Ice-Cream and Noodle

Ice-Cream and Noodle
Originally uploaded by irenestrange
Irenestrange has created these wonderful striped elephant who incorporate granny-squares in their design on backs and ears. They're adorable, plus a great way to use multiple colors or bust through some last bits of yarn in your stash. Very awesome!
Score the pattern in her Etsy shop and check out her other nifty creations.


For all your pretending to be a dinosaur needs...

Rawr Gloves
Originally uploaded by tallybates
...check out the Rawr Gloves by tallybates, available in her etsy shop (linked above). How awesome would these be? Except for the slight risk of having a psych eval as people watch you go "rawr, rawr, dino-saaaaur" and ram your hands together while riding on the bus...
Also, I'm pretty sure Wash from Firefly would love these: "Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!"

Chiyogami tea light candle holder 2 (3)

Here are some beautifully simple, elegant tea light holders made with beautiful Japanese papers. They're lovely with or without the tea lights in them and would be a wonderful addition to decor.
If you're worried about open flame, by the way, there are inexpensive LED "tea lights" available that would probably work almost as well as ordinary candles!
Very nice, raycious! Check out more of her work on Flickr or her etsy store.


Small Victories and Confessions

Today I made my first solo trip outside the new apartment and caught a bus to make it to an appointment. This may not sound like a big deal, but given the trouble and pain I have with walking along with brain fog and some sort of general anxiety, this is kind of a big deal. I am super proud of myself. The trip also reinforced my liking of the new place - just three little steps to go up to get out as opposed to three narrow wooden steps down, a turn, and another 3 or 4 steps, plus two more steps down with no hand-rail and a heavy-ish gate to open. I know this may not sound like a lot, but when every step is a) unpredictable; b) an effort that requires thought; and c) often uncomfortable or outright painful all combined with pretty much constant low-level vertigo that makes you feel like you're falling forward or the ground is tilting up toward you it gets to be a bit wearying. Add in some loss of peripheral vision, general tiredness, and rapid muscle fatigue from using the cane and you can see why I don't go out much. :P
In fact, I often wonder what some people who see me on the street must think - a relatively young woman walking very slowly with a cane, legs spread out a bit farther than normal, eyes usually on the ground with occasional glances up for direction, and one hand a bit out to the side for balance and with what I imagine is a look of deep concentration on my face - I probably look pretty silly. Or possibly drunk. And, like I said, each step is unpredictable - it might be a normal stride or my hip may sort of lock making my leg swing out to the side and down or I might misjudge the distance to the ground or my knee may not bend. At least if I ever get dumped on Arrakis, I can totally avoid attracting a sandworm, so I've got that going for me.

Anyway, bus - managed to get on the bus and off of the bus and get to my appointment. My therapy appointment. I've decided to quit being coy about it because a huge part of why I write this blog is the hope that it might help other people. I see a therapist regularly and have for about a year. In large part, this is to help me cope with being chronically ill and especially to cope with not even knowing specifically what's wrong with me. It has also helped me cope with some unpleasant personal events unrelated to my illness. It has been immensely helpful and I have made a great amount of progress. While this might not be a big admission for a lot of people, it is for me. I like my privacy. I also like at least appearing to be relatively strong and self-sufficient. For much of my life going to see a psychiatrist or psychologist or therapist and being self-sufficient and tough were mutually exclusive. However, over the past few years I have come to realize that part of being self-sufficient and tough is knowing when you need help and when and how to ask for it. So, I really want to encourage people - if you think you need help or want help, whether you're chronically ill or just stressed out or having a rough patch, please look into seeing someone. A lot of communities have sliding-scale clinics if you aren't insured or your insurance doesn't cover mental health. It isn't an admission of weakness or a massive character flaw. It's helping yourself to help yourself.

Okay - that's done. I'm not planning to go into detail about my therapy. Some things are private and personal though and while I try to make this blog a personal place, I also don't want to make it too personal. But I wanted to say that I go because I know that I associated a bit of stigma or shame with it and I think that's terrible and I don't want other people to feel that way. Okay, off the soapbox before I fall off.

