Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Monday, January 31, 2005

I hate it when I don't understand myself

Yesterday, for the first time in a good long while, I had a bad panic attack. I'd been antsy all weekend, which had allowed me to get the house to a state of near-perfection only to destroy it by pulling out all the books out of the closets and sorting and shelving. The good thing about all that is I reclaimed my hall closet for what it's meant for, coats, the vaccuum, etc. But with everything tossed about it only added to the anxiety. I didn't get much sleep or really eat or take my medicine, either; I just seemed to have all this pent-up energy and tried to funnel it into the best things possible. I did crash on Saturday afternoon, sleeping for about five hours in the recliner with one dog and two cats, meaning I woke up stiff and groggy. My blood sugar had gone up, making me feel tired and sort of hung over. So I ate a little something to get the insulin flowing and then I went to the gym, figuring that during a UK Wildcats game it would be fairly quiet. I really enjoyed it, and even got to go to the pool for some exercises I can't do as easily out of the water, like push up against the pool walls (can't support weight due to my hands) or leg bends (bad knees). Then I basked in the sauna for a bit. I came out even more energised.

But the next day I felt crappy. I'm premenstrual and just overall the anxiety hadn't abated. I managed to put it aside during most of the game, although I still got up and paced and overate. I was heading for another crash, ever so sleepy, but stayed to watch Charmed. Then, as I was getting ready to go home, I just freaked. I couldn't stand to be touched, I couldn't stand anything around me, or the TV noise, or the radio on whilst I drove home. I just wanted to take the car up to 100 and who cared about the consequences...I wanted to escape. Since I managed to do this around other people, at least in the early part, I majorally embarrassed myself and may have damaged their view of me or hurt their feelings. And the thing is, it came out of nowhere.

I know part of the problem. I had an ovarian cyst earlier this month, and whenever they form and break my hormones get screwed up more than normal, and my anxiety goes up. I know someone who has similar experiences. But I really hate the idea that my hormones are mucking with me, and after all, in the end, I'm responsible for how I act. The other thing is these attacks last about a half hour max...then I'm tired and emotionally drained, but otherwise okay. I was having them right and left before I entered DBT (dialectical behavioural therapy). Then things got much better. Since one of the things I found in the process of dragging the books out was my DBT manual (oddly enough, it was already on a bookshelf in its place, so it's no wonder that I couldn't find it...everytime I clean I lose things, because I give them places and then forget what I did with them).

The frustrating thing is that I did take my meds like I was supposed to and this still happened. It left me frustrated and confused. Does anyone else have these kinds of attacks, or am I just a freak? (Well, I suppose that could go both ways.)

Friday, January 28, 2005

MacGyver would have been proud

I ran out of gas last night (Yes. Again. Suffice to say that I didn't have any money except for someone else's, and a friend I taxi about was going to put gas in the car later that night. My car gets unpredictable at an eighth of a tank, due to the fuel sensor, so it happens periodically.) It was in a rather bad spot, right at the corner of Richmond Road and Man O'War, right during dusk and during rush hour. Because I couldn't move the car myself (I had tried to get over and it died before I could turn back, so I was askew in a turn lane, with a kerb and road sign in the way, and this close to the surgeries, my hands aren't up to pushing a car, and I couldn't budge it using my feet and back) and since I was a road hazard, I called the non-emergency police line (always handy to have on a cellphone). Then I was able to start the car enough just to get around the corner and into a bike lane...still a hazard, but not as much.

The police officer was very nice. I wish I'd gotten his name. He took me up to the gas station. He was a little embarrassed because he had a lot of stuff in the front seat (after all, they don't transport people up front often). Whilst I was getting gas, he cleaned out the rest of his car. :) On the way back he showed me (yes, I asked questions, geek that I am) his computer and the things they can run quickly as a result. Everytime a call's dispatched, for example, it gives a history of calls at that location. I found out that the cylinders on the back of some of the cars are antennae for the Internet connexion. Nifty cool. I've never ridden in a police car before, and even though it wasn't for very long, we talked about the military (my being a brat, he being formerly active duty).

