kaberett: Photo of a pile of old leather-bound books. (books)
I am grumpily insomniac; I have given up on sleep for the time being and have curled up in a blanket with some hot chocolate and a book; and probably this would be working better if The Fifth Season (which I am belatedly reading for Hugo purposes) wasn't Wrong about both geology and horses.
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
International travel on the first day of my period is such a uniquely horrible experience that I can remember every single instance of it. Today's shaping up to be a good one: after a sensibly early night, I woke up a little before 4 in enough pain it was half an hour before I managed painkillers, whereupon I necked 100mg of tramadol on an empty stomach and it just about took the edge off. I can't actually tell to what extent the persisting significant wobbliness is pain, sleep dep because of the pain, an opiate high, or not having eaten enough yet because sertraline. FUN FOR ALL THE FAMILY.
kaberett: Euphorbia cf. serrata, green crown of leaves/flowers central to image. (spurge)
Sad and insomniac? Focus difficult? Feeling useless? Give it a couple of kilos of loose change in a range of currencies and it'll be happy for hours.

(Reasons to keep facesfriend around: I erupted into a small victory hiss at him as he was saying goodnight on IM, because having earlier found obsolete English shillings I had finally finally a little over an hour later found obsolete Austrian Schilling to go with them, and he appeared to find this hilarious and adorable because he understood exactly why I found it so satisfying.)
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
1. Dinner last night (and lunch today) was a modified version of Smitten Kitchen's baked chickpeas with pita chips and yoghurt. I am delighted that I now have The Knowledge Of The Pita Chips, which I adore but have not been able to find at prices that don't make me cry in this country, and we consumed the lot. Variations were: I couldn't face acquiring tahini to make up the yoghurt dressing as described and just ate yoghurt; I also didn't bother with the pine nuts. The salad-y thing was equal volumes tomato, cucumber and parsley, and I didn't bother dressing it. (I really like parsley.) It was tasty. Would eat again.

2. Via [personal profile] inoru_no_hoshi on the tweetrz, an exciting ScienceDaily summary of a Nature Geosciences paper on the topic of iron, the Earth, how it got here, and why it is where it is. tl;dr the vaporisation pressure of iron is significantly lower than we thought it was, which is why the Moon has sod-all of the stuff and not all of it on Earth has ended up in the core, even with the Late Veneer. There is the truism that Nature Geosciences papers are always wrong (extensible to some extent to Nature itself), but this looks pretty exciting to me.

3. My favourite band are releasing a new album called Elevator Music and it makes me cry every single time. It is bitter and vicious and cynical about the space age and space exploration and generation ships and existentialism and forgettability, and I adore it. The Last Man Who Walked On The Moon breaks my heart every single time, even the first time they played it in public and Simon warned us in advance that he hadn't finished writing the lyrics yet and did indeed end up singing "something something something something -ation" in the middle, because -- soon there will be no-one/left that I can call/just space suits in museums/with mission details on the wall. And then breath/they simulate our breath/to make us feel at home. And. This band.

4. Dave Hughes and the Renegade Folk Punk Band have also just released a new album, Rise, Again. I have not got my act together to listen to it yet (see also: depression), but expect to find it comforting, because I love a lot of what these folk do. (Currently the lyric of theirs stuck in my head is is it a love song/if I tell you that I love you/but I can't see me sharing your bed?//though there are days/when I don't think of you/they rarely outnumber/those I do...)

5. P thought it important I meet this baffling collection of photographs of unspoons.

6. Music I have particularly enjoyed recently: Singzu Joint - Fly and this one Taiwanese music video about marriage equality (has English subs; warning: WILL MAKE YOU CRY)
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
1. I do actively like getting up with dawn and being in work by 8am. If I could find a way to do that sustainably (given insomnia, fatigue, etc) then I'd be all over it. (Two days running this week; aiming to replicate tomorrow. Though, to be fair, I did come home very early this afternoon and then sleep. But -- I got labwork done before 9am, I taught for three hours, and I booked mass spec time. And I'm doing some more faff at home. Writing abstracts is haaard. I mean, actually I think formal writing is hard, but perhaps I will work out how to get past this, sigh.)

2. Facesfriend is great, though - I stayed over at theirs last night, and sometime in the wee hours they very gently woke me up enough for me to disentangle myself from the nightmare I was having (whimpery rather than screamy, thank goodness; once a year or so I wake myself up screaming, and I'm always very embarrassed about the disruption to other people) and then they coaxed me back to sleep and... gosh, that was nice.