I also did a bit of cleaning today to get some shelves ready for use in the kitchen (they were gross). And we've done a bit more unpacking. Also, Oreo nearly got winged in the head by the mail coming through the slot in the door today. At the moment he's demanding his daily dose of Daddy adoration. My boys are so cute. ;)


I think I have a cold

My throat has been sore for two days, my nose is a bit stuffy, I have a slight cough, and I feel like crap. Well, more like crap than usual. However, it is also raining, which also makes me feel more like crap usually, even though I like to watch the rain. It could also be allergies. Or just my usual crap. I think I'll say crap again. Crap. I actually had Saturday evening and most of Sunday free of super bad spasms, but I think that might have been because I was so tired. Things are back to "normal" in that regard - I walk like a duck at the best of times and randomly bow or hip-check.

Anyway, I haven't been doing much the past few days. Yesterday we got the last of the stuff out of the old apartment. I also reclaimed all of our "removable" hooks from the old place. Yeah - you know how the little video ad shows the dude pulling down on the tab and the hook coming right off the wall. Lies! I pulled on the tab. It snapped. I managed to pop those bastards off the walls anyway with the help of a screwdriver and a lot of swearing. Some paint came with it, but since the place is supposed to be torn down, I don't think it matters. Soon the surgeons will have their parking lot and not have to walk a block or take a shuttle like the rest of the unwashed masses who work for the hospital. Hurray. So glad to be of service by having to move. Jerks.

Oreo is still getting used to the new place. He tends to follow me around as if he's afraid he might get left behind. Though I think he's also keeping an eye on me - he sat on me Sunday night through a very bad migraine and coaxed me into sitting down and resting earlier that day by being super, extra, ultra sad and pitiful complete with unfurled tail (I thought something was wrong with him, so I quit unpacking and took him to cuddle on the couch, at which point he was fine). Tom gave him his first bath in the new place last night. And we've switched sides in the bed which makes Oreo and Tom much happier. Oreo is very attached to the right side (from the foot) of the bed, which is also where I slept in our first apartment in Chicago. Then we moved and wound up having to switch sides. Only Oreo didn't want to switch sides. And for two years there was a constant Oreo vs. Tom battle of furry wills as Oreo tried to occupy his spot and Tom kept getting in the way. And, as far as Oreo is concerned, he was here well before Tom, whom he tolerates only barely and with much difficulty. Humph. Anyway - things work out better - Tom doesn't constantly have a dog between his knees or ankles, Oreo isn't being smushed or knocked off the bed and I have a foot/leg warmer.

I've been doing a bit of knitting on a pot holder or dishcloth (haven't decided which yet). Not too bad looking for a beginner and fairly easy to do on autopilot. It's also helping me learn how to distinguish stitches. It's nicely portable too.

I have been sprawled on the couch most of today. Very tired, feeling ick. Unpacking can wait. :P


Mostly moved in

Yesterday our awesome, awesome friends helped Tom with the heavy lifting and got just about everything from the old apartment into the new apartment. I did what I could manage - packing and unpacking, some light moving. I also resealed the tile in the bathroom because I don't think it had so much been done before we moved in...
I slept late today, got up and puttered around a bit, but the longer I'm awake the more exhausted and sore I feel, so I'm mostly taking advantage of open wi-fi networks and goofing off. Things are still scattered all over, but I don't really mind.
I really like this new place - it's much bigger. The bedroom is big enough to handle our furniture with room to spare. There are plenty of closets. Even for being in the basement we get a nice amount of light.
Oreo is still a bit confused and gets a little lost. He's still working on figuring out whether to run to the back door or the front door when he hears someone coming in. We, of course, find this hilarious. He's also very intrigued by people walking past the windows.
The kitchen is going to require some creativity - there is a nice pantry with lots of shelves, but not much cabinet or counter space. I'll figure something out, I'm sure.
Now we're just looking for free furniture on craigslist, mostly for bookshelves to replace the built-ins from the old place, maybe some extra chairs and/or tables. I'm still in the early planning stages as far as curtains go - still leaning toward very light muslin (airy AND cheap!), but not sure exactly what to do with it - pretty trim, stamping, painting, or what...
Posting will probably be a bit intermittent as we get settled, but hopefully I'll get some good photos to show off, especially as we get things situated.

I finally found my super-power!

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



Gumi-Gumi Island is doing a wonderful give-away on her new blog with lots of potential fun prizes centered around her adorable bunny amigurumi. Go check it out!


New Apartment

New Apartment
Originally uploaded by shoveling_ferret
So, here's a photo of the back room of the new place. Well, more of the radiator suspended from the ceiling. I find this fascinating... We still haven't decided how we're going to use the spaces exactly - like whether to have the living room more in the back of the apartment near the kitchen or whether to put the dining room table and office-y stuff there instead...

