getting me anywhere. I think I have finished a draft of chapter 3 of We Are Where We Began. That’s not the end of the story, not yet. I think there will need to be another chapter. Hopefully not more than that.

Scott’s parents stopped by in mid-afternoon in order to bring us a single bottle of the brand of B vitamins they favor. They told us that this brand 'doesn’t contain chemicals.' Scott and I were on the phone with them when they said that, and we made faces and waved our hands at each other because, while we know what they meant, we heard what they actually said. At any rate, Scott’s parents are certain that B supplements will solve all of Cordelia’s current problems. I don’t see harm in Cordelia taking supplements, but they’re going to be a PITA because we will have to crush each dose and mix it with something else.

We went out yesterday evening because Cordelia really, really wanted to go somewhere she’d never been before. Scott suggested a clothing store downtown that he had noticed as looking interesting. (I’m a little surprised that he did because it’s not the sort of thing he would normally notice.) It’s a place called Orchid Lane that sells a lot of brightly colored women’s clothing, all imports and (I think) all fair trade. Cordelia ended up with a very pretty dress and a black cardigan-ish thing to wear over it. She chose them to go together rather than the store suggesting it.

I had trouble with the trip because the entire store reeks of sandalwood. I’m not quite allergic to it, but my sinuses and lungs tend to do a big WTF? when I breathe air that’s heavy in that sort of scent. I don’t sneeze or wheeze or anything. I just don’t feel quite right. The tendinitis in my left heel also gave me trouble after I’d been up and about for five minutes. There wasn’t anywhere that I could sit down, and Cordelia wanted me to look at everything she was considering, so she wanted me following her.

We watched the first half of Big Hero 6 last night. It was, of course, a rewatch, but it’s kind of rare to find something that Cordelia’s willing to watch with us.
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Scott had to work late last night. They told him ten minutes before the end of his usual shift. More notice would have been nice.

Cordelia was able to take the bus out to her usual Friday evening gathering with friends. Fortunately, it wasn’t scheduled to be here and wasn’t at one of the houses that’s challenging to get to by bus. The friend who was hosting is about five minutes away by bus on a route that stops two blocks from our house and about the same distance from hers.

I ordered pizza. It arrived twenty five minutes after the estimated delivery time. I was on the phone with the store to find out where my food was when the doorbell rang. The guy I was talking to seemed very confused. He actually said that he didn’t know the local neighborhood/delivery area because he was a driver rather than someone who usually worked in the store. Shouldn’t a delivery driver be more likely to know the ins and outs of the delivery area? He tried to convince me that I was calling the wrong store, and I told him that it’s a two minute drive from our house to the store.

The pizza I ordered for me was supposed to have olive oil for sauce. I’m not big on that, so I asked for the minimum amount of sauce while still getting some at all. That’s not remotely what I got. There was enough olive oil that it leaked out and soaked the pad under the pizza. I shouldn’t have eaten it at all, but I was hungry and near the point in the day when I have to stop eating. I ended up awake past 3 a.m. due to reflux, and I’m pretty sure it was the olive oil.

I’m headachy now and really want to go back to bed, but I also have things that I need to get done as soon as I can.

I got about 1800 words written yesterday. Most of it was on chapter 3 of We Are Where We Began which I’m really hoping to finish soon. The rest was two ficlets for [community profile] fandom_stocking. I offered to try to write for some needy stockings. I’ve still got four from the list of six needy stockings I was given. I don’t know if I’ll manage more ficlets, but I do want to.

Cordelia says that she wants to 'go somewhere new' today. I have no ideas for this. If it weren’t winter, maybe we could go to the botanical gardens or the Arb (well, apart from me having trouble walking). She’s rejected the university’s art museum and archaeology museum. She’s been to the Hands-On Museum many times and the same with the natural history museum. I really don’t think we want to drive to another town today. We have so many other things we need to get done (laundry, grocery shopping, etc.) that spending an hour or two driving somewhere seems like a bad idea.
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I talked a bit with the mother of Cordelia’s best friend. She wants her daughter to go to Huron, and the difficulty of the commute to anywhere else is a huge factor in that. If the daughter goes to Huron, she can reliably be home to look after her younger brother before and after school and will only have about a five minute bus ride. Going anywhere else would be a much longer bus ride with at least one transfer (and quite possibly more). Her daughter is no longer interested in Skyline but still likes the idea of Community.

I have similar issues with the idea of Cordelia going to Huron. Getting to Skyline would take fifteen to twenty minutes, but it would be direct by school bus, and she’d get on in front of her current school, just a block away. Community would be a shorter bus ride, just by city bus instead of a school bus. The stop she’d need is about two blocks away from here, and she’d get off right behind the school with no transfers needed. The same bus returns along the street on the other side of the school, and the stop is less than half a block from the school.

