lush solid shampoo hack

lush solid shampoo hack
Originally uploaded by pragueloop
I like LUSH solid shampoo pucks and really wish I had discovered them back when I had to travel a fair bit. Instead, I got to try one purely by accident (and sweet, sweet charity) in the middle of a camping trip in northern Sudan - very long story) and was then mildly addicted. They're really nice, but can be a little hard to keep solid and dry before storing (they'll still work if they're kind of melty in the tin, but they're not as aesthetically pleasing that way).

Anyway, pragueloop has come up with a wonderful way of storing the pucks between uses that doesn't necessarily require you to pull the puck out to use it. Very cool.
More discussion at pragueloop's blog.

How Did Their Editor Miss This? Or Did They?

Headline Fail by SF: "funny pictures
moar funny pictures"


This is in no way applicable to me...



Originally uploaded by vickangaroo
Zombunnies. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

I love them, they are deliciously frightening. Plus, their maker is a fellow Chicagoan. Check his etsy shop and Flickr stream for more.


Ow, ow, ow

Very bad night last night for pain - bad enough I couldn't sleep. I tried watching SeaQuest, but the episode of season 2 I chose was almost as painful as most of my body. I finally got to sleep around 6 AM, (having been tired enough to go to bed at 12) but had to get up to go look at some more apartments and go to a medical appointment.
First apartment was very pretty but waaaaay too small. Second apartment was really nice, but too expensive and also in a slightly sketchy part of the neighborhood. Apparently very sketchy, actually, as someone got beaten and stabbed in front of there recently. (I have an alibi.) While we might be able to negotiate lower rent, stabbiness is something I prefer to retain a monopoly on within my local block. Also, despite being first floor, there are several stairs up and down. Plus, one of the women we met there today reminded me of a super scary woman I know/knew professionally - very faux British "oh dahhhling" without a trace of irony, gin-soaked sort of woman. Surprisingly, she was not the one who was beaten and stabbed. So, I think we're leaning heavily back toward the garden apartment.
After all this and my appointment, I decided like a dumbass to walk several blocks to go visiting today. While I did get a milkshake out of the deal, I had to stop and rest on the way home and am in pretty severe pain again. I can feel the individual bones in my feet and every one of them hurts. My bra felt like it had teeth. My hips aren't rotating so much as clunking. My fingers feel like my feet do. Forearms and shoulders are not much happier. I think I may have to ask for something a bit stronger than ibuprofen for days like today...
Or, I could wander across the street. I'm pretty sure the dealers in the park have heroin and I suspect it'll be easier to obtain than, say, pseudoephedrine. :P Unfortunately, I suspect my appearance also simply screams "NARC!!!!" Sigh. And I hate needles. Double sigh.


How to Know if She Wants You: Men's Health aka Why Men are Confused All the Time

How to Know if She Wants You: Men's Health
This is a fabulously stupid list in so many, many ways I simply couldn't resist making my own snarky commentary.

1.I call you by your first name instead of your nickname, because, babe, I'm not one of your buds, nor do I intend to become one.
Because it couldn't possibly be that I find saying "Turd-blossom" to anyone in public distasteful. Or that I can't remember your nickname. Or that I'm trying to avoid being overly familiar so you won't think I have the hots for you.

2.I apply lip gloss often, but not in your presence. (If you witness makeup application of any sort, start calling yourself Chandler—you're officially a friend.)
Can guys tell when we're wearing lipgloss? Also, could it just be that I don't like applying lip gloss in front of guys because some of them find it sexual?

3.I rub my lips together often in your presence.
Because it's totally not because the damn lipgloss is sticky.

4.I sit at the edge of my seat.
What? I'm thinking this is more because you're giving off stalker vibes and I want to make a quick get away.

5.It's my birthday, and I'm still talking to you 10 minutes after you bought me a drink. (Note: Birthday girls of any age are easy—doubly so at decade markers.)

6.Instead of merlot, I order a Corona, which, conveniently, is served in a bottle—the better to sexily sip from.
Plus, I hear that after beer belch is SUPER sexay. Also - any time I try to daintily sip form a bottle I make weird squealchy sounds.

7.My speech pattern is starting to resemble, like, Kirsten Dunst's.
Nothing to do with the Corona. Also, no chance I'm being sarcastic. None.

8.You smoke. I don't. Yet I'm talking to you.
Couldn't be because you're simply an interesting person. Nope.

9.I touch you (for any reason) more than once.
Does shoving your hand off my thigh count for this? Because I'm pretty sure that's a different kind of sign. How about smacking you for saying something stupid? OMG - I think I want to sleep with all of my male friends!!!!! (Ewwwww...)

10.I laugh, frequently and nervously, even amid humorless conversation.
You could be unintentionally hilarious. That's probably not a good thing.

