Monday, May 31, 2004

The Catch Up

I feel rather as if I've been disasterously ill for several weeks, tucked in some back bedroom and not speaking to people.

I'm reconstructing my journal/weblog bookmark list.

It's just like coming out of the house and visiting people. I haven't been keeping up. Everything's new and exciting again. I keep thinking "Oh yeah, this guy was always so cool, how could I have forgotten?" and "Wow, this woman is so together and funny and stuff, why didn't I get back here sooner?"

It is a very weird, very disjointed sensation, in large part because most of these people never knew I was gone. It's like coming out of the sick room and realizing you were invisible the whole time, so aside from a few people who checked in on you and some flowers, it doesn't make a difference to the world as a whole. Even the online world.

Now that sounded pathetic, didn't it? I think I feel a little pathetic.

You see, the Evil Spacers In My Teeth have taken on new dimensions. Now that my teeth have moved enough that chewing is no longer out of the question, they must develop new pain creating mechanisms. These are Sharp Points.

The rubber dog-bone shapes that are the spacers have squeezed toward a center point, causing the large ends to sort of "fold" so that the top and bottom of each forms a pointy rubber thing. Rubber, surprisingly enough, can be sharpened. What was once smooth, large, and annoying is now small, sharp and EXTREMELY annoying. I mean, as in I can see some damage to the sides of my tongue and the poor thing hurts just sort of hanging out in my mouth.

4 more days. 4 more days. Friday I get...the braces.

Dundunduuuuuu!

When your food choices are limited like mine currently are, you do not lose weight. I'm definately a food addict (I blame my parents) and being without food is a great agony. So, within the limited choices I have I'm still eating. Sugar? Sugar is eeeeeasy, the slut. She shows up in almost EVERYTHING. Carbs are, of course, the food simplist to mash up and make into a disgusting gruel or porridge, and sugar makes it all palatable.

I find I'm looking forward to salad. Baked chicken. Fresh peas and crunchy carrots.

Fuck that. I want a Dorrito. I want TWO Dorritos.

Sunday, May 30, 2004

It's a shame

when the biggest news I have to report is that I'm marginally back on solid food again. If it is soft enough and smooth enough, I can eat soup and some breads, and even a few vegies.

Yeah, so what, right? After a week of Cream 'o Wheat, Cream o'Rice, Slimfast, Boost and Applesause...well, you're smart, you'll figure it out.

Spent the weekend at a local SF convention. Small stuff. Got to talk to Owl Goingback, horror author and cool guy. I've seen him at conventions for years, but never struck up a conversation. He's a regular guy and plenty nice. Tells great stories about Harlan Ellison.

Sold a few pieces of jewelry and some other booth things. Was a good weekend for talking with some friends who also attend the show, in large part about other people who are NOT friends who were at the show. Ah, gossip, the life blood of conventions. Actually managed to do a little writing while sitting around, in between dissing sessions. Also managed to damage my hands in little ways -- starting with a near fingersnapping encounter with two metal hooks attached to the bungee on a luggage carrier. What is it about the minor injuries that makes them black-out-worthy painful? At least I have some swelling and a knuckle bruise to garner a little sympathy. Otherwise, it looks a little less dangerous than a hangnail, despite the fact that when it happened I was so shocked I couldn't even curse. When you get hurt and you can't even manage breath to curse, it's pain. I mean, I can ALWAYS come up with a "damn" or a "fuck" when needed.

Tomorrow promises to be about moving MIL's stuff from our storage unit to her new storage unit. Ah, space of our own once more. I'm all about it. The storage unit needs some help. Whoo hoo.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

All is lost

on my old hard drive. Nothing could be saved.

After I'm through being sick about everything I *didn't* have backed up, I will start being sick over what I have to reconstruct. Some things I have in hard copy. Other things are simply gone forever.

Ugh.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Peace in our time

What do you think about this? Rival Gangs Agree to Truce in New Jersey City

Gang violence is fairly far from me, situated as I am in my rural/suburban town in the South. What I know, I know from movies, TV, books, and news stories. I know about Rednecks, not Bloods and Crips.

Still, if this works -- if gang members can decide they are tired of the fear and the death and the constant violence -- could it hold up an example for larger conflicts, like, say, the Israeli/Palistinian war or ...dare I say it? ...the US/Iraq war?

I mean, in every conflict I've ever studied, the bottom line is two people/groups who either want the same thing and fear that the other person/group will either get more of it, get it first, or prevent them from having it. Same fear, both sides. Same reaction, both sides (I really don't believe in innocent victims on the large scale. Innocent victims are individuals who weren't at the time doing anything to incite violence. Groups are almost never really innocent. Not completely, totally, pure and guiltless innocent. You can always find *something* that is an obvious trigger to someone else, usually without looking too hard.)

Anyway, yay to New Jersy City and success to the men and women working on a peaceful solution.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Bananas

got too hard to eat today.

I mean, as in, it hurts to bite and chew a banana.

I remember the first time I had this revelation, some 25 years ago (omygod, did I just SAY that? There's shit in my life that happened 25 years ago, and *I* remember it! I think I will go lie down now.)

