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I talked to my parents yesterday. I was calling for my mother, and my step-father answered the phone. He and I actually talked, and he didn't lose it or anything. I was afraid he might. He still hasn't talked to my sister since she told him her diagnosis and he fell apart, crying. I don't know if he's more numb now or if it's that my projected course of treatment isn't quite so scary.

My mother is coming to Michigan later this week. She'll be driving Tuesday and Wednesday and arrive in Lawton some time Wednesday evening. Part of that is so that she can work on the house, but I think part of it, too, is so that she can be close enough to help if I need it without actually staying with us.

I did a little research online, and I think that the only place that does the radiation therapy is the actual Cancer Center. I was worried they'd send me to East Ann Arbor or Domino Farms. If I end up going to appointments by cab, the Cancer Center is about $7 cheaper each way than either of the other two options. Figuring this out online was a little challenging because, for some reason I can't figure out, the webpage lists street address and phone number for each of the places that do the radiation therapy but doesn't list what city they happen to be in. Why would you even do that? There are only two options in our area code, though, the Cancer Center and the VA, and I am not a veteran.

I talked to my aunt and uncle yesterday (my father's brother and his wife). My sister wanted to mention my cancer on Facebook, and I knew that it was likely that our aunt would see that. I thought I should tell her first. She was shocked, but I think she's also kind of numb to all of the health crap that's been coming down. My uncle isn't doing so well. Nobody's told me what's going on (I think people assume that I already know, and I feel embarrassed for not knowing). My aunt referenced lung trouble, and my sister mentioned that he's using oxygen. That aunt and uncle are also the ones keeping track of what's going on with Grandma-- Her bones are healing, but she's contracted C. diff and is in isolation now and both feeling crappy and bored.

I did not need an Ativan yesterday, and I consider that a victory. We'll see how today goes. I do plan to take one tomorrow, mid-morning, just because the day is likely to be stressful.

Scott is expecting today at work to be really and truly awful. Somebody screwed up badly yesterday and nearly wrecked a crucial machine (they were literally burning chunks of congealed plastic off of it in hopes of getting it to move again). Scott signed up to pull carts again today, but he's afraid he may get pulled from that to do something less pleasant that requires more experience.

I don't know what we're having for dinner tonight. We're out of leftovers-- Well, there's probably enough chicken fried rice left to feed Cordelia-- and we have nothing thawed. Scott's also likely to be too exhausted to grill which probably means me using the oven to cook something he picks up on his way home.

I'm not sure how easy I'm going to find letting go of Metanews. The other moderator is kind of poking me and encouraging me to consider link finding for next week. She added me as an editor to the Gdoc where the links will be centralized. I keep finding myself thinking that putting in a few links couldn't hurt. I see things and think that they'd make good links for Metanews and then have to remind myself that I'm not doing that any more.

I have offered to write up an explanation of what's going on to post to the newsletter communities. I think that the newsletter needs to go on hiatus until (and unless) other volunteers can be found. The other moderator is overwhelmed just trying to keep up with the bits that are her responsibility (I think, in terms of links readers have submitted, that we're still back in June somewhere. I hope we're in June, at least. The last time I checked, about three weeks ago, we were in May). There's no question of her trying to keep up with my work, too, and with just the stuff she finds, the newsletter would be about ten links a week.

Maybe, at some point in the future when I'm less stressed, it might make sense to do some sort of annotated list of the blogs we've been gathering meta from and sticky it on LJ and DW (I don't see it being useful on Tumblr). That way, people who are really motivated can go look for themselves.

I am kind of concerned about what I'll do with myself over the next few months. I really, really don't want to end up sitting here and refreshing LJ, DW, and FFA. Over and over again. New things don't come up that rapidly, and FFA isn't very good for me, I think. There's some interesting stuff over there, but it's more than a little toxic.
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Cordelia's appointment was fairly straightforward, but we now have a regimen of multiple creams and washes. The whole thing is complicated enough that we have a detailed sheet telling us which things to use when. It's benzoyl peroxide and two different antibiotic creams (one for her her face and one for her back and chest) in the morning. Then adapoline (sp?) and the antibiotic creams at night after washing everything with Cetaphil.

The dermatologist also noticed Cordelia's dandruff and recommended two shampoos to be alternated, T-sal and either Selsun Blue or Head and Shoulders. She gave us samples of T-sal and Head and Shoulders (though she wanted to give us Selsun Blue instead). The dandruff extends to some minor scaling on Cordelia's face, and that's why we have a different antibiotic cream for her face than for elsewhere. Scott picked up the three prescriptions, some Cetaphil, and an oil-free moisturizer on his way home from work, but we still have to order more of the 2.5% benzoyl peroxide and pick up some of the shampoos Cordelia needs. The dermatologist also told Cordelia to shower more often, every other day instead of the once or twice a week she has been doing. Maybe she'll even listen.

I talked to my psychiatrist yesterday afternoon. She's not enthusiastic about me trying Cymbalta because of just how bad my reaction to Effexor was. She didn't want to prescribe something haphazardly, over the phone, so we're going to have an appointment on Tuesday morning to go over the options.

The electric car is giving us difficulties-- It's not consistent about charging. One night, it will get to full charge over night. One night, it'll barely charge at all. Scott just emailed me to say that he was late getting to work because the car simply didn't charge at all last night. He will be late getting home, too, because he doesn't have enough charge for that and will have to stop to do that. I'm not sure where-- Probably the AAA in Canton that he mentioned a few days ago.

My SIL finally got back to me, around 8 p.m. last night to tell me that she still hasn't received the reports the Cancer Center people promised to send her on Monday. Why she couldn't tell me that earlier in the week, I have no idea. At this point, I really can't do anything about it until I go in there on Monday. Well, I have access to one of the reports she wants. They finally got around to sharing the report for my mammogram with me. (Weirdly, there are two reports with slightly different titles and exactly the same text. That was the case the last time I had a mammogram there, too, so it's apparently normal. It's just kind of confusing. I mean, exactly the same text.)

My impression is that the delay in my SIL getting back to me is that I was using her Gmail address when she responds better to messages sent to her uw.edu address. I didn't have that, and it doesn't appear on any of the webpages I could find that profile her. I looked last night. Scott's sister had the address and has shared it with me, and I've put it into my address book now.

My sister wants to put the information about PBB up on Facebook, and she thinks people will pay it more attention if she gives my story as well as hers. I asked her to give me a couple of hours to tell our aunt who actually uses Facebook first. I haven't done that yet because it will be hard and because it wasn't urgent that she know. I just don't want her to find out from my sister on Facebook. If my sister wanted to call her instead of me doing it, that would be fine. She has called the aunts on the other side of the family for me (she thought that, since they're in the same state I am, they might actually be able to help. It's possible, and asking wouldn't have occurred to me).

Around about dinner time last night, I started aching, mostly in my arms and legs and shoulders. I had forgotten just how terrible that feels. It hasn't really happened to me, except when I've had a fever, since I stopped working. When I was still working, I felt that way all the time. I ended up taking an Ativan around 8 p.m., and that actually helped. By bedtime, I wasn't achy in anything like the same way.

