sareini: (doctor)
2017-08-23 09:45 pm

Emerging From Hiding...

I've not been feeling too well these past couple of days. I think it's all down to exhaustion after the weekend, but I wouldn't put it past anything to have caught something while in all the various crowds I was in on Saturday and Sunday. My depression and panic attacks have been making themselves known as well, and today I've suffered from repeated audio hallucinations of my phone ringing when it wasn't. Thankfully those were more annoying than anything else - hearing the phantom tones of Dare to be Stupid every now and then was just strange.

So I started work on Christmas presents today. I'm making Rachael a Hufflepuff scarf (yellow with spaced-out black stripes) and I'm also working on a Lizard shawl for my friend Kerry (although I might well keep this one and make her something else as it's a shawl I've wanted to make for myself for a while as well). I've been switching between them all day because I've not really wanted or been able to focus on one thing for very long. This is also why I've been watching random things on YouTube for most of the day as well. Somehow I've finished up on old episodes of Crimewatch UK.

A couple of random things I forgot to put in the last post about my weekend:

- I tried halloumi for the first time while visiting my niece! Over the past year or so Rachael has been suffering from severe emetophobia that's developed into OCD and a borderline eating disorder, because she's become so afraid of eating anything that might make her ill that she struggles to eat anything. She's lost a lot of weight because of it. She's working through it, though, and one of the foods she can eat is grilled or pan-fried halloumi. So she cooked us both some on Saturday night, and damn, that stuff is good. I'm going to have to get some for myself next time I manage to venture out to the supermarket.

- On the Sunday before I got the train back home the two of us went into Liverpool. Rachael wanted to get some beard moisturiser from Lush for her boyfriend, and I just wanted to see Liverpool shopping centre because I'd not been there since... last century, actually. It's changed a lot. So many of the shops I knew and frequented from my teenage years are long gone - Miss Selfridges, C&A, the huge Waterstones (although apparently that's just moved location) - and it now seems like every fifth shop is a coffee shop or Burger King. It was disorienting, to say the least. Also, the Lush store was nice, but the staff were really really over-eager to help. In my local store, you go in, they greet you and then pretty much leave you to your browsing. In the Liverpool store, we had three staff members come up to us to see if we needed anything within five minutes. And it was a crowded shop already, so I didn't really enjoy the complete lack of personal space. Also, the beard moisturiser was bloody expensive.
sareini: "Things I am not allowed to do at Hogwarts, No.61" (Cats and Dragons)
2017-08-21 05:25 pm

My Weekend (with pictures)

I got back from seeing my niece and spending too much on yarn on Sunday evening, but I was absolutely exhausted until this afternoon. The train journey back shouldn't have been too bad, but both trains were packed to nearly standing-room only and the sheer amount of people pushed me to my limits. I then got a very talkative taxi driver heading to Ross' place (because I started off the weekend by forgetting my keys, so Ross grabbed them for me so I could pick them up from him when I got back) so I had to stop off at his house for a bit to calm down. Got to meet some of the rattie commune though, and discovered that boy rats grow very big indeed. Most of them were pretty chilled with me and I got to pet them, but Neville the rat got freaked out when he smelled me because by that time I had the scent of four cats on me. Sorry Neville.

So, how was my weekend?

Cats! )

Of course, the other big reason I was visiting this weekend was for the Popup Wool Show. I went last year and got some good yarns, so of course I wanted to go again this year. Plus it's the closest thing I get to a summer holiday. I was quite proud of myself this year - despite having that credit card and all the yarn tempting me at very turn, I managed to stay within my budget.

Pictures of yarn! )

As well as my keys, I also managed to forget to take my niece's cardigan up with me, but I did remember my brother's birthday present, the Rock A-Z cross stitch. Rachael helped me frame it, since my skills are a little lacking in that area.

