Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Friday, December 30, 2016

Well, that was decidedly odd

I've been burning the candle at both ends, by working long days, doing errands and going to appointments with friends and for myself, visiting my mom (who was transferred to the rehabilitation centre within the nursing home my grandmother used to be in, closer to their home but further away from me), and basically getting about 4-5 hours of broken sleep at a time. So it's probably no wonder that I haven't written much.

I came home about 6:30 or 7 tonight, had a quick bite to eat, and then laid down for a bit. I shot for an hour's nap; I got two, with Pandora in the background and my fan running (I was terribly hot). I'd been having some trouble breathing today, which is why I didn't go get my allergy shots today. Anyway, I slept well. Then I woke up, went to the bathroom, and then the kitchen, where I grabbed something to drink and some string cheese, and I had my glasses off (you know, you get used to your house and can do certain things, even if you're nearly blind without them). But I did notice the light in the aquarium was off, which was odd, because it was on when I got home, and I didn't turn it off. I have several LED bulbs in the aquarium hood--one might have gone out, but that is unlikely, as they're not old and LEDs last a long time. So I went and got my glasses, turned the light to the dining room on, and tried the light. Nothing. I looked around to see what could be amiss, and it turns out the large and one small, heavy pictures on the wall, maps of the world, had fallen off somehow, fortunately straight down, so they didn't hurt the aquarium (29 gallons of water and fish on the floor would not have been good), but they did unplug the light and the pump. So I've plugged those in and I'm going to check and make sure the pump is putting water through in a minute. But it was weird.

There are a few things I need to do this weekend:
  1. Get up early tomorrow and go over to YKWIA's house by 8 am and get him up for an appointment.
  2. Take him to said appointment.
  3. Go get some of his medicine from the pharmacy.
  4. Pick him back up.
  5. Take him home.
  6. Go to the library and return a book. Read off the small amount of fines I have (they've got a fine read-off through tomorrow).
  7. Go to work and get some hours in, doing the extra work I agreed to do, which will help keep me from being as short from the holiday for Christmas day from Monday.
  8. Come home and work on:
    1. A book review.
    2. The game notes.
    3. The house.
    4. Watch the ball drop at midnight.
    5. Pick up A at 2 am from work on New Year's Eve downtown, hopefully without getting struck by a drunk driver.
    6. Get over to YKWIA's at 9 am Sunday to clean house for the game.
    7. Play the game.
    8. Pick A up at midnight from work. At least I don't need to work Monday due to the holiday, unlike normal, when I struggle to get up in time on Mondays.
  9. For Monday--I have physical therapy with YKWIA in the middle of the day. Otherwise, I'm going to try to work on my own house and try to get caught up on my rest.
So, yeah, still busy, and starting the year off just as hectically. Oh, well. Anyway, I hope you all have a good New Year. 2016 has been pretty sucky--here's hoping that 2017 will be much better. Granted, I'm scheduled for a lay-off, but I might do better in the long run.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

This is an excellent video

With Simon Sinek about Millennials and the challenges they face in the workplace. It was recommended to me by a coworker.  Apparently it was the day for video recommendations,  as another coworker suggested the Doc Vader videos such as Doc Vader vs.  the Hospital Administrator.  The author,  who also does music video parodies,  is a physician who uploads under the channel name ZDoggMD,  a character played by Zubin Damania, MD.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Just a quick note before bedtime

My mom's doing better.  She's still at UK hospital but in a step-down unit,  where yesterday she was talking,  eating,  and even walked a bit and sat up in a chair.  Today when I was over there I couldn't wake her,  and neither could the nurse practitioner,  so she ordered more medicine to help with the symptoms,  which include extreme sleepiness. Basically,  they're trying to find the right balance between her meds,  lab levels,  and symptoms. She may need some extra PT at a rehabilitation centre nearer to her hometown before getting to go home.  But she's been clear and with it and relatively easy to understand.  I've been over every day from Thursday to today,  except for Saturday,  when we were cooking for Sunday's Christmas dinner.  Sunday we got together for that,  and YKWIA and I went to a late-night showing of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Then we got A from work. Monday night I made latkes for Chanukah. Today it was back to work,  then visiting my mom, helping YKWIA with his house,  and then watching another episode of 'Shadowhunters'.  I think we have two left,  which is good,  as they expire off Hulu on the 31st of December.

