Reflux or something. allergies. i slept most of today. I keep just falling asleep. Can't walk around without coughing painfully. eating hurts. why! I hate this. It was nice out... at least I fell asleep in the sun a lot. its like i suddenly have painful bronchitis from ... stomach acid? not for the first time. Am taking Dexilant (which i've been on daily for like, a year) and drinking carafate to help with the pain. it barely helps.
Fandom: Captain America (Movies), The Avengers (Marvel Movies)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Steve Rogers
Additional Tags: Astronomy, Wistful, Sonnets
In the 1940s, if you looked up from Brooklyn at night, you could see the stars.
I was showing my friend Elisa the "something doesn't smell right" thread and cap_chronism, and she reminded me that also Steve Rogers would be surprised that he can't see the stars at night. So I wrote this sonnet.
* plus size
* in Australia (small market, and shipping internationally is the worst)
* regional Australia at that (so there aren't many retail choices where I live)
* tastes ranging somewhere between "classic" and "butch"; simple styles, plain colours
* large-busted (and short, as above) so actual men's clothing doesn't fit
* wide feet (5+ years of barefoot shoes is partly to blame)
* super high insteps (always been like that)
* walk and bike everywhere so stuff has to be comfortable/practical for that purpose
* strong preference for natural fibres
* strong preference for fair trade/ethically made (A HA HA LOL NO)
* oh and I'm not very affluent so if stuff's expensive it had better last a few years
Things I have tried very hard to buy this week and so far failed:
* underpants (black cotton hipster briefs, is this too much to ask?)
* black t-shirts (black cotton fitted crewneck, ditto)
* some sort of winter-appropriate shoes (since my old black barefoot boots, which have served me well since 2009, have given up the ghost)
I have favourite US-based brands/styles of all the above and have tried to order them to be delivered to a friend's house for when I'm passing through SF in a few weeks' time. None of the vendors will let me order for delivery to the US unless I have a US credit card. None of the brands are available in Australia, or if they are, nobody has the particular styles and sizes. Shipping to Australia is exorbitant -- total cost for 5 pairs of undies was $120, for instance.
If I show up to run AdaCamp in some sort of lime green swirly polyester kaftan and 100% synthetic, slave-produced sneakers, you'll know I've given up, because that's all that actually seems to be available to me at this point.
 Someone is probably going to ask, so: Cacique cotton hipster briefs from Lane Bryant, Eddie Bauer short sleeve favorite crewneck t-shirt, and almost any of the Vivo Barefoot men's shoe collection but especially Gobi II Hopewell, Scott, and Ra II.
Very mixed week. On the positive side, I had a terrific birthday brunch at Salty's with Colleen and Emmy, my weight is down (and about time!), I've been sleeping less, we got the rest of the garage cleared, and the garden is being professionally worked on (Naomi's birthday present to me). On the negative side, I got very little work done, I went into a full-on depressive meltdown Wednesday night, my health insurance company announced a major data breach, I've been sleeping less, and the garage work hurt more than it did two weeks ago, when I actually lifted more.
The observant reader will note that sleeping less is in both categories: I like the extra time in the morning, but it probably isn't good for me and I end up being pretty useless earlier in the evening.
I finished reading Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers by Robert M. Sapolsky last night. Very informative about the bad effects of stress, and how it works. Very little about how to manage it -- pretty much the only concrete suggestion is exercise, and that only helps if you want to do it (forced exercise is stressful). Which I don't. Except for walking, and even that often hurts too much to be enjoyable. Possibly because of stress. This is called "being attacked by a vicious circle". Vicious little feedback loops with big sharp teeth.
may need to think about finding a less stressful job. The problem with that
is that I probably can't afford to. Meanwhile, I get angry at the idiot
headhunters who keep offering me jobs in Silicon Valley, and try to keep
my head above water while swimming madly upstream in the Amazon. Which is
less metaphorical than I'd like.
Lots of good links in the notes.( raw notes, with links )
I have been to WisCon three times (2009, 2010, 2011) and I am going again this year, yay! If you enjoy my writing, you might like WisCon, and -- especially if you've never tried it before -- you should consider joining me in Madison, Wisconsin, USA, May 22-25 (Memorial Day weekend).