Cross stitch! )

For the most part my brain didn't short-circuit too much while I was up there. There was the crowds on the trains back to Stoke, of course, and the additional problem that the Virgin Trains' Pendulino train always makes me motion sick, so I step off it in a cold sweat and looking like a wax dummy. The Popup Wool Show was more crowded this year than it was last year, which was somewhat upsetting, but I was with my niece and so I was able to get through it with the only outward symptom being a bad case of aphasia (Every fifth word became "thingy.") Ross sent me regular updates about the cats being fine which also helped (Lily is making me mildly worried by repeatedly climbing into the cat carrier but I'm sure there's nothing actually wrong and it's just me seeing things where there's nothing again). I am however avoiding actual face-to-face or physical contact with other people for the rest of the week now as I recover my strength though.
sareini: The Mountains of Madness have many little plateaus of sanity - Discworld (Mountains of Madness)
2017-08-17 03:34 pm

Last-minute panic

Tomorrow I'm heading up to spend the weekend with my niece (my brother having managed to plan a week in Wales at the same time so he and the dog won't be there), where we will be going to the Popup Wool Show. I did this last year and everything was fine; we had a great time, I spent far too much on yarn, and my neighbours checked in on the cats. This year Ross is doing the catsitting, which is even better as Lily loves Ross (she sits on his lap, which she won't even do for me), and even though Callie still mostly flees from the sight of him, she does that for everyone and last time she actually came out and sniffed him, and so everything should be fine.

So of course yesterday I had two massive panic attacks over leaving Lily which left me physically sick and nearly fainting, and all because Lily meowed at me once, which to my broken brain apparently translated into, "Lily is going to die this weekend". I'm at least calmer today because I've managed to cram some sense into myself, but I've still got a headache from making myself so worked up yesterday.

I hate the utter randomness that my panic attacks follow, because I can't do anything to counter or prepare for them. Ideas and intrusive thoughts just enter my head out of nowhere and make themselves at home, and the next thing I know I'm lying in bed thinking that the floor is going to collapse under me, or that someone is preparing to break into the house right this very moment - or that the cats will drop dead if I leave the house for more than an hour. And with the current state of my local authority's mental health services, the chances of me getting any sort of treatment (CBT or otherwise) before 2018 at the earliest are slim to none. So I mainly have to figure out coping methods on my own.

One method (technically two) is to distract myself with knitting or crochet. Right now I have a 10-stitch blanket on hand for random panic attacks (I'm making it with a ball of Sirdar Colorwheel because I think the long colour changes of the yarn will work well with the pattern, and it feels really soft), and last night I finally found with a pattern for a skein of yarn I got at last year's Popup Wool Show that's 55% Bluefaced Leicester Superwash and 45% silk - Persephone. I'm probably going to take this one with me this weekend as the pattern is incredibly easy to memorise (and the ball is smaller than the Colorwheel).
sareini: Image of the Bursar from the Discworld universe (Bursar)
2017-08-15 07:03 pm
Entry tags:

Huh

If I ever needed any proof that the UK economy is in bad shape right now, it came with this morning's mail.

Some extremely optimistic person at Barclaycard decided I was a good candidate for a credit card. With a £1200 limit.

Yeah, I know. I'm bewildered too. Most days I can barely be trusted with bus fare.

I applied out of boredom last week, when they sent me a letter telling me that as I have a bank account with Barclays, I was of course pre-approved for one of their Platinum cards. Yeah, right, I thought, but as I said I was bored and so I did the online application anyway. And now here we are.

I'm being responsible though. Much as I would like to race out of the house and buy a PS4 and a copy of Bloodborne, I'm restricting my use of the card to emergency purchases only, or purchases that I could afford in a few days' time but need at that very moment. And I've got to pay it off every month without fail, or as close as.

...okay, I did buy a mouse mat with it today, but that was just to make sure it had activated properly and it cost £4.
sareini: (loki)
2017-08-14 01:58 pm

RIP Lovefilm

Lovefilm by Post DVD rental service to close.

This rather sucks. Yes, things are very different from when Lovefilm started a decade or so ago and there are a ton of streaming services now for people to choose from... but Lovefilm's selection was huge, and even with Shudder, Amazon Prime and Netflix combined I wouldn't have anything near the selection of films that Lovefilm had (we're not mentioning Kodi here because of the legal grey area). And I'm not the only one to point out the vast difference in available titles either. Maybe Amazon will listen and be able to make more titles available for streaming, so people won't have to resort to... other sources for films.

