Wednesday, January 30, 2002
When I look back at the last year, though, I realise how far I've come. A year and a half ago I was living in an over-priced, unmanageable apartment surrounded by hoards of stuff to the point where none of my friends would come see me. I couldn't go out in public without having major anxiety. I was constantly doubting myself, checking to make sure I'd turned off the stove, that I'd lock the door, etc. In short, my brain chemistry was running amok. People talk about obsessive-compulsiveness like it's some sort of joke. But it's awful. It's like having a tape playing over and over in your brain so fast that you can't even make out the words. It's having awful images of doing things you'd never normally do, like crashing your car, that bother you so much you find yourself counting or walking a certain way, or bathing three times a day. The good thing, though, is that OCD is a matter of brain chemistry--it's neurochemical. It can be treated with medication so that the anxiety and obsessions ease. When I look back at myself this time last year, I realise that I would never have been able to concentrate for long periods of time to do the website I've been working on, or any of a host of other projects at work. I couldn't even concentrate well enough to do yoga. I had trouble talking to people because I was obsessing on certain aspects of the environment, like a certain noise, to the point where I couldn't tell what people were saying. If this sounds like anyone you know, please urge them to check with a doctor--OCD responds pretty well to treatment. I've been on Paxil for almost a year now and it has literally given my life back. It was only after dealing with the depression and anxiety issues that I could start working on the more deep-set problems that have been holding me back. I hope in another year I'll be that much more ahead.
Hmmm...I didn't mean to stray into my mental health, but it feels better to write it down. I guess that's one good point about blogging. I don't know if anyone really wants to read about my psycho moments, but I guess my emotional struggles right now are the main "project" on my plate, so I might as well talk about them. And it's so hard to explain to people in person what my brain's been doing, especially in its less lucid moments. I'm not crazy per se, I know reality from phantasy, etc., but sometimes I have some skewed thinking that interferes with my interaction with reality--like I'll perceive criticism where none is implied, etc., because I expect it. Sometimes I feel like I'm at war with my brain. But it's given me a better view of why people act irrationally (and really, most of us do act from emotions rather than logic a good bit of the time), and a better idea with people who really are struggling with sanity. I'd like to see the movie 'A Beautiful Mind'. I think it'll make more sense than it would have a year ago.
Well, it's late, and I think I'm kind of rambling, anyway. I hope this made some sense. Until next time--:)
Tuesday, January 29, 2002
1) The car is back on the road. My stepfather, John, who is remarkably patient, was able to get a new clutch cable on. He had to dismantle most of the dashboard to do it, but he also got that back together, too. Thank you!!!!!
2) I finished the website I was working on for the hospital today. I did it all in straight HTML code (for a variety of reasons), and my brain feels like it's leaking out my ears. I haven't even been able to bring myself to code today's entries into HTML. Anyway, they'll review it, give me final edits, and then we'll send it off to corporate. If they approve it, I'll post the address. If not...I don't want to think of that...there's too much work into this project for them not to take it.
I had my DBT group tonight. I'm supposed to be telling you a little about what I'm doing, just in case you're also a borderline looking for new info. That's one of the reasons I started this blog, after all. Hmmm....how to describe it? We meet weekly and each discuss our homework for the past week. So far this has revolved around mindfulness and emotion regulation--ways to healthfully express your emotions without them running your life. This may sound simple to many of you, but the point of borderline personality disorder is that the person never learned those skills, usually because he or she was in an environment where feelings were ignored or invalidated. That's the theory, anyway. During the second part of the session we learn new skills. So, it's really almost like going to class as opposed to group therapy. If you're really interested, check out the book we use. Well, it's midnight. Time for me to say goodnight. :)
Monday, January 28, 2002
Star Trek Personality Test -- Results
Myers-Briggs would say that you are an ESFJ (Extrovert, Sensor, Feeler, Judger). In Star Trek language, you share a basic personality configuration with Leonard McCoy.
People like you are generally concerned about others and work hard to be of service. You're friendly, affectionate, outgoing and talkative. You're polite when it's appropriate, willing to take risks to help others, and cooperative, especially when you perceive that you're part of a team. You enjoy action, but you're a realist and quite literal. You're also organized and responsible. You love things that are time-honored.