3. Guiltknitting progresses apace. It was supposed to be done 18 months ago. I was stalled on it for all sorts of reasons, largely boiling down to "autism" (it became apparent I hadn't bought enough of the main colour; no more of that dye lot was to be had; I couldn't work out what on earth to do about this; and then for the primary gifting period largest smallcousin bought me some very tasteful yarn, some medium-tasteful yarn, and some yarn that um looks kind of like a sunset got overly excited and has a terrible hangover; the sunset yarn goes very well with the purple). I am unblocked and nearly halfway through the section I charted up. Weaving in the ends is going to be a pain and a half - why I thought learning to do intarsia with two strands no less in the context of double-knitting I have no idea but hey, it's working and legible, so.

4. I have acquired the rest of the Toby Daye books in paperback from eBay, to my immense frustration, because apparently it's impossible to buy the ebooks from anyone but Amazon in the UK, and my preferred UK booksellers aren't carrying the volumes I want, so... eBay. And in attempting to locate the short stories I have spoiled myself for something that was starting to really irritate me, so I can now read on secure in the knowledge that the characters are going to stop being so infuriatingly oblivious sometime soon (well, two books' time, but). (I am also feeling kind of guilty for spending money on books by white folk - [personal profile] calissa posted recently about diversity and reading; one of the ways I try to (1) ~broaden my horizons~ and (2) restrict my spending on books, in addition to "don't buy anything while the to-read pile on the ereader is greater than $number" [currently 25, previously 50], is to by-and-large avoid buying books by whitey? On the grounds that I get loaned lots of them and I can satisfy most of my desire-to-read-white-people via loans, so. AND ON THE OTHER HAND I am working super hard this month in lab terms, I'm helping teach a maths course which is a massive deal, I am a bit ill, paper books are good for reading in lab because not metal, and for all I'm finding them gently frustrating they are excellent brain-candy.)

5. I really do need to set up that review blog. Which in turn means that I need to get my act together to choose a CMS for my personal website, siiigh.
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
painsomnia, noun, inability to sleep
arising from somatic symptoms.
insomnianger, noun, inability to sleep
because of rage.
insomnia, noun, inability to sleep
for reasons unclear, or perhaps uninteresting.
Deferential diagnosis is required.
Morpheus' border guards delight
in lengthy - endless - questioning.
O innocents, ye need not be afraid.
It is the rest for whom these gates are barred.
& so beware, be wary: caprice
is the only arbiter of guilt.
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
No noticeable improvement in breathing, and my sleep is even more disastrous than normal. On the plus side:

1. I have my desktop working again, and even looked up some more arguments I can apply to redshift for better screen colour temperatures.

2. While I did not learn as much about MySQL as I wanted, I have learned some.

3. I have made a tiny tiny dent in the towering pile of terrifying PhD work, which makes the future a little less scary. (I made it into work during normal working hours for the first time in three weeks yesterday. I barely made it out of my room today, but hey, so it goes. Have I mentioned round these parts that I'm a bit wrong at the moment?)

4. The necklace arrived in the post: it is deliciously heavy and does all the right things with body temperature.

5. I have dealt with the washing up. (Hello lovely housemate I hope the 3am washing up didn't bother you it seemed like the best option at the time.)

6. I have read a whole pile of book - finally got around to Long Hidden, and have several authors to follow up as a result (and have already read more Nghi Vo, who I think I am hoping to nominate for something Hugo-related).

7. Lock In arrives in e-book format tomorrow, entirely breaking my rule of "don't buy books, especially not books by straight white cis men, while the in-ereader to-read pile is over 50" (the exemption for "unless you're going to read it straight away" is only really supposed to apply to people who aren't... white men), but do you know what there's a fair chance I'll find it pleasing escapism, so.

8. In more "spending money will totally make me feel better, right?" news, I have Dealt With My Lack Of Post-It Notes, Thank You eBay. (The yellow gingko-leaf-shaped-ones are probably going to be for writing nice notes to myself and sticking up places; the pale blue square ones are for work when I want to use the whiteboard for three things at once.)

9. I am enjoying the rain.

10. I have not yet finished the pear-and-apple juice we have in the house, but the blueberries we finished earlier continued delicious.
kaberett: curled decorative end of curtain rail casts a heart-shaped shadow on a wall (heartfruit)
If the highest calling is utility
then show me I am useful
by using me.

Make of me a book,
vellum of my skin,
a vessel for your stories and your selves.