11.I shout in your ear, because "it's so loud in here, I can't hear you!"

12.I use your name often in conversation.
Huh? Should I stop calling men by their names for fear they'll think I want in their pants?

13.I tell you that you look like some particular celebrity, which means I think both you and the celebrity are very hot.
What if that celebrity is Sarah Jessica Parker?

14.I bring up antimatter and black holes, or any other such pseudobrainy and vaguely sexual topic for discussion.
How in the hell are those topics either pseudobrainy or vaguely sexual? "When our particles meet, all creation will come to an end...baby." "I'll black your hole" (ewww).

15.The place is a rod-fest, yet I'm talking to you and you alone.
No chance you simply seem the least skeezy. Or the most sober. Or the most likely to snap if I talk to someone else.

16.My cell phone rings and I don't answer it. And I turn off my ringer immediately.
This couldn't possibly mean that I simply think it's rude to interrupt conversations with ANYONE with non-essential phone calls.

17.I say in a quasi-question/observation tone, "Your girlfriend must really like that?!" (A classic fishing-expedition tactic to ascertain whether there's currently a woman with this title in your life.)
There is no way this could possibly be sarcastic. None. No chance.

18.I tell you you're talented. a) It's a measured remark, so you know I'm sincere. b) By the Mick Jagger Laws of Chemistry, it must therefore follow that I think you're damn sexy. Talent is personality salsa: adds hot to any dish.
See 17.

19.I call you first. Or, sometimes, simply, I call you at all.
This is the only thing on this list so far that makes even a remote amount of sense. And that's not really saying a whole lot...

20.When you take me out for drinks, I'm wearing a different outfit or shoes or carrying a different handbag than when you saw me earlier today.
Couldn't be because I needed to change out of uncomfortable or inappropriate clothing. Or that I wanted to bring the purse with the brick in it in case you read the other things on this list and think you're totally going to score.

21.I'm late, but, interestingly, had enough time to put on mascara.
Unless you like looking like you crusted tar on your lashes most people should not be able to tell you have on mascara. Especially guys.

22.I tell you about the new Coldplay album, developments in the Pinochet case, or the new limited-release Dave Eggers novel I "just happened to hear about" because last time we spoke, you mentioned your interest in the London sound, international law, or postmodern literature, respectively.
It couldn't possibly be that I have a decent memory and basic social and conversational skills.

23.I ask you if you know where the coatroom/bathroom/VIP room in this place is. When you tell me, I raise my eyebrows, turn, and walk in the correct direction.
What? No, really, WHAT? This is going to lead to oh so many unfortunate accusations of sexual assault. And/or a lot of assaults with very heavy handbags. Somehow, I don't think that's a very healthy suggestion "Men's Health."

24.I'm in the bathroom for more than 3 minutes, which is always more than adequate time to actually pee.
Bullshit it's enough time to pee. Has the idiot woman who wrote this article never been in a ladies room with insufficient stalls? Especially in a bar?

25.I ask if you want a taste of my dinner, meaning I'm willing to share more than my gnocchi.
Hurr, Italian dumplings are such a wonderful double-entendre. I call bullshit on this too - offering to share a bite is often just polite.

26.You've taken over the starring role in all my fantasies. You have no way of detecting this, just thought you'd like to know . . .

27.I remove any article of clothing other than my coat.
So, in order to not send the wrong signals, I should keep on my earmuffs, hat, scarf, gloves, and mittens. Sexay.


Sort of new finished object

I realized I never posted about a piece I made for my mom for Mother's Day, months and months ago. I used this pattern from simple arts planet. The pattern was VERY well written and easy to understand, with plenty of photos to help you along. I had featured this pattern when I first found it and fell in love with it, so I wound up purchasing it to make as a gift.

Me being me, I did change it up a bit. I used acrylics instead of cottons. I used worsted weight yarn instead of fingering weight. I went up a hook size, primarily to help save my hands. And I changed the colors to match my mom more. I was not paying sufficient attention when I did the hair, so the hair cap is a little oversized, but that's all my fault and I think it still turned out okay. I also added a few sprigs of dark hair to the baby with embroidery floss, since I was born with a full head of black hair.

So, here she is:
Mummy's Love

Seeing how differently she turned out from the original piece by saplanet has made me interested in trying to find some cottons to work with at some point in the future. I really think cottons probably work better for humans and other not-fuzzy things. I think I'll stick to wool and acrylics for fuzzy things though.