***

In other news I've started on season 2 of Legends of Tomorrow and after two episodes I'm still happily hooked - thus breaking the season 2 curse I've been labouring under lately. Nick would have been all but peeing himself with glee, of course, as we've now got the Justice Society of America which Nick was a total fanboy for. Any questions I might have had about them (such as which was Obsidian and which was Dr Mid-Nite, because they had such similar powersets that I got a bit confused) would have been answered in great detail rather than my having to go to Wikipedia to look things up. The rest of the Legends are still awesome as well - I still miss Captain Cold, but because it's near-impossible to avoid spoilers sometimes I'm aware that isn't a lasting condition - and I love that Sara Lance gets to be a bisexual with an active sex life with both men and women. There's not nearly enough of that in movies and TV.
sareini: "Made a note in my diary on the way here. Simply says, 'Bugger'." from Blackadder (Bugger)
2017-08-12 09:09 pm
Entry tags:

Oops.

So the audio connector "thing" in my computer just fell out. Well, in, to be exact - the part of the internals that was the USB and headphone jack plugs (which had already been having problems for a while now, not connecting microphones or anything) just fell into the tower base of my computer, leaving me with a perfectly intact outer case but no way of plugging headphones or anything into it. No audio, no music, no sound. And for me, no way of fixing it myself because I have a track record with technology that can be politely called the "Luddite's Touch" and which is the reason Ross won't let me touch any of his tech whatsoever (I once checked my email on his computer and 15 minutes later the hard drive caught fire. This is not hyperbole.)

So I am left with two options.

1 - Try to get it fixed myself somehow. Highly unlikely to happen.

2 - Get a USB extension cable, plug it into the back, and hope that works. Might work, but then again my headphones also require a jack to be plugged in so it might not.

There is also Option 3 (because there's always an Option 3). Move to Nick's computer. But that involves a lot of rearranging of the front room which won't be easy.

In the meantime, I guess I'm watching stuff on the tablet or in the front room (where I have to sit on the floor because the sofa, even when it's not covered in junk, has no padding and eats people alive).

Still, 21 months before something broke that I would have required Nick to fix isn't that bad of a record. And at least I have at least two other techies that can be reached online to offer assistance (and possibly mild disbelief that only the weird stuff happens to me).
sareini: "Normal People worry me!" (Normal People)
2017-08-11 10:25 pm
Entry tags:

Friday Five for 11.8.17

1) What is the most outrageous style you've ever rocked?

- In my teens, I'd sometimes wear a bodystocking/leotard, tartan hot pants, fishnet tights, ankle boots and a black gauze blouse that tied at the front. I thought it made me look older and more dangerous.

2) As a teen, were you an emo, goth, punk, grunger, or prep?

- I was... probably somewhere between goth and grunger, as that was when my lack of interest in what I was wearing began. I wasn't very good at buying my own clothes even then, so I'd either wear old stuff that in retrospect was hilariously terrible, or simple dark clothes, baggy t-shirts and the like.

3) Have you ever had a crazy hairstyle/colour?

- I've had very short hair a few times. I have it right now, in fact! I've dyed my hair a fair few times as well - purples, reds, blues... probably the strangest was when I bleached my hair and then put in what turned out to be a pale blue-green which was only visible in streaks.

4) Do you think we ever really grow out of our teen selves?

- I haven't.

5) Is there any fashion style you wish you could wear but maybe don't have the confidence?

- Again, I've never gotten the hang of fashion. Maybe full-on goth, but even then I suspect part of the attraction for me is the monocolour.
sareini: (UFO)
2017-08-10 10:35 pm

Bigfoot!

Wandering shamen "mistaken" for Bigfoot in North Carolina

This is quite probably the best news story I'll read all month. Bonus points go to the group of people earnestly saying, "No, the Bigfoot we saw was a long-haired one and had a totally different face..." Because I'm sure you saw it well enough to be able to pick it out from a lineup.
sareini: "I knew the two of you would get along like a house on fire (screams, flames, people running for safety...) - Discworld (House on Fire)
2017-08-10 05:11 pm

(no subject)

Sometimes I go onto Ravelry to idly browse the patterns. This is never a good idea, because I am (a) easily distracted; and (b) easily distracted. I try to limit myself to just adding projects to my favourites list in the hopes that I can one day do some of them, but that just leaves me with huge lists of things I want to do when I can barely focus on finishing what's already on my needles and/or hooks at the moment.