I guess the fact that I'm eating blenderized food for the next few weeks just fits in with that whole "My best friend's daughter is graduating highschool, turning 18, and I say things like "25 years ago, when I was in highschool" thing.

What in hell am I doing in braces AGAIN? Does this mean the return of bad skin and worrying about going to the prom?

Sunday, May 23, 2004

More on the toothy front

Spacers are making me crazy.

Ok, crazier. In a different way.

There are good reasons I'm going through this again. In part, because my first experience with orthodontics was not very successful -- shall I list why? Of course I shall!

1) Age 15, highschool sophmore, played flute in band, sang in chorus, teeth were crowding severely due to 4 impacted molars. Molars were pulled because my wisdom teeth were so directly under them that surgery was just too much to do. Pull the molars, let the wisdom teeth come in (if they ever did) was the solution. Oh, and the braces.

2) Full metal bands on every tooth except the front lower one that had gone into hiding behind the others. Between the two teeth blocking it, a spring. Just behind my front teeth, upper and lower, two sets of 4 spikes (yes, spikes, sharp, pointy spikes) to keep my tongue away from my teeth because I swallowed wrong (! the food went down, what was so wrong?) and my tongue pushed at my teeth. Oh, and five rubber bands. Yes, five, stretched all over my mouth. My mother cried when she saw them. Ihad to quit band because I could not play the flute. I shot broken elastics at my choral director for years.

3) This contraption was to be mine for 18 months, which meant it would be off by my senior year. Five years later, when I was twenty, I demanded they be removed.

4) The wisdom teeth that caused all the problems I was assured would not erupt until I was well into my twenties, if they ever erupted at all. They were all in and pushing against the braces by the time I was 18 (thus creating the extended wear time). The orthodontist noticed these brand new teeth that had no bands on them the day I got the braces removed, when he looked into my mouth, turned to the technician, and, after having seen me approximately every 6 weeks for 5 years, asked "When did she grow those?"

5) Of course, my retainer did not fit. Did NOT fit. I was supposed to wear it all the time, but either it would pop out while I was talking, or try to leap down my throat. When I wore it to sleep, I'd wake up with it on the pillow - usually a little mangled from my having rolled over on it. I gave that up within a few months.



But my jaw joint is deteriorating and my teeth are in jeopardy (and I'm so fond of them), thus we go through another round of Fun with Orthodontics, new and improved for the new millenium.

Thanks for all the sympathy and good wishes, folks. It does make a difference to hear and commiserate. Despite that, these spacers in my teeth are working my very last nerve....I've never wanted to floss so much in my LIFE.

Friday, May 21, 2004

Brace Face

The spacers are in. Argh.

If you were one of the few who didn't experience the joys of orthodontics in your youth, let me assure you that you've missed an experience certain to alter your world view. With orthodontics, you willingly submit yourself to regularly scheduled appoinments with: technicians who will treat you like furniture, regular applications of pain to your mouth and teeth, various sily looking, mouth open posing, long periods of waiting while staring at either a blank wall, a hotel quality print, or a dental hygiene poster staring either x-rays or a cartoon tooth; immense amounts of social stigmatizing from peers (this can happen even as an adult); days of feeling like your teeth, your mouth, your entire head is a large throb, a distended mass, something you should be able to remove and keep in a bucket; grand realizations that bananas actually ARE hard, learning to like Cream of Wheat because oatmeal is too chewy, and pondering how many calories are in those little jars of babyfood.

All this and more can be yours for a low low downpayment of $450 and $100 a month.

Two more weeks and I'll have the actual metal appliances. Eight months and probably more to wear them. AH, childhood -- you suck.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

My First Reason to Vote for Kerry

That isn't just a vote against Bush

Yahoo! News - DREAM TO BE PRESIDENT IS NOT OUT OF GIRL'S REACH

Ok, so possibly one of his campaign staff reads Dear Abby and encouraged him to write (or wrote and had him sign) this letter in response to the girl. I'd *like* to think he reads Dear Abby on the plane while going to campaign stops. I'd like to think that he reads it as much to catch what is on people's minds as to be diverted while he travels. I hope he's a long time reader. I find this positive and encouraging and...hopeful.

Ok Mr. Kerry. That's two reasons to vote for you.

Friday, May 14, 2004

Anxiety

Ok, I'm officially anxious. My drive arrived at the data recovery place on Wed. So far, no word.

This worries me.

I mean, I go back and forth. Yes, if I lose the files I have there, it's my own fault, blahblah. I can reconstruct a lot of it, and a healthy portion is preserved on my one backup.

But I'm going to lose a lot of stuff I've written/created. A lot. Reconstruction will be hard and tedious and discouraging.

So I've got a reason to feel sick to my stomach with anxiety. Of course, that nauseous feeling might also be the 4 chocolate chip cookies I ate.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Blankness

The new hard drive arrived and is installed. Most of the important software is also in place and operating. Now comes the hard part of the reconstruction, and the wait to see if my files are recoverable.

