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One of my senators just sent out an email that included this paragraph:

"In case you haven't heard the news, they finally appointed a special counsel to get to the bottom of President Trump’s connections with Russia. It will be Robert Mueller, former director of the FBI under both President Bush and President Obama."
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I started falling asleep about 2:45 yesterday afternoon. Cordelia got home about 3:10, so napping wasn't really an option. I stayed home, later, when Scott took Cordelia to PT. They picked up food on the way home because we don't have anything thawed to cook. (We still don't, but today is a better time for Scott to pick something up on his way home.)

I wrote a bit more than 2100 words yesterday. The next writing chore I need to do will involve editing and cutting, so it won't increase my word count.

I got far enough into a library book I've had for a while to know that it irritates me too much for me to finish it. At another point in time, I might finish it in spite of wanting to find the author and shake him until he admits that historical speculation doesn't actually work that way when one's writing non-fiction.

I leave soon for PT. I was going to take the bus, but it's raining, and I'm not enthusiastic about walking in the rain and then waiting at the bus stop. When I get home, I need to call to set up the A-Ride for getting to Medequip. I'll ask them how to handle getting home. I don't want to set a time for pick up given that I have no feel for how long this should take. I know they do same day rides (for more money), and I've seen mention of scheduling in advance for 'call for pick up,' but I don't know what that last means or how the price and waiting time might differ. I think the same day only costs a dollar more but has much longer wait times.

I've finished the next chapter of We Are Where We Began, but I'm not ready to post it yet because I keep looking at it and thinking that it's not quite right. Then again, I'm writing stories in that universe with the knowledge that only about half a dozen people will actually read them. They're mostly for me to have fun writing angsty, overly complicated and nasty character interactions. Worrying about the story isn't actually fun, so... Maybe I shouldn't?

But I'm thinking again about the problems I have with Zelazny's assertion that internal combustion engines don't work in Amber. Mainly, I keep wondering how that generalizes to other hydrocarbons (since I'm more willing to believe that gasoline doesn't combust than I am that the mechanical bits of the engine don't work). Doesn't that have implications for certain fundamental processes that make carbon based life (like the characters in the books and their horses and...) work at all?

Mostly, I just have to handwave that because the entire multiverse in the books breaks down once I start asking questions like that.

I talked to Scott's mother yesterday. We'll probably do the family birthday gathering over Memorial Day weekend. Mother's Day is going to be difficult, too, because Scott's sister and her family won't be available. Scott's mother would love to have us visit anyway, but I think there's something else going on that weekend. I just can't remember what. It might just be me mentally blocking off the weekend for the holiday and only thinking there's something else.

We have a school millage (sinking fund to pay for maintenance on the buildings) to vote on today. There's nothing else on our ballot, but I know that's not true in other parts of the state. I'm going to wait for Scott to get home before trying to get out to vote. It's not like there will be a line longer than about three people, no matter when I go. School millages-- any millages actually-- around here tend to do a lot better when they're not attached to a major election. I think that most of the people who'd vote against aren't strongly enough against to bother going out to vote.
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Yesterday around 3:00, the sleep disorders people called to say they had a last minute opening and could do my sleep study last night. I was the last person on their list of people to call, so they gave me until 5:00 to decide. I didn’t hear from Scott until about 3:50, and we went back and forth about it because Cordelia was planning to have friends over. Going to the sleep study would require Scott driving and the girls being unsupervised for at least forty minutes. They’re all old enough, but a group of kids is sometimes less trustworthy than a single child. Cordelia told me that some of the other girls’ parents leave when movie night is at their houses, so we decided that this was something we could do.

Scott had completely lost track of my request that he schedule a day off after the night I’d been originally scheduled to do the sleep study, so we had no way of guaranteeing that he wouldn’t have to work and leave Cordelia alone for hours. I also thought that just getting the dratted thing out of the way was a good idea.

The opening was at a different facility than the one I’d originally scheduled for, one quite a lot farther away. That didn’t matter so much once I was actually there, but it meant that I really couldn’t reasonably have gotten there (or home again) by cab.

The tech (whose name I’ve already forgotten because I’m terrible that way) got all the wires taped to me by 9:00. I wasn’t actually connected to anything, so I could still walk around. They required that I turn my phone off completely at bedtime because they wanted me to estimate when I slept and didn’t without having any time referents (taking my levothyroxine was an exception because that’s 'medically necessary'), and they tech told me that he’d be waking me at 6:00, so I had some framework.

The bed was too hard, and the pillow was too thick. The pillow was okay when I lay on my side, but with all the wires and such, it was easier to lie on my back, so I mostly didn’t use a pillow under my head at all. I was hurting rather a lot by the time I finished the night because, even with a pillow under my knees, lying on my back on a mattress that firm does nasty things to my lower back.

The tech told me that he got plenty of good information about my sleep so that there wasn’t much chance of needing to come back to redo things. I don’t currently have an appointment to go in to talk about the results, so who knows what will happen with that.

The instructions had not told me that the rooms had shower facilities, so I hadn’t brought shampoo and had to use the stuff they supplied. The bottle said 'lightly scented,' but it reeks. I’m not sneezing from it, but I don’t like it at all. I may wash my hair again later today (which will make three times in twenty four hours) just to get rid of the smell.

Scott and Cordelia picked me up a little after 7:00, and we went out for breakfast at a place called Nick’s House of Pancakes. When we got home, Scott and I went back to bed. I’m not actually sure what Cordelia did. She said she’d been awake too long to be able to sleep again.

The girls watched Pom Poko last night and were (as expected) both giggly and appalled by the tanuki testicles.

Scott’s sister came down for lunch yesterday. We went to the Syrian place. It’s small, but our timing was such that there were empty tables, so we ate there. I think I spent more on food to take home than I did on my meal. I got baba ghanouj, three pieces of pistachio baklava, and a medium sized container of cauliflower salad.

Scott’s sister asked my advice about whether or not to let her fifteen year old daughter join Tumblr. I am, apparently, from her point of view, an expert on fannish spaces. Our concerns about such things don’t entirely overlap. I think Scott’s sister is primarily concerned about internet predators of the sexual sort and, possibly, a bit about sexually explicit material (my feelings on my niece and sexually explicit material are that she’s fifteen and has been in fannish spaces for three or four years now. If she hasn’t seen porn, it’s because she’s not interested). I’m more concerned about flame wars and people treating each other horribly. I had to explain the term 'doxxing' to her and why it was a concern.

Our niece is, from what her mother said, big into Sherlock fandom right now, and that made me really hesitate about Tumblr for her because everything I’ve heard says that Sherlock fandom on Tumblr is a cesspit. Scott’s sister mentioned that her daughter ships (not using that word because Scott’s sister hadn’t heard it previously) John and Sherlock. I know there are good people in the fandom, even in the fandom on Tumblr, but I worry about our niece either getting bullied or ending up as part of one of the groups doing the terrible things.