Then we went back to my car and as I was filling the tank the spout to the can suddenly went whoosh! down into the can. We were trying to figure a way to get it out. He started for his antenna, then said:

--Do you have a really long pencil?
--No...but I do have knitting needles!
--That would be great.

So we tried using the 14" needles chopstick-style to get the spout back up, but that was nigh on impossible--especially in the dark with just a flashlight and with a cutting icy wind. Then I had a brainstorm.
--Do you have a knife?
--Yes. Why?
--Because (I said, reaching into my trunk) I have recyclables!

At which point I brought out a 2-litre Fresca bottle. So he cut it around to make a funnel, then he put the rest of the gas in the tank for me, and I was on my way. Thanks to him, I didn't get hit or otherwise hurt, no one else was hurt, and wound up giggling at what could have been a much scarier situation. Plus (given my bad luck with the expired registration and finally getting pulled over when I went through a light as it turned red this past year, it made me feel much happier about the police in general. Excellent PR, it was.

Anyway, thanks LFCPD guy. It was a great help.

And in celebration, I washed the gasoline from the knitting needles (yay, aluminium) and knitted (and finished) my first real project. I knitted a butterfly, with a peacock-multi-coloured yarn for the wings and a strange dull green chenille for the soft fuzzy body, then a purple pipe cleaner for the antennae. Yeah, I know, tr&233; tacky...but it's finished, and I got to practice casting off. I put a bit safety pin through it and well, now I have a bit butterfly pin (my middle name, Eilir, means butterfly in Welsh).

Anyway, all in all, it was fun. And apparently the hour and a half I spent yesterday morning doing yoga and chakra meditation helped me keep my cool. :)

I miss you, Pa

In memorium:

Edgar George Craig
September 25, 1923-January 28, 2000

I can't believe it's been five years since my grandfather died. I still have dreams where I visit home and he's there. It still seems odd to go home without him there. He was more of a father to me than a grandfather. I wish him well.

Thursday, January 27, 2005


Today is the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

There are, of course, many sites dedicated to remembering those killed in this, the most notorious result of racial hatred. Sadly, there are also many that refuse to acknowledge the facts of what happened. I encourage you to explore if you know little about this subject. Most of us read the Diary of Anne Frank or were introduced in school to some extent, but many to this day don't understand just how far-reaching the Holocaust, the sheer numbers of people and towns destroyed, the various groups--not just Jews, but Rom, homosexuals, the disabled, political prisoners, and many, many more--that were targeted. President Yushenko of the Ukraine's own father was at Auschwitz, Someday I'll actually do a webpage linking my favourite sites devoted to the Holocaust. For now, I offer one I just happened across...An Auschwitz Alphabet, written by the someone whose grandparents left before the spread of Nazism, but seeking a place free from pogroms and anti-Semitism. It represents things learnt from his studies, but you never forget that had his grandparents not emigrated when they did he, and many in his family, might never have existed, wiped out by an organised 'final solution' to the 'Jewish problem'.

For those who died, for those who survived, for those who never were to be, we must always remember--and never let it happen again.

I suspect he'll wish he had died after all

An apparently suicidal man parked his Jeep on train tracks only to change his mind at the last minute, leaving the SUV on the tracks. This set up a chain-reaction causing train derailment, killing at least 10 and injuring another 200.

It's sad that someone would do this. Even if he'd died, he'd have taken others with him, and at the very least it would be traumatising to be involved in a train wreck where the driver of the vehicle was killed. But he didn't die, and instead, several other innocent victims did. They've got him in custody on suicide watch, and it looks like he'll be charged with manslaughter rather than murder due to his apparent state of mind.