Right now, I’m debating whether or not I can manage a walk down to the church. The other Ingress team took that portal last night. The hesitation is that it’s about 20F outside and that my left heel hurts a lot after even that short a walk. On the other hand, the heel has been hurting like this since the beginning of November. I’m not sure I can afford to keep coddling it. If I didn’t have six zillion other things that are higher priority in terms of appointments, I’d try to see my doctor about it again. It’s been almost ten weeks now.

Of course, her suggestion for exercise last time was an exercise bike. We have one, but I don’t use it because I can only manage about two minutes before my knees hurt too much to continue. Getting on and off of the bike is pretty challenging as I need some sort of step stool even when the seat’s adjusted to the right height for me. If one or the other of those things weren’t true, I’d likely use the damned thing.

She’ll likely suggest swimming next, but that’s worse. Getting anywhere with a pool by cab would be prohibitive, and getting there by bus would require crossing busy streets without lights and transferring from one bus line to another. Plus, getting to the bus stops requires more walking than I would normally be doing for my daily walks if I could do them. Oh, and it’s expensive to get access to a pool. I’d need to go at least twice a week (and probably more) for a membership to pay for itself. I don’t see being able to do that from an anxiety point of view, especially not when I’ve generally got medical appointments every week.

Upper body stuff is difficult because of not wanting to make my hands hurt. Hand weights and exercise bands are going to do a real number on the part of my hands that’s giving me issues, and that’s not going to get better.

And there’s also the issue of me needing to reserve some portion of my energy in case of an emergency. That’s a big reason (though there are others) that I much prefer doing my exercise during the last hour or two of the day. Of course, the sleep disorders people tell me that I should never, ever exercise during the last couple of hours before bed because it will mean I won’t sleep.

I feel like my physical body is a gigantic catch-22.
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I’m really physically worn out. I don’t expect this to get better any time soon, either, because it’s half stress and half scheduling problems that I can’t fix (I can’t go to bed earlier. I can’t sleep later. I can’t nap during the day). I want to finish some of my library books, but my brain starts shutting down when I open a book. I don’t fall asleep; I just stare stupidly at the text, unable to make it make sense.

Cordelia and I had lunch at Totoro today after her appointment. It was more expensive than I expected because she ordered two $9 sushi rolls. I was able to exchange the too small t-shirt that Scott gave me for Christmas for one the right size.

My left Achille’s tendon is really upset with me for walking the three blocks from the appointment to the restaurant and then to Cordelia’s school and back. It had already been cranky because I walked a bit more than a block when we went for bubble tea last night and rather a lot more than that a couple of days ago when we went to Target after some things Cordelia needed urgently.

Due to the appointment, Cordelia missed presentations by the various local high schools that she and her classmates might choose to attend. The school counselor promised to save copies of all the handouts for us, though. I’m sorry for her missing those presentations, but we really needed to get this appointment in as soon as we could manage.

The city has decided to do deer sterilization in an area that includes our neighborhood. We’re on the far edge of the area with parks where they plan to do lethal culling only a block away. Judging by the flyer we got, the sterilization program is considered less risky in areas where people live because the sedative darts don’t go as far. I kind of boggle at the idea of surgically sterilizing deer as it seems pretty time consuming and potentially iffy for the survival of the does that are sterilized. There’s a lot of time involved per doe, too, both surgery and transportation.

Of course, I’m weird according to local community standards by not minding a lethal deer cull (apart from the inconvenience of certain parks being closed from 3 p.m. to midnight for a couple of weeks). Meat from the animals killed in the cull will go to 'a local food bank,' and they’re not talking about wiping out the deer population. We’re in an area without predators big enough to take down a deer, so there are very few options for keeping the population controlled— starvation, disease, and human hunting are really it (well, there’re deer/car collisions, too, but those tend to be very, very bad for whoever’s in the car. Not recommended).
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The Small Fandom Big Bang, [livejournal.com profile] smallfandombang, is looking for artists. Right now, they’ve got twelve artists signed up and expect to have sixty five stories. That ratio is not sustainable, particularly with small fandoms. The list of fandoms (which is longer than the number of stories because of crossovers) is here.

Stories have a 10000 word minimum (no maximum) and the rough drafts are due the 31st of January so that artists have time to work. The time for writers to sign up is long past, but artists are still needed.

Artist claiming is set for 7 February through 13 February, and final drafts for both stories and art are due 31 March with posting from 5 April to 30 April.

The parameters for what qualifies as art are: "Acceptable art includes: A fanmix with at least 8 songs, a series of at least 8 icons, a video, a podfic, a single piece of two-dimensional art such as a cover or banner (manip, drawing, etc), or title and chapter banners."