The runny nose has mostly passed. There's still a little bit lingering, but I no longer feel like I need a tissue in hand every moment. (I kept reassuring people at the dermatologist's yesterday that it was a medication side effect, that I wasn't contagious. I used a lot of hand sanitizer anyway.) It seems kind of unfair to have a side effect that started twelve hours after the medication and lasted another thirty or forty hours. I very much doubt that the toradol was still working by that point. I'm debating whether I should let my primary care doctor know about the side effect. It might be a good thing to document, but it's really fairly trivial as such things go, certainly not enough to prevent me taking the med again if I really, really need it.

I emailed the other Metanews person last night and told her that I don't think I can do any more link finding. She's disappointed. I think she was really hoping that we'd find a way to manage somehow. She and I are on opposite schedules, so talking about what to do next will be a slow process. I have offered to write up some sort of announcement of hiatus and call for volunteers to take over my work. I'm not optimistic about the volunteers, but who knows?

I'm getting cranky with a couple of online vendors who won't stop harassing me to give them feedback on recent purchases. I sort of understand the one I bought from via Amazon-- Feedback there matters a great deal in terms of future sales. Blair, on the other hand... I already gave feedback on the purchase once. Just because they shipped another pair of pants a week later doesn't mean they need feedback again. Both of these vendors email me every four or five days, and I really, really don't want to deal with them, but I also feel like I ought to. It will, after all, take less than five minutes for each of them. It just feels like one more damned thing piled on, though.
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My sister called right as I was ready to go out to turn in the forms, and we ended up talking for about an hour. Invasive mammary cancer is apparently a rare enough thing that she'd not previously heard of it (she actually tried to tell me via email that it wasn't a real thing. Then, like me, she googled it and found out that, yes, it is a thing). It's something that's part in the milk ducts and part outside of the ducts. Usually, things are either completely inside (what my sister had) or completely outside. Having this kind does increase the odds of me needing chemo, unfortunately.

We just can't figure out what happened with the lump moving. Lumps apparently aren't supposed to do that.

Scott is almost certain that he will get next Monday off. His immediate supervisor approved it immediately and said there wasn't any reason anyone higher up would say no, not given the reason. HR has told Scott that he probably should fill out some paperwork to get this all under the FMLA as time off for that is treated differently by his company than normal sick time. They pointed out that there are going to be a lot of days when he'll really need to be at home.

The cabs were really quick today. I don't think I waited more than ten minutes, coming or going.

The receptionist at my surgeon's office promised to send the reports to my SIL today. I'm not sure that will happen, but I would be surprised if it's later than tomorrow.

I talked to Cordelia's doctor. She says that there's no need to do anything for Cordelia right now except to try to give her age appropriate information and to avoid making her worry too much.

I tried to call my mother's cell phone, but when she answered, she couldn't hear me talking. She also seems not to have realized it was me because she hasn't tried to call me back and because, when I tried again a minute or so later, she had turned off her phone entirely. She's never bothered to set up her voice mail, so I couldn't even leave a message asking her to call me. I'll try her again in another hour when she's likely to be at home. I just don't want to talk about this with my step-father. He's still really, really upset about my sister, to the extent that he hasn't been able to talk with her since well before her surgery. Our brother also hasn't talked to our sister since then. She thinks the two of them are having a lot of trouble with the whole thing and with anxiety over it. My diagnosis is not going to help either of them, unfortunately.

I suppose I could call my father now and tell him. He's retired, so he'll be home, and he's actually got my cell number programmed into his phone, so he'll know it's me calling. I just don't want to deal with it. I have to eventually. I just-- After the way he reacted when my sister told him, I don't know.

My psychiatrist wants me to try Ativan at night, just half a tablet. I'm a little concerned about cutting those tablets because they are really tiny and because I'm not sure I still have a pill cutter. I think I might have thrown that out year ago, when I gave up on the Provigil. I'm also not sure I should take Ativan at night and during the day. I'm not sure which is more important. Well, probably at night. Trouble sleeping leads to other issues, and that's happening a lot more than daytime difficulties are.

My primary care doctor called about 4:30. She wanted to make sure I was doing okay and that I had talked to my psychiatrist. She was also concerned because she didn't yet see an appointment listed online for me to talk to a surgeon. She said she will be keeping track of what's going on and that I should let her know if there's anything I need her for. I thought it was nice of her to call. I definitely appreciate that she's willing make some extra effort to help me out.

This may be another skimpy week for Metanews. I haven't done any link finding so far this week, and I don't know how much I'll be up to doing tomorrow. I don't have other plans, though, so who knows? I suppose I'll work at it as I'm able. Whatever I don't get to will get pushed to next week, and we'll see, going forward, how well I can keep up. I'm a little afraid that, if I can't keep up any longer, Metanews will die. When I know more about what's going on, I'll probably do another call for volunteers. I doubt we'll get anyone, but maybe people will step up if we explain that it may mean the difference between Metanews and no Metanews.
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I'm not as anxious as I expected I'd be, given everything. I'm not sure why I had the anxious headache and nausea last week over the mammogram but am not having any such symptoms today when I'm facing a biopsy. I'm going to take an Ativan anyway, but I don't feel like I need to do it immediately.

I did have anxiety dreams this morning after Scott got up. I was late for my appointment. My SIL hadn't shown up yet. My phone was out of charge. I'd forgotten my meds and my lunch. I couldn't find my apartment (for some reason, in my dreams, I never, ever live in my actual house). I had guests in my house who I needed to get rid of in order to be able to leave, and they wouldn't go away.

Next on my agenda is washing and getting dressed. I've been putting it off, but it's getting kind of late, and I really should get on that. I have my clothes laid out already, at least.

I added at site to the Metanews Feedly account yesterday that has a spectacular monthly newsletter. Unfortunately, I couldn't persuade Feedly to give me just the newsletter even though that's the url I put in. The site in question is a fanfic site, and I'm going to get a notice for every single fic that gets posted. it's not a horrifically active fandom, but I'm not sure the newsletter is worth it.

Scott was originally scheduled to work 3-3 today, but he swapped with someone so that he could be awake with me last night. Instead, he'll be working 7-7 on Friday. I was a little annoyed when he told me that because I suspect I'll feel more in need of his presence on Friday than I did last night. The change turned out to be fortuitous, however, as we were to borrow a car from [livejournal.com profile] evalerie. She and her family were in Chicago with the car in question and got back fairly late. It was after 10 by the time she came and got Scott so that he could get the car. (Enterprise closes at 6, so he'd dropped the rental off on his way home from work and had them drive him home.) If Scott had had to get up at 2, staying up so late would have been a big problem.

Cordelia says she's not worried, but she has been giving me a lot of hugs this past week, so I don't know. She probably won't be willing to hug me later today given that I won't be putting on deodorant. I don't think I'm particularly stinky under that circumstance, particularly not less than two hours after I've washed, but she notices and objects.

The school district has decided to do all of the start of the school year paperwork online this year. I did Cordelia's last night. The website interface was very, very frustrating. If I toggled to another window to check something, the webpage would freeze and refuse to allow me to edit it further until I closed it and logged in again. That's spectacularly bad design. They wanted three emergency contacts this year. I think, in years past, it's been two. They also had space for four parent/guardians. I assume that's so that they can include step-parents on both sides if there are any. I had to make Cordelia come and sit by me for part of the process because she had to read and agree to several things. She flinched at the concussion information sheet even though we've been filling those out for Rec & Ed sports for two or three years now. She's had to read and sign the thing each and every time. I guess, this time, the information sank in and seemed scary.