Okay,  so much for something brief.  Have a good night.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Checking in

So,  as you can probably surmise from my lack of posts,  I've been very busy.

Monday I found out that everything was fine in terms of my gynaecological health,  and I took a friend to the doctor,  so I went in at 6 am so I could at least work half a day and still go to the two appointments.

Tuesday I worked from 7:45 am to 4:00, and had my counseling session.  I've been under a lot of stress lately,  and he  advised concentrating on maintaining the house and dealing tooth the stress rather than de-hoarding,  so I wouldn't get discouraged.

Wednesday I had PT after working from 6:15 to 4. While I was there,  my stepfather called to tell me my mom was in the hospital again,  this time at UK.  I got out of PT and took care of some things I'd promised to do,  and by the time I was finished it was 9, I was hurting quite a bit,  and was driving on empty, and I figured she was getting settled,  so I went home and went to bed early in the morning,  as I was getting up by 4:30 am.

Thursday I worked from 6:15 to 5, and I was tired,  but I went and visited my mom,  and she was doing pretty well in the ICU.

Today we were off for Christmas Eve,  which,  of course, is on the weekend this year.  I got the 32 hours I needed in this week,  and I have enough PTO for today.  I had a CT scan of my head and one of my lower back at Lexington Clinic first thing this morning,  and my doctor's office called me to let me know both scans were normal. I also went to the grocery,  the ATM,  the library to pick up a hold and pay a small fine,  and I got my allergy shots.  Then I came  home and treated for a bit.  I went to Gabriel Brothers and found 3 Lane Bryant bras for $5, rather than the normal $35. I also found a soft blanket for a friend's who needs his furnace replaced.  Important safety tip: when your friends gives you a smoke detector that doubles as a carbon monoxide detector, do not automatically take out the battery,  thinking it's your cooking.  The CO was being detected and was causing the alarm to go off.  But considering it was going off without a fire present,  the CO turned out to be an issue. After that,  I went home to relax for awhile. I visited with my stepfather and mom.  She was doing even better today. I could understand her and she was joking with John.  The resident said that the ammonia issue is a side effect of the procedure done last year to take care of the tumors she had on her liver at the time.  It was a necessary procedure but it cuts off some of the smaller blood vessels and affects the filtration by the liver.  The key,  he said,  was making sure she she took the lactolose like she should.  He's thinking she'll be an inpatient for at least a few days,  but moved out of the ICU. He thinks she should have some PT there before going back home and they will see about home health.  She's been in and out of the hospital,  so this could help build her strength.  But she's doing much better than she did at Danville's hospital, and I think they are more attentive at UK. She's still sick,  but at least UK seemed more optimistic than Danville,  which was ready to call on hospice and urged my stepfather to do a 'do not resecuitate'  order.  After that I went to YKWIA and he fed me and we watched two episodes of 'Shadowhunters',  which is expiring off his Hulu subscription by the end of the month.  Now I'm home.  It's been a productive day.

Tomorrow I have some things to do for YKWIA,  will visit my mom, and help cook for Sunday.  Sunday there is no game,  but A will come over and we'll all celebrate Christmas.

Monday I'm off for Christmas,  so we're doing Chanukah that night and I'll be making latkes.  Then it's back to long days, as my PTO will run out for Monday, 

It's back to work on Tuesday.  Here's to having a de-stressed holiday.

That's it.  Good night!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Good news on the health front

So I went to my post-op appointment and everything was benign, and while I could take hormones to keep things on a more even keel,  I chose to just let things continue as is unless my symptoms get worse. There was no sign of cancer or hyperplasia.  Instead it was termed 'dysfunction of the uterine lining',  meaning the uterine wall swings between being too thick or too thin. Basically that's a fancy term for a side-effect of perimenopause,  like I hoped,  although given my risk factors it was good to check everything out. So,  no hysterectomy or progesterone IUD required. I'm breathing a sigh of relief tonight.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Watched two things this weekend

Twice,  actually -- once with YKWIA on Saturday,  the second with him and Brenda today.  The first was the movie Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, based on the quirky novel of the same name by Seth Grahame-Smith that blends Jane Austen's classic work with horror. It was a fun movie.  Regency costumes are beautiful,  and whoever did the costumes for this did an excellent job,  not only capturing the period look,  but making them serviceable for concealing a number of daggers and other weapons while looking sexy,  too. This garnered approval from the two history people and one professional costumer,  all of whom play in or run a game where they regularly keep various weapons on their characters' persons.