The artist sign up form link can be found in the community’s sticky post. The challenge rules are on the community profile.
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The power cord for my laptop has died again. At this point, I’m 90% sure that the problem is damage caused by various people tripping over the cord when I’m using my laptop in the bedroom. The only outlets I can reach in there put the cord at mid-shin level. I have to step over it if I need to leave for any reason, and Cordelia has to step over it if she wants hugs. The plug comes out of the wall easily, and the cord falls in half easily and detaches from my laptop easily (it’s magnetic). Cordelia’s power cord is working for my laptop, so it’s not my laptop.

I think I even know what I did this time— One end of the cord got stuck in something, and I tugged to get it loose rather than going over to see what the problem was. I didn’t tug all that hard, but… Yeah. Scott is going to be pissed at needing to buy yet another cord.

I didn’t do any writing yesterday. I was too tired. I suspect I’ll be too tired, today, too.
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I went to the sleep disorders clinic today. It was frustrating because the signage for locating the Med Inn Building really, really sucks. I did my best to follow the maps on the walls and the signs, and I got thoroughly lost. It took me twenty five minutes to find the clinic when it ought to have taken less than ten to get there from the main entrance.

They want me to do a sleep study because I’m tired all the time, because I have trouble falling asleep, and because I get up twice every night. I’ll do that in February. Scott’s going to make sure he doesn’t have to work that night or the next morning. I did a sleep study in the 1990s some time, and that showed nothing at all, but who knows? I’m heavier now.

I finished a story last night. I’m not sure when I’ll post it because it’s another AU of an AU and I haven’t yet posted all of the story that it’s an AU of. I think I’m going to have to map the divergence points so that readers know which things actually connect to which others because, while it’s clear in my head, it’s not at all clear otherwise.

I’ve written 3761 words so far this year. It’s been spread across four or five different stories. I want to buckle down and finish some of these WIP. I probably need to hang out in Yuletide chat and challenge people to word wars at times that work for me (generally, people start doing them at a time of day when I really can’t afford to do them) because I find those really useful.

I really need to deal with those insurance phone calls. I’ve just been so very, very tired that I can’t do it. I wish I could ask Scott to do it, but he’s not free at the times when the calls need to be made. I think my must do list tomorrow will just be those phone calls.
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Drat. This book on CD that I got from the library today is fine up until the last three tracks on the final CD. I tried my scratch removal thing, but I still can’t read those last three tracks. The library has other copies, so I had Scott put a hold on one and see if that works better. I can’t put a hold on the title while I have a copy checked out.

We made it to the library before Cordelia’s appointment. The two are close together, and we had twenty five minutes before the appointment when we got downtown, so Scott suggested just going to the library then so as not to have to worry about it after.

I had asked that we go for bubble tea after the appointment, but Scott completely forgot, and I didn’t realize we were going the wrong way until it was too late to go back. (We were at an intersection with only one direction we could go.) I asked Scott to pick me up some on his way back from Briarwood with the girls, but the timing didn’t work out, so I didn’t get bubble tea yesterday. I’m still peeved about that.

Scott took Cordelia and two friends to the mall for a couple of hours. He says they ran around and around a couple of stores, trying things on and trying to figure out what they actually wanted to do apart from being out together. I think the girls had fun at any rate.

My to do list for today:

Call for prescription refill.
Call for insurance pre-approval.
Call genetic testing people.
Two loads of laundry.
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Cordelia was bored enough to go grocery shopping with Scott yesterday. Usually, she’s not willing to go even though Scott will buy food she wants but didn’t know she wanted.

Scott bought several different kinds of breakfast sausage with the idea that we’ll cook a package as needed and then I’ll eat 2-4 cold as part of my breakfasts. Past experience tells me that doing that will help me stay awake in a way that caffeine won’t. The drawback is that sausages are greasy enough that lying down after eating is a bad idea. Scott cooked three different kinds today. One is good. The other two are kind of acceptable but heavier on the seasoning than I like. (Why is it always black pepper?)

While Scott and Cordelia were out, I made banana bread, loaded and ran the dishwasher, and started taking down the Christmas tree. I managed to find and put away about 4/5 of the decorations before I hit the wall of not being able to stand up any longer. I also watched about half of a library DVD. I’m currently trying to decide if I want to go on or if I want to just return it. The movie’s not even vaguely good, so maybe I won’t go on. I don’t know.

Scott is taking Cordelia and at least one of her friends to the mall in the late afternoon, so I will have some time to myself then. I’m looking forward to that part. The timing may be kind of tight because we have an appointment downtown at 1:30 that will last at least an hour. We need to visit the library either before the appointment or immediately after, but Cordelia’s friend will be dropped off here around 3:30.