(art is good if it arises from necessity
ein Kunstwerk ist gut, wenn es aus Notwendigkeit entstand
I am good if I am necessary--
or at least I am sufficient)

(fill me with your breath your hope
your need
your dreams of being as sufficient
as beautiful as necessary as all
that we must be)

(o please gift me belief)
kaberett: Photo of a cassowary with head tilted to one side (cassowary)
Will give you money for it. I want something that does Android and will usefully run one of them sleep-monitoring apps - my counsellor wants me to keep a sleep diary (they pulled the face, you know the one, when I told them how long I can stay awake with amitriptyline and temazepam in my system) and I am grumpily trying to get my act together to be more compliant with my med schedule. I don't want it as an actual phone, I don't care how beat up it is, the more likely it is to survive for more than 5 minutes around me the better, smaller overall dimensions much more important to me than screen real estate.
kaberett: Chibi Zuko stands on a tiny rock dinosaur spouting water (zuko-dinosaur)
This morning, a letter to me from NHS Blood & Transplant showed up on the metaphorical doormat. Read more... )

Also, got some brainwrong goin' on. Insomnia's pretty awful - I managed one sleep cycle last night before waking up and tossing & turning a bit, which I always feel worse about when I have bed-company, but eventually managed to get back to sleep. But it wasn't while I was in Portland. And I'm tolerably happy and really enjoying work and I am still absolutely stressed as fuck: incidence of intrusive thoughts is way up from baseline, jaw and shoulder muscles are a disaster, and I'm a twitchy mess. Dunno what to do about this. Reluctant to hit it with benzos but maybe I just should. Nothing obviously wrong; I mean, some financial stress (not helped by the DWP, who are currently being Charming In Particular, but equally! not anywhere near as bad as I expected it to be, it being rent day and my having cocked up last week! that is helpful) and residual workstress and a small interpersonal sad (but that one is, I think, genuinely small), so... who knows. Let's see if I sleep easier for having spammed you with yet more stuff though, wow, apologies all etc etc etc. (And then think seriously about how to be less stressed about work, sigh, but that's for the counselling session.)
kaberett: photograph of the Moon taken from the northern hemisphere by GH Revera (moon)
(No, really, incredibly grumpy insomnia. I was in bed by midnight. I spent nearly 90 minutes failing to get to sleep via trying several of the usual tricks. I have to be up to teach stats in a little over five hours. I was up at 7.30 today and spent nearly 6 hours on my feet teaching. And then After Gadget - the blog - updated, and now I'm bitter and resentful about people ~getting better~, because yeah, that'd be LOVELY, but the knee that used to only start complaining after most of a week of serious hiking now grumbles like anything after too much time spent walking or standing - I used to do shit like the Tongariro Crossing and now 1km/day is too much for me to manage sustainably, and none of the physio I've done has worked, and... it's 2.22 and I need to be up in five hours and it's too late to drug myself to sleep without making a mess of tomorrow and I'm a bit hyperbolically despairing, basically, within the bounds of mostly-normative rather than pathological emotion, thank you Lewis Wolpert.)

I think I begin to understand one of the routes to ending up ordained.

The summary to date: I was brought up Catholic, and specifically Austrian Catholic, so my cultural identity is tied up in my religion. Around 12-13 I realised I was queer; around 15-16 I started to realise I was trans, though I didn't have those words for it, quite, at that point; and somewhere in between I decided that the way the Vatican and my Church as a whole behaved was ethically indefensible and I left the faith, still believing. It hurt. Around 17-18 I stopped feeling guilty for not believing; then two or three years ago I started building some observance back in: I attend Mass on All Souls', though I pointedly disengage from celebrations of Christmas and Easter, because why on Earth would I want to participate in festivals of a religion I left.

And yet over the past six months or so I've begun to understand religion as a means of transmitting knowledge about not just "eat this and die" but also... ways of understanding how brains & minds work; ways of interpreting the self. I noticed last week that "count your blessings" isn't inherently as snide and dismissive as I often hear it: it's the essence of my ten-good-things, a directive towards gratitude, with the why stripped out: worn smooth through being passed mouth-to-hand. I'm simultaneously surprised & not that I didn't notice sooner.

I thrive on why. But I begin to see how this, messy and confused and abbreviated and pared down as it is, has value. I start to see why one might dedicate one's life to teasing out meaning, to teaching it, and to know all the while that one is helping over and above the comfort-of-ritual.

This, too, feels like growing up.


kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)

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