The second thing was an episode of 'Black Mirror', from season 3, episode 1, called "Nosedive",  in which there is a society where an individual's worth is their social media rating (which affects everything from your credit to getting housing to being able to even enter a building to go to work).  This leads to a superficial and desperate populace continually trying to please and appease everyone around them. The main character is invited to a wedding,  and things collapse in the attempt to get there. All of the show's episodes show,  in 'Twilight Zone'-like fashion,  some horrific aspect of our modern technological world and what it could lead to. This was the first episode I've seen,  but I definitely want to set more.  It definitely leaves a disturbing  image of what could be afterwards,  and gets you to think about the downside to technology afterwards.

Okay,  A should be calling for a ride in a few minutes, and I must get up early. I should go.  Good night.

Friday, December 16, 2016

The good, the bad, and the weird, respectively...

1) I have a new job to apply for,  this one at the University of Kentucky Law Library.  It's a digital librarian position.

2) I didn't get either of the part-time positions I interviewed for, but I'm moving on and trying not to take the rejection hard.

3) At the employee social tonight I asked the bartender for a Diet Pepsi, watched him put something in it and assumed it was some sort of syrup,  then tasted it and realised it was bourbon. Needless to say,  as I was driving,  dislike alcohol, and can't even drink a half a glass of wine without getting drunk,  I didn't drink any further. When asked, the bartender insisted there was nothing in it. I guess he was on autopilot and didn't realise what he did.  But that could have been bad.

Thursday, December 15, 2016


Got the opportunity today to make some extra money at work,  including overtime and on weekends,  doing data entry.  Couldn't happen at a better time... Have I mentioned I love my workplace?

This quote just popped up

In my inbox:

  “The remarkable thing is, we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.

― Charles R. Swindoll

Feeling a bit better tonight,  and this is very true.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Speaking of mood

One of the applications I have on my phone is called Daylio.  It's a mood tracker  and I've used it for 100 days in a row as of today.  It is simple and allows you to rate the day using faces and icons for activities. It will back up to Google Drive,  too,  so I didn't lose anything when I changed phones.  I've found that overall I have good days,  although today was just  'meh'. Anyway,  if this is something you're interested in tracking,  I highly recommend it.

Feeling a little blah tonight

2016 has been a very sucky year for me and my loved ones.  2017's got a lot of changes lined up which in the long run might be for the better,  but which will most likely be difficult and painful.  I'm already stressed out over several aspects of my life and over things going on in my friends' and family's lives.  But I'm going to try to keep on keeping on,  and hope that things might,  no matter how surprisingly,  get better.  I have to trust it will.  So I'm going to do all I can to make things okay and try to let go of the things I have no control over.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Well, it certainly wasn't the best

interview I've ever done,  but it was by no means the worst,  either.  (That distinction belongs to the old Lexington Community College,  where I not only had to deal with using a laptop and wireless mouse for the first time,  but I actually was late because I ran out of gas on the way.)

I did get a little vaguer in my examples as time wore on, as it became harder to remember specific, certain situations in customer service that I'd handled, but I thought we had a good rapport. I really hope this goes to the next level,  and not just because I need a job.  I want this job because I want to work with this clientele and with the librarians and other personnel there.  Everyone was so welcoming,  too.

At least I did calm down before going in.  About an hour and half before my appointment I was in a very nervous state,  and I was freaking because I'd left my medicine at home and didn't feel I'd be at my clearest.  But I decided  that really,  the interview was going to be conducted by fellow librarians,  who are generally nice people,  and likely will not bite or growl at me. So I just remembered to breathe and went in very calm.

