fortunavirilis: (Yum-O (SA))
2009-04-28 10:12 am

Food Post

I've successfully convinced Hu that organic and humane chicken is not only healthier, but also TASTES better (the eggs too). WIN! So, we've moved on from him humoring me to him actually on board with this. And our food bill is coming out the same (it will be less now that Audio is moving out). Everything tastes better. I feel better. I have a lot to still learn, but we're making progress here. A year ago I was just starting to get him to try 'weird veggies'. Then four months ago we joined the organic buyers group and I can't remember the last veggie we bought at the grocery store. Now, in under a month we went from buying separate meat to doing this together. Major win.
fortunavirilis: (Iambic)
2009-04-26 09:10 am

Adams and O'Keefe

Yesterday Hu reminded me that the Adams and O'Keefe exhibit was in the last weeks at the Norton. So we headed over there and for $10 total (wow- that's cheap!) we got to see the special exhibit plus the regular galleries. It was really amazing because instead of showing just their major works the show focused on their relationship as artists together and how it shaped their perspectives and styles. Over the course of their lives they each spent time together and apart, but once they met they corresponded frequently and had several occasions to actual work in the same place on the same subject matter at the same time. Through direct quotations and side by side pieces they gallery showing really did a great job of exhibiting their unique styles and also how they did influence each other. You can see how her eye for the living thing pulled him back from just stark mountains sometimes and his eye for the broader picture pushed her in to landscape at times.

The other thing that I love is that Adams often breaks the 'rule of three'- that an image is more interesting if off center or if it divides the field in to three areas, etc. He often shoots a tree or something else dead center filling the photograph- and then there is a painting by O'Keefe that does the exact same thing (it could be the same tree). NZ when showing me my new camera's do-dads was beating me up on the rule of three. But here is the great master of 20th century photography breaking the rule over and over again- and the results are stunning.

I stood there and I saw those photographs and I cried. I have always loved Adams. And I never quite understood his association with O'Keefe with her flowers and her color. But 'listening' to their conversations by looking at their work side by side and reading their quotes I understood how they pushed each other. They were not artist and muse. They were equals who challenged each other constantly to see things differently. 'You aren't looking close enough.' 'All you see is your emotional connection in the moment.' On and on- challenging their notions of what they were seeing.

People talk so much about writers circles- like it is the writers only who gather and talk nowadays. Then there is the artist and the muse. But both of these artists had their muses- nature herself. But they still needed each other throughout their lives to not become stale in their work.

Who here in the land of the ocean-side cubicle farms do I have to challenge me?
fortunavirilis: (Default)
2009-04-23 12:24 pm

Oh, to have the freedom to move time

My motivation to work (my actual day job) is currently in strong conflict with my desire to flee my office and grab Emaline and run off taking photos all over Juno Beach. Some days having a desk in the corner surrounded by windows and SUNSHINE and knowing it is warm and breezy out does not help my corporate work ethic. I want to be CREATIVE today. It will be getting late and the sun won't be right by the time I leave. But lovely Emaline is HOME... the camera she calls me...

Argh- I WANT flexible hours some days!!!!!
fortunavirilis: (House-MD)
2009-04-22 11:35 am

LJ Genie Insurance/Medical Question (non-squicky- I swear)

Does anyone have any experience with with the regional branches of the Epilepsy Foundation of America in finding an epilepsy specialist or with BCBS Advocate Service for disease mgmt services (in my case seizure disorder). I'm hoping to use one or both to find a new neurologist since:

1. My current neuro has no bedside manner- critical for determining seizure types when EEGs aren't popping anything.
2. My current neuro changed my meds 4 times in 4 weeks in January (at one point dropping my blood pressure to an almost deadly level). He has also never drawn blood for liver or kidney tests or to test for my proper medicinal levels (so when I knew my Topamax dosage was too low by instinct he had no way of knowing since we didn't have a baseline- he just changed my meds). He also cold turkeys me on and off med levels- bad idea.
3. I talked to a friend and he did the same thing to her for her migraines and almost killed her.
4. He just postponed my appointment (which was a reschedule of one I couldn't make it to last month- that I gave them advance notice for) because he didn't have enough appoints for a Friday afternoon and didn't feel like coming in. That is not how you treat an epilepsy patient- they didn't even ask if I was doing okay and could wait a week to come in.

