Today

Feb. 20th, 2014 07:04 pm
daidoji_gisei: (Kakita Hideshi)
I didn't find a rejection notice in my email, which qualifies as the best thing to happen to me today. Tomorrow is likely to be worse. I'm getting back to my Nov/Dec mindset of having stuff going on and feeling trapped without options to deal with it all. There are no cures for being me, I guess.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
Yesterday I started my vegetable garden by planting seeds for two kinds of broccoli, one kind of cauliflower, and four tomatoes in small plastic containers and putting them in a warm spot to sprout. Normally I'd be jumping the gun by starting tomatoes this early, but one of them (Yorkbec) was bred in Canada to be more cold-tolerant and the others are dwarf-types that I intend for container culture. My main-season tomatoes will get started later.

On Saturday I made some DIY laundry soap using a recipe someone on my FB feed was raving over. The few loads I've done so far have turned out ok, but I'm withholding judgement until I use up the container. The one downside it has from the beginning is that I can't use it on any of my silks; it has washing soda in it and (iirc) silks resent strong alkalies.

I got very little house-work type stuff done on Sunday, and this was by design. As part of my efforts to manage my stress levels I'm trying to make Sunday really be a day of rest. I can do fun-type work like gardening or writing or even cooking, but if I don't get any laundry or such done that's ok. To make this work I need to be better at getting some housework done on weeknights after I get home from work, but (the theory goes) since I'm getting some real rest on the weekend I should feel less exhausted during the week. As with my laundry soap, I'm currently withholding judgement on the project.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
The shooting pain in my right leg is gone as if it had never been. I'm grateful, but I'd be happier if I knew what caused it in the first place.

I've done an inventory of my stash of vegetable seeds and have determined that I probably shouldn't buy any more seeds this year. I probably still will, but at least I can now avoid getting a fifth packet of leaf mustard. There are a few things that I have, but would like some different varieties of (can one have too many kinds of radish? I think not!) and it would be nice to have a few more flowers this year.

The feed section of my TWSBI Vac 700 broke last night. Happily I noticed something was going wrong before the nib and feed fell out, releasing a ml of Black Swan in Australian Roses all over my notebook. So annoying. TWSBI is supposed to have great customer service so getting a replacement part shouldn't be difficult, but I'm a bit bummed that it happened at all.

Still creeping through stage 5 of my Latin text. I should be going faster, but I'm dealing with the terror of having to now keep track of both case and plurality of nouns. Apparently being a native speaker of English has made me a declension wimp.

Update

Feb. 6th, 2014 05:20 pm
daidoji_gisei: (Shall bones live?)
It's been hard for me to keep up with online things because I still haven't had a chance to get my computer fixed. (I know, I know, first world problems, I'm not supposed to complain about things because I don't live in a war zone.)

I'm behind in all of my crochet projects, mostly because I've been dividing my at-home time between catching up on housework and laboring ineffectually at various writing projects. I'm doubly grumpy about the writing thing today because I've been reminded that I'm Not A Real Writer because I'm not interested in staying up way past my bedtime to get my writing in. I'm sorry, but I don't have a cushy desk job were I can sit in front of a computer the next day and pretend like I'm working. I'm either doing physical production or dealing with Being A Manager Who Has to Supervise People and both of these things require me getting sleep the previous night. Also I do not have now and never have had a muse.

At least I'm still crawling ahead on Latin; I finished chapter 4 (finally!) yesterday and will be moving on to chapter 5, which apparently will introduce plurals. I think that when I get through this textbook (the Cambridge Latin Course is divided between 4 books) I should reward myself with some more ink. I haven't decided now many bottles a Latin textbook is worth, but I still have 7 chapters to go so I have time to make up my mind.

Work would be fine except that I am suffering from a Problem which is so stressful it's eating away at me even when I'm at home trying to relax and has me fantasizing about calling in sick so that I don't have to deal with it. The situation is not going to go away and I suspect it is going to get worse before it gets better--I'm just hoping I'm not the person who makes it worse.

Valentine's Day is coming, so I get to spend the next week being reminded that I'm fat, unattractive, middle-aged, and alone. Thank you, greeting card and floral industries, for all you have done to improve my life. I would be tempted to buy myself something to cheer myself up (which of course is the entire point of Valentine's Day) but I went ahead and ordered myself some Dragon's Eye last week, which takes care of my discretionary spending for the month. I do still need to order some seeds, but it's hard to make growing vegetables feel like a splurge.