Let's see... I need to do some tidying so that the cleaning lady can work when she comes while I'm out later on. I need to write her check (and I need to make sure it's a good check. Apparently, there's a printing error on some of our checks that makes the computerized scanners balk. The account number is perfectly clear to a human eye, but the computer will refuse to process the check. From looking through the book I'm currently using, it looks like a 50-50 split between good and bad. The error is really exceedingly trivial, just a little bit missing off the bottom of a couple of zeroes, not even the whole bottom gone, just part of it). I need to pick out a book or three to take with me to the appointment. I need to put all of my stuff back in my purse. It's gotten scattered recently.

I don't really want to do any of this.
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I slept middling well last night but woke up feeling groggy and generally bleh. For some reason, my left breast (the one that gets biopsied tomorrow) hurts. The right one is fine, so I can't figure it out.

Scott discovered yesterday that the car rental was costing a lot more than he thought it was. He thought it was $33 a day, but it was actually $77. He looked at the rental agreement and couldn't find the actual price specified anywhere on it. [livejournal.com profile] evalerie is going to loan us a car from this evening forward, but we've racked up a considerable bill.

Scott's definitely leaning toward another Subaru Forester. He's just not quite ready to commit to it. Also, his parents have friends whose son works for Subaru and might be willing/able to get us a deal on a car. The dealership is only willing to give us $500 as a trade-in on our old car. That's not terribly surprising, given the repairs it needs, but it is disappointing.

Scott and I both want to run something at UCon. I don't think a LARP is on the table for us this year. I suppose I might be able to do it if everything turns out to be fine with the biopsy, but I'm feeling sort of fried, and a LARP is a lot of work, even one I've run before. Scott's thinking to run XCom, and he thought I should run Sentinels of the Multiverse. I think he likes the idea of board/card games because there's not nearly as much preparation work involved. I'd really love to run a small role playing scenario, but I'm not sure that I'm up to the work involved. I also haven't GMed anything in about thirteen years and don't know any of the systems people seem to commonly run at conventions these days.

Of course, buying a car and everything might have an impact on whether or not we can afford to go to UCon.

My SIL and niece are going to come down early so that all four of us can go to lunch before my appointment. I need to be at my appointment at 1:00, so we're aiming for 11:00 for lunch. I still miss Cafe Marie, but at least, Panera's not terrible.

A couple of active parents of students in Cordelia's class are trying to organize a bunch of activities between now and the beginning of school. Unfortunately, I don't see us being able to do most of them, not with Scott's work schedule. I'm debating emailing the list to see if someone is willing to drive Cordelia to and from the laser tag session, but she'll only want to go if someone she likes is going, too, and I'm pretty sure that none of her friends will be going. We could probably go to the picnic that's supposed to be on the school playground (construction permitting), but it would take a huge bite out of our Sunday, and that's the only day we can be sure that Scott will be home most weeks.

Scott looked up the terms of Cordelia's phone contract last night because she's been getting massive numbers of texts recently (mostly Google hangouts as that's where kids she knows gather). She has unlimited texting, fortunately, but her data allowance is measured in MB. As Scott said, no wonder she's constantly running out.

I finished my link finding last night. Pinterest wouldn't let me go back as far as I wanted to, but I probably didn't miss anything. The links there are usually to posts that are years old or are things that get linked four or five times over the course of a few days. I only lost a day or two. It's my week to post, and I'll probably end up posting on Friday. The other link finder doesn't have her stuff in yet and may very well have gone to bed already. I really, really don't see myself being together enough to post tomorrow.

I've stepped my Wellbutrin down again so that I'm taking 100 mg twice a day. I really hope that that means the end of the dry mouth problems I've been having since we went up to 150 mg twice a day back in January or February.

I've been listening to a variety of things on YouTube. Amazon is recommending a lot of music to me, and most of it is artists I've never heard of. Of course, judging by what I've tried so far, there's a reason for that. What on earth makes Amazon's algorithm think that I'm interested in some of this? I've wishlisted and/or bought folk, bluegrass, 1980s top 40, and some Beatles. So far, I've tried and disliked Deep Purple, Nightwish, Rainbow, Within Temptation, and Epica. I didn't out and out dislike Kamelot, but I'm not at all sure I liked them.
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Cordelia and her friend ended up making lunch yesterday-- macaroni and cheese. Cordelia was very reluctant at first, but, about half an hour after she absolutely refused to consider cooking, she and her friend had the box of pasta out and were asking me what to do. No one put away the leftovers, so they're kind of cemented to the bottom of the pot. I'll have to see what I can do to pry them loose later today.

Scott is working 3-3 today. His alarm didn't go off at 2. Fortunately, he woke about 2:30, so he wasn't too horribly late getting to work. He called to let them know he would be late (it's about a half hour drive, so the time he needed to get dressed meant being late). His alarm did go off at 5:10, and I had a heck of a time figuring out how to turn it off. I had to turn on the light and still couldn't read the labels on the buttons on his alarm. I'm not sure how much of that was the tiny print and how much of it was the light still being fairly poor. It stopped making noise, and I got the light on it to dim, so I was able to go back to sleep eventually.

I actually dreamed that I was going to have to start high school and had missed the application deadline for the special program I wanted. I'd think I was too old for that sort of dream, but I do still have occasional dreams about high school normally. In this case, though, I think it may be anticipatory anxiety about figuring out where Cordelia will go to high school. We don't have to decide until she's in eighth grade, and she only starts seventh this fall, so I'm worrying early.

I would like to be able to send her to Community which is a smaller high school, still in the public school system, with some specialized programs. Unfortunately, Community always has at least three times as many applicants as it has spaces, so getting in is difficult. It's a lottery, so everyone has pretty much the same chance. I think, given transportation constraints, that Community and the normal high school we're zoned for are the only real options. I consider Community viable because one of the buses that runs near us has a stop about a block away from the school. I think the trip would take about ten minutes. Cordelia would have to ride a school bus in order to get to the normal high school, so the bus trip to Community doesn't look so bad at all.

Oh, well. There's time to think about it.

Scott grilled pork last night. I think it came out tasting kind of nasty. He said he put sesame oil on it before he grilled it to see if that would keep it from sticking (it didn't). I normally like sesame oil but not this time. Of course, I'm not sure that what I was tasting was sesame oil-- It tasted kind of like gas smells.

Cordelia's friends' mother sent home made spring rolls and home made baklava yesterday. The spring rolls were oddly buttery. I think she must have cooked the cabbage inside in butter. The baklava was a little scorched and very lemony but still good.

I'm doing the Metanews posting this week as the other moderator has been having both personal issues and connection difficulties. We're very late this week because the other moderator wasn't able to do any links until today. We will likely be at least a bit late next week due to me having three doctor's appointments in the two days when I usually link find.

My ankle's mostly doing better today, but I gave myself an issue earlier by bending my ankle wrong when I was getting up from sitting down. Basically, what that happened was that my heel was on the floor while the ball of my foot and my toes were on something about an inch and a half taller. That hurt considerably.

I'm thinking that I'll try watching that Chinese movie I've had from Netflix for a few weeks now. I want to watch it and return it ASAP, and this afternoon ought to be a good time. I'll just close my laptop for the duration so that I can focus on the TV and actually follow what's going on and which character is which. I will probably go back to the start and watch the fifteen or twenty minutes I already watched again. I wasn't paying enough attention the first time to catch most of what happened.