Just finished stage 1

I just finished stage 1 of the gift I've been making. Or is it stage 2? Well, a stage then. Only two more steps to go. The gift that technically was due last week, though supposedly I have up to a year. Trying very, very hard not to take that long. Photos will be posted eventually. :)



So, I seem to have gotten into another fairly bad pain flair recently. I've been in increasing amounts of discomfort since this weekend, all the usual suspects - hips/lower back, knees, hands, and shoulders. The pain isn't excruciating, just constant. And that gets very wearing over time, especially when not much seems to help for long. I'm trying to tough it out - primarily because stomach pain from over-use of ibuprofen bothers me more than muscle and bone pain. It is enough to make it difficult for me to relax enough to sleep. So, the sleep schedule is going random again.
I'm having Elvis-pelvis again too. And my butt has started clenching during these if I'm standing up. Very weird. On the bright-side, maybe I'll have an awesomely toned butt or something...

Today was especially weird. I woke up (or Oreo woke me up) and for a brief moment was worried that I wasn't going to be able to move my legs. I could, but my thighs and upper arms have felt very peculiar all day. Weak, shaky, and sort of...hollow. The best comparison I can think of is when you stretch out your arms or extend your legs to stretch as far as you can. The feeling you get when you reach the peak of the stretch, maybe when you start to tremble just a tiny bit, just before you release. Yeah, it's felt like that. All day. And my calves feel like they have knots in them and are tender to the touch. Yippee.

Today is one of the days that makes me wonder at what point I'm going to have to think about and start exploring prescription pain relief. I've been avoiding it for a number of reasons. One is that I haven't really felt I needed it. While I'm in pain more often than I'm not, I've felt fairly able to cope. As I've said - it's not excruciating, dear god pass the morphine or I'll go buy some heroin from the guys across the street in the park bad. It's just really annoying. It slows me down. And it's harder to do things when you hurt, even if you figure you'll hurt regardless, it's just exhausting. And a lot of times, so much easier to just hold still in whatever position you've found that's vaguely comfortable. It distracts me a bit. It almost certainly does add to my fatigue - it gets very challenging to keep an upbeat, fairly happy attitude when I hurt all the time. I figure when I can't do that anymore, it will be a good indicator that it's time to try something stronger. I still don't usually consider it as disabling as my fatigue, or weakness, or migraines, or involuntary movements. Another reason is that I've wanted to hold off as long as possible because I know from watching my dad deal with arthritis that tolerance to a lot of pain relievers builds up - I don't want to build up a tolerance to things and start running through available options before I have to. A third reason - I'm worried about side-effects - I don't like being spacey, I hate throwing up, and I have to be a little cautious because of my sleep apnea that I don't take anything likely to seriously depress breathing. And a fourth, from talking to friends and reading, I don't know if I'm ready to deal with the rigamarole of convincing my doctors that I'm in pain, dealing with the hassle of possibly controlled substances, etc. etc.
I also have to wonder how much of my pain is neuropathic and, if it is, whether conventional pain relievers will do much. Thus, my on going impatience with wanting to know what the hell is actually wrong with me.
So, for the time being, I'll make do with my topical stuff, at least some of which can be applied as often as I want. I particularly like a lotion I got from WalMart with a good amount of menthol in it and Badger Balm Sore Muscle Rub for this. Tiger Balm patches, Ben Gay, and Salonpas patches (very good for hands and also very cheap) are good when I need a little more oomph, but I try to be cautious as they also contain salicylate and so shouldn't be overdone. (It's probably pretty hard to OD with them, but really, I'd rather not risk it...) I also have hot and cold packs. I have fairly comfy pajamas or sweats to wear most days so I'm not irritating sore places or finding it even more uncomfortable than usual.
I take one or two ibuprofen when necessary. At best, it takes the edge off. I also take it if I suspect I've over done it and think I might want to stave off inflammation.
It's just so frustrating though, to not really know why I hurt. I can guess, sometimes, that I over did it - walked too much, stayed up too late, was overstimulated. Sometimes the weather seems to play a role. Other times, I have no clue. And I can't tell what makes it go away either. It sucks. Out loud. :P I wouldn't wish this lastingly on anyone. Maybe on some insensitive people temporarily so they'd really know what it's like, but never permanently.

On a brighter note, though, I finished the second large panel for my bag and am now working on the gusset. I also discovered that I did over half of the second large panel incorrectly, but I think it's salvageable so I'm not frogging it. Dammit. :)
Also, Oreo seems to have gotten over last night's accidental bean ingestion. Thank God. Why is he especially cuddly when gassy?


Originally uploaded by krupp
This K-9 stitched up by krupp is wonderful! I really like the details with the bit of red to show his eyes. I have to confess to only recently having joined Doctor Who fandom with the newer series (I'll get to the older ones eventually, I promise!), so I only know K-9 from the episode School Reunion so far. I like him immensely, though! (When have I ever met a doggie I didn't like?)