So- has anyone used BCBS Advocate services or the Florida (or any local) Chapter of the Epilepsy Foundation for services? I've found two epileptologists within 25 miles on my own who take BCBS, but neither have rights at my local hospital. I'm not that worried (I've never had to be admitted to the ER for seizures) as long as I can state that if I get admitted to my local hospital that I never have to deal with my old doctor (which I doubt I would, but still). But there may be others out there and I don't know how to find them.

Also- is it okay to phone interview doctors? Has anyone done that? What's the best way to go about it if you do?
fortunavirilis: (Ben Folds)
2009-04-22 09:48 am

Icon Post

We having a running joke that I should change my Facebook default userpic to this one (me with Ben Folds). It IS a better photograph of me than most of the other recent photos of me that I have. But here's the catch and the humor, many of the people who find and friend me on Facebook haven't seen me in years (12 or more). And that is how they learn that I'm married. So, unless they know Ben Folds (and know what he looks like), they will probably- at least initially- assume that it is a photo of me with my HUSBAND. In fact, even some of my relatives on facebook who haven't friended Hu will think it is him until they find Hu, frind him and then get confused. We (me, my husband, Audio, just about most of my college friends I talk to regularly) find this hilarious.

So, knowing the confusion it will cause- should I do it anyway?
fortunavirilis: (Default)
2009-04-21 10:59 am

Note from 29 year old me to 20 1/2 year old me

If Ben Folds had written it back then, and you had had the maturity to listen to it- you would have listened to Cologne and known that THAT was your breakup song with T. All the drama swirled around you- you caused it, but it wasn't about that. You both just had to let go. All the other songs from eight and a half years ago were just the drama leading up to the breakup. That is the song. T was better for it. You were better and not in the long run (it never would have worked, but he needed to be set free from you), but that's how you always are.



Flash forward:

And now, again, Way to Normal is about you letting go of all the regrets of compromising for the past few years. You're breaking up with parts of yourself that aren't genuine and finding the parts you've buried for a while. You're finding the way back to 'normal', which isn't anyone else's normal but your own.
fortunavirilis: (House-MD)
2009-04-21 09:23 am

Here come's the rain...

In a typical cascade of weather related health events-

1. We started getting heavy rain and thunderstorms yesterday afternoon along with a drop in temperature of about 15 degrees daytime high which happened in under two hours (more at night).
2. My brain said- the headaches will start NOW
3. Cognitive function decided to change processor speed from average to SLOW (dinner was therefore eaten out- no cooking for me)
4. The thunderstorms continued all night leaving me with about three hours of sleep and maybe a partial seizure thrown in from either sleep dep or lightning (nor sure which- does it really matter?- and I have a hard time describing partial seizures that occur when I'm already sleepy and in bed) and I had the tingles all night (yes, I can feel the electrical current in my body when my neuro system isn't right)
5. I was able to get up this morning since I was never really asleep after 3:30am and with Hu's help prep dinner (crock pot meal) so we can eat at home tonight, but I was still 30 minutes late for work- so I'm in SLOW motion.
6. As it stands right now my brain is moving in half speed and all I want to do is curl up in a ball and sleep. I really want to ask to leave, but my boss just doesn't understand and I'm pretty sure he'll say no- but I'm 'electrical' right now. I should be at home.
7. So I have to wait and see and hope I don't seize.

Great.

Side Note- The dog with epilepsy also seemed to sleep fitfully and was twitchy all night too
fortunavirilis: (Weird Food)
2009-04-20 09:27 am

Food Post of the non-FP variety

Gradually over the past year or two and more and more readily over the past year, with help from some active research, I've been pushing myself to each organic and local whenever possible. This was a pretty easy step with produce. We buy probably 95% of our produce from an organic buyers group, who in turn attempt to buy as much locally as possible (some produce just doesn't do well in Florida organically- and you DO need a balanced diet). I'm now trying to take things a step further and apply principles that I find both sound from a dietary standpoint and ethical/humane to any animal products that I eat (no hormones, no antibiotics, vegetarian feed only, free range, etc). This is proving much more difficult. Here's the catch- the FDA labels on eggs, dairy, and meat are vague and leave a good deal of wiggle room for interpretation. 'Free Range'/'Cage Free' eggs may be from chickens little better off than their battery cage counter-parts. And almost all cattle are grass fed UNTIL they reach the feed lots (which is where the problems start). So, unless I know what happens on the specific farm where my food was raised- I don't know what I'm getting.