I did end up signing up for [community profile] iddyiddybangbang with a Weiss Kreuz PWP. Now I just have to put the dates for the challenge in my calendar and review the bits of the story that I've already written. I said I wouldn't mind being matched with an artist or person making a fanmix, but I don't know that I will be. Weiss Kreuz isn't nearly as widely known now as it used to be, and the majority of people signing up for the challenge seemed to be doing so in big western fandoms like the MCU.
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The kids made brownies yesterday. Even with the air conditioner running, it was pretty warm in here. I was sweating enough that I itched all over. This isn't usual, even for summer.

Of course, I think a big part of the problem is that our dehumidifier died back in May. Scott keeps saying he's going to fix it, but I don't actually expect he'll ever get to it. I think he's completely forgotten that it isn't operating. By the time he gets home from work, 82F+ feels cool to him because he's spent his day in 100F+ with much higher humidity than what we have in here.

I'm of the opinion that, as the dehumidifier is twenty years old, we might want to look at getting something newer. I would be surprised if the state of the art for such things hasn't changed in two decades, and it's not as if we haven't gotten our money's worth out of the old one.

Cutting those two blogs from the Metanews Feedly list actually did help. There's one other site that I chose to skip this week and that I may end up cutting because it's a PITA. I don't know, though. I do still have some links I could add to this week's post. The other mod is due to post this week and has said that she won't do it until tomorrow due to family obligations. That means there's still time to put stuff in. I've got about twenty LJ links that could go in this week but don't have to.

I woke this morning with a headache. So far, nothing has helped. I haven't tried Amerge yet, though, so maybe that will work. I tend to leave that to try last since it's so expensive.

Scott had to give our guests a ride home last night as their mother has a learner's permit and couldn't pick them up because she didn't have a licensed driver to ride with her. Today, because we're expecting thunderstorms, the kids' father dropped them off and will pick them up after work. They only have one car, so he's been leaving it with his wife and taking the bus to work. (My impression is that both parents prefer taking the bus to work when it's an option.)

I wish I knew something I could do to help Scott get better sleep. He only has time each night for about six hours of sleep, but he keeps waking up an hour to an hour and a half early and finding himself completely unable to go back to sleep. He's exhausted pretty much all of the time.

The kids walked to the book store yesterday afternoon, and Cordelia bought books 2 and 3 of The Hunger Games series. She's read them already, but she wanted to own them. The kids bickered about whether or not to go for about an hour with both girls pressuring the boy to go and him adamantly stating that he would not. When I asked them to give it a rest, Cordelia got snippy, telling me that, if I didn't like it, I should just go away. I'm not sure why Cordelia and her friend thought it so important that all three of them go.
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I cut two blogs off the Metanews reading list yesterday. One tended to produce one usable meta post for roughly every ten actual posts, but I had to read every single post all the way through before deciding to link, and it posted about fifty things a week, so that ate up a lot of time. The other was a much higher volume site with three or four hundred posts a week, only five to ten of which would be meta. I thought about keeping it because it was very fast to weed. Most articles were clearly, based on title alone, not meta, so I only had to look at ten to fifteen articles in any depth.

That leaves four sites that I'm looking at that might be more trouble than they're worth. The two of those that I would most like to cut, I don't want to let go because they're the only two that we follow that are dedicated to comics. They're both very high volume sites, however, that yield little meta.

I think I need to think twice about signing up for a week of check in posts for [community profile] writethisfanfic again. I hate to give up on it since there only seem to be three of us willing to do it, but this week, I didn't once post before 5 p.m. Usually, I post before noon. Also, I'm not really using the community because I haven't actually done any writing in a couple of months. I want to, but I can't focus at all. I like the idea of the community, but I'm not sure I'm getting anything out of it. Of course, check in posts take all of about ten minutes a day, every day for a week. That's not a huge time commitment. The hardest part is coming up with discussion topics that aren't either inane or things that have been put forward dozens of times before. I'm feeling more than a little burnt out on that part.

We only got through one CD of Son of Neptune tonight because Cordelia didn't want to do more and didn't want me to go on without her. We only have one CD left, though, so I may insist that we listen to it tomorrow before we go to the library.

Cordelia's best friend and her younger brother will be coming over every day next week. Their father usually drops them off about 7:45, but their mother says she'll be bringing them about 8:00 instead. Cordelia has the impression that their mother may actually have started driving and that that's why she's bringing them. If they were coming by bus, I'd expect them to come later because it takes a while to get here and because the buses are extremely crowded at that time of day. She has also offered to bring food which would be difficult on a standing room only bus.

Scott picked up some Stain Devils to try to deal with the bloodstains on Cordelia's shorts, but the stuff only comes in really tiny bottles, and the stains are huge and in many different places. Trying to immerse each one completely for two or more hours would take more time than we've got and a lot more of the product than we've got. Also, Scott didn't read the label-- We would need heavy rubber gloves. Scott ended up going back out for some Oxiclean, and that has cleared up both pairs of shorts completely.

Scott's worried that taking my Gmail address off my phone will make it not work as well. I pointed out that it's very easy to put the address back if, for some reason, I need to. I'm still learning how to do things with my phone. Today, I discovered that I can't set an alarm to the minute I want. The program will only allow five minute increments. I wanted 10:02 but could only have 10:00 or 10:05. It's more of an inconvenience than anything, but it does make it harder to set my alarm for exactly half an hour after I take my morning meds.

I've already had my mug of coffee, but I want more. I shouldn't because a tin only lasts me six servings (my mug holds two cups) and because I don't need the extra sugar. Also, it's warm and humid in here. Why on earth would I think more hot liquid would be a good idea?

I'm going to try to finish my interlibrary loan book before library time this afternoon. I've only got about forty pages left, and it reads quickly. I'm finding some of the author's recurring phrases annoying, and, although this is a work of historical non-fiction, he keeps talking about characters suffering the vengeance of the Sun Goddess.

I think I'm going to give up on the other book I'm currently reading. I'm only vaguely interested in it, and I have trouble tracking which bits of story go with which characters, so I'm not following events very well.

I still haven't found that missing library CD. I haven't looked very hard, though. I keep hoping it will just turn up somewhere without me tearing the house apart. I probably should at least get down on the floor and look under the couch. The gaps between sections are large enough that our DVD remote can fall through, so a CD case definitely could. I was mistaken-- Amazon still lists this CD as in print and for sale for $19.99. I really thought it was out of print. A lot of others in the series are.
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We've been listening to Rick Riordan's Son of Neptune on CD in the evenings. I checked it out from the library for our vacation driving, but we only got about four hours into it because the vacation rental was relatively close. Scott and Cordelia have read the book before, but I've only heard fragments of it it, enough that I know pretty much who everyone is and what happens, but not enough to satisfy Cordelia. I think we've got three CDs left, so we'll probably finish this weekend. I've had this book on my iPod for a couple of years now, but I never seem to get around to listening to it or to anything else (I'm not sure I even know where the charging cord is for my iPod, it's been so long).

I definitely need to advertise on the Metanews communities for someone to link find on LJ. It really needs to be done. I think we've missed at least fifty links since the person who was doing it resigned, and I really, really can't pick up LJ, too. I want to because there's some good stuff there, but it would add to the time I spend on Metanews in a way that I can't handle. I can barely handle the stuff I'm already committed to doing.

I found another website that posts occasional superlative meta, but that meta comes up once out of every fifty or sixty posts. I'm not convinced that any meta, however spectacular, is worth wading through that many non-meta posts.