It's scary to think that so much could be changed in a moment due to one person's choice. My thoughts are with the victims and their families, and the man and his family as well, because despite the fact that we make our own choices, mental illness (and drug use, which apparently was something he had done, counts in addition to the depression)--at least when it isn't treated appropriately or is resistant to treatment--can rob individuals and their families of so much, and ultimately, affect a much wider group of people. Don't get me wrong--lots of people dealing with mental illness would never consider doing what he did, or harming either themselves or others. But when I see cases like this, it always makes me hyperaware of how an individual can be both a perpetrator and victim at the same time. It's not an excuse. It's just sad.

UPDATE: They've filed murder charges in this case. They do include a special circumstance that could make him eligible, if convicted, for the death penalty, but a final decision for whether to pursue that has not been made. Additionally, the death toll is now 11.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005


I got my cast off during lunch today. Turns out, they did a different incision (apparently, the doctor put his finger up my wrist, it wasn't loose enough, so he did a second incision in the actual wrist. Yes, I know that's gross. I told him so.) That explains the pain/itching beyond the original incision. I basically have an exclamation point on my left hand, and what's left of a pinkish slash on my right one.

Anyway, having the cast is one reason I haven't updated much...it was just so tedious trying to type and hitting all the wrong buttons.

Not much has been happening, with the exception of the death of my computer's power supply Kaput. Shovelled off this mortal coil. It is, indeed, an ex-power supply. I'm trying to find another. I know I don't have internet access and such, but it's terrible not being able to use my computer AT ALL. My stepbrother is having surgery on Thursday to repair some problems with his neck that have left him vulnerable to paralysis. I need to check with my mom and see where and when it'll be. I've been slowly working on house (having a bout of insomnia due to the darvocet has helped). Now that the cast if off, I'm looking forward to going to the gym, slowly working up the muscles (I can start on the right, but I have to wait on the left), and I really just want to take a long soak in the gym's hot tub and then bask in the sauna for awhile, since I didn't manage to do that before the surgery. Then, it's on to thinking about going ahead and taking care of my wisdom teeth, which need surgery. Ah.

Well, got to run. Hope you all are well.

This is an excellent essay on libraries, digitisation, and what can be gained--and lost

Touched by the Turn of a Page; Virtual libraries are cool, but where's the soul, the serendipity? by Geoffrey Nunberg

Ever wonder how a pagan tract would run?

Okay, just for the record...I'm not anti-Christian in my outlook. I think tracts are just annoying regardless of the faith behind them. But I found this interesting. It's one of those Chick tracts modified from a pagan viewpoint, with about the same sort of timbre in the writing.

ononion: Artwork by Jack Chick...

Thanks to Chas for the head's up.

Library of Congress seeks opinions concerning copyright and 'orphan works'

See this document (FR Doc 05-1434) for details.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

The early bird catches the filing cabinet

Listening to: Evanescence, Fallen

Last night D and I had Girls' Night Out by going to Joe Bologna's and then over to Starbucks for a game of Othello (we would have played Clue, but you need three players). For the first four months of her pregnancy, she really wasn't up to socialising, so it was really great to just hang out, brainstorm, and interact.

Once I got home, around 8:30, I just crashed. I probably had too much carbs in one sitting--the manicotti and breadstick were wonderful and I actually passed up the homemade carrot cake, but it was still too much. I slept until a friend called for a ride about midnight, then came back and slept more, until about 4:30 am, at which point I was wide awake and bushy-tailed. I got all the recycleables into the car, took out the trash, did some household chores. When I went to the Dumpster I found a two-drawer filing cabinet in good condition nearby. I don't Dumpster-dive per se, but if someone sets out furniture on the street or near the Dumpster (in the case of my apartment complex), then I'll consider it. I managed to get that back in and then around 6 went back to sleep, having thoroughly placated the organisation gods. Still, I should have stayed up, as I almost overslept (woke up at 9:30, still got to work on time, thank you).

Organisation continued at work; I was very productive, got several bills paid, finished one big project and started my 2005 office purge. I ran out at lunchtime, put in my paycheque and found that my rent had gone through okay, got out what else I needed for the week, and had Gumbo Ya-Ya's copanata (eggplant in tomato sauce) for lunch.