Super Pitiful

Not a terribly eventful day - Oreo was a bit grumpy though. He woke us up at 5 AM wanting a drink, howled at the phone when it rang later in the day, and was generally a lump. Possibly related to last night's bath. He has, however, made up for it by coming and crawling onto my lap in the past few minutes.
I got out a bit today to see a friend off on a trip. Also managed to find a bed-chair-pillow thingie at Target for $15. I've been wanting one for several months but wasn't willing to pay $40 or more - I need the extra back support and the arm rests are very good for when I'm crocheting or knitting. I've also gotten a good chunk of crocheting done on the bag I've been working on.

The reason for this post's title, however, is this:
Sad O
Do you see how shamefully we neglect our doggie? How utterly dejected and pitiful he is, as you can see in his reflection here as he sadly rests on his floppy frisbee, tennis ball propped against his weary cheek? I simply had to capture this photo as we sat down to dinner and Oreo demonstrated his total sadness at our failure to either trade him our food for his toys (temporarily, he always wants them back) or to be distracted by his toys long enough for him to steal our dinner.
As I mentioned, though, he seems to have decided he loves us again - after he got his usual share of pasta fagiole on top of his dog food. And, despite our attempt to take all the beans out of his portion, I don't think we succeded, because he is totally gassing me out while on my lap. These are the times when I regret quitting smoking - I didn't notice dog farts then...


Allergies, baths, and apartments

Hubby and I went and looked at an apartment today. We actually wound up looking at two, but I'll get to that in a minute.
Anyway, the one we planned to look at is a 2-bedroom garden apartment. A garden apartment, for those who don't know, is a semi-subterranean unit, usually maybe 1/4 to 1/2 of its elevation is below street level. Sometimes good, sometimes bad. I really wanted to check this place out because the rent is an excellent rate, it's in a part of the neighborhood I know and like, it's near several friends, it's also near shopping and restaurants which would encourage me to get out and about a bit more. (At the moment, if I wanted to go out and get a cup of coffee or a bite I have the option of going to a slightly sketchy greasy spoon, walking several blocks to a Starbucks, or going to one of the places in the hospital. Perhaps I'm overly picky, but those options aren't usually all that appealing.)
Anyway, I liked the idea of the place, so we made an appointment to check it out.

First, the likes:
  • It's huge. The master bedroom would accommodate our ridiculously huge bedroom furniture (a legacy from when I still lived with my parents - very nice, but very big).
  • It gets a wonderful amount of light and is not dank or scary.
  • There are only 3 nice clear, wide, indoor steps to go down to get to the front door. This is a huge deal for me given the increasing muscle weakness and balance problems I have. I also think that, in a pinch, the area would accommodate a small ramp or similar thing if I need a wheelchair.
  • Nice big eat-in kitchen with a full size gas range. The windows in the kitchen would probably be suitable for our growing collection of plants.
  • Two full bathrooms. One could easily become a dark room for hubby.
  • Location is on a fairly quiet street near several parks and friends.
  • Living room is pretty big.
  • Second bedroom would be an excellent office/crafting room/storage/whatever room.
  • Heat, water, gas included in rent.
Now, the not-so-likes:
  • It is below ground-ish.
  • The kitchen appliances are older, especially the refrigerator.
  • The flooring in most of the apartment, except the kitchen, bathrooms, and entry is icky, dingy indoor-outdoor carpeting. Bad appearance wise (I have a serious hate-on for that carpet, actually). Bad for my allergies. Bad for Oreo and his allergies and his habit of sniper-crawling on his belly across the floor (rug burns). Bad for occasional spills, Oreo accidents, etc. I sort of doubt it could/would be replaced prior to us moving, but I suppose we could always check and see. I don't even want anything particularly fancy. Decent linoleum or laminate is fine. Just, please, a hard floor!
  • The two bathrooms are dark, oddly shaped, and look sort of dingy. Kind of...yellowed. I'm not sure how this could be improved without a full remodel which is just not happening. I suppose if we were allowed to paint that could improve things dramatically...
  • No parking lot.
Obviously, we have a lot to think about. I think we need to talk to both the current renter and the management company and see if there's any sort of deal that could be worked out re: flooring and bathrooms (really, just paint would make me happy on that front).

Also, while we were parking to go look at the place, we ran into a friend walking one of my favorite doggie friends. He mentioned that the place above him and his wife will eventually be available. We wandered over to check it out after we looked at the garden apartment. While it would be awesome in a number of ways, there are a lot of issues:
  • Steep narrow flight of stairs to get to the apartment.
  • The apartment itself is two floors - living/kitchen on the first, bedrooms/bath on the second. It's not a straight stair up either, so I can't even dream of installing a stair-lift thingie with money from Santa Claus or the Underpants Gnome or some other mythical being who would be willing to give me cash.
  • The prior tenants were utterly disgusting, slovenly creatures who thrive in squalid atmospheres (aka undergraduate males, likely belonging to a fraternity). The place reeks of pot, dog, unwashed male undergrad, and who knows what else. I don't think they ever flushed the toiled. The whole place needs to be rehabbed, the roof replaced, the carpet replaced, etc.
So, like I said, we'll keep looking. We have to be out of here by the end of August. I would prefer sooner rather than later, but whatever.