Here's where I'm willing to take a few risks. Saturday I paid three dollars for a box. The box held a dozen beautiful eggs of various sizes and colors. But legally in Florida I can't buy the eggs, only the carton- unpasteurized eggs are illegal for sale. But I did it anyway. I know the people. And the eggs have 100 times the nutritional value of the grocery store eggs I can get, I just have to wash them first. In a few weeks, I'll start spending a little more (50 cents) to get eggs from another source who is a friend of my produce supplier. He also knows a dairy guy. AND he knows of a meat buyers group (meat is harder to find is south Florida because most of the cattle and other farms of that nature are in the northern part of the state). So I guess I'm going off the grid.

In the meantime, we had hamburgers for dinner last night. Hu wanted a fatty 'juicy' burger. So he bought two pounds of the Publix brand 86/4 ground chuck. I bought a pound of Maverick Ranch 91/9 Ground Beef (grass fed, 100% free range, never on a feed lot). We made out burgers separately- same seasoning, different meat. And I got him to concede that mine tasted just as good without without have lived on a feed lot. My beef tasted like beef (this is a household joke, but in this case was true- my beef was beefier).

Now to find some LOCAL beef and other meat PLUS cheese. I am a cheese junky and I have to find a source for that. This is like a big scavenger hunt with little tasty rewards along the way. And the funny part is my vegetarian produce guy is helping (even with the meat part) because I'm going about it from a humane and ethical standpoint- and he has not problems with the eggs and dairy to begin with since he eats those.
fortunavirilis: (Evolution)
2009-04-16 08:19 am

Distance to Here

To put it plainly, my workday was pretty crappy yesterday. When that happens, I like to come home and curl up with a book/dog/whatever and just be small. But we couldn't- we have no food since we were out of town,so we had to go out to eat. That would have been fine, except Hu spent the whole evening ranting and raving like a lunatic about HIS bad day at work for hours on end. He was like a black whole of negative energy. And then he blamed me for it because I tried to give him some positive advise on how to handle the situation instead of just sitting there just a drone and taking it.

My thoughts- we had talked over the weekend on the steps he needs to take to get out of his current job and pursue his dream job (which will be a many year step by step process, although he has most of the qualifications and much of the experience he needs now). If he can just focus on that he shouldn't get so worked up on the every day stuff of his current job. It just isn't worth it.

The worst of it was that he tried to say he had done well yesterday by not showing his emotions to a specific coworker. I said I wouldn't allow him that- because he basically just suppressed those emotions until he got home and took them out on me and Audio (maybe not by yelling, but through his general negativity and tone, etc). He claimed I refused him small victories- which isn't true. I allow him wins at his job all the time: when he doesn't just transfer his 'wins' in to loses at home.

It was really terrible and an example of everything I have been writing about yesterday. He can't lie to me and say his job makes him happy if he comes home miserable. OR if his job does make him happy (in which case he is lying to himself) then he has to be honest and face the fact that it may ruin our marriage if this behavior continues. He has to follow through on his promise to call his contacts and follow the career path he really wants. He has that choice. If he's too afraid to make that change, then he's too afraid to be happy in life AND he's willing to make me miserable in the process. I won't accept that anymore. I'm sorry.