I didn't wear my ankle brace at all yesterday, and I ended up regretting it. It's not obvious to me why I need it-- My ankle doesn't wobble at all or anything like that, and I don't walk far when I'm at home. I can get away with a few hours without the brace, but apparently, all day is too much. My foot and ankle hurt all night. They hurt more when at rest than when I was actually walking or standing. I have no idea.

Cordelia is now saying that she wants to go clothes shopping to get some new shorts. Of course, when Scott suggested, right before dinner last night, that we go after dinner, she said no. She was willing to go immediately, before dinner, but not after dinner. We pointed out to her that I absolutely had to eat within the next hour, but she wouldn't budge, so we didn't go. The clothes we ordered online ought to arrive some time next week, so neither Scott nor I feel all that urgent. I think Cordelia is largely reacting to the realization that every pair of shorts she owns and is willing to wear is blood stained.

Scott forgot how old my laptop is and was going to try updating me to Yosemite. I was pretty sure we'd discussed it before and had discovered that my laptop was too old. It seems that it's just barely too old-- The about this Mac thingy says it's from 'early 2008.' Yosemite will run on machines starting with 'late 2008.' Replacing my laptop doesn't make sense. It does the things I need to do fairly well. The main problem right now is that my system is so old that none of my programs (except, for some reason, iTunes) can be updated any longer. Google is complaining constantly about how my version of Safari is too old and 'not supported,' but my system won't run anything more recent.

I have deleted my Gmail address from my phone. I simply didn't see that it served any useful purpose on there. I don't want to get email there. I don't want to chat there. I don't want to cross connect my contacts. I don't intend to access Google docs or anything like that, so all it was doing was giving Google more information about me. This should stop the phone's irritating habit of making noise every time I get an email. I figure I can always put the address back later if, for some reason, I want to. About the only circumstance under which I can see it being useful is if we lose power for more than two or three hours, and even if that happens, I'm likely to be more interested in using the phone as a phone and in conserving the battery.

Cordelia's pediatrician's office is part of a bigger network, and that network just sent us a survey to fill out. The survey is obviously not designed to apply to pediatric visits as all of the questions assume that the person filling out the form is the patient. That makes filling out some of the bits problematic-- For example, I'm willing to talk to them about the survey, but I'm not the patient, and I'm not willing to have them talk to Cordelia about any of this, and I'm not sure if me filling out the survey constitutes the patient having assistance from someone else in filling it out. And, when they ask for education level, do they want mine or Cordelia's? The difference is considerable. I will probably fill the dratted thing out because the office has always done well by us, but I don't feel any particular hurry.
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Our cleaning lady usually comes on Thursdays, but she called yesterday to ask if she could come today instead. I saw no reason not to say yes, so she'll be here in about half an hour, and I really should eat lunch before then, in spite of having gotten up fairly late.

Scott got up at 7:00 because he needed to take the car in for work. They shuttled him home, so he's not stuck there, but we have no idea when we'll get our car back.

I caught Cordelia just in time last night-- She didn't realize (and I didn't realize that I hadn't told her) that bloodstained clothing needs to be soaked in cold water to get the stains out before washing. She'd just been throwing stained stuff into her hamper with the intention of washing it soon. So we've got six or seven pieces of clothing in the sink right now. The stains are old enough that they may not come out very well, but I'm hoping. I really don't want her to lose all three of her pairs of shorts.

I haven't had any updates on my sister, but I didn't really expect to. It's entirely likely that she's home by now. I may try calling my mother tomorrow. I need to get my brother-in-law's cell phone number. I thought I had it, but I don't. I suppose it makes sense that I wouldn't. We've only met twice, before Cordelia was born, and we've never actually talked. Still, it would be good to have his number.

Even if my mother ends up in Michigan for the first week in August, Cordelia and I will almost certainly be staying in Ann Arbor. The lump in my breast has shifted around to become more obvious, much closer to the surface, and my doctor wants me to get a mammogram and see a specialist. The available time for that is the afternoon of Wednesday the 5th. I already had an appointment on the morning of the 4th, but I could reschedule that pretty easily and with only a few days notice.

I spent a couple of hours this morning weeding the Metanews LJ reading list. More than half of the communities we followed hadn't posted in months or even years (some of them even had posts saying that they were ceasing activity). I cut all of those. I cut all of those that post frequently but don't actually link meta (we were following a couple of communities that exclusively link fic). For those, I went back a screen's worth of posts and cut them if there wasn't a meta post or link in that space.

Of course, we don't actually currently have anyone checking the LJ reading list (which is a pity because there's a fair amount to be found there). The other moderator said she would but hasn't had time (or so I judge by the fact that none of the links that I'd expect from LJ have been in recent posts). I probably should post looking specifically for someone to deal with LJ. I am starting to think that there's no hope at all of finding someone who will help with the blog list, so I'm probably going to have to take an ax to it and cut a lot of sites that do good meta. I don't think I'm capable of keeping something on the reading list and not going through the posts, looking for meta.

I may drop The Daily Dot. It has a high volume of posts for a handful of more or less meta stuff. Also, a lot of readers dislike the site and don't ever want to go there. Then again, The Daily Dot is really, really easy to weed-- I can delete 90% of the posts without even looking at them, just going by the titles.

I guess I'm wishing I had an easy way to consult with readers to see if there's anything I'm linking that isn't of interest to anybody. For example, do people actually want links to every new installment of Tor's rereads? All of those come up every single week, and I'd expect regular Metanews readers who're interested to have started following the rereads independent of our links. Then again, it's always possible we'll get a new reader who hasn't discovered those rereads yet. I don't know. The Tor rereads take a good bit of time because there are so many of them.
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I am so very, very tired. I'm not actually sure why. Scott came to bed around midnight, so we weren't dreadfully late getting to sleep. I slept straight through until my 5 a.m. alarm (for taking my thyroid med). Usually, I've been waking up and checking the time every half hour to hour and then taking the med whenever I decide the time is close enough so that i can turn off the alarm and not have it wake anybody else.

My bladder woke me about 8:30, and I decided I was up for the day. I'm not sure I should have given how I'm feeling. I probably could have gone back to sleep, but once I took my morning meds, I was committed to getting up. Only Scott's parents were up when I came out. Cordelia and our almost four year old niece came out about ten minutes later, and other people have been trickling in ever since. The almost four year old is currently screaming because her father told her not to grab things out of other people's hands. I think she must be exhausted, too.

Most everybody went to the water park attached to Cedar Point after lunch yesterday. It wasn't dreadfully warm, only about 70F, but the forecast said rain today (and it is raining). The water park tickets were free with the amusement park tickets, though, because Scott found a really, really good deal online (it was only good for one day, or I'd link it). That meant there was a lot less pressure to spend a lot of time at the park or to do things once there.

Scott's parents took a trip to see a lighthouse. They invited me along, but I had link finding to do, and my ankle wasn't entirely happy. (There seems to be a delay in terms of my ankle telling me that I've overdone things. I did very little walking on Wednesday, so I'm putting the trouble down to the walking I did on Tuesday. That fits with the time I went grocery shopping on a Saturday and then had extra pain on Monday.)

Link finding actually took a lot longer than I expected it would even though my connection to Google stayed steady. The last link I followed actually led to an index of recent articles about a variety of fandoms, all meta on a single theme. I tried to figure out a good way to simply link the index, but the articles were fandom specific and were all about different fandoms, so I linked each article. There were a lot of them.