Hubby is supposed to expand the search tomorrow through the staff housing office. We'll see what happens.

In the meantime, Oreo has had a bath. I have had another root beer.

I also tried cetirizine (Zyrtec) for the first time this evening as a potential replacement for my beloved diphenhydramine (Benadryl). So far it seems to be doing wonderfully - my eyes aren't as itchy, my sniffles went away, and I haven't been as itchy as usual. Hopefully that will continue - the only other antihistamine I've had luck with other than Benadryl was fexofenadine (Allegra) and the side-effects from it bother me quite a bit - stomach pain, headaches, and trouble sleeping. Allegra also needed a building-up period for it to work, usually about a week. While I do frequently have to take an antihistamine daily, I don't like HAVING to take one daily. Cetirizine is stupidly expensive for OTC, even for the generic, but if it works, it works. I'll just keep my eye out for coupons and deals.

I've also been feeling a bit down lately - I don't know if it's partly sleep trouble, worry about the move, or just general blahs. I'm hoping I perk up as the week goes on.

Happy 40th Anniversary of Apollo 11

Forty years ago today, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were the first humans to set foot on the moon while Michael Collins waited for them in lunar orbit and the rest of humankind waited for word back on Earth. Watching the footage still takes my breath away.

If any of you out there are as geeky as I am about the early US space program, there are a number of wonderful resources available on the web. One of my favorites is the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal. It's a collection of photographs, transcripts, video, and audio of each of the landing missions. It's remarkable to me to listen to the audio of the astronauts talking between themselves and back to the CAPCOM on Earth and realize what a tenuous link they had back home while in such a beautiful, hostile environment.

I also highly recommend seeing In the Shadow of the Moon it's a very stark, wonderful documentary that focuses on interviews with the astronauts themselves as well as archival footage without the distraction of fancy voice-over narration or elaborate graphics or music. Very powerful and very moving.


Egyptian Art/Egyptology Series Part 2

I was messing around on Digital Egypt for Universities (one of my very favorite on-line Egyptology resources) and found these reliefs from the mastaba of Tepemankh at Saqqara. A mastaba is a type of tomb, particularly popular during the Old Kingdom among high officials. The burial itself was typically at the bottom of a deep shaft. The mastaba was built up over the shaft usually with mudbrick, rubble, and a nicer facing of limestone, with a flat top and slightly sloped sides. Niches and internal chambers were often included to allow the deceased to receive offerings from priests and/or from their descendants and this is where the majority of the decoration appears. The word is actually Arabic and is the term for a sort of bench often appearing on the exterior of houses and shops.

Anyway, I particularly like these not only for their wonderful Old Kingdom quality, but also for the translations available. If you click on UC14309 you can see translations of the writing around the craftsmen. I am a particular fan of the overseer saying to one of the craftsmen: "Sloth is unbearable to Sokar, O Craftsman." In a less literal translation - "Get off your lazy ass and work faster, you!" I love that such a slightly humorous and very normal human interchange was recorded in Tepemankh's tomb. The interchanges about bartering for sandals and carrying goods seen on UC14310 are also pretty fun.

This is one of the best parts of visiting museum collections (or the in situ monuments) or examining exhibition catalogues numerous times - you begin to notice more the smaller details included in scenes that are absolutely charming, whether it's a conversation between workers, a fight between dancing girls, a little boy about to pull the tail of a pet monkey, or the inclusion of a farmer's bald spot.

In Memoriam

God's speed, Mr. Cronkite. I wish you had made it to the 40th anniversary.


New Fascinator

I managed to make my fascinator tonight for the wedding we're attending tomorrow. The wedding gift isn't so much finished, but will be soon. There was a slight snafu this evening as the power went out in our apartment for an extended period (the first time it's been more than a flicker in the seven years I've lived in Chicago). And I'm feeling particularly exhausted today as well as a bit apathetic. Probably not a good day to push it.
Anyway, this fascinator is on a felt background and attached to a headband instead of a barrette. I'm actually not sure I like the headband - it's going to be a little more challenging to get it into place and still have my hair how I want it and I'm probably going to have to secure it with a bobby pin. Next time I think I'll go back to a large barrette or try a hair comb.
The photos aren't the greatest, but my model definitely is:

Purple Floral Fascinator

Working it

Modeling the fascinator


Graveyard Shift

Okay, I'm just embracing it for now. Up all night, asleep all day. Whatever, brain. Most of my activities are sufficiently quiet that I won't keep Tom and Oreo awake or bother the neighbors. So, this evening I will be carving stamps and watching movies on the Roku. Suck it, diurnal rhythm. Now to decide what to watch: Star Trek, The A-Team, the old Battlestar Galactica, or something else altogether?