Case in point: two years ago a friend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer, and I decided to knit a hat for her. She had an "all clear" scan this week. The hat is still not finished (although I picked it up again today and might get it finished tonight...) so I guess it's now more of a "Congratulations on beating cancer!" hat than anything else. That's still good, I guess. But that's just an example of how spotty my ability to keep a focus on one task for a protracted period of time. It's why portions of doing my brother's birthday present and niece's cardigan have been so hard, because my mind just won't stay fixed to them.

I wonder sometimes if this is the depression or something else gone askew in my mind. I remember being able to focus on things to completion in the past... but that was a long time ago. It's probably something I should bring up next time I see someone at the Greenfields Centre (who, incidentally, finally called me back on Tuesday! Huzzah!), although whether there's anything that can be done about it I don't know.

***

In other news (and see how I flit from topic to topic!) I'm wondering why so many shows I like seem to shoot themselves in the foot when they hit Season 2. Preacher (although to be fair I was having problems with that in Season One; it's just that 2 sealed the deal for me); the new Doctor Who (I much preferred Christopher Eccleston's Doctor); American Horror Story (which made the mistake of putting too many plotlines into one story, so we had aliens, a serial killer, Nazi experiments, demonis possession and an abusive mental asylum all at once) and now The Strain for the latest example, where the supposed protagonist who I was already having problems with becomes even more unpleasant and starts drinking heavily (and yet is still supposed to be the hero and a responsible father, people!) and most of the rest of the cast seem to have taken a beating with the Stupid Stick as well. Thank Eris Fet is still mostly awesome or I'd be giving up on this show as well.
sareini: "chocolate: the other major food group!" (Chocolate)
2017-08-06 02:01 pm

Film Festival Colour List (and more!)

I appear to have picked up another (couple of) colour list(s)...

Golden Globe )


Rust )
sareini: (creative)
2017-08-05 11:44 pm

Original Fiction: "Riposte"

Title: Riposte
Story: My as-yet unnamed Renaissance/Steampunk/magic universe Update: I'm now calling it "Stormborn", at least until I get a better name...
Colours: Fog Grey #4 (clear blue sky); Golden Globe #4 (I want to be alone) ( [community profile] rainbowfic ) 
Styles/Supplies: Graffiti ( Short Films ); canvas ( [community profile] rainbowfic )
Prompt: Bruises ( [community profile] allbingo )
Word Count: 722
Rating: PG for one moment of language
Characters: Talia; Iacopo; Dario (mentioned)

Tali sat on the rock... )
sareini: Bub from Day of the Dead (bub!)
2017-08-05 02:51 pm
Entry tags:

Evidence My Brain Hates Me

(Aside from the whole mental illness thing, that is.)

Since I came up with the idea for my video review series last week, my brain has been constantly nagging me with ideas for it. "Hey!" it shrills at me while I'm doing something completely unconnected, like cleaning the litter boxes. "We should totally do American Horror Story for the video series as well! All of them! Starting with Murder HouseMasters of Horror show out of the way first. And, you know, actually make a video, which we can't do right now because the audio panel on the computer doesn't recognise microphone jacks-"

"And The Strain! Do that too! And-"

"Brain, you're getting way too ahead of us here. You're making plans at least a year in advance, and-"

Small spoiler for an episode of The Strain S1 )

"Brain, shut up. I'm wrestling with 30l of cat litter here, you could at least help."

And so on. All week. Eventually I made a compromise and made a list of shows and episodes that I could conceivably do video reviews of, some time in the future, and it seems to have soothed that part of my brain for the time being. But I really do hate it when my brain gets fixated and over-excited about things like this, trying to divert energy and attention from everything else that I want or have to do.
sareini: "Little one, I would like to see anyone - prophet, king or god - persuade 1000 cats to do anything at the same time." (1000 cats)
2017-08-04 10:02 pm
Entry tags:

Cats and Spiders

Callie caught and ate a spider the other night.