Tomorrow I'll send out my thank yous. Please keep your fingers crossed for me and think good thoughts.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Feeling pretty well post-procedure

I had gotten rest on Thursday to the point that,  coupled with too much caffeine,  I didn't sleep much that night. So at 5:45 am I stopped trying and got ready,  went by the gas station and bank,  got breakfast at McDonald's,  and went on into work at about 6:45. I had just a little cramping and spotting this morning,  for which I took ibuprofen,  but then was feeling better in the afternoon,  so I didn't take anymore.  I haven't bled anymore,  either. I worked 9 1/2 hours,  then went home,  took an old flash drive and transferred the files from it,  deleted them from it,  and then put a friend's resume in two formats on it.  I then took it over to him along with some hard copies.  He's going to take it to the library and learn to upload them in job applications. Yes,  I could shown him,  but it makes him more independent to have a stranger do so. Also I got a call from the hospital checking on me,  which was good.

I went by the bank and deposited a cheque,  took him to the grocery,  returned a book to the library,  and we went back with a huge bag of dog food that he carried in.  My other friend chided me for carrying in a bag with light bulbs,  sandwich bags,  and hand soap because it might hurt my womb.  I assured him it was light and I was fine.  I couldn't handle the dog food,  of course,  but this was really light.  :)

Then I took A home and sat with him in the car,  practically making him call AT&T because he's had a Go flip phone for months, set his voicemail up when he first got it,  promptly forgot his PIN,  and hasn't been able to get his voicemails since. He's trying to get a job,  so this isn't good.  He talked with the guy,  we reset the PIN,  I got his voicemail set up again,  and he now knows the new PIN and how to get and delete them.

Then I came on home,  ate a sandwich,  and got a little nauseous and realised my main symptoms now are gas and bloating.  I think they may put gas up inside you during the procedure,  judging from a quick search on D&C with those symptoms. It's apparently common.  I went ahead and laid down,  hoping it would pass,  about 9:30 pm.  I didn't realise quite how tired I was. I woke up around 1 am because the water was running down in my CPAP (it smells odd when it does,  as it's basically a hot plate running out of water,  so it's got a slight burning smell then).  I unplugged the tree and the star lights,  hunted down a AAA battery for my thermometer/humidity gauge/alarm combo,  finally finding one in a pen light I wasn't using,  and took my insulin.  So I'm ready to go back to bed now,  but thought I'd post an update.  All told it was a good,  if busy,  day.  Tomorrow I plan to work on the game notes, get my rent taken care of,  go to the library to research for my interview Monday,  and then head over to YKWIA's and spend some time with him.

Have a good night,  and a nice weekend.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

I went outside

To take the trash out (don't frown,  it was light,  and I'm saving the recyclables for later),  and this is a picture of the tree and star lights from outside.  Very pretty.

Interesting science news

A Mummy's DNA May Help Solve The Mystery Of The Origins Of Smallpox
The surprise find of smallpox DNA in a child mummy from the 17th century could help scientists start to trace the mysterious history of this notorious virus.

Smallpox currently only exists in secure freezers, after a global vaccination campaign eradicated the virus in the late 1970s. But much about this killer remains unknown, including its origins.

Now scientists have the oldest complete set of smallpox genes, after they went hunting for viral DNA in a sample of skin from a mummified young child, probably a boy, that was found in a crypt underneath a Lithuanian church.
I never got my smallpox vaccine. I was sick when it was scheduled and when I came back, they weren't giving them anymore here in the US, as we were on the road to eradication. But I'm the only person my age I've met who didn't have one.

Mix of Graphene With ‘Silly Putty’ Yields Extremely Sensitive Sensor
Mixing graphene—a material made of single-atom-thick layers of carbon—with homemade “Silly Putty” produces a sensor so sensitive that it can detect the tiny footsteps of spiders, according to new research.
The uses could be endless, but include wearable health trackers.

Well, he had a good run

John Glenn, courtesy NASA, pictured for his second space flight on October 29, 1998, on Space Shuttle Discovery's STS-95
John Glenn, First American to Orbit the Earth, Dies at 95

In addition to his military career (including WWII combat flights), pioneering orbit, political service, and return to space in the shuttle Discovery, he was married to his high school sweetheart, who survives him, for a staggering 73 years. My thoughts go out to Anna Glenn, their children, and grandchildren, and other family in this difficult time.