Scott’s sister told me that she and her sister-in-law were going to one of the protests today. She offered to take me along, but I knew that I really couldn’t manage it. I can’t walk far or stand for very long, and my ability to deal with the cold weather is iffy. She was completely boggled when I told her some of the suggested precautions for protesters. I think the idea that she could be arrested had never occurred to her. She also mentioned trying to get her daughter to go but that her daughter thought it was too boring, too much a 'parent thing.'

I am planning to sign up for the Disability March which is a virtual protest for folks who can’t physically/emotionally manage an in person protest. I haven’t done it yet because, when I first looked at the website, they were asking for a photo. I’m hesitant to provide one, partly because I have no idea how to do it and partly because I’m not quite ready to put my photo online. They said it could be a photo of only part of one’s body (not face, in other words) or of something symbolic. I think that part of the desire for photos is to show that the participants are real people rather than a gazillion socks, but…

At this point, though, the site says that, due to the volume of response, they’re not going to deal with photos that aren’t easy to process and will just post those entries without a photo.

Our nephew is on the last steps of his Eagle Scout. What’s left is an assessment from a leader who is familiar with him, his history, and all the stuff he’s done to meet the requirements. That has been a sticking point because the troop he had been with dissolved over the summer. He joined a new troop because the leader promised to help, and then the leader said our nephew needed to do all of the requirements again because the troop leader hadn’t personally seen him doing them. At this point, he’s working with yet a third troop because the leader of his former troop is a volunteer there. The leader of that troop said he’d be happy to take the word of the former troop leader as to what our nephew has done, so we’re all hoping this is largely a formality. It has to be settled before his birthday in early March, and he’s worked hard for this.
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The courts have now said that the state can stop the recount, so the process is unlikely to be finished. It simplifies things for me which is good because Cordelia is so stressed out that she’s actually sick. This means we can both stay home.

From what I gather, the recount got through half of the process. I’m not sure if that’s half of all ballots cast or half of all precincts. Nothing turned up to show any inaccuracies, errors, or fraud. Based on what I saw yesterday, recounting was generally resulting in one or two votes being counted that hadn’t been before because of the limitations of scantron technology (though I’m kind of boggled that someone of voting age doesn’t realize that putting an x or a check mark in the bubble won’t work. The instructions are written clearly on the ballot).

I’m not pleased with the court decision because the bits I’ve seen quoted pretty much seem to say that a recount should only happen if there’s already evidence of fraud or other problems. I view that as rather like saying, "Well, that bridge hasn’t actually collapsed, and we don’t need to inspect it until it does." That is, I don’t think that this recount was necessary because I was sure there was something wrong. I just think that it’s a good idea to check things over from time to time to make sure that all the parts are working. I also think that it would be a good thing if our state had laws mandating recounts when the margin in an election is under a certain threshold and requiring some sort of random auditing of the process by picking, say, a dozen precincts, different ones each time, throughout the state to recount every election.

I got cranky with the Republican observer who was at my table most of the time yesterday. He was firmly of the opinion that even something as basic as making sure that all kids have food is bad because it creates a culture of dependency by making those kids think that the world will take care of them. That was so very, very alien to me, and he wouldn’t budge on it or shut up about it. I finally told him that I consider it our Christian duty to make sure that everyone’s fed, and he had nothing more to say. (Scott thinks that saying that hit the guy where he lives. I think that may be making an assumption about the guy’s religion, but he was a 70 something white guy with a very Anglo name.)

He was polite and friendly to everyone, but I found myself wondering how he’d have interacted with any of us if we were not white and not obviously middle class or if we had signs of not being straight, cis, Christian, etc. The only person at the table who wasn’t white was there for about an hour and a half and was a twenty something Asian American woman acting as a Republican observer. He was very nice to her, but I wonder how much of that was his assumption that she agreed with him.

The volunteer who was organizing the Democratic observers was very conscientious about checking in and following up, but goodness, he looked young. If he was twenty five, I’d be astonished.

Each political party had a different form for their people to use to track information. The ones I had from the Democrats were longer than the forms the Greens and the Republicans had, but a largish chunk of that was information about what the recount ought to look like, procedurally, which was something I really only needed once. Mainly what we needed to record was the precinct and our names and contact information and the finally vote tallies. My sheet had a big section where I could note any information I considered important. The Greens and the Republicans were very concerned with recording seal numbers. I considered it enough to record whether or not the initial seals were intact and matched the paper records.

There were six candidates officially on the ballot for President, and we saw votes for all of them. We laughed about the one precinct that had at least one vote for all of them having given us a bingo. We didn’t see any valid write ins, and over the course of the day, we saw about twenty ballots where people hadn’t voted for President at all (that doesn’t count the 'anybody else, please' write in sort of thing).

I’m low on sleep because I got the hiccups about half an hour after Scott got up. They lasted over an hour which meant I still had them when Cordelia got up. At least I no longer have the stress migraine. I count that as a win. I’m still going to go back to bed in a little bit; I’m just not in migraine pain. Given that, I’m going to stay up long enough to do a few things that I normally get done early in the morning or that I would normally have done yesterday and didn’t get to.
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Observing a recount is one of the most tedious things I’ve ever done. It requires close, prolonged attention without offering anything at all for me to do. I’m an observer. I’m just there to watch and make sure that everything’s done the way it ought to be.

I took a full price cab this morning because I was running late. It was a tiny bit cheaper than I expected— $21 for the fare and $4 for the tip.

When I got there, they were telling people to sign in by party affiliation. What they didn’t mention was that only Republicans, Libertarians, and Greens are allowed to challenge ballots. Anybody at all can observe and take notes. A lot of people signed in as Democrats and then went back out and signed in as Greens so that they could challenge if they saw something that merited it. I stayed a Democrat because I was the only one at the table where I ended up. I didn’t see any Libertarians present, but there could have been.

The Republicans challenged every single precinct counted. Before a given sealed container of ballots was opened, the Republicans would challenge it on the grounds that they consider the recount illegal until the courts have made a final ruling and demand that the container and ballots be sequestered and considered invalid. The lawyers working for the Republicans had the speech down so thoroughly that they could recite it without any actual pauses. It making sense to people hearing it didn’t matter as long as they said the magic words. They also put in a similar challenge at the point when the election staff started tallying votes.

Everybody else in the room kind of got peeved with them because each challenge took time and because none of us, including the Republicans, expected the results to change. Well, it’s possible that the people who were so eager to be Greens so that they could challenge ballots thought it would be a thing to happen. But I was there for eight hours and watched three precincts get recounted. There wasn’t a single ballot that any of us disagreed with the officials over. They had to explain a few things about how the votes tally.