It was about 2am and I was trying to sleep, but Callie was bouncing all over the place, squeak chirp meow, crash bang wallop. So I got up and turned the light on to see what was making her so hyper, and found her fixated on a corner of the room. I looked there and there was a spider - looking quite a bit like a Daddy Longlegs (so I suppose that's what it was) hanging from a web halfway down the wall. Callie was chirping excitedly at it in the way that cats do when they're trying to hunt something and haven't got the stealth tactic down. I wished her luck and got back into bed; two minutes later she leaps up onto the bed with half a thorax and a couple of legs sticking out of her mouth.

I feel slightly guilty for not trying to stop her, but at the same time I'm pretty sure that wouldn't have been possible anyway, for she is a cat and hunting is something they do. Even 100% indoor cats like Callie. She once brought me a fly she'd caught - as in, carried it up the stairs in her mouth and dropped it gently on my foot while I was in bed. It was not only still intact, it was still alive. That's pretty impressive (if also gross).

Lily doesn't bother much with hunting now, although in the past she and Cracker used to double-team spiders in the living room - one on each side of wherever one hid so they had all escapes covered. And the first time Marley killed a pigeon in my back yard, Lily raced to the back door in hopes of being let out to join in the fun. It's interesting to see that the instinct is still there and so strong, even with cats who've never had to hunt their own food even once in their lives.
sareini: (air kanji)
2017-08-01 11:06 pm
Entry tags:

Hair

I cut my hair short a couple of weeks ago. Not for any self-punishing or self-harm reasons like I have in the past, but because it was getting difficult to keep under control and becoming uncomfortable in the summer heat flashes we've been having.

I have a love-hate thing going with my hair. It's mid-to-dark brown in colour (with flashes of red), which means that, if I ever want to dye it interesting colours (which is most of the time lately), I've got to bleach it quite vigourously first. It's also curly in the Irish way, which means that if I have a bad day or two and don't brush it to within an inch of its life, it snarls up very quickly and becomes even more difficult to handle. So it's great when I'm in a state of mind to appreciate it, but otherwise very high maintenance. So cutting it short like this is probably for the best right now.

(Nick hated me cutting my hair short. It was a weird thing; he would really get upset if my hair got too snarled up to be saved by brushing and would have to be strategically trimmed. I think maybe some of my feelings about having it cut short are still tied into that.)

Of course, the best case scenario would be to get it done by a professional hairdresser, but that costs money and I'm trying to save as much as I can for later this month when I visit my niece and we go to a yarn festival together. So I looked at a few pictures on Google, tipped my head forward so that my hair all hung down, and set to it with scissors. It didn't turn out too bad in the end, I think - I managed to get it more or less even on all sides, with no random bits of long hair sticking out that I missed or anything. Which really is the best you can hope for, I think, when you're cutting your hair yourself.

The style I think I've ended up with would be best described as "fat and slightly punk Rachel Maddow" (because I've still got a few random streaks of pink and purple from where I tried to dye my hair blue a few months ago. There was no blue in the end result). If I can, I'd like to bleach and dye it again before I go up to see my niece in two-and-a-half weeks, but that will also depend on whether I can force the motivation into myself to do it. But if I do I think I'll see what makes a better purple - the purple hair dye or the blue one.
sareini: "Made a note in my diary on the way here. Simply says, 'Bugger'." from Blackadder (Bugger)
2017-07-29 11:20 pm

A Grabbag of the Week's Events

Ugh, but this week has been a mess.

The first half of the week was taken up with my mind waging a minor war against me. I would be lying in bed trying to fall asleep and I'd hear "voices" coming from "downstairs". Whether these were actually noises from outside that I was mishearing, or hypnagogic hallucinations I don't know, but the result was the same - bolt awake and lie there trying to work out what was going on for several minutes each time. I ended up having to remind myself that, if there was really someone else in the house, the cats would be reacting to it and they were still lying, dead to the world, on the bed or in the bedroom doorway.