It's a little strange to have 2 years worth of files, links, and assorted bookmarks suddenly gone. Oh, I've got sources for much of it, but not all. And there's a sort of ennui in me about reconstructing it. I feel rather peculiar at the moment, as if I could just walk off right now, free of this stuff, and not walk back.

Which I won't. I have tried it before and I never get far. But, if my posts are a little rare for a few days, fear not. I'm just elsewhere, rebuilding something else.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

EEP

Wow, I go away for a few days and Blogger moves all the furniture on me! Sheesh!

ANYway, the new harddrive arrived today and I'm busy reinstalling everything. I can't remember the last time I had to actually INSTALL Windows and Office on a machine -- they usually come pre-loaded. When Husband had to have his drive replaced last year, his new one came all preloaded with most everything. Dell, she don't do that no more.

The little HP we picke dup to replace the old tower and take up the back-up/jukebox/DVD burner/game machine place in the house came with everything and the kitchen sink loaded on it. I've been weeding since we got it to get some of that shit OFF. Lawsy lawsy.

The old disk drive should arrive at the data recover center tomorrow, so by Thursday I should know the best and the worst of it. I'm actually nervous. If they recover everything, I'll be pasting a big ol' ad here and telling you how wonderful they are. If they don't, I've spent $175 plus shipping to have a heartbreak.

Oh well, as heartbreaks go, that's cheap.

To top it off, I had a lousy weekend in City of Heros. I died so much that I jsut got used to it. This is no way to learn to fly.

Saturday, May 08, 2004

Dead

hard drive, that is...I'm using another computer to post. My new harddrive should be arriving (thanks be to extended warrenty) on Tuesday. THe old hard drive will be -- I hope -- winging its way to some magical place in California to have its data retrieved. Oh lawsey, please, let the data be retrievable. I will be so upset.

Backups? What is this strange term you use, "back-up"?

Well, yeah, I have some data backed up, but not all of it, and I'm losing some things that are fairly precious to me. NO, it's not a lost cause and I might be able to reconstruct some of it, but, damn, I'd really rather not have to try.

The lesson is, never have a severe PMS moment and pound your dainty little hand on your laptop keyboard. 'nuff said.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

A pause

Someone at the office was talking about how he was spending Mother's Day, and it hit me.

My mother has been dead a very long time. Since January of 1982, actually. I carried my grief for too many years before I put it to rest. However, occasionally it comes back for a visit.

It seems impossible to have watched her die. The moment is sharp in my head and yet it's been so very long that my memory is foggy. I don't have many mental pictures. I can't easily recall her voice and her face and smile are refreshed only by photographs.

The whole concept that someone can be a part of your life and then not a part of your life still puzzles me. When someone says, meaning to comfort, "They will always be with you", they are right, but not, I think, as they intend. The lack of now, that everything is in memory, that there is no more but the feelings go on, is what bothers me. People leave, people die, people cease to speak to you, but they never really go away. Even people I've forgotten -- intentionally or not -- will occasionally pop back to mind. Where is it everything that makes up the relationship goes?

That's why I lean on what I do -- that it all cycles around, comes back in new forms, new shapes, spread out and divided and reapportioned, but never really gone. My mother's body may be in an overpriced casket buried in a cemetary I don't visit, prevented by supersition or custom or something from returning to earth, but the rest of her goes on -- in me, in the people she knew, and in the energy of the universe that keeps pulsing and glowing and forming. She goes on and so does my father and friends and loved ones, and so will I.

I still need a tissue, though.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Superheros and Photo Ops

OK, I've been busy living the hero life (in between time at work and sleeping) so here are some of the results of my efforts









I've put up a complete gallery of screen shots here. These are large format, so give them time and space. I've got evil to battle!

Monday, May 03, 2004

The Lost Weekend

Ok, we started playing Friday Night. We hardly saw daylight again (except for brief forays to let the dog out). It's Midnight Sunday and, apart from sleeping, we have been in Paragon City the whole weekend.

What have we got to show for it? A couple of tenth level characters who can FREAKIN' FLY! I can't quite encompass my wonder at the game, that it allows you to actually explore nearly infinate layers of 3-D landscape. Not just rises in the ground, hills, caves, etc -- you can swim through water. You can fly to the top of the highest building and scan the view, 360 degrees, and everything is fully realized. It's just freaking unbelievable.

I did meet up with MKH from Hidden City, and we did a mission together (because he's a really nice guy) but he was too high level for that particular character. We started TWO supergroups--our Thundercats group, and a new one called Heroes of Vahalla because you can have the wings like a Viking Helm for your head and it looks neat and...well, you sort of have to be involved to figure out why it makes perfect sense, but it does. We teamed with some very cool people (and some not so cool), and most of all we had a ton of fun.

We even got some laundry and dishes washed AND put away. More than we usuallky manage on a weekend. Husband and I are having a ball making matching characters, roaming around separately or together, smiting things, finding clues, figuring out how the world operates...I'm not bored yet. There are certain tedious factors in starting any new character (which is why, although I have a stable full so as to be able to play with different groups on different servers) I probabaly will concentrate on certain characters.

Grown people with mortgages and day jobs don't usually do this stuff.