Busy, busy

Jan. 22nd, 2014 04:45 pm
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
Still have to fix computer. It's being delayed by various things, like polar vortexes and sick employees and whatnot. Meanwhile I've been busy doing important things like cleaning my kitchen, doing laundry, and playing with the ereader my best friend got me for my birthday. I never particularly wanted one before, but having one now I admit it has a lot of advantages. The greatest one so far is that there are a lot of free ebooks out there, and now I have (and am reading through) a huge pile of very early Andre Norton. (Her earliest works came out in the late 40s. Who knew?)

Overall January is going well, though I've fallen behind in my Latin homework. (See: ereader, above.) As an experiment I set myself a food budget goal far lower than what the USDA allows for food stamps, and so far I'm meeting it. This is forcing me to use up the foodstuffs in my storage cupboards, which is my main motivation for the experiment. It's also making me cook more, because take-out eats up money fast, and this is helping me get back to healthy eating, so it's a good thing all around.

I finally missed my saving throw and ordered some of the BPAL Yule scents. I went with The First Soft Snow 2013 and The Garden In Winter because I'm curious on how they handle the concept of 'snow' in a scent, and Peacock Queen 2013 because so far it's my favorite of the LEs and I decided I wanted this year's rendition. I always save up to order at least three bottles at a time, because shipping is so expensive. Now I need to start saving again, because I'm on the waiting list for when Hymn comes back into stock. (It's one of my favorites, and my bottle is almost empty!) When I get my computer back I intend to go through my stock and put up a sell-list on the BPAL fan forum--I have a handful of LEs that I've tried several times, and they just don't work on me. (Which is to say, they develop fruity notes that I just cannot deal with. For some reason the Lunacies are prone to this, even the ones that don't have a fruit in their scent notes.)

My anual eval was supposed to be Thursday, but it's been rescheduled to Friday. I don't have a problem with this except I hate and dread annual evals and this is another day to fret about it. Well, it can't be helped.

Weird week

Jan. 9th, 2014 04:56 pm
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
So far at work this week, we seem to be trying to have as many problems, disasters and generally odd things as possible. The current list contains, but is not limited to: a shipment where the produce all froze in the truck in transit, two supply trucks from our main distributor that arrived a day late, a display cooler in the store that stopped working (rendering all the products it held unfit for sale), a cooler in the deli that stopped working (rendering all the prepped deli items it held unfit for sale), a pallet of papergoods meant for a store in Indiana being delivered to us (and our pallet delivered somewhere else), and several sick employees. I am taking the position that this means we are getting all of the year's drama out of the way in the first half of January and I'm sticking to it.

Meanwhile I've come up with two possible story ideas and my brain is fixed on writing the crackier of the two first. I'm finding this a little worrisome, but I'm consoling myself with the idea that after all the years of trying to write Serious Samurai Drama it was only natural that I'd had a certain amount of crack that I had to get out of my system.

And it's Thursday already, and I don't know what happened to the rest of the week. I haven't gotten nearly as much writing done as I wanted, though I've kind of kept up with my Latin. Laundry has been a total loss, unless I get something done after my bath tonight. I haven't done any crocheting, though I have gone through some of my magazines and started a list of potential projects. Part of me wants to try something ambitious like a sweater, but I feel incapable of doing anything that grand. I'll keep looking at patterns: maybe something will cry out strongly enough to drown out my doubts.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
It's been cold here the past few days, so cold that I chickened out of walking to church on Sunday morning. This is one of the things I miss about my old apartment: I was literally a block from church, so weather was never an issue. It's gotten up to 30 F this afternoon, which may be the warmest it's been all week. I don't know off the top of my head how cold it got last night, but I can gauge the general temperature range by how often my heat cycles on. I usually keep my thermostat at 60F (I run a small space heater in whatever room I am using, to stay comfy), so it typically cycles on and off only a few times during an evening. The past few days it's been on a lot--'almost continuously', my memory claims, but I suspect this is an exaggeration. Still, it's a notable chance from the normal.

I'm now up to the fourth chapter of Latin, and we are starting to deal with verb forms. Am trying to stay calm. The good news is I am using up a lot of ink studying! I don't know how the textbooks are supposed to be used in the classroom, so my strategy has been to copy out all of the short Latin reading passages and then translate them into English before going on and doing the exercises at the end of the chapter. I am only guessing that I am doing the exercises correctly, but so far 'correct' has been pretty obvious. (When given a complete-the-sentence exercise and your choices are words that give you either "The slave-woman eats the garden" or "The slave-woman enters the garden"....)