How to get absolutely insane blood sugar readings on a blood stick

I was dreaming a vivid dream of a group of five waifs in a hospital with a traditional Celtic harp, something you might see on the Hallmark channel, and I came awake suddenly. It was after 1 pm, so I thought I should probably go ahead and eat something. I poured some soda into a glass and took the bag from Kroger with the bread, peanut butter, and no-sugar-added spreadable fruit inside and took it over to the computer, at which time I discovered the lid of the fruit had popped off and it had oozed into the bag and over the other things. I got a few sticky places on my hand, but didn't think much about it, made the sandwich, set everything else aside to deal with later, and went to take my blood sugar. It read 'HI'. It never reads 'HI'. I've been 460 before in real life, but this seemed very odd. Then I took it again and in a different finger and it it said '467'. But I didn't feel high. So I washed my hands, changed the lancet, and retook it. '177', a little high, but I hadn't taken any insulin yet today, either, and I'd had that one no-sugar-added Klondike bar. It sounded much more correct. So I'm getting ready to take all of my meds, and it doesn't look like I'm heading for a sugar coma. Lesson of the day: always wash your hands before taking a glucose reading. :)

I'm home, I'm fine

I feel like someone scraped my insides out.  Oh,  yeah--they did.  Brenda took me to get meds and a little food at Kroger. I just took the super ibuprofen and I'm going to take a nap.  I feel well otherwise,  walked through the store,  and I don't feel loopy  really. I've called YKWIA,  texted A,  and called one of the women at work to let them know I was okay.  I get the results of my biopsy on the 19th. Okay, I guess that's enough for now.  I'll write later.

I guess I'm ready for this procedure

Brenda should be here in a few minutes. I've showered, packed a light bag with wallet, phone, CPAP masque, and eyeglasses case, dressed in the easiest clothes I can think of to get back on, and checked my blood sugar (151, which isn't bad for the morning). I'm hungry, achy, etc. (I haven't taken any pain reliever as a precaution because ibuprofen can cause bleeding). I got up at 2 am to put the pill up my vagina, so hopefully my cervix is softening as I write, although I had some difficulty (there's no applicator or anything, and it is, for all intents and purposes, just a tablet, not an actual cream or true vaginal suppository). I'm a little nervous, but not as bad as I was yesterday afternoon. It's a minor procedure (hysteroscopy, biopsy, and D&C), after all. And yes, things can happen. And the results could mean anything from no action, to an IUD with progesterone, to a full-blown hysterectomy, but that's a worry for another day.

So in the meantime, I'm sitting with the Yule tree lit up, the star lights going, and I'm just waiting to go.

I'll try to write later, hopefully when I'm not TOO loopy. :) Take care.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016


There are 445 applications,  512 pictures,  and 2206 songs on my phone.  Wow.  Of course,  the music and pictures are on a MicroSD card,  not the phone's internal storage, which is an advantage of having an Android phone. When I got the new phone  I just had to transfer the physical card rather than the files. But still...maybe that's a little excessive?  But I do use most of it regularly. The latest application is called Serial Reader,  which delivers classic stories by daily 20 minute readings for free.  I've started with 'The Yellow Wallpaper'  by Charlotte Perkins Gilman,  niece of Harriet Beecher Stowe.

Listening to Pentatonix and trying to get into some Yuletide cheer...

Well, the tree is up and the lights are on, and after a short break, so are the ornaments. I have given my yearly accidental blood offering--it never fails, I pinch my hand putting on the branches at some point. I suspect it's because I'm a pagan celebrating Yule with an artificial tree. I prefer a live one, but this was given to me, works nicely, and I can't afford a live tree that will just die quickly, and seems a shame to cut a live tree. :) Happy Yuletide, or Solstice, or Christmas, or Hanukkah, or whatever holiday you may celebrate, if any. May the light shine in you, and in your life, as the long darkness gives way to the slow return of the sun.