At some point, I have to make my new fascinator, too. Got a wedding to go to on Friday, thus an excuse for crazy things in my hair. :) With luck, Tom will be modeling for photos again - he's my preferred model, especially since Oreo won't hold still. This one is going to have purple flowers and white feathers. Possibly some yellow and purple ribbons too. As I pretty much make them up as I go along, there isn't so much of a plan yet.

The continuing adventures of having my internal clock broken

So, despite having walked A WHOLE LOT on Sunday to go get my yarn and stop and watch ducks napping and rats swimming, I could not sleep Sunday night. I tried. Valiantly. At one point I was nearly in tears I wanted so desperately to be asleep. I did all the things insomniacs are supposed to do. Laid there and tried to sleep. When I couldn't, I got up, got some water, sat in low light and read for a bit. Went back to try to sleep. Nothing. Had some benadryl, less to help me sleep because it rarely does help much anymore than to help with two really nasty mosquito bites. Still nothing. Up. Down. CPAP on, CPAP off.
I did not fall asleep until 9 or 9:30 this morning. And despite setting an alarm for mid-afternoon, did not wake up until 5. Again. Sigh.
Anyway, I'm going to keep trying on the regular "normal" schedule front, but I'm also not going to be really disappointed (or all that surprised) if I don't manage it. I, and everyone around me, might just have to get used to my weird schedule.
I'm still really tired today and feel a bit off - I'm not sure if I'm tired from the walk or from the mosquito bites. Ridiculous as that sounds, I had an insanely intense allergic reaction to the bites. One bite on the middle joint in my thumb. My whole thumb swelled up so badly I couldn't really bend it, turned red-purple, and radiated heat. The other on my foot has been itchy beyond all belief and also turned most of the outer portion of my foot red-purple. Probably didn't help the sleeping problems.

I've been feeling a bit...dazed is the best word I can come up with lately. Brain fog is a constant problem for me, but I feel like I've been a bit more dazed and daft with brief moments of lucidity in between. I find myself forgetting if I just took a pill or if I just *meant* to take it (fortunately, this is only with OTC stuff, my prescriptions are in a daily med box so I *know* if I took it or not). Or why I got up to go to the kitchen. Or what I was just about to say. I think there've been more typos lately too.

I suspect this all means it's time to reassess activity levels again and adjust accordingly. Goody. Just in time for us to have to move within the next 6 weeks.

I did get a bit of work done today despite all of that. I did some sewing on a wedding present. I submitted two job applications. Fingers-crossed on those - some income for me would be very nice. And I'm curious to see if I can manage teaching on-line. Tom has very, very sweetly taken care of cutting and some seam ironing for me to help me get further with the wedding present too. Team-work rocks! He also worked hard this weekend on the car and did the grocery shopping and made dinner both nights. I'm so lucky!


Yarn!!!! (And other stuff)

So, no post yesterday. Sorry about that. I overslept. Well, first of all, I couldn't fall asleep Friday night despite being exhausted. And then by the time I finally was able to drift off a huge, loud thunderstorm started, thus scaring Oreo and keeping me awake. Sigh. So, the whole "wake up in the mornings" plan has already been derailed. Yay, delayed sleep phase syndrome strikes again.

Last night I managed to go to sleep fairly early, but I was exhausted and so slept until 1:30 today. And even then I didn't want to get up.
But, hubby took me for lunch. And then I found out about a neighborhood yard sale that included yarn, so we walked over there (about a mile). I scored some excellent yarn - alpaca/wool blend and pure wool. Then we walked back and took a long rest by the botany pond and watched a whole dozen ducks napping on the edge of the pond and some young rats swimming around the lily pads. I am absolutely dragged out though.

So much for the idiots who say things like "well, if you were just more active/exercised more you'd feel better." I'm afraid it doesn't work that way.


OMG the vet, nooooooo!

Oreo had his annual check-up today. He was also due for his vaccinations. He's on a 3 year cycle, which I know he must prefer. They also took a blood sample to check for heartworm before we start up his heartworm preventative. I know it's a bit late in the year, but aside from a few days here and there it really hasn't been warm enough for mosquitos.

Anyway, this is is the first year we've had to do this when I've been sick but well enough to be there with him and Tom. He actually fussed a bit this year - first time ever, well, except for hating the bordatella vaccine, but I hate things sprayed up my nose too. Super squirmy when the assistant was holding him for the shots and even worse when trying to get the blood draw on his neck, even though I was talking to him from my spot in a chair in the corner the whole time.