Speaking of ink, last week I managed to empty out three pens. eheu! I then filled seven more. At least I'll empty them quickly from homework? I used mostly sample inks, which had the unfortunate side effect that I now want a bottle of Noodler's Blue-Black. I'm safe for the next few months however, as I have decided that buying ink in the wintertime is a bad idea.

On the other hand, I have the urge to buy myself something nice. My dad didn't give me anything for Christmas or my birthday this year--he has been having life problems, so I bear him no bitterness, but I sorta want to make it up to myself. I'm currently stymied by on the one hand not being able to decide what I want, and on the other by the knowledge that I have a computer repair to pay for. Or will, once it warms up enough to allow me to haul my computer to the shop via bus.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
First work day of the new year is over, and I'm tired and stressed. Not horribly so, but I have inventory to deal with and that's never a good time, and then one of my night bakers has hurt their knee so we have no baker tonight so I'll be baking bread tomorrow during the the day and that will put everything else further back in the line.

Which is what I'm going to blame my current bad mood on. I have goals I want to accomplish in the coming months,and all of them seem too big and foolish for me. I want to write more, but coming up with plots to go with the characters my brain spits out has always been a challenge for me. And then when I do, I end up with abominations that fit no known marketing category.

I restarted my study of Latin at the end of December (just as I said I would, given the condition I had set myself previously) and I'm in the middle of the third chapter. So far so good, except that even the thought of memorizing noun declensions is starting to frighten me and how am I ever going to deal with verbs? I'm not smart enough to memorize things: that was determined back in elementary school.

Good news: my work switched health insurance providers as of Jan 1, and my premium went down. Getting a larger paycheck is always nice, right?
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
So I talked with both of my parents this evening and apparently the threatened drama isn't going to happen. Hopefully. Otherwise this promises to be my third worse Christmas ever (behind the Christmas where my mom was battling cancer and the Christmas where I had to tell mom my sister was no longer speaking to her--don't ask me to figure out which of these two were worse) which is really wearing.

I got a Christmas gift today: a book from a good friend. It's about the wars of the early Byzantine Empire, recorded by a courtier who lived at the time and who was at time acting as secretary to one of a general. I'm looking forward to reading it!
daidoji_gisei: (Kakita Hideshi)
So Monday started really bad, and then abruptly improved when two different co-workers gave me birthday/holiday presents--completely out of the blue! I was touched and taken aback by them, and the gifts were great: each one gave me a different Chris Whitley CD, which gave me major problems when I finally got home and wanted to listen to both at the same time. Eventually I got that figured out, but you know.

My health has kind of getting better, but I still feel more tired than I think I should. Just in case it's a case of iron deficiency I'm taking an iron supplement and a vitamin C tablet (to help i the iron uptake) at dinner. I'm nowhere need malnourished, but my low meat/high fiber eating patterns *could* be a problem with iron; that's something I guess I should bring up when I finally get that physical.

I've gotten the bulk of my Christmas shopping done, and I've made shameless use of Amazon's gift-wrapping service.

On the bad side, my dad called up today. There is some drama brewing between him and mom and Dad thinks she is deliberatly not picking up the phone when he calls. Him: "Does she have caller ID?" Me: "How would I know?" I will try to talk to her tomorrow. I can't deal with this problem tonight; it goes into too many issues I have with both of them.

I was going to hang out with a friend tonight, or at least wash dishes, but thanks to the parent thing I'm now very non-interested in anything productive. After I post this I think I'll try to do some writing and then go to bed early. I suspect I'll need all the sleep I can get tomorrow.
daidoji_gisei: (Kakita Hideshi)
I was sick with sinus issues Sun-Mon-Tues, so this was my first day of work this week. I was doing ok by mostly doing desk work (and I have plenty of that piled up) but I did get tired quickly if I stopped to do something physical for an extended period. I think if I continue to be sensible at work and make sure I get sleep at home I should continue to recover well enough. That's the good part of today.

The bad part was I was reminded that the Topaz Championship will be on my birthday this year and I can't go because of work etc. Thus, I will be spending my birthday cleaning my apartment (if I'm lucky) or moping (which is more what I expect). Having a birthday in between Christmas and New Year is horrible timing--no one has time to celebrate my birthday because they are busy celebrating other things. If I could have gone to Chicago I could at least have had my birthday folded into the general party that precedes/follows Topaz.