After work I went to my psychiatrist appointment. The new medicine has been useful so she wrote me a script for 1.5 mg and upped my Paxil to 80 mg. 80! There goes my days of 30 or 40 mg. But I have to admit, the higher dose helped. Apparently a lot of my concentration issues are actually OCD related (what I call spinning head syndrome). As an extra bonus, my emotions feel completely normal--not sedated, not bonkers. Yay. We talked a little more about my father and some of my early homelife, and I go back in two weeks. At that point I think I'll ask her to recommend a therapist, since she'll have a better sense of what I need.

Then it was off to the station to publish a directory of edits I'd made. What a day! And to be honest, I'm still going.

Getting my meds right is crucial because in the summer I'm going to start classes at Lexington Community College majoring in Computer Technology and Information Management/Design. The first is programming, networking, hardware, that sort of thing. The second includes library stuff for training paraprofessionals (obviously I'll skip that), but includes graphic and web design. The idea is to increase my marketability drastically, and with any luck I'll transfer/test out of a lot, so I might be able to finish within a year. I'm going to have to review my calculus, since it's been (gulp) 20 years since I last took a derivative of anything. I'm checking with some of the people at work to see if I can borrow a recent textbook...the only one I have is my dad's, from 1964...I very nearly burnt mine but couldn't bring myself to destroy a book. I did sell that puppy at a loss, though, and thought I'd washed my hands of it forever. But I'm actually looking forward to doing math, coding, and tech stuff again.

Well, that's all for now...signing off.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

I am such a cheap date

and yes, I mean that in a metaphorical way. Things that made me happy today:
  1. A co-worker who'd upgraded her cell phone brought me her old one, and now I have one that vibrates and you can compose ringtones. (Who needs all the bells and whistles? I'm happy with vibrating action). Plus, the new one has a better reception. The old fogie phone with the battery that kept slipping has been promised via FreeCycle.
  2. I took back a 'magic beans' item--the fountain with windchimes that was an impulse buy during the holidays. It only ran when a sound was loud enough to trigger it...like my toilet seat hitting the reservoir or a clap. Yes...a clap on, clap off 'tranquility fountain'. Anyway, it was a little disappointing, so I got enough back to put money on my phone, eat dinner, and have a few bucks left over.
  3. You know those nose thingies on eyeglasses? One of mine disappeared sometime before the end of November (as in, that's when I noticed). I finally got it taken care of today; they gave me a new pair and adjusted/cleaned the glasses for me, too, and it's almost like a new pair.

What can I say, it's the little things...

Monday, January 17, 2005

Wow. But I'm not sure how I feel about it.

66-year-old gives birth

I mean...well, I'm not in her shoes (thankfully) so I don't really understand why she went through in vitro at her age. But will she see her daughter grow up? It's a sticky ethical situation, where we continue to stretch the envelope but it's a tossup as to whether we should. And it was done in Romania, a country with a very real problem street orphans still extant. I just don't know....

I'd like to tell you

about the game Sunday, or what it was like going back to work post-surgery (we weren't off for MLK Day), or, well, just about any of a dozen things to enter my mind. I thought But I'm too tired. Sorry, no real blogging today. It's probably just as well--the libraries are closed and I keep hitting a variety of keys I don't mean to, so it's almost impossible to type smoothly. Sigh.

But remind me to tell you about the adventure where we took over a slave ship, killed lots of satyrs, and one of my characters went off half-cocked bent on revenge, only to be struck mad so she went diving into the sewers to eat slime and dead rats. Oh, and how an embodied ghost managed to take her down with a crossbow without taking so much of a bruise herself.

It was an interesting game, at least. :) Welcome to the Dreamlands.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Okay, it was a singularly stupid thing to do

--but just because a person is of royal birth, it doesn't impart good judgement. Still, furour over Prince Harry's Nazi uniform gaffe is not likely to die down immediately. I think the apology was heartfelt, and a trip to Auschwitz would go a long way to help. But goodness, doesn't he have a valet or something who would say, 'sir, don't you think...?'