You're conscientious, almost to a fault at times. You're very sensitive to others and get your feelings hurt easily.
Your primary goal in life is creating exceptional relationships and helping people in tangible, practical ways. Your reward is to be appreciated and relied upon, as well as to respected, particularly in regards to your ethics.
Good careers for your type include personal fitness trainer, exercise physiologist, travel agent, innkeeper, veterinarian, and employee assistance counselor.
This is funny since Dr McCoy was my favourite of the "big three" of the original Star Trek series. He had the best lines, was a perfect Southern gentleman, and had a healthy respect (some would say paranoia) of the transporter. I've taken the Meyers-Briggs several times, and I always turn out an INFP (Introvert Intuitive Feeling Perceptive), although the tendency is to become more like your opposite as you age, and it has steadily done that over time, so maybe that's part of the reason. More likely, though, is the fact that since the questions were couched in phantasy terms, I was more outgoing and ready to take risks.
My best friend is very Spock-like (as in Star Trek, not my cat, who while named after the Vulcan because he had the Star Trek symbol on his head and has pointed ears, is actually very stupid, albeit also very sweet). My friend is rational, logical, and doesn't have a sweet bone in his body. Well. Mabe one or two.
I was talking to my counselor at some point about how different he and I are, and told her he was Spock, and I was McCoy. And she said, "that's interesting, because of course it was always Kirk who had the final say/who wound up with the solution." In DBT they would have Kirk as the wise mind between the Rational (Spock) which is very logical, but not really warm, and Emotional (McCoy) who, if unchecked becomes is reduced to pure raving chaos. Hmm...that analogy breaks down in that Kirk really wasn't particularly wise, just commanding, sexy enough to lose his shirt and get the women with enough rank to make sure everyone did what he wanted. And I think he leaned a bit to the emotional, "cowboy" side. But still, you get the picture.
Strange food for thought, anyway.
You can take this test at: http://startrek.about.com/library/weekly/aa0802016.htm
Sunday, January 27, 2002
I am the Bubonic Plague!!!
Take the Affliction Test Today!
I have spent the last 12 years of my life studying the Middle Ages, so this shouldn't really be a surprise (and maybe one day I'll actually finish my thesis and get that graduate degree). Although traveling on rats (in fleas, no less) is not my idea of an expansive cruise to see new sights. You know what the funny thing is, though? Zabet is the one who's Rabies!
First of all, you must understand that my poor car, a 1990 Nissan Sentra that was apparently abused/tortured by the previous owner to such a degree that it has been basically rebuilt, suffered yet another loss when a clutch cable snapped the other night, for the second time in less than a year. This time I had a passenger in my car, who, shall we say, tends to blow lightbulbs, small appliances, etc. when he's mad. I had just made him mad by acting like an insane child. Fortuately I have road service for just such occasions. Once the car was home and we were able to fish the remains of the cable out (more on that later), it was discovered that there was a clean break in an otherwise perfect-looking cable. The person holding it said, "I don't understand how this cable could have snapped." How do you explain the strange effects people have on machinery?
My mother and her boyfriend, John, came up to look at the car. I've mentioned John before. He's the one who built my computer for the holidays, the very one on which I'm typing now. Oh, and he got the car working when it got stuck at my grandmother's a few weeks ago. He's also the only male I've ever seen to come home from a long day at work, say hi, and walk straight to a closet, pull out a vaccuum cleaner, and begin to clean. He's great for my mom. And he's better at being a dad than my father ever could have dreamed of being. He does yard work for his mom. Between his work, his son (who just turned 18), our cars, and all the other projects on his plate, I don't know how he manages--but he does. So just let me say, John, Momma, you're both great!
It took well over an hour to get to the stupid cable. It had already gotten dark by the time they got here (they had stopped to load some software for a friend, which in turn took W-A-Y more time than it should have.) The cable had snapped back up pretty high--John had to take the lower dash off just to get to it, with my mom holding a flashlight, me holding the door, and a hand mirror to use as a periscope. There's nothing quite so frightening as watching someone demolish your dashboard--it has something to do with how difficult it is to get it off without smashing it against the wheel--you just cross your fingers, hope for the best, and thank the powers that be that you did finally take your Paxil this afternoon, so you're not as uptight as you could have been.
