Happy Halloween!

National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City...Image via WikipediaCreepy-ass skull of a sacrificed child with shell and obsidian "eyes" brought to you by the Aztecs, via Wikipedia.  
While analyzing and excavating human skeletons has never really creeped me out, I think uncovering this might have at least registered a "buhhh."
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In Memory

My Uncle Bill passed early this morning.
He had been unwell in recent years and less able to be as active as he liked.
He was one of my dad's older brothers. He served as a Marine in the Pacific in WWII and was wounded in action. He was a pilot, a rancher, a casino operator, owned and ran a small bar/casino and some gas stations. And he was a very nice man. I wish we'd had more time, especially as I got into adulthood.
He and another brother also apparently attempted to string up my dad at some point when they were just home from the war. Because apparently that's what baby brothers are for.
He and my aunt were very active until recently - walking at least a mile a day with their dogs and he'd reactivated his pilots license a few years ago when the FAA lifted some of the age restrictions.

Funeral arrangements are still being made.  Mom said not to worry about trying to make it back out to Nevada so soon.  Dad is supposedly taking it well, but he's also very old-school cowboy.  
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Archaeological Geekery

Okay, so it's about "Vile Asiatics" but still kinda cool.


Pinchy on the Road

My friend Scott apparently got to see Machu Picchu recently and took these freakin' awesome, nay, downright bitchin' photos of Pinchy the scorpion visiting one of the world's great archaeological sites.
Pinchy is becoming quite the traveller. I'm hoping he at least defends Scott's luggage from intrusion in exchange for transport.
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Smooth oreoImage via Wikipedia
Apparently this is a "smooth Oreo"
I believe the monster and I may have managed a truce.  I feel a bit better today mood-wise, though I do have a migraine.  :P  At least I'm back to my usual cynical grousing and bitching rather than the weepy mush I was the past few days.  Waaaay better, right?
I've stayed in bed with my new pink jammies from my Nana and shared powdered donuts with Oreo and goofed off on the internets.
The monster has stayed away today.  Hopefully will remain away.
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Don't Feed the Monster

How to Overcome DepressionImage by kevindooley via Flickr
If I turn green and line-y, someone get me some better drugs, stat.
Late last night we got back from visiting my family in Nevada for about 10 days.  More about that in other posts.
Part of the trip was just to visit family I haven't seen in years.  Another part of it was to see my Nana, who has esophageal cancer.  She has chosen, with the approval of her doctors, to forgo treatment and so it is just a matter of time before she'll leave us.  It was wonderful to see her.  Her hearing and eyesight are not so wonderful and she tires more easily, but otherwise I think she's doing fairly well, all things considered.
Unfortunately, we didn't take the opportunity for a side trip to visit one of my uncles.  He was admitted to the hospital the day after we went back to Las Vegas from Reno.  He's in his 80s, his heart is apparently working at only 30% capacity.  I haven't seen him or my aunt since I was married 7 years ago.  My aunt has lost her hearing in the past few years, so communication is a bit challenging.
I had to watch my dad try to make the agonizing decision of whether to try to drive up there (and dad is disabled from arthritis in knees, hip, and back) to see his only remaining brother and possibly only contribute to the fuss and stress or wait and possibly not have a chance to say goodbye.  Fortunately, my uncle seems to be doing a bit better and dad managed to talk to him briefly on the phone - he's mostly just tired and wants to rest.
Last night, from the time we got off the plane in Chicago and all the way home I was fighting back tears.    I'm not entirely sure why - there are the obvious reasons, of course, but I don't usually do that sort of thing.  I sobbed for quite a while when we finally got home.  I've been doing the same thing on and off all day today.
I hate it.
I'm terrified it's the depression monster making a return.  I've had only a few brief episodes of non-situational depression in the past 2 years - they were fairly minor and passed quickly.
This is awful.  I can't point to a reason why I'm crying, I can't really point to a cluster of reasons.  It was hard to come back to Chicago and the rigamarole of PT and therapy and doctors and work and bad weather and being shut in.
But mostly I'm just unspeakably, inexplicably sad and fragile and convinced everyone is upset or angry at me or about me and flitting about the edges, taunting me is that faint thread of "it would be easier if I were gone."  It's not constant, it's not a plan, it is not yet to the emergency stage (and I give you all my word that we can judge when it does become an emergency and what to do and steps will be taken), but it is awful.  It's not *me,* dammit.
I sway back and forth between wanting to talk and be with people and wanting the world to go away.  I don't want for people to see me like this.  And it's nearly impossible for me to really communicate sometimes when the monster is here.  And I get so over-sensitive that it sometimes feels like everything anyone says is hurtful or angry or exasperated.
And then I have a few minutes of normal.
And then I'm overwhelmed again and even deciding to get up and have water is an agonizing decision.
And what else to do is a difficult or impossible to decide - what do I do to starve the monster instead of feeding it?
If I go and rest and try to sleep and cancel PT tomorrow to give myself another day to simply *be* at home is that good or is it chunking a juicy steak right at that bastard?
Should I keep aimlessly surfing the web or pick up a book or watch TV?  And if I can't keep focused on any of those will it feed the monster more?
Should I force myself to do things or take a bit of rest?  Is resting feeding the damn thing?  Can I trust my natural inclinations or fight against them?
Am I just overwhelmed from travel and grief and pushing harder than usual and trying to hide symptoms and residual thyroid ick?  Or is the monster coming to stay for a while?
Depression 1Image via Wikipedia
Wut?  Does that mean that anxiety makes me sneeze?
I'm hoping I'll feel better soon.  I'd rather not make this blog into Emo Central.
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Safely Arrived