I hadn’t realized that it’s a valid thing to both vote straight party and fill in the bubbles next to candidates in some or all of the races, but I’d say that about 75% of voters did that. Maybe one in ten of those folks actually voted both straight party and split ticket. Michigan law says that specific choices in specific races override anything in the straight ticket section. Which led to things like people voting straight ticket Green Party *and* for Gary Johnson for President. A couple of Bernie Sanders write in votes ended up being votes for Hillary Clinton because Sanders was not on the (very short) list of legal write in candidates but those voters also marked their ballots as straight ticket Democrats.

There were some silly write ins, such as Bruce Wayne, and one person wrote in 'Anyone else, please.' One person wrote in 'J.C.' in every single race on the ballot.

We only had one out and out impossible ballot. That voter had filled in the circles to vote for four different parties, straight ticket, and at least three different Presidential candidates. All of us at the table looked at that one and kind of went, 'WTF?'

The ladies at the table had already gotten started when I got there at about 8:45. They’d had one box with a broken seal that they couldn’t count because of that. It was documented that the seal broke during transit. I didn’t get a clear idea of what the procedure is in cases like that. The second box turned out to contain only unmarked ballots and ballot sleeves and so wasn’t countable at all. The third box arrived shortly after I did and was countable. That precinct had about 650 ballots. The counters assured us that that was a large precinct, but the second we got had almost 900 ballots, and the third had 1409 (and took all afternoon).

When I left a little after 5:00, the Greens were turning people away because they had too many observers for the number of tables active. Also, the local recount isn’t running past 6:00, so folks aren’t really needed for the 5:00 to 9:00 that the Greens recruited for.

Scott and Cordelia ended up coming to get me because dropping Cordelia’s friend off got them about halfway there anyway. They had some trouble finding the building but managed eventually. Cordelia has asked me not to go again. I’m debating. I’m really pretty thoroughly wrecked at this point.

I could tell when my anti-anxiety medication wore off because suddenly I *needed* my email and my web browser and anything at all to keep my brain from remembering where I was. I thought about leaving then as I’m not supposed to take more than one dose of the stuff in a single day, but I thought I could manage. And I did. I just feel really terrible now. The medication really isn’t meant to get me through 9-10 hours at a go.

The thing with Cordelia is that she needs help with her homework right now. She’s got two big projects due early next week. Scott’s helping with one, and I’m helping with the other. It’s frustrating because the terminology doesn’t make sense to me. Cordelia needs to write an essay arguing either that a mandatory service year would be a good thing or that it wouldn’t. She has to have a certain number of 'claims,' each backed up with evidence. As far as I can tell, claims are assertions. They’re supposed to find sources of information on their own, without library access or guidance on how to tell good online sources from bad ones or what to do when multiple sites/authors use the exact same text and it’s not clear which site originated it.

The teacher in this class has apparently told her classes that their previous work in this direction was 'garbage.'
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Our state attorney general’s lawsuit to stop the recount crashed and burned yesterday when it hit a judge who felt that stopping it, that even delaying it, was denying voters in our state their constitutional rights. So, instead of starting tomorrow as scheduled, the recount started yesterday at noon at two sites (Oakland and Ingham counties) and will continue at 9 a.m. today at eight sites. Tomorrow, all nineteen sites across the state will be operating.

The site in our county will open at 9 this morning, and they’re scrambling for observer volunteers. I considered it, but Cordelia really needs me at home today. I think I’ve got things set up so that she’ll be okay for the three afternoons I committed to (W-F). I hadn’t thought that me being gone would be a big deal, but she’s been very upset about other things and wanting me available pretty constantly the last couple of days.

I gave up on my hacking streak in Ingress last night. I had a migraine and couldn’t think through that and the exhaustion. It just didn’t seem important enough to try to do anything about when I couldn’t even bend over to put soap in the dishwasher. (Scott put soap in and then didn’t bother to start the stupid thing. It’s running now.) I even ended up leaving my wrist braces on when I went to bed which wasn’t a great idea because the velcro catches on everything and because wearing them in bed increases my pain levels. The braces are useful during the day for reminding me of things I shouldn’t do (though I end up hurting myself as I contort to try to do things that are necessary, things like brushing my hair or brushing my teeth).

I tried to nap yesterday and was in bed for about three hours. I just couldn’t quite get to sleep. I resent that because I could have gotten a number of things done during that time if I’d been functional and because, if I’d actually slept, I might have been able to do something after. As it was, I really did nothing at all. I’m not sure I’ll get much done today, either, because I had to get up with Cordelia when I really needed to stay in bed. I think I can manage the two absolutely must be done chores before I crash— I can get the trash together and out to the bins, and I can make sandwiches for all three of us for tomorrow.
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I tried to nap yesterday, but I had to get up twice to pee, and Cordelia came in once for a prolonged cuddle. Given that I was in bed for two and a half hours, there just wasn’t time to fall asleep. I had trouble falling asleep in the evening, too, even after taking Ativan. Once I fell asleep, I slept deeply.

I made fudge last night, and while I did it, I coached Cordelia through making chocolate chip bars. We almost didn’t have enough sugar, but I found some brown sugar that wasn’t hard, so we got by. The fudge doesn’t look right. It’s not smooth, and I’m not quite sure what I did wrong. I followed the directions as precisely as I could.

The fudge making left my hands hurting pretty badly. Apparently that much stirring isn’t something my hands can do without consequences.

We got two loads of laundry run, too. Well, one is still wet. I will put it in the dryer after I finish posting this.

I wrote more bits and pieces of things. One was intended to add onto my Yuletide story, but I got into the middle and realized that the plot absolutely would not work, partly for logistical reasons and partly because it undercuts what I’ve done in the other sections and because it goes too far toward one of my recipient’s DNWs. So that gets cut completely. I was looking at the angst and difficulties for the character and not at the longer term repercussions.

I’ve officially signed up for my recount shifts. The organizers are assuming that the state attorney general will end up facing a judge who looks at his lawsuit to stop the recount and considers it ridiculous. Because it is. At any rate, I’ll be doing eight hours, from 9-5, on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. I will do four hours on Saturday morning and four hours on Sunday evening. I expect that to wreck me pretty thoroughly. What I need to do shouldn’t be physically hard (except for how my body reacts to stress), but it will require focus and attention and, possibly, assertiveness.

It’s not clear yet how I’ll be getting there and home again. I asked the organizers to see if they could find someone coming from this area who could give me a ride. I’m not holding my breath, though. It just would be really nice because taking a cab or taking a bus means probably getting to the site with a lot of time before the doors open rather than risking being late. Given the time of day, cabs will be slower to arrive, generally, and traffic will slow down getting there once the cab arrives. I could use the A-Ride to make the cab much, much cheaper ($3 instead of the at least $30 I expect), but the A-Ride tends to arrive later and take longer to get places because it’s a shared ride service and because A-Ride customers are lower priority than anyone paying full fare. I think the A-Ride would probably be okay for getting home after since I won’t have the same time pressure and should be able to wait indoors.

