I figured my head couldn't hurt any more...

Mudd is apparently part evil, evil chipmunk.  Via Wikipedia
Some time ago I got Star Trek:  The Animated Series from Netflix.  The DVDs, because they are so not available on streaming.  Actually, I got the most recent disk in July.  I haven't finished watching it because, well, damn are they bad.
The animation is cut-rate cheese.  And the voice-acting, despite being from the original cast, is so clearly one-take only, has my check cleared yet, that it's painful to hear.  I have the novelizations of the episodes.  I really, really wish I had just stuck with those.  The stories are actually good (some of them), but oh man, the actual shows are super bad.
(Snarkier readers will probably say that the same is true of the original series, to which I give a hearty single-finger salute.)

Anyway, tonight we watched Mudd's Passion.  The premise is that they run into their old con-artist buddy, Harry Mudd.  This time he's selling "love potion."  Taking advantage of Nurse Chapel's huge crush on Spock, Harry tricks Chapel out of her phaser.  Chapel takes the love potion and goes to touch Spock, which leads to painful awkwardness as, apparently, it takes a few minutes for the potion to work so he's all "What the hell, human, why are you touching me?"  This snaps her back to her senses, she figures out the phaser is gone and goes to kick Harry's ass.
Hijinks ensue, Harry kidnaps Chapel, the love potion kicks in and Spock starts being all emo, plus a bunch of it gets spread through the ship's ventilation system, so the ship turns into a giant rave for a while.
There's also some weird Spock-Kirk hugging (the love potion creates "strong friendship" between men or women, because apparently the future is like Iran and has no gay people).
"Thanks, Jim, it's good to have a friend like you."
"Strange, that's how I feel about you, too. My dear friend Spock."

I wonder if this is to blame for Kirk-Spock slash fiction?

Anyway, there's a monster on the planet and stuff, but they manage to rescue Harry and Chapel and the love potion wears off.  Yay.

Awesome quotes:
I wish I was a three-eyed giant poop slug.  - Tom, when the episode's monster appears
Oh my god, that was horrible.  - Me, roughly every 2 minutes.
Spock, can't you take your hands off her? -Kirk
"Captain, Doctor... I... uh, wish to report a number of strange... emotions."
That is an outstandingly stupid idea.  - Spock, apparently echoing my thoughts about watching this show.   You can actually hear this quote here.

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Xmas Morning


Most hilarious moment - ripping wrapping paper to see this:
I screamed "WHYYYYYY!!?!?!?" for quite some time after I stopped laughing.  It's a SodaStream, by the way, and should be super awesome.

I also got a scarf and more sock monkey jammies!  Eeee, sock monkeys!!!!

Oreo got a goose toy.  And some other stuff, but he's mostly interested in killing the goose.

And Tom got a new money clip and I got him a starter pack from the Art of Shaving.

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Merry Bes-mas!

He even has rosy cheeks!

Best wishes and hopes of peaceful joy to everyone!

(Extra thanks to Tom for Photoshopping the image for me because I couldn't figure out how to get GIMP to do it)


Cynical Boardgame About Archaeology : Aardvarchaeology

Murder in MesopotamiaImage via WikipediaCynical Boardgame About Archaeology : Aardvarchaeology

From Martin Rundkvist's translation of a portion of the Swedish rule book:
The players travel as archaeologists through Europe to gather needful knowledge for their fieldwork expeditions. With the aid of assistants, the players must get hold of equipment and services for the expedition. Thus equipped, the players travel to Egypt, Crete or Mesopotamia to dig for treasure, which will garner them fame and improve their reputation in the form of Victory Points. Players who can arrange exhibitions and attend conferences will improve their reputation (Victory Points). But all of this costs time, and time of course a scarce resource. The one who plans his excavations and exhibitions best will earn the most Victory Points and win the game.
Oh yeah, we're gonna need this one. I think if one of our group of friends acquires it, I may have to live blog the game play.

The comments on the post are cracking me up too, because I am a snarky bitch. Especially:
As my husband likes to say: archaeology is just a bunch of really smart people digging in the dirt.
Apparently, he's worked with different people than we have. I said "I think there are some unnecessary adjectives there." Tom remarked that he's not sure he'd even go so far as to classify them all as "people."  (In reality, the majority of people I've worked with have been delightful, the exceptions however, have been spectacular.)

Also, I think for added verisimilitude the game really needs pointless bickering, back-stabbing, insane feuds and random nutbaggery from academic departments and funding agencies.
There needs to be weird, possibly adulterous relationship drama as well.  And crazy power trips.