Scott and his brother played some Axis and Allies with our nephew last night. Two turns takes a lot longer than I expected-- I think they were at it for more than three hours. Scott told me they still have more to do before they put the game away.

I finished the book I was reading while I waited for Scott to come to bed. The timing was reasonable-- I finished while he was brushing his teeth, so I put the book down and pulled a pillow over my head to block out the light. I'm not sure what I'll read tonight. I brought another book, but I don't know if I want to pull that out just for one night, not when we're going to be trying to get as much as possible packed before we go to bed tonight.
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Scott's parents are coming soon to do some yardwork. The weather is excellent for it. I just hope they don't overdo or get overwhelmed. I think Scott's father wants to work on the trees growing between the garage and the fence and to mow the lawn. I think Scott's mother wants to work on my raised beds (she said they were hoping to bring some coleus, and there really isn't anywhere else to put that).

Scott might have to work late tonight, and we're kind of hoping that he will because the alternative is going in early tomorrow which might turn into having to stay for twelve hours. We're supposed to be at the vacation house some time between 4:00 and 5:00 tomorrow, if we can, and if Scott's working until 3:00, we won't get there until around bedtime. It's about a two hour drive, and if Scott works, I don't see any way we could leave any earlier than 6:00. We might very well leave later.

This will be troublesome because Scott and I are supposed to have first pick of the rooms in order to get something that will accommodate my bad ankle. I don't see the rest of the family waiting that late to select rooms (if nothing else, the four year old may need to go to bed before we get there). It would also mean that Scott and I wouldn't get a chance to put in any requests on the list for the grocery shopping expedition. At least, it's only supposed to be a ten minute drive to the store. Last time we did this, it was half an hour, so that, if we forgot anything, we pretty much had to do without.

I need to call my aunt and uncle and probably email my cousin again to make sure that everybody has and will use my cell number. I don't want them trying to reach me and unable to because they keep calling our landline. My father has my cell number but it's 50-50 as to which number he'll use when he tries to call. I also need to talk to them to find out exactly where Grandma is going to be. My cousin told me that his best friend's wife is the daytime manager for the rehab place where Grandma will be and that her mother is on the staff at night, but he didn't tell me the name of the place or what town it's in or anything concretely useful.

I want to run the dishwasher before we go, whether it's full or not. I just don't see anything good coming of leaving the dirty dishes in there while we're gone. Most of our laundry is done (some still needs to go in the dryer). We had pizza for dinner last night, and there's enough left to feed us tonight. That way, we won't be leaving leftover chicken or turkey burgers or whathaveyou.

I wrote up a call for volunteers for [community profile] metanews and posted it yesterday. As far as I know, we haven't gotten any responses yet, but anything sent to the Gmail account goes to the other moderator, so maybe someone has talked to her. I also wrote up but didn't post an explanation of what we do and don't link to. I think we need a more up-to-date mission statement, and we definitely need to edit the information on the community profiles. That lists people as working on the newsletter who've been gone for many months.
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Well, I woke this morning with a headache. I took some naproxen for it, but that has yet to do anything.

Then I got an email saying that the link finder who's been doing LJ won't be able to do [community profile] metanews work any longer. I really, really can't pick up LJ again, and I hate to let it go entirely because there are reliably some links there every week (more than we get from DW, anyway). I'm not at all sure what to do because our calls for volunteers tend to get a few people who then never respond to the welcome-to-metanews message (this isn't even a message in which we talk about what needs doing or how things have usually been done). We actually tried to get some folks who would specialize in particular fandoms (of their choice), but the only volunteer we got that way never responded when we emailed them.

I've talked to the other remaining link finder, and I'm going to try to put together a post calling for volunteers today. I figure the sooner we do that the better.

Scott's parents are supposed to come down this afternoon because Scott's father wants to do some yard work for us and Scott's mother is going to supervise to make sure he doesn't overdo or attempt something he really shouldn't. I'm not sure they'll come, however. We had rain last night, and the sky still looks kind of threatening in that direction. I called and talked to Scott's mother (Scott's father is out at a meeting), and she said she'd discuss it with him but that she thought they'd come down anyway.

Scott's FATE game met last night. We ended up fighting a monster when the guy we'd captured shape shifted into one. My character's magic showed her that all traces of the human person he used to be (and he was a mess, with fragments of several different people in his head) were gone, so we stopped trying to subdue him and simply killed him. Now, we have three dead bodies, one of them no longer exactly human (eight feet tall, internal organs rearranged, serious bulking up. We've been referring to him as a werewolf even though he doesn't look at all like one). Our base is in the middle of Boston, so we don't really have a good place to get rid of bodies.

Scott's father sent me some photos of the house we've rented for vacation. The purpose of doing that was to give me some idea of the layout so that I could pick a room for me and Scott with an eye toward what would be easiest on my ankle. Unfortunately, the photos are pretty useless for that. I really need a map of the layout, and the photos are aimed at making each room look attractive rather than at showing where they are in relation to each other. The web listing may have had a map, but the web listing is completely gone now. We're assuming it's because the house has been rented for the entire summer. The listing was with a reputable site, so we're not worried in that direction.

I need to spend some time today making lists of what I need to pack for the trip. We only have to worry about our own stuff this time, so that's easier. Cordelia already made her list and is quite pleased with herself over it.

Scott's pretty definitely working late tomorrow evening, and we kind of expect he'll work late tonight. I think, whether he works late or not, I'll bake some tilapia. It's cool enough that using the oven shouldn't be a problem, and even if we had something to grill, Scott's not going to want to go out in the rain to do it.
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I've gotten through about twenty posts on the blog list so far today. I'm in the part that takes the longest because I've already gotten rid of the things that blatantly aren't meta. I need to skim each remaining post to see if it's actually meta (and sometimes it takes more than skimming). I did a few hundred posts yesterday after I got word about my grandmother coming through okay, so the remaining eighty or so posts are totally doable this afternoon.

Scott had to be ready to go in early this morning. They didn't end up needing him to, but it meant broken sleep for both of us. We're hoping that they won't keep him late tonight because he's got an appointment to have the car looked at-- Something fell off the car last week. We're not sure what it is (Scott was able to retrieve the piece in question), but we think (hope) it's just something protective that can be easily put back. The car also needs an oil change.

I really, really wish I could open and close our windows. Unfortunately, I'm just not strong enough. It's more problems with closing them than problems with opening them, but it's the closing of them that I would most need to do. It's been very cool outside at night for a while and much, much warmer inside the house. It would be really pleasant to get that cool air inside by opening the windows, but, if it gets hot the next day, I can't close the stupid things, and we'll end up miserable because I'll have to turn off the air conditioner no matter how hot it gets. The problems with closing them vary, too. For some, it's that I can't easily reach them (and this part is harder with the bad ankle). For some, it's that they're stubborn and beyond my strength.

I'm trying to fiddle around with my library holds so that nothing comes in while we're gone that will need to be picked up before we get back. I suspect, though, that Cordelia and I will each lose at least one hold. I have four things for which I'm the next in line, and Cordelia has two. (Scott's tenth on the list for the one hold he has.) We should have plenty of time to visit the library right before we leave.