The surgery went well yesterday

Yes, I'm gimpy again, this time with my left hand, though, so it's not so bad. I don't have much swelling at all, and I'm not as 'out of it' as I was last time for the first 24 hours. I even managed to knit a little last night and rearranged some books (right hand only of course). My fingers are free, though, so with a little modifcation I could knit pretty well. Of course last time, as I recall, the third day I crashed and burned, so that may be the case, too. I'm a little tired, but I've put off taking the darvocet (no lortab for me!) long enough to get a few things at the store and run a couple of errands. After I head back from the library, I think I'll read some of Incubus Dreams, the new Anita Blake book (a friend got it for my surgery recovery) and then nap some more. I'm checking out a copy of 'The 1900 House' since I never got to see the whole thing; it's about modern Britons taking on the role of a family in a house in 1900 sytle. If I am feeling up to it tomorrow, there's a meeting of the Lexington Scrabble Club I'd like to check out.

The first 13 days of January were spring-like here, complete with temps in the 60s and rain, rain, and more rain. Today it's a good bit colder (low last night was supposed to run 29) but it's sunny, and I must say, I greatly prefer it. We had the second rainiest year ever last year, and whilst I'm certainly not wishing for drought, I'd rather be closer to the norm. On the other hand, I'm hard pressed to remember a summer that the grass has been so lush.

In a fit of boredom last night I watched 'Wickedly Perfect', the reality series that purports to find the next style diva (akin to Martha Stewart). Frankly, I wasn't that impressed with the personalities or skills. Oh, some people did very well in their fields, but the moment they stepped out and tried to be more well-rounded, they flopped magnificently. Still, it was, like most of these accursed things, kind of like a train wreck where you couldn't avert your eyes. But I was relieved when CSI finally came on.

I've decided that if I do pursue school, that it will be in computer science, which dovetails with the library science nicely, is employable in this area, and allows for a good overall amount of skills that are portable and multi-faceted. Right now I'm trying to decide between Sullivan University and Lexington Community College. The first is apparently pretty expensive, but has an excellent career programme for finding a job after school. I've spoken to someone whose in the last bit of his studies, and he's the one who told me about the expense and I spoke with the IT people at work and their overall impression was that it did not prepare as well, but they didn't know too much about LCC. It may be more challenging, and since I want to learn rather than just buy a degree, that's a plus. Also, LCC is closer to home and is right next to the television station I work at. I have an appointment with someone at Sullivan on Tuesday, and I've requested an admissions packet from LCC. Both apparently have quarters starting in the second half of the spring, so I could be going to school by March, hopefully. Since I have multiple degrees already, I should be able to transfer out of some of the pre-requisites like English and math. Some of my decision will be based on how easy that might be. Since LCC used to be more closely affiliated with UK and is a state community college/technical school, I'm assuming it will be that one.

Well, that's it for now. I'm not sure if I'll be able to post before Monday. If not, have a great weekend.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

I was told today that this woman

the Barefoot Contessa, reminded someone of me, especially the mannerisms and voice. I haven't seen the show, but it's something to check out.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

This was cute

The Mayfly Project asks you to sum up 2004 in 20 words or less...here's mine:

Staying barely sane. Temp jobs, scary bills, eviction, surgery. Good friends, loved ones surviving danger, blossoming forth. Am I next?


reflected purple
spills across glass
softly breathes its last--

Monday, January 10, 2005

Someone I know will be very happy

that 'blog' made the Banished Words List :: 2005. Of course,Lake Superior State University isn't the pope of prescriptive language, or for that matter academically on the level of, say, Oxford, Cambridge, or Ivy League Schools. But it is a fairly fun project, and I must admit, I'd agree on most of the others. As for blog, many who voted against it have no idea what it means, and probably if they had to use 'web journal' or 'web diary' often in print or conversation, they'd prefer blog, too, which gives a precise meaning in very few letters.