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Turns out I'm more twisted than anyone realized

Normal human lumbar spinal canal.Image via WikipediaI think I've mentioned before that I have scoliosis.  I've never really thought much of it - it was diagnosed at my college student health center when I was 18 or 19 and went in because I was having pretty horrific sciatica-type pain.  They told me it wasn't anything to really worry about and sent me on my way with some PT exercises that I did for a while and then promptly forgot about.
I've had trouble sitting up without a pillow or something for back support without pain in my lower back or burning pain in my side muscles for years and thought it was just because my muscles were weak.

It didn't really come up again until I had my first MRI and one of the douchetastic duo was all "whoa, you have scoliosis!"  and I sort of nodded and asked if it mattered.  Other than making my lumbar puncture a bit more challenging, it didn't seem to.

Back at the beginning of November, I met my new PCP (my previous PCP has switched clinic locations to somewhere harder for me to get to, so I wound up switching).  I had been having a fair bit of sciatica-like pain for months and my physical therapist suggested I ask about having some imaging done.  As it turns out, the many MRIs I've had all focused on my brain and spine as far as my thoracic vertebrae, but not really lower.  So I went and had an x-ray of my ass.

My PCP called and let me know that the radiology report noted the scoliosis and some narrowing in the spinal canal.  For the time being, keeping up with my PT and using NSAIDS and heat or cold are the best thing for it.  Fine with me.

I mentioned it to my neurologist when I saw her last week, just to be sure she took a peek.  She suspects the scoliosis is contributing to some of the pain/tension in my neck that goes along with my migraines.  Again, were mostly just keeping an eye on it - if I start having really severe pain or other issues suggesting more impingement of nerves or something we'll take another look.  Fine with me.

I saw my rheumatologist today and also mentioned the x-ray to him.  I love my rheumatologist - he's crotchety and snarky, but not with his patients, just in general.  He looks at it muttering about "let's see what the radiologist said, not that I care what they said, but let's see if they actually caught anything they should have..."
Turns out some of the facet joints in my lumbar vertebrae are rubbing against each other because of the scoliosis.  And my sacroilliac is tilted a bit weird so on one side it's not quite lined up properly with the sacrum and on the other side, it's rubbing up against the sacrum.  Fun.  So, that's something to keep an eye on, as there is some degeneration of the osteoarthritis kind from the bone rubbing on bone.

My scoliosis is a bit more pronounced than I had realized too as I'd never gotten a really good look at my x-rays.  There's not only a curve around L2/L3, but it twists a bit as well.  All that tugging and junk on my muscles is of course going to give me back pain and muscle spasms.
That, of course, led me to ask if the muscle spasms could partially explain my involuntary movements.  My rheumy thinks it's a possibility.  Shame no one thought to look into my reports of back pain and history of scoliosis 2 years ago. 

For the time being, I'm to keep up with my PT to keep my muscles strong, use moist heat on the back, and that's mostly it.  Which is fine.  I'm just glad there isn't any sign of inflammation or inflammatory arthritis through that area.

He also noticed that my hands and fingers are getting pretty puffy.  I've been having more hand pain lately.  So that's to be kept an eye on too.  We're checking my ANA and thyroid stuff again to be sure my thyroid levels are still behaving after that weird fluctuation in October.  And I go back in February to see how the arthritis-y stuff is doing in depths of winter.  I've had a sore throat non-stop since October and the itchy rash of doom on/above my elbows, so maybe the blood work will show why.

I've been having good fun playing with the interactive spinal anatomy things on the University of Toronto website and making Tom help me figure out what parts we talked about.  It is super geeky fun.  I do worry a bit that I'm preoccupied with medical stuff, but I tend to look stuff up and read more out of curiosity and a "whoa, why/how does that happen?" than because I think I'll find *the answer* to my health issues. 

I also had a psych follow-up today.  It went well, as usual.  We're upping my med doses hoping to prevent migraines and to hopefully prevent a repeat of my mini-breakdown with suicidal ideation a few weeks ago.  That would be nice.  I'm hoping it will help my memory too, which has gone to total crap lately.  I recently started the sequel to a book I read in October and have been pretty lost.  Derp.  They've also said they totally support my application for disability and will help however they can.  It's really, really great to get that support and not feel as though I'm lazy or a leech or something.