Each family is going to be responsible for cooking a couple of meals for the extended family. Scott and I haven't signed up for anything yet. Him because he hasn't thought about it and me because I'm not sure what I can reasonably commit to-- Scott's likely the one who will have to do the bulk of the cooking, after all, so he ought to decide what he's willing to make. There are a bunch of dietary restrictions to consider, too. Scott's mother and sister are GF. Scott's father has a dairy allergy and is diabetic. One of our nieces won't eat mammalian meat for ethical reasons. Scott's sister is limited in terms of a bunch of other foods that I've completely lost track of. Then there's me and Scott with our restrictions. And this doesn't even consider likes and dislikes.

Of course, Scott has been looking at the weather forecasts for where we'll be, and the current prediction is for days of rain which will make the swimming pool pretty useless. I'm not sure if Cedar Point is far enough away that the weather would be different there. Scott's parents want to make a trip to a national park that's a couple of hours away, but Scott says that it's east of where we'll be, so it may well share the weather we'll have.

I want to figure out a way to get north and see Grandma. I'm just not sure how to make it work. Hopefully, that will become a little clearer when I know where she's going to be. If she's in Bay City, it will be easier to visit than if she's somewhere further north. Google's not helping much because my grasp of which towns are where in that part of Michigan is very weak. I'm finding a lot of places that specialize in pediatric medicine near (I think) where she lives, but so far nothing that would be a likely place for her to be. I should just get my act together and call my cousin and ask him.

Okay, lunch, then back to link finding.
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I did a lot of cat waxing yesterday and accomplished none of the things I'd hoped to. I'm not even sure what I actually did do.

I'm getting frustrated with Google hangouts. It won't let me initiate a chat with anybody any more, at least not in Safari. I haven't tried in Firefox because the account I use on Firefox has a habit of spontaneously and permanently blocking people I want to talk to and telling me that I can't undo it unless I sign up for Google+ on that account which I am not going to do because that's my pseudonymous account for fanfic activity. Attaching my real name to it would defeat the purpose. At any rate, the Google hangouts problem may come from the fact that the version of Safari I use is no longer supported by Google.

Unfortunately, I can't update Safari until Scott figures out a way to update my system software, and nothing he's managed to think of will work for that short of buying the system again (we can't find the CDs Scott used to update his laptop). I'm still using Lion. Apparently, we could update me to Yosemite for free, but Yosemite won't run on my laptop because my laptop's too old. It's all very frustrating.

Scott's FATE game met last night. We resolved a couple of combat situations that we'd been in the middle of last time we met (four weeks ago?). Our group really could use a couple of NPCs-- The door to our base has been blown off, and right now, one of the player characters is stuck guarding it all the time which makes it hard for that character to interact with anybody else or to do anything interesting.

I slept poorly last night. I think the problem is that I ate too many snacks at the game session. The particular problem seems to have been the maple bacon potato chips. I didn't have many, but apparently I shouldn't have had any. It's a pity because there are rarely potato chips at the game that I can safely eat (black pepper chips are very popular and do nasty, nasty things to me). Scott has taken to buying gluten free cookies for the game sessions because one of the players is gluten free. They're really extremely good.

I'm puzzled. I'm feeling overheated, but the thermostat says it's only 75F in here. That probably means it's actually 77F in the living room, and that's really not hot. I've got the overhead fan running, but it doesn't seem to be helping.

I'm trying to decide if I want to do my morning routine of reading various websites first or if I'm going to do the [community profile] metanews post first. Posting will take maybe half an hour. Reading my usual websites will probably take two. It might make sense to post first, just to get it done. I don't know.
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It's actually cooler inside our house than it is outside right now. I'm surprised because that isn't usually the case when we don't have the air conditioner running. I've actually turned off the overhead fans for now, and I put on a long sleeved dress. I may change clothes if I'm going to go out later, but I'm comfortable like this now.

Scott got home about 4:00 yesterday and promptly fell asleep. What with that and needing to shower, he wasn't ready to contemplate dinner until about 7:30. At that point, he suggested ordering pizza or picking up Chinese food. I said I wasn't at all sure that would work given the timing, so he waited for me to make up my mind. Never mind that my drop dead, must eat dinner by this time of 8:00 hasn't changed in over a decade. Waiting didn't make it at all more likely that I would be able to eat delivery or carry out food given that the issue wasn't whether I wanted to or not but whether or not I could still eat once the food was available. It's a reflux thing. If I'm going to bed around 11:00 or midnight, I can't eat most things after 8:00. Otherwise, I'll be up past 3:00 a.m.

With ten minutes to go before my deadline, we scavenged enough leftovers to feed all three of us, but it was a near thing, and I was still hungry after dinner.

Scott wanted to take us to Orange Leaf after dinner, but I had to veto that. Most ice cream (but not all) is safe for me even relatively late, but every time we've gone to Orange Leaf after 7:00, I've had reflux trouble on going to bed. I'm not sure why that's different, but it is. I wouldn't have thought that frozen yogurt would be worse than ice cream.

I've dealt with two of my three pending business envelopes. The first of the two Social Security ones was an update for which they wanted me to list every single medical appointment/procedure I've had done since June 2013. Fortunately, my iCal is helpful in that way. It doesn't cover anything that was a same day appointment, and it includes a couple of appointments that I rescheduled but, for some reason, didn't delete, but it was close enough. I hope they don't do a full review, but if they do, I'll cope somehow.

The second Social Security envelope, I still haven't opened. I've had it about a week, and I know exactly what it is. That has to do with them wanting me to tell them what I've done with Cordelia's Social Security money, how much we've spent and how much we've saved. I'm not sure why they bother given that they've never asked for a detailed accounting, just how much money is in her account right now. I'd have thought that us taking thousands of dollars out of her account would be cause for further query, but I haven't heard a peep. I mean, I think our expenditures were justified in terms of being for things that are valid family expenses-- the sewer line, the roof, and now the air conditioner. It's not like we're going to Vegas or anything, but Social Security doesn't know that.

Anyway, I'll deal with that envelope later today or some time tomorrow so that it can go in the mail on Monday. Today's mail has already gone out, so there's no hurry.

The third envelope I needed to open was, as I suspected, a medical bill. It's only for $40, but I think it might be the result of the U's medical system once again losing track of my insurance information. I keep having to remind them again that the first thing they should do with each bill is send it to Aetna. Then, it should go to Medicare. Finally, it should go to my insurance through my former employer. I haven't decided if it's worth the bureaucratic hassle to try to find out if this particular bill was submitted properly. This is the first time in about 15 years that I've actually received a bill for anything medical, so I am inclined to think that it wasn't billed properly, but it's only $40.

I started tweaking my Remix last night. It's a little frustrating because there's more information that I need to get in there, but I want, at all costs, to avoid an info dump. I just want enough there to explain why the characters aren't acting exactly the way that, on the face of things, they might be expected to. The story's only 1600 words right now. Adding a solid paragraph of explanation would be more than a small speed bump, and some of it is stuff that the point of view character wouldn't articulate in any way. He's definitely the point of view character, though. The other character who could be was the point of view character in the original and doesn't know any of the stuff that I'm trying to get across to my readers. Maybe I need my point of view character to have a flashback to when he learned all of this stuff... But the story's so short that I don't know that I can make that work.

In my efforts to procrastinate on my Remix, I've started link finding for [community profile] metanews for next week. In a way, it's nice to start this far out because it means I'll have more time for other things on Monday and Tuesday, but link finding seems to be the sort of thing that expands to fill all available time.
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I'm working on link finding for [community profile] metanews right now, and I just followed a link to something that is meta but that I disagree with on a number of points. Basically, it's someone going on at great length about how terrible romance novels are and stating as fact things that actually haven't been true in my experience of romance novels published in the last decade or so. Admittedly, I don't read a lot of romance novels, but I do read some, and I read reviews of a lot more.