Ordinarily, I would be the one holding him and rubbing the little sweet-spot right under his eye that distracts him, so I can't help but be a little bit gratified that he wasn't as good because Mama wasn't holding him. Rotten, I know - he should be a perfect gentleman for everyone. Still, it's nice to know I'm special. :P

Anyway, he recovered admirably, especially after being bribed with treats, and is now napping next to me on the couch waiting for our pizza to finish cooking so he can have bits of crust.


Appointment went about how I expected - the endocrinologist can't really see any relation between my thyroid problems and my other problems, especially since my thyroid levels seem to be stable with treatment. Especially the muscle myopathy, which tends to be more an issue with hyperthyroidism than with hypothyroidism.
We are running another panel since it's been long enough since I started a higher dose of Synthroid to check and confirm that things are under control and do any necessary tweaking.

In other news, however - I seem to be shrinking. I was 5'8 or 5'7 when I graduated HS. Today I was 5'5.5" - could be scoliosis, could be something else? Weirdness. So, I lost about 3 inches and gained 30 lbs in 10 years. Awesome. :P At least for the first time since childhood I'm no longer in the "underweight OMGWTFBBQ-are-you-sure-you're-not-anorexic?!?!?!" BMI category and am now in the healthy weight category. How novel. Still trying to get used to not being a stick figure. Wouldn't mind so much if it didn't mean that I had to buy all new pants and that my bras don't fit properly anymore. Also, medicine and stuff makes me a bit bloated so I have a tummy. A "pot" as that freakin' annoying French chick from Pulp Fiction would say. (God I hated her and wanted her to fall off the motorcycle.)

Anyway, Oreo has a vet appointment this afternoon to get his vaccinations and annual check-up. Poor guy.


Boba Fett Cross-Stitch

Boba Fett Cross-Stitch
Originally uploaded by sabronx
Check out this ickle Boba Fett by sabronx.

"Who's a cute little bounty hunter?"
*Pew pew*

Yeah - don't mock the Fett. Even ickle Fett.

Busy, busy

I managed to sleep last night and get up...THIS MORNING!!!!! (Cheer!!!!) So, I have been busily pulling stuff together for another printing project. I'm afraid details have to wait as it's a gift that I don't want to spoil.
I also managed a few little chores today.
And I walked Oreo by myself. He was very, very sweet - he went slowly down the stairs and tried not to pull on me too hard. And he walked at a nice gentle pace in the parking lot. Very short walk - we stay in the parking lot and the little grassy area when it's just us as I don't want to risk him getting away from me on one of the major streets (just the thought gives me chills).

A friend came by to help me with some design tasks and Oreo was also extra sweet by distributing his cuddling he stretched from my lap in my chair over to put his chin on her knee. Silly, silly dog. He also helped me introduce her to the crack that is Etsy. Yay!

Tomorrow I have my first appointment with the endocrinologist. Should be moderately interesting. :P

My thumb/wrist are still being gimpy and I had to ice them again today after I washed out a rug in the bathtub. Humph.

Also, for some reason I've been having to use my reading glasses today. They barely have any prescription to them at all, but they do seem to be helping. In honor of the occasion, here is a goofy picture courtesy of Photo Booth:



Holy Lasers, I'm a Nerd, Batman!

Just got back from dermatology appointment. Quick, non-eventful (in a good way) aside from some to-ing and fro-ing because the department is now split between floors for some dumb reason.
However - there was a scary part. I was totally in the neural neutralizer room from Dagger of the Mind.
There was one of these on the ceiling:
Neural Neutralizer
And the chair was kind of like this:

Except that it didn't have a screaming William Shatner in it. Or his hairpiece. Lame.

Okay, so it was actually the laser treatment room (or so they claim) and not a place where people's brains are erased and re-written in whatever manner some other lunatic thinks appropriate (that's across the quads at the University proper). Anyway, I think I just got stuck in there because it was convenient. No lasers for me.

On a side note, my sleep schedule re-setting plan was a big fat fail. I went to bed at 11. Couldn't sleep. At all. Finally got up and laid on the couch around 4:30 and read for a bit. Then fell asleep for maybe an hour. So, now I'm trying to stay awake all day. I apologize in advance for any increasingly incoherent posts that may result.
Also, my thumb hurts again. Stupid thumb.


Rug or Afghan?