I truly in the deepest part of my heart want to make this work. But he needs to want that as well. I know he's trying. But he needs to want to be happy. And I can't do that for him. I'll give him time to figure this out. In the meantime, I think this is going to be pretty miserable as he processes through things... just as it will be for me to figure out how to do what I want to do within the constraints of my current job. Evolution sucks some days.
fortunavirilis: (Ben Folds)
2009-04-15 10:37 am

Love and Compromise

I could probably re-title this post: What I learned from my spring vacation

The short lesson is that I have two sets of college friends- those that are pursuing their 'dreams', but find themselves with friends and no meaningful partner. The second set has found their life partner, but we all hate our current jobs or at the least aren't happy where we currently are. So, we've all had to compromise (or thought we had) to such an extent to stay with each other that we aren't happy for at least half our waking hours. I find this a sad and sobering fact. We didn't all make our choices BECAUSE of our partners- in fact some of us found them along the way. But here we are. We have fewer friends. We have fewer choices. But we have love. And we question choices along the way- if I did this differently could I still have him/her and have gotten to do this? Maybe? Maybe not? There is no way to know.

All I know is that I am among a group of people who are stuck in the middle of such a difficult choice- who we are and who we love are incompatible, but there is a gap we have to span. There is always a gap. And I think that one person always takes more steps than the other (or everyone always thinks they do).

I want to come home and run out to take picture with Emaline while I still have light without having to worry about what's on the TIVO (I don't really care) so I keep improving (there are other thing I'd do if money wasn't an issue, but it is). But I also want Hu to stop being scared of what he can do and call the producer from NBC and use the connections he has to do what he wants to do in life (that won't get him what he wants, but it is the first step). It took me two days to get him to admit what he would do if he lived without fear. And he has every chance because he CAN do what he wants without money being an issue. Then- I would get what I wanted too. All this time though- he claimed he like his job (out of fear of change, of failure, of I don't know what).

So, that leads me to this question- why are we all compromising? Why do we think we need to? NZ's wife is getting a degree (a second masters after she stopped teaching because she hated it) in something she doesn't care about because it is the easiest thing to do while working and it might help get a job if NZ finally gets the collegiate teaching job he wants. But she doesn't love it. So she isn't searching for what she loves. She's doing it for him. And he thinks she likes what she's studying or doing it to earn more money later on.

It just looks like the more we love someone the more we lie to those we love the most and ourselves and the more we cheat ourselves out of what makes us happy. Somehow that seems like I'm just off base here, but everyone I look at in a marriage lately has two people in jobs they hate who don't see each other enough or one person pushing for their dream at the expense of the other person paying the bills saying that they really don't mind. Can marriage really mean only one person is every truly happy or no one is. Or are there examples I'm missing of true happiness (not just the old marriage routine that you always see)?

I want Hu to have a job that he loves and come home to me. I want to feel like my job matters to the world and still have time for other pursuits both with and without Hu. Is that really too much to ask for? Is that too much to want for my friends as well?
fortunavirilis: (House-MD)
2009-04-08 01:20 pm

Meds- notes to self

1. Day Three of Generic Topamax (Toprimate) and nothing seems to have changed. This is a very good thing. I'll update again after vacation. This is a bad week for a med change, but the insurance leaves me no choice (it was pay $500 or take the generic).

2. I MUST make myself eat some small snacks during the day even if I'm not hungry. Yes, the Topamax (toprimate) zaps my appetite at this dosage (as it originally did at the lower dosage before that stopped working), but no food also screws with my med levels and makes me wonked out or actually increases my risk for seizures- double edged sword that is.

3. I need to call the insurance company's medical advocate to find a new doctor. My coworker confirmed that she left my doc since he screwed with her meds (like he's doing with mine) and never checked her blood levels (like with me) and she wound up in the hospital. I definitely don't want that. And I want an epilepsy specialist, not just a neuro. So- the advocate should be able to help with that. That goes on the list for Tuesday when I get back.

But all in all- this mix/dosage seems to be 'right' for the moment even with the generic swap this week. I know it will need to be adjusted at some point, but I'm hopeful today.
fortunavirilis: (Are you my mother?)
2009-04-07 09:17 pm

And the week gets better

I'm on VACATION through Monday night!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
fortunavirilis: (Ben Folds)
2009-04-07 11:19 am

Two and a half years in Florida and Things Start to Click

Following from yesterdays post...