We signed the lease today and got the keys and took a load of mostly books and Oreo over to check things out.
Major moving is this weekend.
Unfortunately, transferring the phone and internet is going to be a bit delayed and I think I won't have regular access from Saturday night until Friday the 28th. Ick. I may well go into some sort of withdrawal. Need to see if there's a decent free wi-fi access point within walking distance for me and my laptop.

New Apartment

Crazy Awesome Dreams

Old Singer sewing machine

I usually dream fairly vividly and remember a fair amount about my dreams the next day, though not always longer than that.
Last night, I dreamt about an antique sewing machine. I have no idea what context the sewing machine belonged in in the actual dream, but I remember the machine because it was AMAZING. It was one of the elaborately painted ones like the awesome Egyptian-themed one I found on Flickr featured above (the sphinxes are fabulous). But it was multicolored - most of the antique Singers I've seen tend to be black with shaded gold decoration. This one had metallics in all kinds of colors - green, blue, pink, red, purple. It was awesome. I can't really remember the motifs other than the sort of general vegetation-inspired scrollwork that seems to have been popular.
And the machine itself was still perfectly useable. Nifty.

I dream about crafty stuff fairly frequently now, which I find amusing. I rarely, if ever dream or dreamed about Egyptological stuff or archaeology. Knitting is a common thing as I'm drifting off, but it's supposed to be fairly common to visualize such things as one drifts off (or so I think I read somewhere, though I can't find the source now, dammit), especially if you've been doing it recently. I don't think I usually dream about the actual process of crocheting though - maybe because it doesn't involve both my hands quite so much? But finished projects or nearly finished projects pop up quite frequently - like the plan to decoupage and paint the dresser or bookshelves (a predominately pale-blue with brown diamonds or stripes seems to be what my brain prefers...), sewn dresses and napkins and curtains, and other things.



Bad day on the pain front - probably a mix of the result of extra spasm-y goodness lately plus all the stupid human tricks I had to do for the doctors yesterday. Napped much of the day.
Found out that the neuropsych cognitive testing does allow for differing ranges of intelligence, so if there are deficits for me it should be clear and not be explained as meeting "an average, so you're fine." Not trying to be a snob or anything but that was a bit of a concern for me because I've always tested well above "average" usually into the 99th percentile or higher. And I'll be really interested to see a) what the testing entails and b) what the results show. I certainly feel like there has been some decline, but whether that will show up in more objective testing will be interesting to see. Still waiting to hear when the testing is scheduled.
Went and watched the hubby's coworkers play softball and chatted with people. Ignored the less than tactful question from someone about why I wasn't playing. I totally wish I had thought to respond with "because the softball will dent my cane." Oreo got to come along and had fun begging for food and playing with a little girl. My kind of girl too - she was wary of him at first but then dived right in for petting, and kissing, and "woofing" at him. Ridiculously adorable. And Oreo was a very good little gentleman.
I'm now sacked out on the couch waiting until I can dose myself with more ibuprofen and re-reading Mairelon the Magician, soon to be followed by The Magician's Ward by Patricia C Wrede.


They (Not) Seein' Me Roll, I Hatin'

Neurologists again today. No rollator because "they (the insurance company) will want to know a diagnosis and I don't have one. I can't put down MS, because that will stay with you forever and you don't want that."
I also don't want my shoulders and arms to hurt all the time and I'd like it if my hips hurt less when I do things like, oh, WALK, but hey, whatever. So, I'm sticking with my trusty old cane for the time being.

Today they actually bothered to spin the "Random Possible Diagnosis" wheel, however and came up with....
(ding, ding, ding)
Rheumatic Fever

Yes, that's right ladies and gentlemen, despite other tests showing no evidence of a streptococcal infection, though I might have had strep throat in Sudan in January of 2008, they have decided to run a second, more sensitive test looking for strep.
They're mainly running at this from the pain and movement disorder angle - you might be able to call my movement stuff "chorea." Maybe. Most of the other symptoms for rheumatic fever are extremely non-specific and kind of subjective.
Anyway, we'll see what this round of blood work shows.