Unfortunately, the cable had, indeed, snapped. We went to an all-night auto parts store, but they didn't carry the cable. It may be one of those dealers-only things. So, no car as of yet. But they'll look for a cable and try later in the week.
The nice thing about it all was 1) I actually had to stay home and so I vaccuumed, shampooed my rugs, cleaned my bathroom, did my laundry--several things I'd been putting off or not getting done because I'd been coming home and crashing by 6pm. I also had a very nice chat with a neighbour about the difficulties of understanding English when you are not a native speaker and the people around you are using quaint but maddening colloquialisms, diphthonged vowels, etc. I think she was happy that I understood. Even though I'm from Kentucky, I grew up all over, and I don't talk like a Kentuckian. Here they tend not to open their mouths, and that makes it hard for me to understand sometimes; I'd hate to be coming from a language like Spanish which is so much more consistent. I told her I had a lot of trouble understanding native Spanish speakers because their Spanish is so rapid. She has that trouble with English speakers, too. At least in the South we tend to speak slowly compared to the Northeast, for example. 2) I got to spend some time with my mom and John. We actually sat down for a change, and took our time. We'd all been pretty busy, apparently, and needed to just chill and relax (at least until we got to the dashboard). 3) I got to spend some time curled up in a sunbeam this afternoon with the cats and dog. This may seem like a simple pleasure, but it's a great one. I have a large patio door with a southern exposure. Today was sunny, beautiful, spring-like. I even opened the windows for a bit. The sunbeams that stream in are warm and inviting. The carpet had dried, the animals had staked out their bits, so I just curled up, too, with one cat, Spock, laid out purring on top of my hand. That is my definition of happiness.
So, despite the car stuff, it was a good day. Hope yours went as well or better.
Saturday, January 26, 2002
Yet another quiz gleaned from Zabet's blog. I'll let you go there from her link--I lost mine when the computer glitched. Interesting how we compare.
Your view on yourself
Other people find you very interesting, but you are really hiding your true self. Your friends love you because you are a good listener; they'll probably still love you if you learn to be yourself with them.
Hmm...still working on the listening part--I'm one of those people who is uncomfortable with silence, so I'm usually too busy talking. I must be doing something right, though. I sometimes think my library is the Ten Forward of the hospital.
The type of girl/boyfriend you are looking for
You are not looking merely for a girl/boyfriend - you are looking for your life partner. Perhaps you should be more open-minded about who you spend time with. The person you are looking for might hide their charm under their exterior.
Dead on. I am a hopeless romantic, albeit one who hasn't dated in years. I'm so clueless I could trip over Mr./Ms. Right and never know. I just hope my friends are around to make sure I notice.
Your readiness to commit to a relationship
You prefer to get to know a person very well before deciding whether you will commit to the relationship.
Righto. And even then, I'll probably mess up. I had to marry someone just to figure out what was wrong with our relationshp. I used to be too quick to fill in the holes with what I wanted to see. Hopefully I'm over that, but I haven't had a chance to try it out. My friends have orders to shoot me if I ever start down that path again.
The seriousness of your love
You like to flirt and behave seductively. The opposite sex finds this very attractive, and that's why you'll always have admirers hanging off your arms. But how serious are you about choosing someone to be in a relationship with?
Me, flirt? Seductively? Gee, I never learnt how to walk in heels, and you expect me to flirt? I've been described as frigid. (Okay, so I have issues involving physical contact. I hate being hugged. I'm getting better though, I don't grimace as much anymore.) I wonder what I answered that got me this one. The mirror? It wasn't to look in--I just thought it was shiny and pretty, and I didn't want a bottle lying around messing up my forest.
Your views on education
Education is very important in life. You want to study hard and learn as much as you can.
Oh, yeah, the more obscure the topic, the better.
The right job for you
You're a practical person and will choose a secure job with a steady income. Knowing what you like to do is important; find a regular job doing just that and you'll be set for life.
Security's a big issue for me. I think it comes from growing up in the military. I went to 3 different junior highs in three different states. Try building a sense of security with that, then add a father who drops you and your mom to persue a second childhood. Ugh.
How do you view success?
You are afraid of failure and scared to have a go at the career you would like to have in case you don't succeed. Do not give up when you have not even started yet! Be courageous!