Still, I like the tongue-in-cheek style, and it's the product of a group called the Unicorn Hunters, whose activities include:
the annual List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-Use, Over-Use and General Uselessness, burning a snowman on the first day of spring, World Sauntering Day, International Stone-Skipping Tournament held annually on Mackinac Island, Unicorn Questing Season and Teacher Thank You Week.

I like burning the snowman on the first day of spring, but I'm not willing to live in Michigan to have enough snow to do so. I like snow, it's a special treat, because I don't deal with it day in and day out. I really don't want it to be a months-long visitor. :)

Sunday, January 09, 2005


It's S-U-N-N-Y!!!!!!!

Granted, tomorrow it's back to clouds and probably rain, but it really helped lift my spirits.

Friday, January 07, 2005

I talked to the new psychiatrist yesterday

and even though it was only a first visit, we covered a lot of my medical background, what treatments had worked well, what symptoms I was still experiencing, etc. We also got through a brief overview of my family and marriage history (and as always, the knowledge that I married a gay man brought the question 'Did you know he was gay when you married him?' which is always followed by 'yes, but I was young and stupid'. God, I'm never going to live that one down.

In particular I discussed my concerns about my mood highs and lows and the cognitive and memory issues. She didn't think I met a classic manic profile but didn't dismiss hypo- or atypical forms. I came out of the meeting feeling that she had listened intently, reserved a lot of judgement, and she even mentioned that it would take some time to work out a treatment plan. She reminded me a lot of my former doctor in terms of reassuring professionalism but I also got the impression that she would follow-up more stringently on some of the issues that had been pushed to the side when I was first treated for the OCD/BPD and depression. Those, of course, are under good control now, but there still remains things like, oh, the fact that I haven't been in a partnered relationship in 14 years.

She did believe that I was still having an imbalance in my brain chemistry, which could account for both the mood and difficulty remembering/being able to concentrate/verbalise the right words, etc. To help with the mood variance she upped my Paxil to 60 mg--20 more than I had been on, since it does work well for me and I wasn't on the maximum dose yet. I think I may be now. :) That handles the serotonin. She put me on a very low dose (starting with only 2.5 mg) of a drug I hadn't heard of called Abilify. It's a dopamine partial-agonist, meaning that it's technically considered an atypical antipsychotic and was originally approved to treat schizophrenia. That's a little disturbing, seeing as I'm thankfully not psychotic, but it's being used in other areas now, including bipolar disorder and to specifically address cognitive issues that are secondary to other brain disorders. It's similar to drugs used in Parkinson's as well, although it's apparently unique because in addressing the dopamine receptors it tends to help regulate both a tendency for low or high dopamine and keep it on a more even keel. We're going to try this for a couple of weeks and then I'll go back. Let me know if you notice a difference in my writing.

It's a little scary of a prospect (and while it seems to be a fairly safe drug, it's in a class that do everything from exacerbate or induce diabetes to cause permanent movement disorders, so maybe it's overkill if you're having mild cognitive issues) but I really have reached a point a lot of my ambitions and for that matter everyday interactions are being frustrated by this inability to speak fluidly without struggling for a word or being able to remember what I just heard or even said. So, wish me luck. :)

[I don't know if I'll ever find a job if I keep talking about this sort of thing, but then, a huge number of people out there seem to be on some psychotropic drug, right? And at least I've undergone and am continuing treatment, as opposed to all those people out there who think they're perfectly sane and so need help.]

I also went by the company that gave me my CPAP machine and asked about getting a new mask. Apparently there's no trouble in getting it, although I need to follow-up with my sleep doctor. They gave me a nasal one, much lighter than I'm used to, that's soft gel all over, can go over the head or along the chest down to the tube, and (gasp!) I can wear my glasses and read before sleeping without worrying about falling asleep without it on. They also gave me new filters and a hose, since I'm way overdue for those. Apparently my insurance will pay for them every 6 months (or one month for the filter). Since I had an extra mask somewhere along the way, I hadn't updated for two years. So, that may be a lot of the reason for my sleep, irritability, and memory problems, especially since the mask has pretty much fallen apart the last couple of months. And yes, I know, I should have gone before, but I thought I owed them money and that I couldn't get anything until I paid, but apparently that wasn't the case. So, put the whole thing down to anxiety, I suppose. Here's to better sleep.