In other news, I got my rejection from Social Security before I even finished my initial application.  According to them, I don't have enough credits.  I've gotten in touch with a lawyer.  There is some inexplicable weirdness for 2 years where it appears my employer failed to deduct or pay Social Security.  The loss of those 2 years means I don't have enough credits for SSDI.  I started the correction process in early November, but it apparently hasn't gone through all the way.  Anyway, the lawyer is looking into it.  I'm really, really hoping  the stupid mistake doesn't cost me my SSDI benefits.  The lawyer thinks I have a pretty good case otherwise, between my list of diagnoses, my functional symptoms, etc.  And as he told me - even if someone wants to say your symptoms are "in your head" it doesn't make them less real or lessen their impact on your life and ability to maintain gainful employment.  And my little part-time job shouldn't create a problem as my earnings are well under the allowed amount per month. 
I'm really hoping the earnings record crap can be resolved easily.  All the paperwork and figuring things out and blah wears me out a lot.  A *whole* lot.
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Steampunk Star Trek

I should be getting ready for work and/or folding laundry.

Original image from here.

Text is all mine, baby.


Limits and How They Suck

PoppySeed the Pomeranian, despite being a wonderful, cuddly, delightful little ball of fluff did not work out for his trial.
Unfortunately, I had over-estimated my ability to cope with a younger dog - he's about a year old, plus a jealous Oreo.
So, I'm upset in two ways - one because PoppySeed was a love and I really, really wish we could have kept him.  And two, because I've just had a fairly harsh reminder of where my limits are and that they are closer than I thought.
This follows on the heels of a mini-breakdown the last week of November when I had to call off from work and spend a few days in bed because I was physically and mentally exhausted to the point of collapse and slight mental health crisis. 
It used to be that I could work around my crashes.  I knew they were inevitable, but through the last years of college and through most of grad school I could push past the collapse point so long as I could crash at the end of a few days or a week.  I didn't even really realize then that that isn't exactly normal.
I no longer get to work around or stave off the crash or flare or whatever the hell you call it when it feels like I have the flu, can barely move (except for involuntary movements), need to sleep or stay lying down, and burst into tears with a side of ramped up anxiety and suicidal ideation.  It just hits.  If I'm lucky I notice the warning signs and am able to do self-care.  If not, I feel worse for longer.
I am at least grateful that I can take steps to mitigate the crash if I can just rest for a week (sometimes more).  And I'm even more grateful that most of the people around me have come to understand and accept that and don't seem to think it makes me lazy or worthless.

Anyway, I'll miss the adorable little fluffy monster, PoppySeed.  I know he'll find a happy forever-home.  For now, it will just be Oreo and me around the house during the day.


Oreo's No Good, Very Bad, Awful Day

Today we started a few day trial with a possible new member of the family - Poppy Seed, a year old Pomeranian boy.

Oreo is less than thrilled.

The trouble began when Poppy's current people brought out a squirt bottle, which they've been using as a way to signal and change bad behavior. We tried it on Oreo.
It's like an off switch on barking. I knew it worked with cats. No idea it works with some dogs.

Have I mentioned that Oreo hates water?

Anyway, that was almost tolerable because there were new people visiting, even if they did bring this small, fluffy, dog-like creature. New people are awesome, especially new people who like dogs. Plus, dog creature had toys. And most of them squeak!

But then the people left. And forgot their fluffy...thingie.

Fortunately, it was sleepy and crawled in its portable den to nap.

But then it came out. And got on the couch.

There was snuggling.  Though Tom claims he's not sure he wants a doggie who sits on his lap all the time.  Or a doggie of any kind.  Including Oreo.  The rest of us mostly ignore that.
 Nope, they're not getting along at all.

There have been a few almost tiffs.  Almost.  A little while ago Poppy felt confident enough to pounce and play-growl at Oreo.  Who barked and growled back half-playfully and half-seriously. 
While he's been getting lots of loves and reassurance that he's the Alpha dog, Oreo has also been doing some heavy snuggling with both of us, presumably as a reminder that he prefers being an only child.  He's on my lap now, radiating cute vulnerability. 

Tomorrow will be the first full day and Tom will be at work.  I've been feeling fairly crappy lately, but the silver lining there is that I can see if I can manage 2 dogs even when I feel dreadful.  I'm sincerely hoping most of tomorrow involves snuggling and reading interspersed with quick, short walks in the snow.  (One at a time - no way can I manage two little bouncers and my cane in the ice and snow and as part of the crappy feeling lately has been some light-headedness, I need the cane more than ever.)

Poppy is adorable - 8 lbs of black and white fluff.  And likely to be a snuggler, at least with Tom.  We'll see how we all manage tonight.  Still not sure how the sleeping arrangements will go.  Oreo is always on the bed.  Poppy is getting over Giardia and still readjusting to house-breaking after a stint at Animal Control, so we're not sure where to put him.  Though he's done marvelously today with going out and letting us know he needed walkies. 

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