Easy for them to say. =:)
What are you most afraid of?
You are afraid of things that you cannot control. Sometimes you show your anger to cover up how you feel.
Have I mentioned what a wonderful substance Paxil is? Or that I'm obsessive-compulsive? Socially phobic? Prone to panic attacks? A borderline personality? It's amazing how much my life has changed over the last year simply because of an adjustment in brain chemistry. But I'm still slogging ahead.
Who is your true self?
You are mature, reasonable, honest and give good advice. People ask for your comments on all sorts of different issues. Sometimes you might find yourself in a dilemma when trapped with a problem, which your heart, rather than your head, needs to solve.
I'm definitely an intuition over logic person. But, yeah, except for my more psycho moments, this is me, or at least where I'm heading (I hope).
Aha! I have finally made it back online from home! I am somewhat embarrassed to say that I did so on the back on the giant tortoise known as AOL Time Warner, but really, what else was I going to use that CD for, it's not like you can rewrite those pressed discs. Actually, in about 8 days I should be getting a DSL connexion via my phone company, but I couldn't wait that long. So now I should be able to blog/rave regularly.
What, you may ask, was the first thing I did with my newfound freedom? I went to The Sims Website to download utilities so I could make my own faces/bodies for my Sims. Too much time on my hands, you say? Well, my clutch cable broke on my car the other night, so it's this or Spider Solitaire.
I was quite pleased to find that this blog is listed on a page of libraristic links. You'll find lots of other great librarian pages (intentionally left vague) there as well. I suppose that means I should, on occasion, talk about being a librarian.
Librarians come in all shapes, sizes, colours, and flavours. I have met very few of the "stereotypical" shhh-ing librarians; I have, however, noticed that there is a "look" that librarians acquire by the time they're in their thirties. I am also appalled that I, indeed, look like a librarian. This look is as follows:
- The librarian (if female) wears her hair in a professional bob or shorter, or, if still in their 60s phase (even if she wasn't around then), then her hair will be parted in the middle, allowed to hang naturally down as long as she can get it to grow.
- The librarian (if male) either wears clothes that are comfortably academic (sweaters, tie, etc.), or if he is angling for an administrative position, he'll opt for a suit. This is also true of female librarians. Solo librarians are an exception. They don't have to worry about anyone replacing them from the ranks (no one in their organisations even understands what they do, much less can expect to go for even a few days without a librarian in place). They dress however they can and still get by under the dress code. If elected to office, they may dress up to be taken seriously. If not, they may dress down to prove that they are not constrained by the fetters of corporate ladder climbing.
- Glasses are normal for librarians, because most of us have spent too much time reading small print and have allergies to mould and dust that prevent us from wearing contacts. If the glasses are only needed for reading, the librarian may opt for one of those little holders that allow the glasses to hang from the neck. Of course, now people are wearing glasses to look chic. We never realised we were such trend-setters. Those librarians who deal with a lot of technology, LANs, or web authoring will either have special glasses for computer work or have necks in a permanent backwards angle from looking through raised bifocals.
So you think you've identified a librarian in its native habitat, the stacks (or the computer room). How can you tell it is a librarian, and not one of the closely related species, the library technician or the certified school library media specialist (as opposed to the professional school media specialist. Like birds, librarians have different families of categorisation. Well, someone with the letters MSLS, MLS, MLIS, or in some cases even MIS, is most likely a librarian. If he/she also have a teaching certificate, he/she is probably a professional school media specialist. If he/she is a teacher who has not completed a master's in library science but has completed a certification programme in school media, then he/she is a certified school media specialist. If the person works in a library but does not have the degree, he/she is a library technician. If he/she does have the degree but is working in a technical position, then he/she probably had the job prior to getting the degree and hasn't been able to find a professional (read higher-paying) job yet. If he/she is in a professional position, he/she may be paid anything from squat to comfortable and may be doing the work of anywhere between one and several technician and administrative positions at the same time. That's the great thing about librarians--they're a versatile bunch.