I had a moment of thinking Nick was still here as well, which was disorientating more than upsetting, but still not something I want to be happening regularly (because of the disorientation).

My anxiety's been particularly high and the one time I went out this week I couldn't stop myself from thinking that everyone was watching me.

And then finally I had no concentration for most of the week, so I couldn't really get anything done. So thank you, broken brain.

Then, over the last couple of days, I've been suffering from a lurgy. Headache, aches in all my limbs as though I'd just hiked up and down a mountain, a slight fever, a feeling of being utterly run down and stomach upsets. Hopefully I'm starting to come out of it now (in that I ache slightly less today) but I probably still need to catch up on a fair bit of sleep (which I couldn't do today as I had to sit around waiting for a delivery of cat litter all day that didn't arrive until 6:30pm).

***

Creativity-wise, this week I mainly worked on the Rock A-Z cross stitch. I took a day off today, because my arms already ached without adding the pain of RSI from holding them in the same position for hours while I stitched, but I've finished up to the letter O, so I'm at least halfway through. I figure it's going to take me a little over a week now to finish it altogether.

I've also been practicing sock skills. I'm enjoying using the magic loop and toe-up patterns for knitting socks, but I'm still having the problem of ladders on either side of the sock from the magic loop. So far I've not had much success in correcting this; I'm either going to have to keep looking till I find a way that works for me, or just resign myself to the fact that I'm going to be crocheting the sides together when I'm done.

Finally, I think I've at last come up with a workable idea for a video review series to go with my blog. I'd originally thought I was just going to do video reviews of movies I'd already reviewed, but I kept thinking that was somewhat redundant at best. Then today I remembered the old Masters of Horror TV series from 2005-2007, where a whole bunch of horror directors got together and each made an hour-long TV episode, doing (for the most part) whatever they wanted. I'd been thinking about doing a review marathon for them at some point anyway, and so it struck me that trying out a video review format would probably work with them without disrupting the movie review portion of the blog. So now the next step is to start to properly learn how to use Premiere Elements 14, which has been sitting on my computer waiting for a year now. And also to work out whether I have a microphone that works, or if the part of my computer tower that I plug my headset in is in need of fixing.
sareini: "chaos, panic and disorder - my work here is done!" (chaos)
2017-07-23 01:27 pm

A Glimpse Inside my Psyche

I am afraid of emergency broadcasts.

But Why? )


tl;dr - I'm very strange and have some strange interests and phobias. But I'm also fascinated by them.
sareini: Organising gods is like herding cats into straight lines. They don't take naturally to it - American Gods (Organising Cats)
2017-07-22 11:07 pm

Weekend Roundup

I've spent the past few days really focusing on the A-Z of rock cross stitch for my brother's birthday, and I'm now halfway through J (for Judas Priest). The biggest problem I'm coming up against at the moment is using the special gold and silver threads I bought for accents, because they're thicker than regular cross stitch threads and so I also have to use a bigger needle when working with them just to thread them through the eye. Which also makes it frustrating when I mess up and need to unpick a few stitches. Still, the end result looks good so it'll be worth it.

The burstitis/mystery hip injury continues to be a pain in the... well, hip. The Deep Freeze gel helps to an extent so I can move about without too much pain, but if I go too long without reapplying it I end up hobbling round the house emitting little cries of pain while Callie dances around my feet, working on her Underfoot skills. I'm aiming to get a doctor's appointment on Monday (I couldn't Thursday or Friday as I had deliveries due and it would be just my luck that they'd arrive while I was out).

I got a letter this morning from E.on - I thought it would be about the complaint I made on Monday and it was related... but no, it was actually a letter from them gently telling me off (but still telling me off) for not letting the engineer in the house when I was trying to catch my cat to go to the vet. So I ended up on hold for 40 minutes with them before getting through to a very nice CSR called Paula to complain again (because even if I wasn't so anxious as to not want to let people in like that, if someone is about to leave the house when you call you don't get to throw a strop at them and storm off). A formal complaint has now been filed, mainly just to put this on record as it's not like I was ever expecting to get anything more than a general apology, and we're going to make the arrangements to get a Smart Meter fitted so that no meter reader ever has to darken my door again. I just have to speak to the landlord and then clear the front room (possibly easier said than done). That'll lead to me calling the Greenfields Centre again on Monday to see if I can speak to one of the people who are covering for my social worker while she's recovering from whatever terrible lurgy has afflicted her, because they're always offering me help with organising and cleaning the house.