Smart, funny conversations. Some of my best WisCon memories are of really funny panels (I enjoyed serving on the "Must Pleasures Be Guilty?" and "Imaginary Book Club" panels, and watching "Not Another Race Panel"). Some are of friendly semistructured interaction like the clothing swap at the Gathering on Friday afternoon. And some some are of formal and informal discussions where incisive people tossed around ideas that gave me new thoughts for the rest of the year. I expect to get all of that this year, and if you decide to come, I'll happily tell you which panels/panelists/parties/workshops/etc. look promising to me!
Relevant sessions. You can create a free account to look at programming signups and indicate your interest in attending -- the deadline is March 29. The programming committee does take those numbers (how many people demonstrate interest in attending something) into account when rejecting or scheduling specific sessions. And there's an Overflow/Spontaneous Programming (a.k.a. unconference) room throughout the convention -- for topics people want to discuss that aren't on the schedule -- where we can hold impromptu sessions about vidding, open source, self-directed learning....
Great accessibility. I especially love the Quiet Space to regroup, the free-flowing traffic lanes marked in the hall with blue tape, and the rule that speakers use microphones so the audience can hear better. They all help me enjoy the con more, and they help other attendees, which means I can enjoy their company. And overall, I find WisCon participants care about being intersectionally feminist and inclusive (example: discussion and renaming in the Floomp dance party). Sometimes folks make mistakes, as we all do, but we apologize, and fix it, and (although I know other people have had different experiences*) I trust in WisCon in the long term and am happy to recommend it to others, including people who have never been to a scifi con before. It was my first!
First-timers welcome. The site gives you detailed directions to the venue. There's usually a first-timers' dinner (small group expeditions to local restaurants, I think), and orientation sessions, early in the con, to help first-time attendees and first-time panelists (tips) and first-time moderators (tips). If you feel better showing up someplace for the first time if you're being useful, check the checkbox to volunteer, e.g., for a couple of hours in the con suite stocking free food for everybody. And I would be happy to help you meet folks (my credentials from a shy previous WisCon first-timer).
Another world is possible. I cannot overstate how much it has influenced me to participate in WisCon, which asks everyone to influence programming, provides accessibility and childcare and a comprehensive program guide, and nurtures and amplifies feminist voices. And WisCon communicates thoroughly with its community via blog, Twitter, Facebook, an email newsletter and printed, mailed progress reports, and more. This includes talking about really difficult stuff like owning up to past mistakes in handling harassment reports and disinviting a Guest of Honor (if you've never been to a scifi convention, think "keynote speaker").
A gateway to more. I've made friends, started watching or reading new stuff, and joined Dreamwidth to keep in the feminist fannish conversation year-round.
I skipped WisCon for years basically because I had other travel commitments for work, and this year I'm so glad to be coming back. Feminists of all genders who enjoy science fiction, think about coming to Madison in May.
* Kameron Hurley posted "Burn it All Down: Wiscon’s Failure of Feminism" before the WisCon con committee permabanned a particular harasser. As this year's cochair said in criticizing the previous decision for a temporary ban, "WisCon bills itself as a feminist sci-fi con. And compared to some others that I have attended, it is definitely better at paying lip service to being feminist than any of them."
One protagonist is going through a fabulous feminist hero-journey ascending through the seven celestial spheres while taking off all her clothes, processing her trauma, and finding out some more of the Real Truth about alternate Charlemagne's descendants.
The other protagonist has been thrown back in time through standing stone gateways instead of dying, to something like 2000 BC or cave-people time and is having mega adventures saving the world from the alternate history Aztec elf aliens, encountering dwarves, merfolk, centaurs, sphinxes, phoenixes, and accidentally getting the snakebite universal translator superpower. He manages to keep his faithful hounds, Rage and Sorrow, alive through it all.
They keep accidentally having visions of each other and imparting new revelations and reinterpreting everything. Meanwhile Zond7 has just been texting me from taiwan where he is pausing on the way to Manila and I want to send him lapis lazuli rings, phoenix feathers, strange mystical fire, planetary daimones, cave paintings, and the underground marketplace where the dwarven beings hang out with their earth elevator train cars and rivers to trade with the freshwater river merfolk.
Instead I am complaining about having a cold and he is texting me photos of his breakfast and a hello kitty store.
Pretty much the same thing....
I made it through the morning at work, barely and then fell asleep for a while in the sun. taking the rest of the day off to blow my nose and nap some more.