Scott’s aunt, his father’s older sister, is in the hospital after a stroke. We don’t know the long term damage yet because her husband doesn’t do email and can’t hear well enough to talk on the phone. Scott’s mother also thinks that he doesn’t actually understand what the doctors are saying. They’re not sure exactly when the stroke happened. She felt tired and sick (nausea) Tuesday evening and went to bed early. It’s not clear if that was due to the stroke having happened or if the stroke happened while she was sleeping. Scott isn’t sure how old his aunt is, but I seem to recall her being more than five years older than Scott’s father, so she must be at least 78.
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Orthopedics called around 6 p.m. last night to set me up with an appointment about my hands. Since I’m willing to see a PA, they can get me in on the 21st of this month. If I’d insisted on a doctor, it would have been a much longer wait. But, really, I don’t think that it will hurt me to see someone who isn’t a surgeon first. I’m very dubious about surgery for this even though my primary care doctor said it is sometimes a thing for this problem. I would want to do some research myself on outcomes and such.

I did my recount observer training online last night. Due to technical difficulties, most of us in the webinar couldn’t see any of the power point slides, so they recommended that we do the training again in order to see the examples of valid and invalid ballot markings. I’m not sure I’m willing to spend another hour and a half on the off chance that the visuals will work this time.

I haven’t figured out exactly which shifts to sign up for yet. They’re planning three a day, one starting at 9, one starting at 1, and one starting at 5. The one at 5 is of indefinite length since the local civil servant in charge will decide what time to shut down for the night. Given that the Michigan recount is running a hugely compressed schedule (it was originally supposed to start today, but Trump’s people have filed to prevent the recount, so things are currently scheduled to start Wednesday and run either until the recount is done or until the 13th which is the drop dead point for giving the official results), it’s even possible that the 5 p.m. shift will run longer than four hours in some places.

Currently, the recount is set to occur somewhere that I can get to by bus, but I’m not entirely sure I want to try that if I’m going in for the 9 a.m. shift. I might have to leave earlier if I want the bus than if I take a cab. I’m not sure. Both are difficult at that time of day. I might be able to get a ride with someone else who’s doing the recount, but I don’t want to rely on that. I’m thinking that they’re more likely to get volunteers for the evenings and weekends because those are times that people who work are more likely to be able to manage. I can’t work the 13th at all, and I’m not sure I can manage the 12th because I really think that I’ll be too stressed over the Social Security thing the next day to be able to face any sort of added stress.

I think I’ve got serious problems with muscle knots in my left calf. Painful levels of massage give me temporary relief of the 'tendonitis' pain in my Achille’s tendon. That helps for maybe an hour before I need to do it again. I managed a fifteen minute walk last night without pain, but when I came home and sat down, everything tightened up and started to hurt.

Of course, massaging my calf muscle requires being able to use my hands which hurts. ::bangs head:: I’ve tried tennis balls in the past, but I can’t get enough leverage with them to get the pressure I need for my calf muscle.

I did a little more poking at the Wikipedia article about that enzyme system that I’m apparently genetically predisposed not to have work properly. If I understand correctly, tamoxifen and singulair are both potentially issues. I’m assuming, though, that if they were serious problems, I’d know by now. I’ve been taking singulair daily for more than a decade and tamoxifen daily for two days short of a year.

I made some progress on a fic I hadn’t touched in months, but I’m now stalled out by needing to write a description, something I hate doing but really can’t avoid here. I’ve put a hold on something from the library for a potential Yuletide treat. I remember the canon well enough to have started writing, but I need to review for minor character names and a few other supporting details. I own the thing on VHS, but the only VCR we have that’s plugged in is in the basement. I’m not willing either to try to plug in a VCR upstairs or to sit in the basement for hours in order to watch.

We ended up getting pizza last night. I gambled on the teriyaki chicken pizza and was disappointed. If I say that I want them to go light on the sauce, there isn’t enough to taste. If I say that they should put a 'regular' amount on, there’s so much that it drips and makes the crust fall apart. I blotted the pizza repeatedly with paper towels and still had the sauce dripping. The crust held together, though, so I count that a win.

Cordelia decided to try pesto on her pizza. Her verdict was that it was okay but not worth the bother.

I recently bought slippers through Amazon that turned out to be uncomfortable for me but that Cordelia loves. I had been planning to send them back, but I guess she can keep them. They were really wonderful apart from a seam across the top of the foot that pressed in hard, so I guess I can see why she wants them.

But I still need to find slippers that fit.
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I’m slowly whittling down my to do list. I keep adding things, too, but they’re generally small things. Things look much better if I don’t include my list of things I want to finish writing. There are so very many of those, and right now, I’m flitting back and forth between several different stories.

I checked last night, and the face to face training for the recount is, while technically in Ann Arbor, well outside of reasonable travel range if I have to take a cab. The bus doesn’t go close enough for the ride planner to accept it as a valid destination. They’ve set up about five online training sessions, though, so I signed up for one of those. I still need to email the coordinator and let him know that I’m not coming to the face to face session. I’d kind of rather do the face to face because I’ve never done something like this online and don’t know if it suits my learning style.

I didn’t get back to sleep after Cordelia got up this morning. I stayed in bed until she left, though, so that she could have the time to herself.

We had a game session last night. We did a little more first contact stuff, but the group is being sent on an off-planet mission next session, so I don’t know if we’ll go back to that. The npc who’ll be taking over seems only sort of competent, but I suspect that’s largely because the GM wants the pcs to make the decisions about what to try.

I made chocolate chip bars last night. I’d gotten to the point of not easily being able to delay when we discovered that we had no baking soda in the cupboard. Neither of us could figure that out because that’s not the sort of thing that we usually run out of, especially not without realizing that we need to buy more. Scott ended up making a trip to the store to get some, and I pulled things together while the game session was getting started. I didn’t want to deal with our rock hard and years old brown sugar (I know there are ways of softening it. I didn’t want to deal with it), so I used white sugar and molasses. That changed the color of the resulting bars but not the taste.

My hands are hurting a lot. I keep doing the things I need to do, but I say, "Ow. Ow. Ow!" a lot and use heat and cold and wish desperately that there was something I could take that would actually help. I need to prod my doctor. She said she was going to refer me to orthopedics and that they’d call me with an appointment. It’s been three weeks now, and I haven’t heard anything. Given that it will take months for me to get in, I really want to get things rolling now.

I have one library book due on Sunday that can’t be renewed. I’m about twenty pages into it. Finishing it is possible, but I’m not sure I will because I’m not finding it engaging. I’ve got another book that can’t be renewed that’s due in the middle of next week that I haven’t even opened and another unrenewable book that I have started and really want to finish but am not sure I can because holding it hurts a lot. The latter has a lot of full page pictures, so it’s not a long as it looks, not in terms of time spent reading words.
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My radiation oncology appointment yesterday went well. I got there about 45 minutes early and expected to have a leisurely time filling out my paperwork and reading some of the books I’d brought with me. Instead, they took my vitals and took me back right away. I was out of there by the time of my actual scheduled appointment. I need to remember that they do this because it’s happened both times I’ve gone back for check ups.