I've made some choices in my life that have made me fairly financially successfully, but have also trapped me. Because if I leave my job I can only really go somewhere else where I make the same money- that or I can't pay my bills. So I have to do what I do (or go back to HR which I hated even more). I accept that those were my choices. Hu didn't force me to make them. He didn't ask me to. But he also admitted to me last night that he didn't do anything last night to stop me from turning away from other choices either- because these choices got us a house, cars, nice tvs, comfort. Here I am whining in the suburbs...

And at the same time, my epilepsy was creeping through my brain. For I don't know how long it was slowly seeping through my neuro-pathways until I couldn't even read a book on my non-work hours. I was a walking zombie-me, a drone. And I didn't hate myself anymore, because I had no energy to hate myself and I didn't care because I couldn't remember who I was.

Then we moved to Florida. I finally got the diagnosis I needed and through trial and error the meds started working and I started remembering who I actually was. I wasn't just an office drone. But work took every once of my energy. Then my boss died, the person I moved here to work for. And still I couldn't jump off the ride because I had all those bills to pay. Then last year some time the meds stopped working right. But I STILL REMEMBERED who I was. However, I didn't care as much because I was crushed with the bills and the fatigue and the hurt over giving up myself for so many years.

Just this past month we finally got my epilepsy meds right again. And suddenly (ask Hu or even my co-workers who didn't know me back in college) I'm ME again. Yet I still have to work this job and pay the bills, but I have all this pent up creative energy that I don't even know how to use anymore. I had to check with Hu whether I was manic or this was really how I was when I used to be 'normal'- nope this really was the me he met over eight years ago.

And it all crashed in on me yesterday. I had sold out seven years of my life to a corporate job so that Hu could work rock concerts and presidential debates while I got us more stuff to the point that I didn't even know how to be creative anymore. I didn't know who I was anymore. Hu came home to me in tears and I was so afraid he'd think I was upset at him, but he somehow knew what was wrong and didn't call me crazy or foolish. He took responsibility for when he was complicit in my compromises, but allowed me to accountable for own compromises over the years (we never should have bought our townhouse, but everything happened so fast when we moved and how did we know the market would crash).

In the end we decided that yes I still have to stay trapped in my corporate day job, but that doesn't mean I have to be a drone. And we took a drive and bought Emaline. Now, it seems counter-intuitive that spending money would fix my rant about my job and being trapped by money (how horrible does that sound), but bear with me... Emaline is the upgrade for my old camera which I hadn't been using (for almost a year) since I felt so guilty about film developing costs (I can burn through $100 in a weekend on film and developing since we don't have a darkroom- which doesn't sound like much, but money was starting to get tight after we had to replace my car in 2007). So I now have a Canon Digital Rebel XSi for which all my old Canon Rebel Ti lenses are compatible (they were new enough to swap out with the digital base even though the shop wasn't sure all my lenses would work- I didn't bring them in, but I checked before hand). So I can now use Emaline for almost no cost after we pay her off. And the next step will be a class so I can really get comfortable with her.

I tried to refuse, but Hu just looked at me and said I needed this. And I really do. I haven't been ME for years and he's let it slide since with my brain being off I wasn't really me anyway. But I AM me now and I can't accept compromising myself either.

Part of me is shocked at how he reacted. Part of me isn't. I mean- he keeps saying that he is just thrilled he has the person he married back. So I guess he loved me however I was, but zombie me wasn't who he wanted either. I was compromising for nothing, just lack of communication.

And now I have so many ideas of where the photography can go and sculpture projects from high school that no one let me work on since I was supposed to be a 'serious student' not an artist. But Hu married a moody artist not an IT professional or a corporate drone. I am who I am. The rest is just going to pay the bills. I'll figure out the long term as it happens.

I moved to Florida for a job, but ultimately I think I moved here to let myself go- the facade, the false me. I'm still working on it, but I'm getting there. No more hiding in the shadows.
fortunavirilis: (Ben Folds)
2009-04-06 02:46 pm

Ten Years- You Wanna See What's in My Head?