Happy Friday

A library-related Foxtrot cartoon for your pleasure. Okay, yeah, I know, stereotypical...but still funny.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Noticed this tidbit in Newsweek

about one woman's experiences with Accutane, a drug that can provide relief for those with severe acne but also has been linked to suicide and birth defects

They mentioned that she kept an online journal, but at no point gave a link, so being a good librarian, I looked her up, and indeed, here it is: Brandi's Accutane Voyage if you're interested in seeing a first-hand account, the good and the bad. I'm just thankful that although my acne was annoying as a teen, it wasn't terrible enough to cause pain and suffering.

The new face of drug research

is company driven, rather than safety driven. There have always been flaws and loopholes, but it used to be more of an academic maze than one of profit. Here's an example of what can happen in the world of big business.

USATODAY.com - Psychiatrist: Company hid Prozac, suicide link

If you want a rather eye-opening, if disturbing look at the history of mental illness 'treatments', check out Mad in America by Robert Whitaker.

I finally found a way to show you

December 04
I finally found a way to show you that picture of me utterly relaxed at our company Christmas party. It's amazing what IV fluids and happy drugs will do for you. Yay, Flickr! And it's a decent picture of me, so I think I'll add it to my profile.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Another of the great names in comics has died

Pioneering comic artist Will Eisner Dies

If you are dismissive of comic books, you probably don't care. But suffice to say comics have a rather fascinating history, touched more developing minds than the vast majority of 'real' books, and are an artform well worth exploring.

Even when everyone is buried, houses rebuilt, etc....things will be slow-going

Tsunami-Damaged Ecosystems Could Take Years to Recover

This has a lot of potential

PubSub allows you to put in keywords and then read related articles from various sources (including blogs or news) into RSS format for quick scanning. Check it out.

Once the body is cared for, so must the mind and spirit

Strong Response to Call for Tsunami Mental Health Support

I hate

  1. Hormones that make you cry at the drop of a hat.
  2. Rain that goes on for weeks on end.
  3. Ford gas tank sensor design...which sucks and causes the car to either not start or die when there is still quite a bit of gas inside--not fun when you have 5 cents to your name and are hoping to make it until payday.
  4. Feeling like a screw-up over things that are beyond my control (the ones within my control are okay to castigate myself over.

How's your day?

On the other hand...

  1. One day there will be menopause--a whole new set of hormonal issues, but at least maybe I won't be so chained to my cycle.
  2. It's been running unseasonably warm for the last week or more, in temperatures approaching 60 degrees--not bad for January; we're about 20-30 above the norm.
  3. I get paid tomorrow. And D was able to come get me. I was a bit late, which of course is a whole other issue, but that is something I really can't do anything about at the moment. And even though I'm broke, it's good to have friends who will leave work to come get me in the rain or buy sanitary napkins even though they look at them as if they are an arcane bomb that will explode in the grocery cart. I generally manage to do the same (okay, I don't get sanitary napkins for the guys, who squirm at those commercials on 'feminine hygeine', but I do other things for them.)
  4. I did get a response that the charity I work for will, indeed, help victims of the tsunami with long-term medical treatment within our scope of care if possible (although that would mean arranging transport to North America for treatment, which may be difficult to manage; I'm thinking that may mean cooperation with other agencies, probably way after the immediate crisis has passed).
  5. Someone I know who really needs a new job is in the last stages before the official offer, and it really sounds like a great opportunity. Good luck, E! I'm sure you'll do great.
  6. I'm really not a screw up, although I sometimes do screw up. And so does everyone else, so it just means I'm human. I shouldn't let my self-worth drain away as easily as it does.