Movie reviews for the week:

Martin (1978) - George A Romero's personal favourite of all his films.
Without Warning (1980) - Martin Landau stars in the film that inspired Predator
Without Warning (1994) - War of the Worlds-inspired TV movie that I think is pretty underrated.

Also, three times this week I've gone to the corner shop to buy milk for my cereal, then forgotten to buy it. Where is my helper monkey?
sareini: (doctor)
2017-07-19 06:06 pm
Entry tags:

Burstitis

I had plans for not going anywhere for the rest of the week, I really did. But as the saying goes, "Life is what happens when you're making other plans."

For the past couple of weeks or so I've been having a pain in my right hip. At first I thought it was down to sitting in a new chair at the computer, and did my best to change my posture to try to fix the problem. Plus, it only seemed to occur when I was getting up from the chair, so I thought little of it. But it didn't go away, and started getting worse - staying around for longer and happening when I turned over in bed or walked up or down the stairs. And the pain got worse as well.

I did some research on the internet, consulting Doctor Google, and came to the conclusion that it was most likely a case of Burstitis of the hip - annoying, certainly, but by no means life-threatening and treatable with painkillers. At some point, I told myself, I would brave the nightmare of the telephone system that my GP uses for appointments and get it looked at, but there was no rush.

...at least there was no rush until today, when I woke up to pain so bad whenever I did anything but sit that I was almost being sick or falling over, and painkillers were doing nothing. There was no way to get a doctor's appointment (I tried registering online and got told I could book one appointment online, but then it told me I couldn't book an appointment until I'd had an appointment, thus becoming a Mobius Appointment System) for at least three weeks, and I wasn't going to go to a walk-in centre or worse, A&E for something that, as painful as it was, wasn't going to kill me any time soon, so there was only one option left to me.

Hobble into town (or at least to the bus stop) and go to Boots the Pharmacist for some painkilling gel.

Thankfully the journey was more or less easy and I got myself a large tube of Deep Freeze gel, and thank Eris and all the little Discordian saints, it works! Not 100%, but enough that I can move around without so much pain that I honestly think I'm going to be sick with it. I've had plantar fasciitis, sciatica and a bladder and kidney infection that have all had me on bed rest for a week or more with the pain, and this hip pain was pretty damn close to them. Hopefully the gel will keep the pain levels down till I can see an actual doctor (fun times calling at 8am and praying to beat the rush of everyone else who needs an appointment as well).

I had plans to watch a dodgy 1980 sci-fi horror movie today and review it as well. Instead I've been watching mocked-up Emergency Broadcast videos and scaring myself half to death instead (I should explain all that in another post).
sareini: "I'm sorry, I'm having a bad century" quote from Neil Gaiman's Sandman (Bad Century)
2017-07-17 06:26 pm

Mondays.

I'm starting to believe someone recently put a curse on me.

Lily had a vet appointment today. To catch up; Lily has been receiving treatment for a condition known as cholangiohepatitis since the beginning of the year. It's an inflammation of the liver and bile ducts, and unfortunately in Lily's case it is chronic, which means it periodically flares up and can't be really cured, just managed. She's on a mix of antibiotics and steroids for this, and it's improved her condition tremendously - in January she was vomiting daily, severely jaundiced and had lost about 2kg in weight. Now she has periodic bouts of vomiting, but the jaundice is being kept to a minimum and she's put her lost weight back on and more, to the point where I'm having to put her on a diet. We're coping the best we can.

I was just starting to get things ready for the trip to the vets when there was a knock on the door. It turned out to be someone coming to read the gas and electric meters; something I was not expecting, plus I was in the middle of stuff and the front room is such a mess that it's not really possible to get to the gas meter right now anyway. I try to explain this to the meter reader but he just snarls at me, "You said this last time. You just don't want to have your meter read," and stalked off.