Librarians come in all kinds. School librarians/media specialists, academic librarians, public librarians, medical librarians, law librarians, special librarians, topical librarians, archivists, conservators, prison librarians (meaning that they serve prisoners, but I suppose there are librarians in prison, too), military librarians (and yes, they have rank), government librarians--you name it, if it exists, there's probably a librarian for it. Marvel Comics advertised for a librarian a few years ago. There are librarians on NPR (I love it when they get thanked). I've talked with librarians on Galapagos, in the Arctic, in the middle of the Mojave--they can be found just about anywhere. There are opportunities (including Fulbright fellowships) for librarians to do foreign exchanges and lend their experience to people in other countries. It's actually one of the few fields I've ever seen where there is such breadth with an opportunity for specialty, tracks for those who want to teach, to manage, to program, etc. In short, being a librarian is like entering a world where you know you're really needed and the trick is to persuade people who don't understand what you do why they need you. It's great. It's fantastic. It's frustrating at times, but worth every bit of it. So remind me some time when I'm dumping on my vocation. :) Well, that's enough pontificating about my field for tonight. I think it's all gone to my head. I'll blog again soon (really, this time!)
Wednesday, January 23, 2002
Hello all. I usually try not to post during work hours, but really, my brain is starting to soften due to lots of HTML code, so I thought I'd take a break. I went to Zabet's blog and did some reading. We're usually so busy it helps if we read each other's posts so we don't spend all our time catching up on the latest news. As usual, she had a pointer to a great quiz, which I took, with this result (which, for those of you who know me, is no surprise whatsoever!):
You will marry RICK O'CONNELL (played by Brendan Fraser) from The Mummy, live in dusty occasionally cursed archaeological dig sites in the middle of the desert, and spend your days riding camels, searching for lost cities, and shooting the living dead.
What's YOUR M * A * S * H future?
Remember, I am a librarian, and yes, I am proud to be one, and all librarians ARE this much trouble. :)
By the way, if you like adventures like The Mummy and you like reading, you may want to try out the Amelia Peabody mysteries by Elizabeth Peters, beginning with Crocodile on a Sandbank. Like the movie, they have an adventurous Aegyptological couple with a precocious son (who would have probably outwitted the mummy single-handedly, rather than just annoying him). These predate the movie, and are ongoing (they start when the couple meet. Their son is now married.) I re-read these regularly, even though I know the story's solution, just because I love the characters so much. When I really want to relax, I stick with an Aegyptian theme: Amelia Peabody, The Mummy movies, and Stargate.
I've decided to (once again) change the template of this blog. What can I say--I get bored easily and needed something with colour, so it seemed a go. Hope you like it.
Tuesday, January 08, 2002
I'm sorry I haven't blogged in awhile. I had no idea just how long it had been until I went back over my posts. Actually, I blog in spurts, apparently. I'll try to do better, really (I know, I make it sound like I'm getting points for good behaviour--I am my own worst taskmaster, after D). I've actually received complaints, which was rather sweet. But I've gotten a little too bogged down in the details of daily life, so I haven't felt like writing about them, and generally I haven't been doing my standard travelling from crisis to crisis. But blogging takes time, and at the moment I only have access to the Internet from work, so I don't want to blather on about my personal life there. But, my faithful-yet-quite-mort Acer that I had at home has found new life by donating its parts, and instead, I have a new jazzy system to play with. (256 MB of RAM! Whew! Thanks Mom & John--what a great gift for the holidays!) Hopefully I'll be able to get a broadband connexion, and then I'll blog lots. So, keep checking back, and I'll get back on track.
I checked out Zabet's blog and was somewhat disconcerted that she didn't list my presents to her and her hubby. Granted, they weren't for Christmas, they were for Yule, but...I'm sure that will all be amended. :)
In the meantime, she had a great link for checking out who you would be in The Lord of the Rings. So I went, and here is the result:
If I were a character in The Lord of the Rings, I would be Galadriel, Elf, Queen of Lothlorien, wife of Celeborn and grandmother of Arwen.
In the movie, I am played by Cate Blanchett.
This, of course, is hilariously funny when you realise I am 5'4" tall, a very solid 265 lbs, with brown hair and eyes, and in no way could be considered ethereal. But then, I guess it's more to do with spirit--I would reject the One Ring. I have no need for power. I am a librarian. We have the world at our feet!
If you don't believe me, check out the Librarian Avengers. You'll see the error of your ways....