Well, that's all for now. Thanks for 'listening'.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

US sees blogging boom

US sees blogging boom, refers to a boom in readership. Americans are turning to blogs for news, for their interactive aspects, and the ability to aggregate information easily in RSS readers. Yay. Makes me feel like I'm not a total geeko dork (or at least that I'm in good company.) :)

Monday, January 03, 2005


Listening to: A Very Scary Solstice by the HP Lovecraft Historical Society
Feeling: Ready for the new year

Thank you to Dee, one of my gaming friends, for the above CD and accompanying songbook, which takes holiday favourites and give them a horror/Mythos spin. It probably won't make any sense if you're not familiar with the horror writer HP Lovecraft, but here's my favourite, to the tune of 'The Little Drummer Boy', which incidentally has a library theme of the Miskatonic University flavour.

Little Rare Book Room
(Lyrics by Sean Branney and Andrew Leman, based on 'Little Drummer Boy,' written in 1958 by Katherine Davis, Henry Onorati, and Harry Simeone)

Come, they called me
...The special book room
The rarest books to see
...Librarian's tomb
Kept under lock and key
...In terrible gloom
To save man's sanity,
...It's pointless, we're doomed, thoroughly doomed, utterly doomed.
...The first I exhumed
From the book room.

Book of Eibon
...So frightfully old
Vermis Mysteriis
...A sight to behold
The Monstres and Their Kynde
...With edges of gold
Could make me lose my mind
...All covered with mold, fungus and mold, poisonous mold.
Kitab al Azif
...Its horrors untold.
Still I am bold.

King in Yellow
...Left me feeling glum
The Ponape Scriptures
...I'd stay away from
And then The Golden Bough
...My brain had gone numb
I read them all out loud
...Well that was quite dumb, terribly dumb, fatally dumb.
Freed the Great Old Ones
...Mankind will succumb.
What have I done?
...What have you done?

It really is great overall. Be sure to check out their website--among other things, you can get your own copy or even their other album...Shogguth on the Roof

Sorry if I'm not posting much

I'm donating most of my normal computer time to helping several blogs dedicated to coordianting information about the tsunami aftermath, helping people volunteer and donate, find missing persons, etc. If you're interested in helping, I've listed them at the top of the left blogroll. The last I own, and is not so much directly helping as compiling eyewitness accounts from the ground, so to speak. A lot of people have expressed interest in having somewhere they can put words to faces, akin to learning about the war in Iraq firsthand from those experiencing it, rather than merely from the deluge of news accounts. If you're interested in helping with that, let me know and I can add you as a member to that blog. It's fairly simple--find a blog, type its location, add the link...not the most elegant but....

I'm considering contacting someone within one of the organisations I work for about how children affected by the tsunami needing orthopaedic care might be helped. I mean, I work for a charity that provides such care, including children who are brought from other countries with the help of individuals and other organisations, right? I read something today about the sheer number of amputations that were resulting, for example. We have a hospital as close as Honolulu. I wonder what's being done? Granted, it's something for down the line, rather than immediate aid. But still...

I had a wonderful new year's with friends. We had dinner over at my place, celebrating finally getting it company worthy after the (hurried, due to eviction) move in May. We played Clue and my cat stretched out on one of my friends and we very nearly all just fell asleep, sated and in good company; not bad considering I had the perenniel gas problem earlier that evening.

Well, the library's going to close in a bit (thankfully, even though I don't have access at home, I live right across the street from one of the public branches) and there's one book I want to track down, so I'll sign off. I want to catch the premiere of 'Medium' on NBC tonight, then do a little reading before bed. I have an early day tomorrow; I'm going in early because I have to be somewhere by 1 pm.

Good bit of news: my mom is off and will be able to come get me when I have surgery the 13th. Yay! I'm looking forward to it this time, now that I know what to expect. My other hand is almost healed; I think the scar will be barely noticeable once it's completely back to normal. Now it's just a bit red and it looks like my skin's peeled, when really it's just the other catching up with the original outer layer. :)

In the midst of death, life

One baby is brought into the world after his family flees to the high ground, another saved by the space of a toe

The little boy who was born shortly after his father pulled his family up the hills in a rickshaw has, appropriately enough, been named Tsunami.