Next

Dec. 7th, 2013 09:00 am
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
After two nights to sleep on it (I'm a big believer on sleeping on decisions) I decided that this counselor was not working for me and so Friday after work I called and told them I was canceling my next appointment and not rescheduling. The woman who took the call was very nice about it--she asked why, and after I explained that I wasn't clicking with the counselor she offered to reschedule me with someone else. I then explained that I ran a bakery and after considering things I really didn't want the extra commitment during December; I'd review the issue in January.

Depending on what my (still to be scheduled) meeting with my doctor turns up, going back and seeing a different counselor isn't out of the question. Being able to get short-term counseling with this agency is a job benefit, and it would be a little foolish to ignore it completely. In the meantime, I'll just cope.
daidoji_gisei: (Shall bones live?)
My second session of counseling for my stress issues was last night and I'm strongly considering canceling the next one. (And for that matter, all further ones.) It takes a fair amount of effort for me to get to the office, not to mention standing on bus stops in December in Nebraska, and for all that I'd like something more helpful than what boils down to as "if you just did more work you could totally fix your stress". Read more... )

On the bright side, I discovered this week that I can use my flex plan money to pay for a taxi ride for medical appointments, which just made scheduling a physical exam parsecs easier.
daidoji_gisei: Tarot Queen of Swords (Queen of Swords)
About 7 or 8 years ago--I could figure it out if it really mattered--we discovered that my mom had breast cancer. I won't go into the details of how we found out, because it wasn't pretty, but the important point is that my mom had known, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that there was something terribly wrong with her for a long time and she didn't do anything about it. At the point where the doctors finally entered the picture the tumor was at the verge of metastizing and her oncologist set her up with a chemo schedule of once every two weeks instead of the normal once every three weeks. He wanted to stomp on that tumor fast.

I'm bringing this up because one of the many emotions I felt at the time was outrage at my mom for Not Doing Anything. It was obvious that something was wrong, no really, I mean totally obvious--I won't go into details because you might be eating something as you read but trust me, it was obvious. And as part of my rage I promised myself that I would never be like my mom--if I had signs of a health problem I was going to get myself off to a doctor and take care of it.

So this afternoon I made an appointment with a counselor. I don't know if I am suffering from stress, depression, or an overgrown sense of self-entitlement, but thinking the matter over the only way I could keep my promise to myself was to go to someone who might have more insight to the problem than I do. I feel gratuitously self-indulgent over this--"Oh, look at me, my life is soooo hard!"--but a promise is a promise, even if it is made to me.
daidoji_gisei: (Kakita Hideshi)
This morning after breakfast I was drinking tea and idling about on the internet and got interested in the protein content of my breakfast (oatmeal and ground flax seed, cooked in soymilk, in case you were curious) and then I got curious about how much protein I actually needed. This led me to a calculator sponsored by the University of Maryland Medical School. There were other calculators, so after I determined my protein needs (80 grams a day: I was surprised by how high it was but apparently my active job pushes up my requirements) I was doodled around with some of the other ones they had. Thus I discovered I'm eating enough fiber, I don't appear to be stressed and...I'm very possibly suffering from depression.

I'm not sure how to react to this. I don't think of myself as being depressed, but my perceptions of what depression is have been shaped on the one hand by my observations of a friend with bipolar, and on the other hand by popular media. Neither seem to fit well with how I feel. I feel stressed, overwhelmed, always tired and never managing to make a difference in the things I am trying to do. I can't understand why this is depression, and not stress.

The calculator came garnished with the usual warnings that this is not a real diagnosis but an indicator that the user should seek a real health professional for help. This is theoretically possible; I have insurance and resources. I don't have time. It's November! I don't even plan to take off time to go to my uncle's funeral in Sioux Falls this week. (I am not looking forward to telling my Mom this, as when we talked on Saturday she made it clear that she expected me to drop everything and take two days off of work to drive her up and back.)

I should have accepted my ignorance of protein and gotten on with my morning.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
I'm feeling somewhat better about parts of my life, which I regard as a significant improvement over how I felt in the middle of this week. I met with the two remaining players in my Judgement Night game last night, and their feeling was that the game had too much interesting stuff going in to try to finish it in 4 hours (which is what we would have to do as Ben doesn't think he can play in December) and they didn't want it to just die without resolution. This made me feel very, very happy.