So that was asshole #1 to upset me.

So I chased Lily around the house for a bit, got her in the carrier and got the taxi to the vet. There she got checked over - jaundice levels the same as last time, no other problems - but then the vet (who was a locum I'd not seen at the place before) started talking about pancreatic cancer.

If Lily had pancreatic cancer I'm pretty sure we'd have noticed it by now, since she's been seen monthly and at one point fortnightly since January and ultrasounds have shown that the mass around her bile ducts in January reduced in size considerably after a month on the meds (we just can't take her off them because she starts being sick again). But thanks for worrying me unnecessarily there. Then, as I'm closing the carrier up and getting ready to leave, I mention that my goal is really just to get her to 19, as my readings had shown me a 5-year survival rate for cats with this condition, and while I know she's not going to live forever, if I can keep her strong for as long as possible I'll have done my job as cat owner. The vet responds, "Oh, I don't think that will happen."

...I guess I should just not bother then, should I?

Asshole #2 needs to work on his bedside manner.

Add to that the Spanish Plume that's headed our way this week (temperatures up to 28 degrees, then thunderstorms and heavy rain!) and the deaths of George A Romero and Martin Landau, and I'm feeling pretty beaten down today. I think I'm going to spend the evening eating ice cream and crafting. Maybe watching stuff to put my mind on autopilot. Tomorrow will be better.
sareini: "Yes, bugger all that. Let's curse somebody." - Discworld (Curse)
2017-07-15 04:42 pm

Needles

Well, today has certainly been an interesting day.

The Tour-de-Sock started today, and so I excitedly went to see what the first pattern would be. Looks great... except it's a toe-up pattern and I've never done that before. But that's one of the reasons I signed up for this; so that I could learn some new techniques. So, toe-up cast-ons.

Except after 20 minutes of trying, I realised I was not going to be able to do the cast-on with the double-pointed needles I had. And unfortunately, my one pair of circular sock needles was brutally murdered by Callie a few months ago (also the last time I buy bamboo needles). So I figured that my only remaining option was to go to the knitting shop in the next town over and buy some metal circular sock needles. And to save money and challenge myself a bit, I was going to go by bus.

It should have been easy enough. Use the local bus service's journey planner, get on buses, everything's fine. But between the first and second leg of the journey, I forgot what bus to get, and so re-input the details on my phone. Except it turns out that if you type in "59 High Street, Newcastle-under-Lyme" it takes you to a different place than if you type in "59 High Street, Wolstanton, Newcastly-under-Lyme", which is where I actually wanted to go. So that was an interesting - albeit slightly terrifying - detour.

I finally get to the store, and I decide that after all the trials of getting there, I deserve a reward, and so I bought some yarn as well. I made sure at least to get sock yarn so it'll at least get used up.

Getting back was a little bit easier, since I had a better idea of what I was doing by then... but I missed my final connecting bus by one minute (more like 20 seconds, in fact, as I watched him pull out of the stop as I came within range). That left me with a 30-minute wait for the next bus, so I decided to go buy a drink.

I'm just walking out of the bus station when a middle-aged man holding his phone walks up to me and stops me. He looks a little lost so I'm prepared to give badly-described directions to him.

"Hello," he says. "I'm new here... and I was wondering where... I could fuck you."

Stoke-on-Trent, ladies and gentlemen! Shortlisted for City of Culture 2021!

I just stared for a second while my brain assured me that yes, that's exactly what I just heard, before I managed to respond, "You don't. Go away." and I started to walk in a radically different direction from him. He then called after me, "Is that a no then?"

Yes. Yes it is a definite no, you creepy stranger accosting people outside of bus stations. I was worried he was going to start following me but the homeless woman who begs for spare change nearby started yelling at him for being a creeper as well, so I was saved. Next time I see her I'm going to give her money for a coffee.

Now I'm home, where the cats have greeted me with great joy because it means they get lunch, and I'm making plans to not leave the house again except for essentials for at least a week (Ross's birthday and Lily's vet visit aside). Next time someone asks why I get so anxious about going out I'm going to point them to this tale.