The main takeaway there is that I need to keep massaging my breast because the lymphedema is still an issue. I knew that, but I was mostly ignoring it because it rarely hurts.

I walked over to the cancer center afterwards to ask about my genetic testing data. I talked to something like four different people before I got someone who could help. Nobody seemed to understand what I was after until I’d explained two or three times. The nurse who finally helped me told me that I will have to call the testing company in order to get what I want because the testing company doesn’t actually give them that information. Which seems really ridiculous for a cancer center that’s supposed to be at the forefront of research. She gave me a copy of everything that the testing company gave them, but I think it’s exactly what they sent me through the patient portal.

I got home to find a FedEx package on our porch. It contained the two nightgowns I’d ordered and not gotten. I’d be wondering if I’d actually ordered the purple pants if the packing slip with them hadn’t clearly said that it was supposed to be a two pack of nightgowns. I have no idea why they sent this when they said they wouldn’t/couldn’t. I’m glad to get them. I’m assuming they were shipped overnight after I complained yesterday because, if they were sent before that, it’s… well, it’s beyond weird.

I let Scott mail the pants back because they were the wrong size. Since he had to go to the post office anyway, he mailed a package we’d planned to hold onto until January.

I was up later than I wanted to be last night due to reflux. I have no clue what caused that. No, that’s not true. I’m 95% sure that it was anxiety/stress. I had applesauce, almonds, and vanilla ice cream for dinner, and those are all things that are hugely safe for me as far as reflux goes. I ended up writing on my phone for about an hour before I risked lying down again. I started a new story, so it wasn’t progress on any of my WIP. If I finish the new story, it would be the first time I’ve written a Yuletide treat, so I’m kind of looking at it sideways and wondering.

I got word from the folks organizing the recount volunteers that there’s a training session tomorrow evening and that the recount might start as early as Friday. I foresee a shitload of Ativan in my future, and I’m pretty sure that anxiety over this is what caused last night’s reflux. I don’t actually expect the recount to make a difference, but it’s the sort of thing that needs doing anyway. I’m just glad that the training session for our county is here in town. I have to email the coordinator to let him know that I’ll be there. Scott might or might not be available to give me a ride, but a cab is possible (I don’t think the bus goes out there, but I haven’t checked the address yet. I just know the bus doesn’t go very far out Jackson Rd).

The training session will be inconvenient from a family point of view because Scott and Cordelia were assuming we’d find a way to fit in tonight’s Arrow episode tomorrow before Legends of Tomorrow airs. I don’t see it happening when Scott won’t be available until after 6:00 and I’ll be gone from at least 5:30 to 8:00 (and that assumes that transportation is rapid and available immediately).

I’m on the email notification list for FDA recalls, and I’ve seen two in the last week for packages missing allergen information about crab cakes containing seafood. On the one hand, it’s good to have allergen information required for everything. On the other hand, is there actually anyone buying crab cakes on the assumption that they don’t contain seafood?

Scott and Cordelia have decided that we will put up the Christmas tree this coming Sunday. That means that I need to make fudge and some cookies between now and then. I told Cordelia there’d probably only be time for fudge and chocolate chip bars. She said that was fine. I want to do the sort of Christmas baking I’ve done in the past, but I’m not sure there’s a point. Scott’s mother is GF. Scott’s father has type 2 diabetes, and my blood sugar is borderline.

I emailed Scott’s mother to suggest that they come down here for Christmas Eve and then we go up there on Christmas Day. There are four Methodist churches around town that have services that might be possible and that I think Scott’s parents wouldn’t find uncomfortable. (There’s an AME church about three blocks away, but I think that Scott’s parents would be hugely uncomfortable and that taking Trump voters to a black church would be utterly icky. Not to mention that I feel like white people going uninvited into a black space is, in general, intrusive and rude.) We could also drive up to Brighton after dinner for a service. Scott’s parents know people there, and it’s not far for us and is on their way home.

Scott may or may not have to work on Christmas Eve. Some years, the plant runs. Some years, it doesn’t. We won’t know until right before. I like the idea of doing things down here because it means that, if Scott’s home by 4:00, we could do a 5:00 or 5:30 service with dinner after. The options for later services locally are more limited. There’s a 7:30 and an 11:00 at the campus Methodist church. 11:00 is more feasible now than it was when Cordelia was waking up at 5:00 on Christmas mornings, but it’s still not attractive for a number of logistical reasons. Scott’s parents would have an hour drive to get home after, and Scott and I would still have to do the last minute preparations for the next day.
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The gathering at Scott’s sister’s house was fairly laid back. Sadly, something I ate gave me reflux. I’m kind of suspicious of the sweet potatoes because they tasted odd. Everything else I ate was utterly bland— bread, turkey, mashed potatoes (which we made), fruit salad, pecan pie. None of those should have been a problem, and I didn’t overeat.

Scott’s sister’s house was chilly enough that I actually noticed it. I think she keeps the house down around 60F even when the family’s at home.

Cordelia, as I expected, was quite ready to go home as soon as we’d had dessert. Scott would have liked to stay later, I think, to play more games, but I was really drooping, both headachy and exhausted.

There wasn’t much discussion of politics. I think Scott’s sister’s father-in-law knew he was outnumbered. He drives a school bus, and a lot of our dinner discussion at the table we shared (there were two tables of six people each) centered on the logistics of getting kids to different schools under different circumstances. That was, fortunately, a pretty neutral topic. We also talked a bit about what different kinds of high schools can offer. One of the non-family guests mourned the fact that, as far as he could tell, wood shop isn’t a thing any more. He has the impression that the classes that used to lead to skilled trades jobs are just gone.

Scott and several other people played Sentinels of the Multiverse before dinner. I didn’t because they were playing in the basement. I wasn’t convinced that unnecessary up and down of stairs was going to do good things for my Achille’s tendon (which is, sadly, still hurting today).

Writing on my phone turned out not to work because, for some reason, the 'make document accessible offline' thing didn’t work the way it has in the past. I couldn’t open documents. I couldn’t access email, either, which ought to have been possibly through use of my dataplan even when I didn’t have wifi access. I could still read LJ and DW, but nobody was posting, so that didn’t fill much time.

I want to bake today, but we don’t have anything that I’m physically capable of baking. Either we lack ingredients, or trying to make whatever it is would leave me unable to do things like eat dinner later on.