Anyway, rheumatic fever typically affects children and is fairly rare if the initial infection is treated with antibiotics. I had a metric butt-load of antibiotics shoved down my throat in Sudan, but I guess it's possible that I had strep. Or maybe I had strep at some point in the past and have either forgotten or never had it treated. Who knows?
It's not clear to me if treatment will solve my problems. Nor is it clear if an episode of rheumatic fever (it recurs) typically lasts this long.

Anyway, we'll see.

They're also sending me for neuropsychiatric cognitive testing. Not sure when exactly. Not sure exactly what it entails either. I will be interested to see if I show cognitive deficits. I also kind of wonder what having above normal intelligence to start with does to the cognitive tests. Should be moderately interesting.

Oh and for today's bonus round: The intake nurse asked me if I was listening to music because my trunk movement/jerks were so bad at some points today that I was pretty much constantly jerking almost to a beat while sitting in the chair. Let me remind you all that this was the NEUROLOGY intake nurse! Am I really the only one with this problem?

Anyway, I'd just like to say that I think I might hold the record for old-timey diseases I've almost been diagnosed with since I first started having major issues with fatigue and aches back in 2005:
- malaria
- tuberculosis (mmm, consumption)
- rheumatic fever

Old-Timey Diseases I still need for my "collection":
- female hysteria (ok, not really, someone would get stabbed for this BS)
- yellow fever (does it count that I've been vaccinated?)
- "a touch of river blindness" (long story...)
- leprosy
- plague
- scurvy


Be afraid, be very afraid (again)

My friend Chip was kind enough to remind me of this advertisement today. Even though I hate Mountain Dew, I lurrrve the commercial:



The pink ninja was very well received. I'm told she will be carried around to work next week until a place of honor can be found for her. Even better, I got to see her peeking out of the birthday girl's purse all during dinner this evening. Yay!


AMERICAblog News| A great nation deserves the truth: Whole Foods comes out against health care reform, calls it "socialism"

AMERICAblog News| A great nation deserves the truth: Whole Foods comes out against health care reform, calls it "socialism"

Well, I was already inclined to call Whole Foods "Whole Paycheck" but did occasionally go there to either look at or buy things that are difficult to find elsewhere, usually personal care products. No more.
I'll shop elsewhere, thanks...

ETA: The blog linked is heavily left-leaning, I might add and not particularly detail-heavy in their discussion of Mackey's editorial. While Mackey makes a few good points, the majority of his suggestions would do very, very little to address the health care crisis in the US and, in fact may well make a number of things worse (in particular, his suggestion that regulations on what insurance companies must cover should be removed seems especially ill-advised). My further research into the CEO of Whole Foods has made increasingly less inclined to do business with his company - I do not care for acolytes of Ayn Rand. I care less for people who create alter-egos to make message board posts slamming their competition, if only because it seems like a pretty stupid thing for someone who is supposed to be responsible for an entire corporation to do, but what the hell do I know - they did eventually buy out Wild Oats. I also don't particularly care for the misleading use of terms like "natural" and "organic" in labeling and advertising when there exists no objective standard for what those terms actually mean, but Mackey and Whole Foods are definitely not the first or the only entities guilty of that.
In any case, I'm sure Mackey and his fellow libertarians will be entirely unhurt by my decision to avoid Whole Foods, especially since it is a choice the upholds the very principles of the free market.

4,000-year-old dye found on Egyptian artifact - Science- msnbc.com

4,000-year-old dye found on Egyptian artifact - Science- msnbc.com

I thought several of my readers would find this interesting - both the Egyptologically inclined ones and the fiber people, especially those of you who dye your own yarn (on my list of things to try someday). It's also nice and science-y, which is also cool.

Found via Egyptology News

Beware the pink ninja

Peeking Ninja
I had to be very careful to sneak up on this little ninja hiding behind the book on Akhenaten. Once I coaxed her out, though, she was quite willing to pose.
Portrait Pink Ninja

This is actually the first project I've made from Creepy Cute Crochet by Christen Haden, even though I've had the book for ages. I enjoyed making it which is another reminder that I need to do it more often. Duh!
I did have a bit of trouble gripping the embroidery floss for the throwing star and my hand started to cramp and the ending portions of the head pattern confused me slightly, but I think I got it all working properly anyway so no big deal. And I love the little crocheted throwing star.
I don't think you can quite make it out, but she has embroidered brown eyes with lashes.
Oh, and Oreo stole the body before it was stuffed and tried to run off with it, but I rescued it at great personal risk. Srsly. I could have tripped while trying to catch him. :P

This is a birthday gift for a dear friend who is well known for a) pink; and b) her fondness for the Amarna Period. Her birthday actually isn't until Friday but I'm gambling she's too busy to catch this blog post. If not: Happy Early Birthday!!!!