Ten years ago I listened to Ben Folds Five Whatever and Ever Amen on an endless loop. I just like it. It had meaning for friends of mine. I just loved it for the mix of sound and heart and quirk. Then, I became the girl he sings about who runs over men in Fair and doesn't give back their black t-shirts in Song for the Dumped (if he'd written Cologne then it would actually have been the perfect song for the last song before my husband from my perspective, but that wasn't written until years later). My breakup wasn't all Ben, it was part Aimee Mann too. At that point I listened to it over and over because I thought I deserved the punishment- and I still loved him because what he wrote was still emotionally true. It was like Aimee and Ben could write two sides of a breakup without ever talking to each other. That year....

That album also had the bar songs we played as the misfits of the theatre and philosophy departments at the dive bar in college. But then I sold out and got a real job and got married to someone who relies on me to pay the big bills. I couldn't bring myself to buy more Ben Folds (now no longer Five) because it cut too deep- he stayed true to himself and I 'grew up'.

And now I'm listening to 'Way to Normal' on an endless loop while sitting at my cubicle job- and I can laugh at him laughing at me. And it does sting, but I can still love him for mocking us all too. How can someone who refuses to grow up get so in to my head? Is it because I want so badly to pursue my passions and not be HERE? I don't want others to rely on me for money. I want to run off with my camera for a month and not be needed (missed would be okay).

Ben Folds is the opposite of me- he refuses to grow up. He gives up love for his passions in life. And yet, I feel such envy at this moment. How do I balance that? I don't want to run off and join a rock band (well, I mean I could totally stage manage a band no problem, but that's not my life), but there are things I do want to run off and do sometimes. And I'm trapped. How do I do those things? How do I get moments of Ben and still pay the bills (since I'm definitely NOT Ben).

I'm realizing that, not just with Ben Folds, I've made myself silent for seven years about so many things I once cared about because it hurt too much to not pursue them in my workaday life. And I can't do that anymore. But I can't get out of where I am either without turning my back on everything. I love Hu too much, but I gave up my dreams for him to pursue what made him happy. And he's not doing that. He's coasting along. How do I have that talk with him? He isn't my prison, but he isn't helping.

Ben Folds- damn it! Stop mocking me because I can't stop listening!

Edited to Add: Yes, some of the 'lost years' are due to epilepsy and medication and mis-diagnosis. But the above is all very true as well and it is all crashing in at me at once. I've slept through YEARS of my life. I want to catch up. But I have no idea how because I'm trapped and out of practice and alone in this endeavor.
fortunavirilis: (Default)
2009-04-05 11:43 am

Joys and Concerns

On the plus side, with the meds balancing out and some things falling in to place I've started to read again and listen to new music again.

On the downside, the just switched one of my neuro meds to a generic without my consent and in order to get the name brand I'd have to pay over $200 a month for the one med. I have to try the generic to see if it is the same- even though the dose can legally be as much as 20% off. I'm hoping it is just fine, but I JUST got my med dosages in proper working order. So I am more than a little leary. And I didn't even find out until I went to pick up my meds- which is technically illegal in Florida, but the tech would not budge on the fact that they didn't have to call me and ask if the generic is okay (they do). My doctor didn't write 'no generic' on the prescription because there was no generic when the prescription was written (this was a refill)- but Florida law still states patients must consent to generics on anti-epileptic medications. Harump.

Anyway- I just hope that I don't go through another month of side-effect adjustment with the new generic or gain new cognitive side effects. The focus I've gained with my med balance is like the 'old me' and I'be missed it so much.

Back to loading Calpurnia (the ipod) for our vacation... is 4 days worth of music too much choice for a 10 hour drive?
fortunavirilis: (Ben Folds)
2009-04-03 05:14 pm

Rockin' the Suburbs

So, last night was the Jukebox the Ghost/ Ben Folds show. Ben Folds! (finally after 10 years) One Angry Dwarf and Two Hundred Solemn Faces in DOUBLE TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DOUBLE TIME with not a note missed!!!!!!!! And Ben is a sweetie pie when you meet him (perk of being married to the venue GM), although I would not want to be his piano- he beats the daylights out of that thing (no wonder it needed to be tuned twice- once when it showed up and once after rehearsal). It is for a great cause though. 'Trusted' went over well because that was a shouted request that he wasn't planning on doing. And he actually riffed so many things that he ran over the time that his promoter wanted him to do (Hu said he was supposed to end 20 minutes earlier). He pulled a few 'retired' songs out since he doesn't come to South Florida normally. Silliest part for me as a theatre girl... song goes to a drum solo- he gets up and starts running all over the huge stage, gets back to his microphone and explains 'I just had to explore a little because this stage is so big. I mean really, WHY IS THIS STAGE SO BIGGGGGGGGGG? I might do that again. Be warned!' So cute.