Op-art Afghan from 1970s
Originally uploaded by Catcro
This popped up in one of my feed today - very nice crocheted piece. Depending on how you finished it and what sort of fiber you used it could work as a lovely rug, wall-hanging, or throw/afghan. I am now on a mission to find a copy of the pattern, in the unlikely event I ever get around to making anything a large and time-consuming as an afghan. :)


Comics - Explosm.net: "Cyanide and Happiness, a daily webcomic
Cyanide & Happiness @ Explosm.net"

Inverted Sleep Schedule and Other Stupidity

Right, so, another day when I slept until 5 PM. Of course, I couldn't fall asleep until 7:30 AM, so I guess that's not so bad. I was going to try to stay up most of the day, take a nap and sleep tonight but around 6:30 I just could not stay awake any longer - something that used to happen to me only very, very rarely. I was bad and slept without my CPAP, hoping that would make it easier for me to sleep tonight. I must admit, sleeping without the CPAP every now and then is wonderful - I can be in whatever position I want, including my stomach, without being caught up in tubing (makes for even more fun nightmares) or having the mask shoved too far up my nose (ow) or inadvertently blocking the expiration valve and making horrible noises (think of the noise that would result from sticking your hand in front of Darth Vader's mask. No, not the sound of him choking your dumb-ass, but the sound of your hand blocking his exhalation) as a result.

My thumb seems to be feeling better. It started to ache mildly when I folded laundry today, but nowhere near as bad as the past few days. I'm only getting a little twinge now and then. So, fingers-crossed (bad pun) it's nearly better and I can stop favoring it. And get back to crafting. I haven't been sewing because of it or knitting. And I haven't been crocheting because my current skein got all stupidly tangled up and I'm too lazy to untangle it. I should just switch to a different skein, but that would be logical.

So, no crafty stuff today. I am pleasantly sleepy already and may well crawl back in bed soon. I have an early appointment tomorrow with the dermatologist so sleeping tonight would be good. And I've REALLY got to figure out a way to make myself get up in the morning even when I don't have an appointment. Seriously - my brain seems to decide "ah, no where to be - SLEEP!" and the next thing I know it's late afternoon, even when I set an alarm.

A day for memes...

Once he was Lolcats ‘n’ Funny Pictures of Cats – I Can Has Cheezburger?: "funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures"


One of those days...

Wildlife Photography Fail fail owned pwned pictures
see more Fail Blog"

Yeah. Thumb still hurts like hell. Meant to get up early today - didn't wake up until 5 PM. Extra twitchy too.
Dinner was excellent, though (Lemon Chicken - a lovely old family recipe that is always comfort food).
And, the above picture made me laugh loud enough and long enough for my chest to hurt. I think the penguin staring at the camera as if to say "What is that dork next to me doing?" is what did it.

No crafting today. :( Trying to give the hand a break.
Did watch Doctor Who. The Girl in the Fireplace made me all teary-eyed. Awwww. Strangely, Oreo started to whine about the same time I got all teary eyed and he wasn't even near me. Silly doggie. Maybe he liked Madame Pompadour too?



pirate cow june 2009
Originally uploaded by magg314
Check out the awesome pirate cow! I love the peg-leg. Check out magg314's Flickr stream for more awesomely cute amigurumi.

Sewing related injury

Somehow I managed to sprain or strain my left thumb using the lever for my presser foot on my sewing machine. It hurts. I'm icing it. That's pretty spectacularly pitiful, even for me. I was working on a hook case for my crochet hooks - I would up having to pick out a large portion of it anyway since at some point I let it drift off square. Sigh. Not my day for crafting. I did discover that having Oreo on my lap while I'm at the machine makes it easier for me to use the foot pedal. :P


Happy Independence Day!

In honor of the holiday, I give you the following video, found courtesy of an old friend of mine. (Thanks, Sara!)

American or not, may your day be happy and fun and possibly filled with Muppets!


Yet another slow day

I don't know if I wore myself out last week, if this is yet another permutation of whatever the hell is wrong with me, or if it's simply a bad flair of whatever is wrong with me and my thyroid meds haven't kicked in yet or what. Whatever it is, this has been a rough week. I had a migraine spanning Sunday to Tuesday with no more than a few hours pain-free between times. The remainder of the week I've been exhausted - part migraine hang-over, part something else. My pain levels have been up too, though I wasn't too terribly twitchy until today. And my hands are still swollen. Joy.
I've also started getting short of breath really easily again - no idea what that's about. Allergies, perhaps. Seriously, on occasion, just getting dressed has me panting. Anyway, definitely something to bring up the next time I see a medical-type person.

Tom kindly went to the library for me last night to get me some new reading material - First Man in Rome and I, Claudius. Yay! Now if I could just perfect knitting or crocheting while reading...

We've been making our way steadily through the new Doctor Who via Netflix and the Roku. Last night was the first episode of Series 2 - The Christmas Invasion. I giggled through the last part of it quite a lot - I totally want to save the world in my jim-jams. :P

I also played Wii Sports last night for the first time in well over a year. I was thinking maybe a bit of light exercise might make me feel better. While it was fun and I may try to start doing it more regularly, my arm is killing me today. And my age was calculated at 70. Thanks, Wii - I needed that. I would look into Wii Fit, but me + ataxia + balance board = trip to emergency room. Suck.


Is it wrong...

...that I want to start traveling internationally again solely to use some of these phrases just to see what happens?

The Zompist Phrasebook