We got the rental application and credit check stuff to the apartment management company today and should hear back in a few days about the apartment.
I'm getting very excited (as opposed to anxious) about the move, mostly because I have all sorts of possibly unrealistic plans for decorating. :P
As this is a garden apartment (ie in the basement), the windows are fairly short and up near the ceilings. So, I'm planning on getting some inexpensive white or natural muslin and a pretty trim to make curtains that won't block light. Overall, the potential for little natural light is pushing me toward trying to brighten rooms as much as possible with the decor - light, airy curtains, lighter colors with furniture, brighter colors, etc. Since our budget is tight, I really want to stick with inexpensive DIY stuff, preferably using as much stuff that we already have as possible.

Also on my list of things I really want to do:
  • Refinish a metal chest of drawers we have. I've been wanting to do this for years. The current paint is a dull beige and is peeling. One of the drawers has stickers on it that were painted over and this makes me crazy. I would like to strip down that drawer to get a smooth surface and then decoupage fabric or paper on the drawer surfaces and repaint the basic frame. This might be possible as this new place has a storage area right across from the back door of the apartment, so I could conceivably have Tom move the thing in there for me to paint and to let it dry without having excessive fumes in the apartment or the risk of paint mess.
  • Refinish a metal filing cabinet we have in the same manner.
  • Paint all of our pressboard el-cheapo bookcases so they match. I'm thinking white. I've also considered decoupaging them, though that could be a major headache with all the angles and corners. Also, all the painting has to be with a brush or roller because 1) I am not a fan of using spray paint indoors or outdoors in common areas; 2) spray paint is technically illegal in the city. I'm also not sure how many coats it would take to completely cover the faux woodgrain look.
  • Do something with the TV stand. It's black. It's kind of ugly. I'm actually thinking it might be a good candidate for Mod Podge/decoupage as well. A sufficiently heavy fabric would probably cover up the black fairly well. If I get something that coordinates with black, I only really need to do the little side doors.
  • Acquire and possibly re-paint and reupholster some extra chairs for guests. Upholstery scares me a bit, but I like chairs with cushions.
  • Do actual...decorating. Not crazy - I've never liked to have a lot of knickknacks, but I would like some more pretty touches. Vases with flowers. That sort of thing... I'd actually like some wall shelves to put little things in that I make more than any things else. At the moment, we don't really have a good display area. It's part of what keeps me from making more amigurumi - I don't want to give all of them away and I'm not always sure what to do with them otherwise.
  • I'm planning to crochet and/or knit some colorful potholders to hang up in the kitchen more as decoration than anything else.
  • I'd like to get rid of the desk I have now because it's monstrously big, has no real storage, and is a bit too modern for my tastes now. I'd much rather have a smaller writing desk or even an additional table at a good height. Mostly, I just need a sewing table and a "general other work" table - especially if I get going with Etsy, I'll need a place convenient to our printer that has room for putting together packages for mailing and filing paperwork.
  • Get some more storage for my fabric stash. At the moment, I probably only really need a clothing box or two.
  • Set up a good indoor photo area. I need to get better at photography, both doing it at all and making what I do better. Since mobility is kind of a problem for me, indoor is best. And since light is going to be at a bit of a premium, I'm going to have to figure out a setup. Fortunately, Tom is all about some photography, so I have a good resource. :)
I am also excited because I think I will be able to do laundry now! Currently our apartment is up two short flights of stairs. There is no way I can get down them while carrying a hamper. It's a bit too far to just drop the hamper over the side plus I'm not quite strong enough to do so. Then, the laundry room is down another flight of steps and behind a heavy door. So, poor Tom has to do all the laundry on top of everything else he does. The laundry room at the new (hopefully) place though is just three steps up, then across a nice flat concrete apron, and down a ramp (yay!). Plus there are comfy chairs and books in there if you want to hang out while your laundry is going. We're going to score either a wheeled hamper or a collapsible shopping cart (grocery store is also within more feasible walking distance) so I can do stuff.
So, with luck, I can do a bit more around the house. I'm also going to try very hard to do a bit of light housework every day. Mostly I need to find a good way to remind myself to do it. So, we'll see.