I also really liked Jukebox the Ghost. The crowd did too. They were funny and were a really good match to open for Ben.

Downside- I didn't get home until 1:30 and had to be at work at normal time. But it was totally worth it. Totally.

Now- to home and rest....
fortunavirilis: (McKean Barn)
2009-03-31 04:58 pm

Workplace Adventures

Lesson one in South Florida: Never believe the weatherman when you work a block from the beach.

Lesson two in South Florida: You should make sure the building maintenance people have the storm drains cleaned out at least once a year.

March 31st, 2009: Flood Day!!!

My car made it through the raging waters to higher ground just fine. Even my coworkers corvette just BARELY made it (had it been ten minutes more she would have been screwed). But there are lots of very soggy people here right now glad their cars are in the front parking lot. And the back parking lot still has several feet of water and swirling mulch.

I hope this isn't a sign of the rest of the rainy season. I was enjoying parking in the back in the 'first come, first serve' covered parking spaces instead of the sun-baked, salty-wind swept front spots. Ah well, wait and see.

At least it made the afternoon exciting!
fortunavirilis: (House-MD)
2009-03-30 04:48 pm

De Meds They Are De Crazy

After a month, the Topamax is finally kicking in with the original flavor side effects. Weird. It cut down on the partial seizures right away. The mix if the Keppra XR-Topamax (higher dose)-Clonazapam has reduced the myoclonic seizures too. But I'm still having at least one or two an evening. And I've had to take an emergency clonazapam more than once to stop a cluster of myoclonic seizures (the doc seems to think that's okay- which is why I'm finding a new one- break through myoclonic clusters are NOT okay since they are technically generalized seizures). But still- things are leveling out. Yet- suddenly after a month of no Lyrica and the reintroduction of the Topamax at the higher dose- NOW I lose my appetite and I regain my ability to read. The word swapping came back immediately- fast enough to go 'AHA- Topamax causes me to swap ottoman with futon and clock with lamp (yes, I see the clock and say lamp every time, but when not looking at the object can say the correct word)!' Bingo! But I still had my appetite and food tasted normal. And I was too tired to do anything at all (side effect of the Topamax or going off the Lyrica or the ankle, I'm not sure- I was tired all the time on the Lyrica and dizzy too).

The only thing I can think of is that the physical exertion of walking on the crutches made me not care what food tasted like and forced my body in to being hungry. After all I sprained my ankle within a week of the med swap- either as a result of medication side effect clumsiness or an absence seizure (I'm telling you I have NO IDEA how I started falling down the stairs and NO ONE is taking that part seriously around my parts!).

Now that I'm walking on my own again, my appetite is gone and all processed food tastes funny again (like grocery store cheese or sprite). I'm driving Hu nuts because he had almost forgotten what it was like to leave me alone all day and come home to have me suddenly realize all I've eaten for eight hours is an apple and some water- and I'm still not really hungry for dinner. My hope is that once I can get back to the gym I'll regain some sense of a normal appetite. Otherwise, meals will be a series of me pretending to want to eat, eating what I deam to be a minimum portion of what can pass as 'appropriate', and then feeling ill afterwards. But I'll take that in exchange for being able read again and have intellectual conversations again. Real food (read- veggies and meat and home cooked stuff) still tastes good. I just have to push myself very hard to eat it. Hu knows what is going on. It is just very hard on Hu and I think I need to try to deal with this on my own. If I can eat just enough I think I can lose weight, keep him happy that I'm eating, keep healthy, and still not feel sick to my stomach all the time. But that is a very tall order.

I'm just happy I don't LIKE processed food and I can cook. Because otherwise, there would be a lot going in the trash right now.