I will do laundry while they’re out and see if I can make either of the phone calls I need to make. I don’t want to argue with Aetna while Cordelia’s within earshot.

I started another damned WIP last night. I was trying to write for a prompt, but I kept pushing back the beginning of the story to the point that only one of the requested characters is there and that it will be years before he meets the other character. Because I really needed another WIP, didn’t I?
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I got part of the Aetna hoop jumping done yesterday. I’m not sure if I can do the rest today or not. Waiting until Monday isn’t a great option because they have to mail me something and then I have to fill it out and mail it back. I realized, after making an unnecessary phone call, that I had mixed up what the Medicare refusal of payment was for. Unfortunately, that means that I might actually be on the hook for $5500. I think that the only problem is that the company didn’t bill Aetna before asking Medicare to pay, but I’m not sure.

Scott and I started listening to a new to us podcast last night and got through three episodes.

I need to shower and to watch a library DVD that’s due tomorrow. Cordelia has an essay to write that I’ve promised to proofread and provide moral support for. I should make banana bread or throw out the bananas. I’d like to take down the Christmas tree, but Scott and Cordelia are decidedly unenthusiastic.

Scott plans to do the grocery shopping today. I haven’t finished the list yet, though. I’m trying to think of food that I can put on there that will take little to no effort for me eat. I’m going to be pretty exhausted for the foreseeable future, and that makes me have problems with simple food preparation like opening a package and microwaving something. Almonds and dried fruit are good options, but they’re horribly expensive, and it’s hard to convince Scott that they’re worth the money. They also have the advantage that I can eat them when Cordelia is wanting my attention and not wanting me to get up and go to the kitchen.

Cordelia and her friend did go downtown yesterday and managed to get themselves back, too, with only one call to ask me what bus they needed and where to catch it. Cordelia hasn’t quite got the idea that, generally speaking, one can get the bus home on the opposite side of the street from the stop where one got off the bus coming into town. I have to check to see if the bus company’s app is working now because something of the sort could be useful for Cordelia. The last time I checked, they’d withdrawn the app and had a new version 'under development.'
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Cordelia ended up spending the night at her friend’s house last night. She and her friend came over here by bus around noon. They stopped on the way (my best guess is the North Campus Commons) to pick up carryout from Panda Express. The food was only vaguely warm (and quite cold in spots) by the time they got here because they had to do a lot of walking. It was packaged in that sort of particle cardboard, and the packaging was kind of squishy.

The girls want to go downtown to buy bubble tea now. I have no objection, apart from how cold it is. They’re thirteen. Right now, they’re waiting for Cordelia’s phone to charge a bit. It had gotten down to about 15%. In the meantime, they’re watching episodes from season one of Arrow.

Scott and I did a little Ingress on the way home from taking Cordelia her overnight supplies (clothes, her Captain Cold Funko Pop thingy, her water bottle, her toiletries). We also got frosties at Wendy’s. We watched Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and some White Collar. P&P&Z was better than I expected, but my expectations were pretty rock bottom. I think it did best when it diverged most from Austen. The two parts simply didn’t fit together.

I want to finish the White Collar DVD because we’ve only got one Netflix return envelope right now. I’m holding off on returning another DVD until we either have something else we could mail the White Collar DVD back or have finished the White Collar DVD.

I ended up not doing the difficult phone calls yesterday because I didn’t want to do them while the cleaning lady was here. I managed several less challenging calls. There aren’t any cultural/philosophical issues between me and our cleaning lady on, for example, the subject of scheduling an eye exam so that I can get reading glasses. She thinks that, by making stressful calls to the insurance company, I’m damaging myself. Which… maybe I am, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t need doing.

The cleaning lady’s daughter has a small business crocheting things to sell. I didn’t know that until I asked the cleaning lady if she knew anyone who might want my yarn. I collected all of that, filling two trash bags and one very large gift bag. We’ve got it in the basement until the cleaning lady can get her son to drive over to pick it up.

It’s hard to let it go, but I haven’t done any crocheting in years, and now it would hurt a lot to do it at all. It’s not important enough to me to spend the bit of hand use I have every day on it. I went back to my OTC splints yesterday. They aren’t great, but they’re a compromise that works better than the other options. I’m not wearing any of the three sets right now because it’s not worthwhile until I’m at the point where most activities hurt.

I found an unopened Christmas card from Scott’s sister’s family in 2010 that included school pictures of our niece and nephew. I found some peppermint gel stuff meant for rubbing on one’s feet that I kind of vaguely remember buying many, many years ago. I found two abandoned mouse nests including stashed food. I threw out everything contaminated that way, including some clothes that had been waiting to be mended for about five years.

January 2017

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