Decisions, Decisions

So today Tom and I went and looked at an apartment in the neighborhood. It's $40/month more than we're paying now which is doable if not wonderful. It's a garden apartment down about 3 steps from street level with it's own entrances. Very nice new windows, most of which are frosted for privacy. Hardwood floors. Big. The dining room and living room are actually separate rooms as opposed to just slightly divided by a sort of archway like our place now. Bedroom seems big. There are closets. Big ones. Plus a storage locker right across from the back door. Typical kitchen for the neighborhood - fridge, gas range/stove, no garbage disposal or dishwasher. Shared coin-operated laundry. There is also a foyer/hallway thing that would be a nice place for bookshelves. The light isn't the best, but it isn't terrible either. There are two lovely ceiling fans already in place in the living room and dining room. The radiators are on the ceilings which opens up floor space and the windows being near the roof makes it easier to place furniture without blocking windows.
The place is on a quiet block closer to the lake than we are now. Much further from the hospital than we are now, but I'm reasonably confident there is either a bus route that will get me over there, I can beg a ride, or some way make my way to appointments without too much trouble.
So, we told the agent we'd let her know on Monday.
Saturday we see the place in Indiana. I'm very excited. Of course, part of why I'm excited is because I totally want to make new curtains and refinish a metal dresser and filing cabinet we have. That will theoretically be easier in the Indiana place, but still possible in the neighborhood place.
Anyway, that's what's up. Sorry about the excessive personal posts and the relative lack of crafty posts, but I'm not doing much crafting lately since I don't want to spread stuff out right before we move. And I've been busy looking for places to live and packing things up.
Also, I've had another bad flair of movement stuff start up again - I've been spasming and twitching almost constantly this whole week. And I've added to my repertoire, I now do this weird bowing from the waist thing with no say in the matter. Groan.

Oh, yes. On a totally unrelated note, if I weren't already deeply attached to the nickname Shoveling Ferret, I would totally go for this, especially since it has a Wiki entry.


Oldest Known Paralyzed Human Discovered : Discovery News

Oldest Known Paralyzed Human Discovered : Discovery News

A very interesting story that demonstrates the vast amount of information that can be obtained just from human remains about not only the individual but also the society they lived in in a broader sense. *If* you know what you're doing, that is. ;)


Originally uploaded by Bananagans
I like it. It's mildly creepy. It's cute. It has googly eyes. And I now have the "Spiderpig" song from the Simpsons movie stuck in my head. Only replace "spiderpig" with "spider cat"


Apartment hunting continues

The search continues. We're supposed to see the inside of a place we have very high hopes for on Saturday. It is outside the city. The more we think about it, the more we like the idea of getting out of the neighborhood and also potentially out of the city. Since I'm not in coursework anymore and am not terribly likely to continue with my dissertation there's not a deep need to stay in the neighborhood on my part. The only thing I currently have to do in the neighborhood is all medical. It would be nice for Tom to stay in the neighborhood as at the moment his commute consists of walking a few blocks.
Unfortunately, finding an apartment in the neighborhood that accepts dogs, is somewhat larger than a refrigerator box, is not on the upper floors of a walk-up, and is not in the freakin' ghetto for less than $900/month is really, really difficult. Yes, I know it's the city. I know housing is at a premium. I still think it's ridiculously expensive. And what the hell is with taking cats and not small dogs? Is it the noise potential? Because in my experience cats can be a hell of a lot more destructive than dogs and, if their owners don't clean up after them, have the potential to leave a lingering stench.
We've also considered the Bridgeport neighborhood, but the presence of the White Sox has me a bit worried - noise, traffic, NOISE (every home run gets a fireworks barrage that we can hear in our current apartment), stupid drunks, etc.
Anyway, strain plus heat yesterday is still making my delayed sleep phase disorder waaaay worse. And I'm extra shaky and twitchy with a side of Elvis-pelvis. And having random numbness again - the usual last two fingers of the right hand plus the tip and bottom of the first section of my right big toe - figure that one out. It seems like every time I start to get used to how I feel and start to wonder if maybe I can "push" a bit more I run into something a bit more stressful and discover that I still have virtually no reserves and cannot cope well with even minor, stupid strains. And it manifests physically. Poo.
Anyway - the more I think of it, the more I think that despite potential commute hassles, living outside the city, especially some place with a yard-type thing, near a nice little lake, that is several hundred dollars less than what we're paying now would be WONDERFUL! We can pay down our debts a bit more and stash a bit more in savings while I attempt to find work I can actually do and/or acquire disability. Oreo and I might have a yard to putter around in and/or a nice porch to hang out on. We might get to know more people (in person) who aren't academics (not that I don't love our academic friends, but it's always good to expand). There are a bunch of sweet little shops and stuff within walking distance (even for me, on a good day) that might make it easier for me to get out and about a bit.