Yesterday was a long day, but the trip went smoothly, so that was awesome.  The American Airlines people were very nice - the staff in Dallas even  changed our seats for us to give me more legroom and less distance to walk.  And got me a wheelchair for the jetway because it was a really long-ass jet-way.
Oreo was a good boy, as usual.
Peeking out of the carrier
Tasty fried chicken from the comfort of my wheelchair

Doing some crochet waiting for our connection in Dallas.
If you look closely you can see both the silver in my hair AND the stupid cystic pimples on my jawline.
Our flightpath into Vegas brought us right over Hoover Dam, which was beautiful light up in the dark.  I could just make out the silhouette of the new bridge against the lights shining up the face of the damn.

We slept in as best we could today, though Mom and Dad's younger schnauzer, Lily, is a punk and keeps starting stuff with Oreo.  And Oreo gives it right back.  Meanwhile, the older schnauzer (who is actually the same age as Oreo) Oliver just sort of patiently watches them be stupid and is a model sweetheart. 

We got to see my brother and his wife and my nephew today for dinner.  I'm tired and feeling a bit stiff and my joints are aching, but hopefully that will ease up soon.

It's overcast and smells of rain outside tonight - beautiful.  I miss the desert.
View from the backyard



NEW YORK - AUGUST 27:  Mr. Vanilla Double Stuf...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeTom and Oreo and I are heading out to visit my family in Nevada.  Wooo!  I love air travel so much (/sarcasm)!
Anyway, I'm not sure what or when or if I'll blog while I'm actually gone, but hopefully I will have hilarity and photos to share when we get back home if not before.  At the moment, I've got my bed covered in clothes I am likely to pack, along with 2 books and at some point I plan to gather up some crochet hooks and yarn and some patterns to take to keep me occupied.
I'd rather not push my luck at security with pointed sticks, especially since we'll be having enough fun with Oreo (who has to be taken out of his carrier and have his harness taken off so he doesn't set of the metal detector), me with my CPAP, and me in and out of a wheelchair to get through security.
(The Double-Stuff Oreo mascot showed up via Zemanta as a possible image to include and it was too horrifying not to share.)
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Man In Camo Suit Accused Of Museum Burglary - Portland News Story - KPTV Portland

Man In Camo Suit Accused Of Museum Burglary - Portland News Story - KPTV Portland

Most hilarious part - he was spotted after he cried out in pain after one of the K-9 patrol dogs bit him.

I wonder if he was going to pretend to be random shrubbery *in* the museum if he got caught inside in his ghillie suit?