Note: Today I have had coffee, a Jimmy Dean D-Lite breakfast sandwich which tasted like cardboard (Hu is making me eat them and I may have to fight back on that one since it tasted so... so not food like), and greek yogurt with honey,almonds, and raisins (this tasted good). I also had one piece of chocolate which tasted really weird- like chemicals (it was cheap easter stuff and forced on me by a coworker - I must remember that last time when I dosed up on the Topamax only the good stuff tasted right, like Vosges good). Oh, and I had some diet iced tea, which mostly tasted like artificial rasberry, but was bearable in the face of that versus not having anything to drink (I need to bring my case of water up from the car). Dinner still to be determined. I have stuff premade at the house. I just have to bring myself to eat it. Hu is working late again.

I hate this feeling.
fortunavirilis: (Default)
2009-03-30 01:23 pm

The way my brain jumps topics

I just finished a book on world economics and globalization. I wanted to reread 'Watchmen', but couldn't find my copy. Did I borrow it all those years ago? Maybe. So I decide to buy a new copy. Hu also asks me to pick up a copy of an organizational management book. I already have one of those in my stack to read (a fun one- 'The No Asshole Rule'). Now things are dangerous- I have to go to the bookstore alone and buy two books. It never stops at two. Hu should have known that. What do I walk away with on Saturday afternoon...

-Watchmen (of course- of which I have already finished re-reading and we finally went to the movies and watched yesterday) I am now reading the Asshole book (halfway done)
-Hu's book- The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team (which I was supposed to read for work a year ago, but none of mgmt really follows anyway, so I'll get to it when I get to it)
-Bones (a book on forensic anthropology practice)
-Righteous Porkchop (agricultural theory condemning big farming like of meat)

And I still have a stack of books at home (including East Asian Literature, the Obama memoirs- just stuff I haven't been in the mood for right now).

For once I avoided going around the cookbook section and I wasn't in he mood for popular fiction (note books waiting at home). So I went from the graphic novel section to the social sciences to business back to true crime to medicine (I always check for neuroscience books- no luck this time, like usual), to the computer (no Valente in stock- only online). This time I also skipped philosophy and there was nothing compelling for me in cultural studies or biography. So- four books, only two extra. And Hu still gave me THE LOOK. I mean- HE sent me there.

Look upon me- I am a genre jumper and I fear there is no cure. I want to know everything. I want to fix my own brain and learn everything that's wrong with big farming and the global economy. I want to solve crimes like Bones does on tv, but I know there is no glamour in it- just stench and sadness and hopefully closure for loved ones. I want to read graphic novels all day and read Asian novels dream of India and the East and what it is like to be a woman there. I want time to read it all to learn it all. I want to split myself into a million bits and learn and experience it all at once.

I have these magical weekends of clarity when the neuro drugs let me read and I try to cram in as many words as I can. And then I'll have weeks of shadow. But right now all I want are words like oceans. Knowledge like air. And I can't be satisfied with one genre, one author. I want to explore all the facets of my intellect at once. While it is working I have to take advantage of this chance. Because it will stop working again at some point. Until then, I'll put as much information in my brain as it will take and connect as many neuropathways as I can so that the disease has to work that much harder to tear it down.

That and I'm just that damn curious about everything around me.

Ego and Stubborness and Curiousity. Will to fight. Will to grow. Will to survive.
fortunavirilis: (Yum-O (SA))
2009-03-27 04:51 pm

This week's box of YUM

We have:
cremini mushrooms (they are the best ever)
yukon gold potatoes
rainbow chard
green lettuce
cherry tomatoes (I can smell them from here!)
strawberries (a quart this time instead of a pint!)
kiwis
gala apples
string beans
zucchini, so I may try making my grandma's zucchini bread since I don't LOVE zucchini in general
and beets- always the beets. I am running out of things to DO with beets. I know they are good for me. But I need new beet recipes. This time they are the regular red beets. I need beet ideas or Hu is going to start throwing the beets at me. And, no, he doesn't like borscht (although maybe I should make that and bring it for lunch with some sour cream).

NOM-NOM-NOM I love spring time in Florida!!!