I ordered some things from Amazon last night because they were suddenly much, much cheaper than they had been. Now, I’m looking at Scott’s wishlist and Cordelia’s wishlist and trying to decide what to buy. If I get books, I want to get them from Book Bound rather than from Amazon. That means a phone call, however, so I’ll probably put that off for a while. If I was just ordering for one or the other, I’d email the order in, but I need to pay in advance for the stuff for Scott and arrange it so that Cordelia can pick up the stuff for Scott and Scott can pick up the stuff for Cordelia. Also, doing it by phone lets the folks at the store look up how long it’s likely to take for them to get copies of things they don’t currently have. With a month until Christmas, I have more wiggle room than I did when I ordered things for Scott’s birthday in February a week before I needed them.

I’m trying to find all of the issues of Archaeology and Discover that are floating around the house. Cordelia’s teachers said that they might find both useful, and I know I’m not going to read them at this point. I’ve got nearly two years of unread back issues of both. I’ve gotten all of what’s upstairs together, but I think the cleaning lady put some in the basement, so I need to check that.

I just volunteered to be a citizen observer for the recount that the Green Party has requested in Michigan. I’m a bit concerned that I’ll have issues with anxiety over doing it (getting there, being out and around other people, being responsible), and I’m a lot concerned that transportation will be a problem, but I’m free when most people are working.
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I’m horrified by the election results and pretty scared. Our continuing to live where and how we do depends on adding my disability payments and Cordelia’s Social Security money (which is based on my disability) to Scott’s salary, and we’re kind of on a shoestring with that. There’s a little give, but it’s not nearly as much as we’d like. I really do need Medicare, too, to keep our budget afloat. There’s a lot of stuff that our primary insurance won’t pay for at an affordable level (not my medications, thank goodness, but still). I don’t think that leaving the country is an option for us. I’m psychiatrically and physically disabled, and Scott’s effectively a low skills worker in a field that will likely last just long enough to see him to retirement.

And, you know, we’re less at risk than a lot of other people. We’re white, cis, het (married!), and culturally Christian. I’m still more scared of this than I was after the biopsy came back last year.

At least I managed to sleep. I stayed up past midnight but couldn’t bear to watch any election coverage. My hope was to get stuff done on my game, but I failed on that. I mostly searched AO3 for fic that would distract me and failed to find anything much I wanted to read. I knew I'd have to take an Ativan, and I rather suspect that's the only reason I slept.

The medical appointment yesterday turned out to be with a physician’s assistant who didn’t want to talk about the tendonitis at all but who set me up to see my primary care doctor next week and ordered a blood draw and a stool sample. I’ll have to go back down there today to take that last in. His suspicion is that I’ve had an infection of some sort for a while and gave it to Scott who got over it quickly. I’m not entirely convinced because, up until the beginning of this month, there was always a reason I could point to for my symptoms.

The blood test was all normal except for a high sed rate which is consistent with inflammation/tendonitis in multiple locations. I don’t want to take naproxen regularly for this because I’m worried that will make the intestinal problems worse, and every single other NSAID I’ve tried has had worse side effects than that.

Yesterday’s blood draw wasn’t quite as traumatic as the previous two, but it wasn’t fun. The first vein refused to give any blood at all. It didn’t even bleed when she pulled the needle out. The second vein gave us just barely enough. I asked what would happen if that had failed given that we can’t use my other arm and my hand on that side is still painful from the blood draw ten days ago. She said they’d send me to Taubman or the Cancer Center for the blood draw. I pointed out that Taubman was where it took three pokes and that the Cancer Center had taken two. I really have no idea. I’m well hydrated, and I make sure to drink extra in the twenty minutes before a blood draw (I did an extra 32 oz yesterday).

The technician said that the problem with the first vein was scar tissue. I’m at a loss as to how that could be because I spent thirty years having all my blood draws from my other arm. It’s only the last year that I’ve needed the right arm for it, and I haven’t had that many pokes in the last fifteen months. Slightly more than in an average year but that amounts to one or two more.

So, for game preparation today, I need to write a bit on all six characters, make some notes about what certain powers can do, just in case I get players who don’t know, and assign spells to the two characters who have them. The spells created by the game writers are scattered. I found them in five different places across two books, and the book indexes are lousy and tend not to index the things that someone would actually be likely to need. For example, there are a few index entries under the term 'Shadow,' but not a single one of those links to the rules for a player character to spend points on purchasing a Shadow which is actually what I would expect people to need to find most often.

My current plan is to write as much on the game as I can today and then print some time tomorrow.

I’ve made my packing list for the convention. I’ll actually pack tomorrow evening.

I need to make a shopping list for Scott of food to take to the convention. He wanted me to shop with him, but that’s currently out of the question. I can’t walk that far/long until the tendonitis goes away.

I have to look online to make sure a specific local restaurant will be open the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and I have to find out how much it will cost for me and Cordelia to stay at a hotel near Lawton for a few nights between Christmas and New Year and how much it will cost for us to get there and/or back by train if Scott’s not available (he has two vacation days left). I need to call my sister and find out the exact dates she and her family will be in Michigan, so that Scott knows which days to ask for so that he can spend time with them, too.

I also need/want to come up with something useful I can do politically that doesn’t require making phone calls, driving, leaving the house, or spending money. My representative to the state house, my state senator, my federal senators, and my representative in the federal house all pretty much vote the way I’d like them to, and I don’t see that me writing to other people’s elected officials is actually likely to do anything but waste paper. I vote in every election that I’m able, including primaries and things that are just ballot proposals. (I missed an election last year while I was doing radiation, but the only thing on the ballot was the person I’d voted for in the primary for city council running unopposed. I think that’s a case where my vote really wouldn’t have mattered. If it had, I’d have jumped through the bureaucratic hoops to vote absentee.)
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I filled out my absentee ballot last night. I found a site called annarborvotes.org that had profiles of all of the candidates for local elections. It wasn’t useful for the partisan part of the ballot because all the local candidates were running unopposed as Democrats (the real election for those offices is the primary). It was extremely useful for the community college board, the library board, and the school board. I don’t know that any of my choices will win because I’m not sure that my priorities are the same as other people’s. For example, for the community college board, I voted for people who I thought came from backgrounds where they or their children might actually have used the community college rather than for all of the folks emphasizing business development experience.

I was mentally awake all day yesterday, but I was still pretty physically wiped out. I don’t know how that’s going to go today yet because I’ve only been up since 11:00. I have to finish the grocery list, and I have to shower. I’m not sure what else I’ll do— Probably some writing. I’m managing a few hundred words a day right now, just not on my Yuletide story yet.

I have a lot of DVDs to watch this week, but I don’t know that I will because Scott will be home. When he is, he plays stuff on his computer constantly. If he’s in the dining room, I can watch/listen to something while he does his thing, but if we’re both in the living room, it doesn’t work at all. I don’t think I can get him interested in watching Murder She Wrote with me. I’ve got four DVDs of that left, it’s due a week from tomorrow, and it can’t be renewed.