Bahahahahahahahaha...(pant, pant)..bahahahahahahahah! Suck it, you miserable losers.

A bit of a read, but definitely worth it. I love The Smoking Gun. I hate bullies. It all comes together.

Telephone Terrorist - August 4, 2009

Short version: Internet Tough Guys are never tough in real life. Nor are they particularly bright.



Last night I started seriously going through boxes of paperwork and clearing things out. It was very liberating to trash so much heavy paper. Most of it was the detritus of several years of graduate school - copies of articles that I will never read again, papers I wrote, notes, etc. I am offering some of it up to friends, but I suspect most of it is going to wind up trashed or recycled. If any of my readers want copies of articles on ceramic analysis, Egyptology, or anything else let me know. I'll ask you to pay shipping if you're not in the area, but they're all yours, snarky comments in margins and highlighting included. I can pull together specifics on titles, etc., if anyone really wants them.

Unfortunately, I also had the start of one of my worst migraines in quite some time last night. Serious nausea. It's still ongoing, but has finally faded to typical migraine level for me - which means I can still semi-function even if I am disinclined to move or talk much and noise and smells bother me. No TV either - oddly reading helps or is something I can do (I usually can't sleep through my migraines) to take my mind off the discomfort, but watching things just doesn't work.

We have an apartment viewing scheduled for tomorrow - our first look outside the neighborhood. Should be interesting - this place supposedly has an included washer and dryer, a fireplace, a large kitchen and some other nice features. It's also even less expensive than what we're paying now, let alone what we might have to pay if we stayed in Hyde Park and wanted a place comparable to what we have now. Rent is ridiculous.


he'll take you aboard his beautiful ship

Giolou has posted this adorable ickle knitted alien. I love the glowing silver yarn and the eyes. I have yet to knit amigurumi as opposed to crocheting them (and I should really get back to crocheting them, but I'm trying to finish my freakin' project bag before I do start any thing else).

Ahem. The alien. Super cute! Knitted. Giolou scored the pattern from the wonderful and generous Barbara Prime who has posted a free pattern for the adorable little dudes and dudettes on her blog. And this is one of the best sort of patterns, it appears to me, in that it is easily customizable and adaptable, resulting in all kinds of fun creations.


Yay, shopping!

I spent a very restless night last night - I was exhausted but had a terrible time getting to sleep and then, unusually for me, trouble staying asleep. Bleh.
Apartment hunting is making me anxious, so that's probably the trouble. We have a lot of leads now, many of them outside our current neighborhood. That will involve figuring out how much more or less expensive things will be as hubby will have to commute daily and I will need to do so regularly for medical appointments. Many of the places we're looking at are rehabs too, which are beautiful, but usually don't have boilers and radiators which could mean a huge jump in electricity expenses. So, we have to offset those sorts of costs with less expensive rents. :P
Anyway, we went out shopping with a friend today in the suburbs. I've been wanting to hit Michael's Arts and Crafts this week because they had a sale on cotton yarn. I scored 8 skeins. And a skein of purple bamboo yarn (sooooo silky) that I think will be my very first cane cozy. I also found a lovely set of very small alphabet rubber stamps that will be wonderful for "signing" my prints.
And I found some wonderful hiking sandals from Land's End at Sears on sale for $30. My older hiking sandals are nice, but have seen a season in Sudan, a dunking in Lake Michigan, several rain storms, and lots of other miscellaneous wear. They're thus a bit battered. My new ones are super comfy (I wore them the rest of the day) and much better suited to wet conditions. Now I just hope we can fit in a kayaking or canoe trip this summer.
Off to bed now - I think full apartment hunting including call-backs and possible visits commences tomorrow. Or maybe Monday. Sigh. I'll be in the corner, petting my yarn.

Busy, busy again

Lots of phone calls and emails today looking for an apartment and getting my cell phone number ported to new service. Bahhhh!