After discussing our options it was decided that we would play as many sessions as we could this month and then take the game online, either by email or as a forum game. The forum option is my first choice, because thanks to the Winter Court games and my experience in playing in my friend Brent's L5R game I have some clue as to how to handle it. Thus, I am now looking for server space and someone who knows how operate a forum. One of my players is an IT guy, so I've emailed him in hopes of getting him to handle the forum software.

While we were waiting for John to arrive, Ben was asking me questions about my NaNo novel. When I described its relationship to the game, his reaction was, "So your novel is a fanfic from the game?" He thought that was amazing. I was amused, because while I hadn't thought of it that way it is not an inaccurate description.

I only worked 40 hours this week, and I get a whole two days off. The next two weeks are going to be horrible, but at least I have this.
daidoji_gisei: blooming tree branches against blue sky (Color of Sky)
So last week on the NaNoWriMo forum in a thread discussing pens someone posted a question about Lamy Safari pens, noting that she had seen multiple references to them. I replied with a rundown about what their good and bad points were, gathered from my own experience and what I had read on FPN. And then I moved on. Today I found a PM waiting for me on the NaNo forum:

Hi there,

just wanted to say thank you for the tip about the Lamy Safari fountain pen. I ordered one online and it arrived yesterday and wow, I love it! I really liked my other fountain pen, but the Lamy writes so much easier and faster and smoother. Glad I discovered it before I started NaNo as now I'll be able to write without getting cramps.

Good luck on your novel!


So I've made someone's November a little more pleasant. That's a win, right?
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
I don't want to go to work. Yesterday was nothing but bad news and I have reason to suppose that today will not be any better. Last night was the local NaNo meeting, and though I can't say I had a good time I was very glad I went because I was pretty sure that if I had been at home I would have spent the time doing/thinking terrible things about myself. Everything is going wrong, so it must be my fault, right?

Having second thoughts about the NaNo thing. I've never written more than 1000 words of fiction in a day, so how do I think I can do 1667 a day for a month? And I've never written anything of length and I have no idea of a plot. I have three characters with problems but no antagonist!

The writing book I got looks well done and would probably be helpful to someone who knew what they were doing, but that is very much not me. The intro chapters go on and on about knowing about what my passion is and what the meaning of my novel is and--maybe I have passions, but I have never, ever been the kind of person who can say My Favorite X is Y or My Number 1 P is Q. I can tell you my favorite TV show of all time is Babylon 5, but it is also about the only tv show I've watched for the last 25 years. It's easy to be #1 when there is no competition. And meaning? None of my stories have meaning. If I am supposed to have meaning to be a writer then I need to stop now before I buy even more comp books.

Now I need to get dressed and go to work. I want to crawl back into my bed and claim I'm sick, but that goes against my upbringing.
daidoji_gisei: (Shall bones live?)
...all is revealed when you hit the ground...

It's too over-dramatic to say that I hate my life, but there are part of it that I really don't like at the moment. I'm currently in the middle of frantically trying to hire new staff for my horribly understaffed bakery and...my new lead baker has given notice. So that is another 40 hours of labor I will lose in the middle of November. Right before Thanksgiving.

I don't want to die. I just want the pain to stop.
daidoji_gisei: (Shall bones live?)
I worked another nine-hour day today, this one made even longer by having to be mentally on top of things rather than just baking my ass off. It was me and three other bakers, which meant that at any given time I needed to not only be aware of what I was doing, I had to keep track of what everyone else was doing and to keep tasks portioned out that would make best use of the workspace, ovens, and cooling racks that we had available. Together we got a lot done: the bakery is still in danger of running out of everything at once, but at least this won't happen any time in the next three days.

This is going to be yet another week that I am running overtime without hope of compensation. The theory of being on salary at my workplace is that if you work extra hours one week you just take off early some day the next week to compensate for it. As the bakery has been understaffed for months now, this is something of a pleasant fantasy. I'm not getting my full days off, either: as we have no one who can work Sundays at this time I have to get up on Sunday morning and go package bread.

The cherry on this situation is that I keep waiting for the general manager to come in and complain that the bakery has empty display shelves in the store. I wish she'd do it and get it over with.

I should cook dinner tonight, because I've resolved to stop frittering money away on take-out food, but it is so, so tempting. I shouldn't have sat down and allowed myself relaxation time when I got home, now I don't want to get up. I don't deserve relaxation time--I have a messy apartment and an L5R scene to write.

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