I feel invigorated when I do it even when it can be a bit painful. I missed one week, and then last week was not able to keep up or do all the things and felt unstable in the water (was still walking with a cane, not always able to put my weight on my right leg) Today I felt very bounced back, and back to my baseline from a month ago. I still can't bend all the way over or bring my knees up both at once and am cautious about bringing up my right knee. But, this is awesome.
Differences from 4 months ago pool and now:
* I can stand in the pool with my feet pointing "up" towards the shallow end
* I can walk back and forth the whole time with only some pauses for muscle spasms
* 30+ kickboard presses (pushing it downward, or back and forth in the water) instead of around 5
* 30 or more squats and do them in shallower water, from maybe 5
From the daily home PT exercises, I notice that my stomach is way stronger. With the lower abdominal exercises, I started out not even able to tell where the muscles were, or if I was doing the exercise at all. Now I can feel them all tense up and can keep them solid for a long time through many reps.
Here are my exercises! Once or twice a day I do complete sets and during the day I do some extra if I think of it.
* lie on back, knee hold 10 seconds each, alternating, 3x
* ankle loading, sit, lean on knees, raise heels, lower very slowly. 10x
* standing hamstring stretch at wall. 10-15 seconds 2x each
* Theraband ankle push (Lying down or sitting)
* Sit to stand. Sit in a chair, slowly stand up with body straight and knees bent, like doing a squat, then sit again. For many years I got up by leaning on my arm sideways favoring my bad side.
* Squeeze a kickball between knees, lying down, do arm raises sideways while tensing transverse abdominus 10-30x
* butt squeeze (What it sounds like) 30x at least (hurts on right side, i have like no muscle there)
* clamshell leg thingies but lying on back using theraband around knees (I can't manage these sideways despite YEARS of doing them; 9 months in ankle boots killed it)
* ankle cross move with theraband (I mostly skip this, it fires off a world of pain)
* Bridges (Absolutely not, nope)
I need more knee-strengthening. My ankles still always hurt. LIke it hurts to move them around even non-weight bearing. Progress there is really slow.
This is the longest I have stuck with PT in a consistent way. Combination of my life being more structured/stable, good physical therapist luck (they are great), warm pool that I can get to, and the pain/insomnia behavioral therapist, who is also great, and having the money to do all this.
broke into the cloudberry liqueur I brought back from Finland last year,
and watched Cloud Atlas. Or at least a significant part of it, before I fell asleep.
I admit that the latter two events were coordinated, but the first was coincidental, and I only recognized it a day later.
I love books where I have to take notes or re-read to really get wtf is going on. It is very satisfying. I don't think you *have* to but it's pleasurable to flip back to book 1 and see the connections and hints & how it all ties together.
Currently: mind blown as I realize parts of the family tree of both of Liath's parents. But only part. I don't have it figured out yet. Muahaha!
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Strange week. The first half, at least, was terrific -- I was in New Orleans for a symposium at Pittcon | Conference & Expo. The symposium itself, sponsored by my mother in honor of my father, was Monday morning. Since everyone else arrived Sunday evening and I got in late Saturday, I had all day Sunday to myself to explore the French Quarter. Which I did.
I ended up walking six or so miles, which was surprisingly easy. Of course, it was all completely flat, but still. Spent about $50 buying CDs from street bands. I hadn't brought a guitar, and didn't need it -- didn't do any singing at all. Lots of good conversation, though. People I haven't seen in a decade and a half.
The symposium, Chemical Heritage Foundation - New Perspectives on the History of Infrared Instrumentation, was Monday morning. The high point was Foil Miller's talk: Anecdotes Involving Some Infrared Pioneers. At 99, he's "old enough to have known many of the pioneers of infrared spectroscopy personally", as it says in the abstract. It was followed by a luncheon at the Bourbon House. New Orleans is mostly about the food and the music.
Friday was my birthday. I turned 44 (hexadecimal), a number which contains two "1" bits, so I suggested that my cake have two candles on it. Saturday was, as everybody reading this probably knows, "The Pi Day of the Century"; I managed to get posts out at 9:26 on DW/LJ, Twitter, and Facebook.
The work week was short, frustrating, and unproductive even for a short week. The team I'm on loan to wants me to do my work in a new framework, which was only explained to me last week, and isn't even fully implemented yet, let alone documented. :P
I've been wondering why I always have so much pain when I get home from work, but not from walking all day in New Orleans. I'm beginning to think it's stress. Bletch.
And of course Terry Pratchett died. He was two years younger than me.
Links in the notes, as usual.( raw notes, with links )