I know that linking the article doesn't mean I'm endorsing it, but right now, I'm wishing there was a tag I could put on it to indicate that I think it's, um, out of date at best.

For the curious, the article is here.
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One of Cordelia's sort of friends had a bike accident and broke both her wrists. It's probably a good thing for her that the school year ends a week from Friday. (I call her a 'sort of friend' because Cordelia likes her, but this girl steals stuff from all the other kids in the class and generally harasses people. She gives most of the stuff back, eventually, but...)

Cordelia's best friend fell at school yesterday, tripping over a low fence that the construction folks put up during the winter and never took down. My impression is that the fence in question is no more than knee high, if that, and Cordelia says that it's in a place that doesn't make sense. The friend was badly enough bruised that she wasn't able to play in their in school concert for the fourth graders (She plays violin, and she had trouble lifting and bending her arm). It remains to be seen whether or not she'll be able to play at tonight's concert.

Lunch time is a little difficult for the kids in Cordelia's grade-- They send the kids outside for about twenty minutes, but the sixth graders are forbidden to use any of the playground equipment for fear they'll hurt the little kids or prevent the little kids from using the equipment. The school also keeps banning the activities the sixth graders come up with to keep themselves occupied. I kind of understand that because the kids argue a lot over the rules and some kids cheat, but those forty-six kids need to do something, after all.

Scott's parents are planning to come to the concert tonight. It's quite a trek for the fifteen minutes Cordelia will actually be playing, but they don't seem to mind. We don't know yet if Scott will be able to attend. He worked late last night, and he's hoping that that will mean he doesn't have to work late tonight. I am glad that they decided to separate the band concert from the orchestra concert. It means fewer people crammed into the multi-purpose room and a concert only half as long.

I wish there was a good way to get feedback on [community profile] metanews. I'd like to know what sort of links are actually useful to our readers and what sort nobody wants to read. I'd like to pare down the blog list a bit and maybe try to find some other blogs that have content more focused in areas people are interested in (and with a better ratio of meta to not meta). I mean, are people actually interested in fifteen different links about the same episode of Game of Thrones? I don't have the time (or the knowledge) to evaluate which articles are the best, however, so I'm not sure how to cut that down.

I have gotten the definite impression that people want the names of the blogs included in the text we attach to the links. I'm just at a loss as to how to do that without adding a lot of time to something that already takes me too long. Writing up a link takes between two and five minutes, depending on how often I have to go back and forth between windows and on how well my browser and Gdocs are interacting at the moment. My best guess is that adding the blog name would increase that time by at least thirty seconds a link, and that adds up.

ETA: For Metanews, I'd also really like to know if it's necessary for me to keep tagging things with 'warning:spoilers.' I link a lot of stuff that says, in the title, that it's talking about a specific episode of a show, and it seems to me that sensible people would assume spoilers in something like that. Meta about a movie that came out last week also probably has spoilers. (Heck, meta about anything almost certainly has spoilers. I just don't bother to warn for things that are older.)
the_rck: (Default)
[community profile] metanews may not get posted until tomorrow. Google docs isn't cooperating in either Safari or Firefox. I've already been fighting with it for an hour, and I have better things to do than to spend six hours doing something that should take half an hour, tops. In Safari, everything's just moving really, really slowly. In Firefox, the document doesn't want to load and keeps telling me to clear my cache and giving me an 'unresponsive script' warning.

My suspicion is that Safari's problem is that I'm using an old version (still the most recent that will work with my OS but old enough that Google keeps warning me that it's no longer supported). Then again, given that Google docs isn't working in Firefox, either, maybe Google's hiccuping. I don't know. I just want to get this dratted thing posted so that I can do something else for a couple of hours. I really hate the way that [community profile] metanews keeps taking up more and more time. I haven't had a single day this week when I have worked on it for at least two hours.

Ah, Firefox has finally deigned to load. Maybe I can do this after all.

It's just discouraging. We put a lot of work into this, and most of what we hear back are complaints that we're not finding the right sort of meta for the right sorts of fandoms and that we're not giving the right sort of information about what we're linking. Oh, and that we don't curate the links to make sure they're good meta.

The first is a problem of not knowing the right places to look and of not having enough people to look carefully. A lot of this stuff is on Tumblr now, and we have no way to deal with Tumblr (and I don't expect we will in the foreseeable future. Nobody wants to commit twenty plus hours a week to link finding on Tumblr. We could have someone spending all of their time searching Tumblr and still not find everything).

The second is a question of time. I'm trying to do each link in under two minutes so that I have time to do all of the others and still eat and sleep. It could be resolved with a few more volunteers to help me with the blog list. Well, partially resolved. I still have no interest in reading most of the articles I link, and I doubt any other link finder would be either. It takes far too much time. I look just enough to be sure it's probably meta and to get a vague idea of what it's about. Then I pull a quote of some sort and go.

The third-- Well, most of the fandoms we link find in, we know nothing at all about beyond what we see in the meta we skim. Judging content with no knowledge is a bad idea. Also, we don't want to be arbiters of what's 'good.' We try to link only to substantive meta, but we're moving really fast. This ties in to complaints I've seen that we 'only link to SJW' stuff. We link to the stuff we can find. We're following more than sixty blogs. We'd add others if they were suggested. There's no point in adding Tumblrs because nobody's checking there. The reason we have, for example, a lot of Buffy meta is that there's a really great newsletter for the fandom on LJ that searches out a lot of good links. We don't, by contrast, have a lot of H5O or Supernatural meta because the sources we have for those don't link any and because none of the blogs we follow talk about those shows.

Okay. Time for lunch. Then I post.
the_rck: (Default)
I've been having a little trouble with nosebleeds, nothing major but still noticeable. It doesn't make sense given that it's more humid in the house now than it was all winter. I do wonder if it relates at all to the way the Wellbutrin has been giving me dry mouth, but that's been going on for months now, and the nosebleeds are new. I did email my psychiatrist to ask, but she'll be out of the office until next Tuesday or Wednesday.

Yesterday, I mostly worked on link finding. I think I've only got an hour or two of work left to do on that today. I'm about 90% sure that the new link finder will do LJ this week. I've been exchanging emails with them, and they should have the access they need to do it properly. I believe it's my week to post, so I'll check over the LJ links to make sure they're tagged properly as that's one of the more challenging parts of writing up links. Some of the tagging isn't particularly intuitive.

Cordelia has been complaining a lot about the tests that they're taking at school right now. These are big standardized tests, and she hates them. She's good at taking tests, too, so I can only imagine how other kids feel. It just seems like a waste of time.

Scott grilled a pork loin last night. It took about three times as long as he expected, so it wasn't done until about 8:15. I need to eat by 8:00, so Cordelia and I scrounged dinner, reheating vegetables and making an almond butter and raspberry jam sandwich that we shared.

I want to watch some Netflix DVDs today. I've got three (though I can only find two of them). Unfortunately, I can't find the remote I need to switch over to the DVD player, so I'm not sure if that will happen. Also the two DVDs I most want to watch are subtitled, and I'm not sure I'll have time to focus on those. Of course, I need to devote time to them eventually, so why not today? The other DVD, I'd been hoping to watch with Scott as it's a new to us TV show.

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