Monday, December 05, 2016

Sadness and joy

Well, my mom is doing pretty poorly. The upshot is that without being on the list for a liver transplant, she'll continue to be in and out of the hospital at best, slip into a coma and die at worst, and if she can't get on it, we need to think about bringing in hospice and letting nature take its course. Due to her health issues and age, she's probably not going to be put on that list. My stepfather was going to call the University of Kentucky today and see if they can see her or at least take a look at some of her tests and see if there's any hope. It's kind of late tonight, so I'll check with him tomorrow to see what happened.

I spent from about 10 am to 7 pm with my mom yesterday, mostly alone. I fed her lunch and dinner (they'd just left breakfast next to her like she was capable of eating on her own). She was confused early in the day, got better after a treatment, and I'm pretty certain she eventually recognised me, and her speech was much clearer by the end of the day and she wasn't struggling so much to be understood by that time. Over the course of the day I helped the nursing staff move her up in her bed and held her as they cleaned her up, etc. It's so sad to see her like this. My stepfather is really having a difficult time taking it all in, how much she's gone downhill in a short period of time.

Once I got home, I was exhausted emotionally and physically. I laid down and I don't remember falling asleep; I was just gone one minute and then heard my phone go off when A called for a ride home from work about two hours later. I don't know how my stepfather has the strength to deal with this (and so much more) on a daily basis. I was thankful he came and took me down there and brought me back up. I needed to see her, and she needed to see me. In a moment of clarity we exchanged 'I love you's. But the experience has clouded most of that evening and today for me.

I did have one bright bit of happiness today, though. I got a call just as I was leaving work and it was the Lexington Public Library calling about a part-time position of Library Associate in the Kentucky Room at Central Library. We set up a time to talk and she called back, asking me some questions and then set up an interview for next week! An interview! Oh, Lisa, please don't flub this! I'm really excited about the prospect of working with the public in genealogy and historical research, drawing from my history background and library training. It's part-time, with a schedule that would work with my current one (I might need to tweak my schedule by about a half hour to an hour, but both of my bosses are flexible and I'm sure would be alright with it). There are actually two positions, the only difference being that one works on Wednesday nights and the other on Thursdays. Please keep your fingers crossed for me! It would mean money coming in before the job loss and then having something part-time, at least, when it happens, and it would be great experience and a foot in the door into public librarianship. I'm really looking forward to the interview, although I have to find something suitable to wear--most of my interviewing clothes are better for summer.

So that's good, anyway. Wish me luck. I'll sign off for now, but I'm going to try to get back on a regular schedule of writing. In the meantime, just in case that's it for tonight, hope you had a good weekend and have a wonderful night.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

My stepfather

is coming up this morning to take me to visit my mom. So I'm listening to Pandora, I'm pretty much ready to go, I've got the dishwasher going, and am just waiting. I need to take my meds, so I'll do that. I send him my address via text to remind him, as it's been awhile since he's been here. I suspect it's going to be a difficult day. But I'm glad I'm getting to go down there. I'll check in later.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

This is probably almost twenty-five years old

But it is probably the last photo I had taken with my mom. We've both changed a lot since then. Please keep her in your thoughts,  if you would. 

It's been almost a week since I've posted

I think this is the longest I've gone in years.  But now I'm hot and up in the middle of the night and not sleeping at all,  so it seemed a good time to check in.

Almost every aspect of my life is going well this week.  I found another job to apply for.  I helped a friend through a difficult week.  I was productive at work and managed to work extra to offset an appointment without using PTO. Brenda is back in the area and can give me a ride Thursday to my procedure. I'm a little nervous about having it,  but I'm relieved she'll be there.

But I look around the house and I can tell--stress has been insidious. I'm not to the tipping point yet,  but I'm close. And there's one main reason. I've been sad and worried about my mother,  and unable to get to her.  I have a message in to my  stepfather to see if there is a way he could come get me either day this weekend so I can see her for a few hours.  It's not looking good.  It may be my last chance. With the car like it is right now,  I could easily get stranded if I try to go on my own.  I don't have enough money to fix it or to rent a car. I looked into it,  as well as a transport service between Danville and Lexington. Thirty-five miles has never seemed so long a way. I feel like a failure. My mother and I are not close like we used to be,  and there is a lot of baggage from the past.  But I just want to see her and say goodbye. Hopefully I'll hear back from John tomorrow.