I’ve got one book due tomorrow that can’t be renewed and one due tomorrow that I’ve already renewed twice. I just can’t seem to focus enough to read. It’s very frustrating.
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Scott was scheduled to work 3 a.m. to 7 a.m. today, and he went in only to discover that they didn’t need him after all. He doesn’t have to work today. I haven’t asked about tomorrow.

I ended up getting up about 8 a.m. because of temperature difficulties.

I looked into the status of my absentee ballot. The site still says it was sent on the 24th of September, but I found, elsewhere, a statement that they wouldn’t start mailing until the 24th and that, at that point, they’d give priority to overseas ballots and then do local ones in batches over the course of the next week or two. So the dratted thing might not even have been mailed yet.

Scott did some of the grocery shopping at Target, on his way home from work last night. The stuff requiring refrigeration will require a trip out today or tomorrow (but hopefully today). Scott and I also want to get flu shots this weekend. I haven’t told Cordelia yet.

I snaked the bathroom sink yesterday. That was nasty. Cordelia and I both have long hair, so the bathroom drains end up backing up every few months. I can work on the sink drain, but I really can’t do anything about the bathtub drain, partly because I really can’t get down there to work on it without pain and partly because snaking it requires using a wrench to remove the stopper.

I almost forgot to go out and hack a portal last night. I ended up doing it about 10 p.m. and having to borrow one of Scott’s shirts to do it. I had run a load of laundry and put the shirt and bra I had worn all day in, too. And realized, after the washing machine had filled with water, that I really needed something to wear when I went outside. All of my shirts were in the bedroom where Scott was sleeping.

It wasn’t raining hard when I went out, just misting, but any time I was underneath a tree, I got big drops of water dripping on me. That led me to discover that large drops of water can trigger the touchscreen of my phone in unpredictable ways. For some reason, midway through my walk, my left ankle started hurting. I haven’t turned it recently or bashed it into anything or, as far as I can recall, injured it in any way, so I’m puzzled by that.

I spent a vast amount of time, over the last few days, cat waxing by browsing the entire listing of DVDs owned by our library system— 28,000 of them at 20 per screen. I’m not actually sure what I was working so hard to avoid, but there must have been something.

Now that Scott is up, I’m very tempted to turn on the ceiling fan in the bedroom and go back to bed for a while. That still may happen, actually, just not yet.
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I ended up taking a longish walk (by my standards) last night when I went out to hack the church portal. It was nice and cool out, so I felt like I could walk further without sweating to death. I was in shorts and a t-shirt. I had a windbreaker, but I ended up taking it off on my way home. Of course, when I got home, I looked at the weather online and discovered that it was in the mid-40s F. The only part of my body that thought things out there were cold last night was my lungs, and it wasn’t cold enough to set off my asthma.

It’s in the 50s F right now, so I might go out for a walk before lunch if I can get myself out the door. I need to walk more. It’s just so damned hard to open the door and walk out. I don’t know. I have to take out the trash some time today. Maybe I can use that to get myself outside and then just not come back inside for a while?

We chose not to watch the debate last night. We agreed that there wasn’t going to be anything there that would make either of us change our minds about how we’re going to vote. Of course, Scott’s father watched and emailed Scott to encourage him to turn it on and see how presidential Trump was. I am not at all sure what Scott’s father might have been smoking. I suppose it may have been some form of vast wishful thinking because Scott’s parents are really terrified that socialists, brown people, non-Christians, and queer people are going to come and kill them and take all of their stuff.

They’re in their mid-70s. I don’t think that anything anyone could say to them would help at all. I know that all three of their children disagree with them and that everybody tends to go out of their way not to talk about politics/social justice in their vicinity. I remember Scott’s father giving us all on-your-heads-be-it warnings about voting for Obama, but mostly he doesn’t talk about such things with us, especially not in front of his grandchildren.

I have four library DVDs I want to watch this week if I can manage it. I just have a hard time starting and then end up pausing the dratted things repeatedly. I also have six library CDs that I want to listen to and a lot of audiobooks on my laptop.

Scott wants to transition to using our bread machine for bread for sandwiches now that it’s getting cooler. I’m hesitant because I really don’t like slicing bread. I’m the one making all the sandwiches right now, so I’d be the one slicing the bread. I’m also the one who would make the bread and clean the pan and all of that. It seems a pity to have the bread machine and not use it, and it would be less expensive, but… It’s a lot more work. With sliced bread, I can make both sandwiches in under five minutes. Needing to slice the bread might well turn the sandwich making into a two step process that requires a rest in the middle. Maybe it would help if I slice the entire loaf all at once?

Scott’s work called at 10:30 last night to ask him to come in early this morning. He said no, and they didn’t insist. He’d have been trying to work twelve hours on three hours of sleep.
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I just checked the status of my absentee ballot application. The website claims it was sent to me on September 24th.

I can only assume time travel.
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How on earth am I supposed to remember every single medication I've taken in the last twelve months? Prescription and non-prescription both... I can get some of the prescription information from my pharmacy, but there were a couple of in office injections and, I think, one or two prescriptions filled at other pharmacies. Also, the form only gives six slots for medications. I'm pretty sure I've got three times that. There's a section for additional information, but it's a PITA to use it, and I'm worried I'll run out of space there, too, since it's additional information for everything on the entire form.

Signal boosting:
A non-profit (@InvDisability) in the US has taken out a trademark on the term 'invisible disability' and is actively enforcing it. Can we take my rant about how ridiculous that is as written?

There's a Change.org petition to the US trademark and patent office (and to the president) about it. Not very many people have signed. I have no idea if the office will pay attention to such a petition, but signing is a low spoon option for protesting.

https://www.change.org/p/president-of-the-united-states-has-your-identity-been-trademarked-disability-for-sale
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The AT&T repair technician came yesterday while I was out, did some sort of repair, and left without giving any indication that they’d been there. I didn’t find out until I logged in to the site to check on the repair status. I suspected because the internet was much better last night (apart from the AT&T repair tracking website being down for an hour or two). We had trouble between about 8:00 and 9:00, but that’s a lot better than between 4:00 and 10:00.

There must have been something to repair out there because, if there hadn’t been, the technician would have knocked to see if they could come in (which they couldn’t have because I wasn’t home and they’re only allowed into a house if someone over the age of eighteen is there to supervise).

About 9:30 yesterday morning, I started feeling nausea. I was pretty sure it was anxiety, so I took an Ativan, and that helped. I ended up taking a cab to the dentist because I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to do without a trip to the bathroom for the forty five minutes it would take me to get there by bus. The cab trip was under ten minutes. I have no idea why it costs $3 more to get to the dentist than it does to get to UHS which is only about five blocks away. They charge by expected milage rather than by time.

The hygienist I was to see was running a little late, so I didn’t get into the chair until fifteen minutes after my appointment. Filling out the appointment paperwork, I noticed that I had somehow never told them that I take levothyroxine. I’ve been taking that for at least three years now and seeing the dentist every six months, so I really don’t know how on earth I forgot. They did the large, detailed set of x-rays they like to get every five to seven years. It had been six for me.