Hashimoto keeps getting me down

Overview of the thyroid system (See Wikipedia:...Image via WikipediaI had a routine Rheumatology follow-up two weeks ago and they did their standard labs to see what's going on with me in terms of autoimmune suck.
Looks like the Plaquenil has done okay in bringing down some inflammatory markers, but apparently my thyroid is being a bitch again.  Or my immune system is being a bitch to my thyroid.  Yay, Hashimoto's thyroiditis
So, my TSH is high and my thyroid peroxidase is also high which means we probably need to up my dose of replacement thyroid hormone so my body will quit being all "ahhh! give me hormones!" and my immune system will quit being all "omnomnom tasty thyroid hormone."
I went in for more labs Friday and should get results this week along with some idea of how much we need to up my Synthroid.
I have to wonder how long this has been going on.  I have been more tired the past few weeks/month and this week has been awful - I had to call in to work last night because there was just no way I had the energy to go.  My job involves sitting there and occasionally interacting with people.  I was too freakin' tired to do that!
Well and I had a migraine.  But most of yesterday involved sleeping, waking up a bit and trying to read, falling back asleep, getting up for food or medicine and winding up winded just from the effort of moving.  Not cool.
Anyway, I'm wondering if stuff I attributed to allergies, migraines, and the weather were in part signs that I was getting hypothyroid again.  We'll see if daily sore throat, multiple migraines a week, random rashes, and extra exhaustion and brain fog go away with more Synthroid so maybe the next time this happens I'll be more likely to notice it.
I managed to get up the energy to shower today and I've been crocheting and watching movies.  I'm supposed to work tomorrow night and by Flying Spaghetti Monster I will make that freakin' shift!
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Space photos of the day: Vintage NASA art - The Christian Science Monitor - CSMonitor.com

Space photos of the day: Vintage NASA art - The Christian Science Monitor - CSMonitor.com

The slide show is awesome. I have to confess to having a little internal giggle every time I see the Dyna-Soar project mentioned.

I really want an inflatable space station.

And whoever drew the Apollo space suit (final slide) was clearly just phoning it in that day. "So, we'll get some toilet paper and duct tape..."


Single Dad Laughing: The disease called "Perfection"

Single Dad Laughing: The disease called "Perfection": "- Sent using Google Toolbar"
Very much worth a read, as is the follow-up at the bottom.
Trying to be perfect, knowing I was perceived by some people as perfect, not wanting or being able to admit that I was not and didn't want to be perfect has been a major part of pressure and pain in my life. Learning to stop trying to be perfect or to expect other people to be perfect is the most useful thing I've ever done. It's a ongoing lesson and a hard one. But it's essential.


NY lawyer convicted in Dead Sea Scrolls case

Near Qumran, where the original Dead Sea Scrol...Image via Wikipedia
One of the dank holes from which scholarship comes
The Associated Press: NY lawyer convicted in Dead Sea Scrolls case
Some of you may be familiar with the case of Raphael Golb, son of Dead Sea scholar Norman Golb. Raphael posted on various internet sites under assumed names, including under the name of one of his father's fellow scholars at NYU with whom he'd engaged in extended debate regarding the origin and authorship of the Dead Sea Scrolls.  
There are more details available in the article and elsewhere on the web.
Frankly, the more I read about this, the more I think everyone involved is a douchebag. I'm not sure Raphael Golb committed a crime worthy of imprisonment, though essentially sock-puppeteering on behalf of his dad's pet theories while also criticizing the traveling Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit was a dick move as was posing as another scholar.
On the other hand, it seems like there are some people who gleefully looked for an opportunity to get Golb in trouble.
The politics surrounding the scrolls, their study, and interpretation is full of crazy on a multitude of levels.
Norm Golb has maintained that his son couldn't possibly have done it, that he (Norm) had nothing to do with it if he did, and has posited the existence of a conspiracy to make him look bad.  Or something.
So, yeah. Academia. It's awesome. I'm frankly amazed this became public, this sort of thing is usually swept under several rugs and left to fester.
And all of distracts from actual scholarship and makes it all the more difficult to evaluate various theories when you have all this nonsense going on in the background and scholars with clear theoretical axes to grind who may well have gone beyond rational and are now clinging desperately to their ideas less out of actual conviction than bloody-minded stubbornness and a desire to avoid ever having to say their arch-rival might be right.
It does raise interesting questions about the use of pseudonyms on the internet. If I have multiple user names at various sites, am I committing fraud? How about if I register as a celebrity and post "as" them - is that a crime or is it permissible as fair use or satire or similar?  
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