When I saw the dentist, she agreed that my bite splint is dying. She said that it’s possible that, because I’m using different insurance now than I was when I got the first one in the 1990s, my new insurance might pay for one. She’s going to have her receptionist send in a formal query so that we get a formal answer. If insurance won’t cover it, we’ll have to figure out where the money will come from because, if I don’t wear the dratted thing at night, my teeth hurt pretty constantly.

I took about an hour and a half to walk from the dentist to Totoro. That was due to Ingress rather than distance. I think the distance is eight to ten blocks. I attacked and captured a bunch of portals along the way, mostly things I had never captured before. By the time I got home yesterday, I’d accumulated almost half of the remaining points I need to get to level 8.

At any rate, I got to Totoro around 2:00. I texted Cordelia to let her know I’d be a while yet and Scott to see if maybe he could pick me up at the library after work instead of me taking the bus. I had a teriyaki chicken bento, two glasses of Dr Pepper (which I shouldn’t have because of caffeine and dehydration), and three glasses of water. I was done by about 2:45 and walked toward the library, still doing Ingress all the way. I got to the library and checked out all of my holds. At that point, it was three or four minutes until the bus left. The spot I’d have to get to was about a block and a half away, and I might have been able to make it if I hurried and if the lights at the crosswalk were in my favor, but I didn’t feel like I could handle that, so I sat in the library for a while.

I talked to Cordelia on the phone (she called because she was wondering what on earth I was doing still being out) and to Scott when he got off work about 3:30. He intended to (and did) get the oil changed if he could get to the place before they closed which meant that it would be after 5:00 before he could pick me up. He was willing if I wanted to wait. I didn’t. I kind of regretted that because the library bag was very, very heavy and hard to carry, but I caught the #22 home at 3:48 and was home by 4:10.

I was utterly exhausted, so I lay down for a while. I think what I really needed was to drink a lot more water. I had about sixteen ounces when I got in, but I couldn’t make myself drink more right then. Later on, I drank more water and started to get my energy back, at least enough to sit in the living room for the evening while we watched Castle in the Sky. I had pan fried summer squash with mushrooms for dinner (Scott made it; I couldn’t have right then). I wasn’t hungry enough to manage anything else. The squash was a little crunchier than I like it, but, you know, Scott cooked it the way he likes it.

At bedtime, I discovered that I had sunburned my shoulders, right by my neck and extending out about three inches. I had thought that my shirt covered those bits, so that surprised me quite a lot. I think the shirt must have gotten pulled to the side by my purse or something because the other bits of me that were under the shirt didn’t burn at all. Also, my bra straps ought to have covered part of what burned as well. I hadn’t thought to take sunscreen with me on my excursion because, normally, I’m not in the sun long enough to burn. It doesn’t hurt, but I put some aloe on it anyway.

Today, I need to call ACD about changing our internet service. I was hoping that they’d respond to my email, but they didn’t. It’s possible that they thought yesterday wasn’t a good day for it since I told them I wouldn’t be available between 10:00 and 2:00. Who knows?

I’m pretty sure, at this point, that I’m not going to finish the Narnia story by Friday. It’s still possible, but I didn’t write at all the last four days, and I’m not sure I’m going to be able to make myself do it today.

When I talked to Mom on Sunday, she gave me a hard time over me not following official news coverage of the RNC and DNC and the election in general. She considers that irresponsible. I’m not convinced because I don’t foresee anything coming up that would change my mind about who I’m voting for. Hillary Clinton is not perfect (nor is Bernie Sanders), but I’ve been going to vote for her all along. There wasn’t anybody the Republicans could have put forward who would have any chance of getting my vote, barring a sudden translocation into the West Wing universe with Alan Alda’s character running, and even then…

At any rate, me paying attention or not paying attention isn’t going to have an impact on anything, and at least watching comedy about it all doesn’t send my anxiety through the roof and gives me a little context.
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Oh, lovely. The absentee ballot applications I printed from the city website (it was a PDF) are completely unreadable in places because of garbage characters covering up key bits of information like the date of the election, where to turn the application in, and all of the instructions for filling out the form. Mostly, it’s empty squares, but there are other garbage characters, too. I can almost read the directions, but the other bits are completely illegible. When I saw the stuff where the election date is supposed to be, I assumed that it was some sort of code, but I kind of doubt that now.

I’m going to see if opening the thing in Chrome makes a difference, but I suspect I’m going to have to call the clerk’s office. I’m not sure we have time for them to mail us the application, us to get it back in, and them to get us the ballots before we leave town on either the 31st or the 1st.

Hm. It looks better in Chrome, but the election date is still garbage characters, just very, very tiny ones this time. The printed copy is legible, but there isn’t an election date or a space where one obviously should be written. I should probably call the clerk’s office anyway to complain that the form can’t be printed via Firefox. It’s not as if I was using something obscure like, say, SeaMonkey.

And our internet is being seriously flaky again. I need to get in to find out our precinct number, and I can’t load the site. I really don’t think michigan.gov is down, so I’m pretty sure it’s our internet connection. (And who knows when I’ll be able to post this bit of venting?)
the_rck: (Default)
I realized last night that the August election is going to happen while we’re out of town on vacation. I hadn’t previously made the connection for some reason. Fortunately, it’s not too late for us to get absentee ballots. I could just go downtown and vote at city hall because I’m free while they’re open, but Scott can’t do that, so I’m just going to send both our applications by mail and hope that there aren’t any delays. I really wish that applying online was possible.

I’m also looking at the restrictions on absentee voting and feeling a bit— I don’t know; upset is the wrong word. None of the legally permissible reasons for absentee voting actually cover my situation. The closest is 'physically unable to vote at the polls without assistance from another person.' That doesn’t quite apply.

I’m worried that I’ll panic due to all the people and not be able to stay. I’m not sure that Ativan would be enough or that voting while on Ativan is a great idea. I mean, I’m not going to be making decisions at the polls. I’ll already know how I’m voting.

I’m also worried that I’ll wreck myself physically what with standing in line for as long as is likely to be necessary. I probably wouldn’t fall over or collapse or anything, but I might not be able to get out of bed the next day. Also, if it’s cold, I might have trouble breathing due to asthma (and I don’t have the option of a rescue inhaler).

None of those things are things that assistance from another person would resolve, and one of them is a psychological barrier rather than a physical barrier. This isn’t an I can’t hold the pen or I can’t read the ballot or even an I can’t get into the polling place because there’s a step up at the entrance (I think there is, but I don’t remember for sure). It’s as if the folks making the law either had a failure of imagination or wanted to exclude people like me from voting. On the physical issues that affect me, I suspect the former, but I kind of wonder about the latter in terms of my agoraphobia/anxiety issues.

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