azurelunatic: A pajama-clad small child uses a rainbow-striped cruciform parachute. From illustration of "Go the Fuck to Sleep". (insomnia)
So because not only do I have insomnia, I also suffer from it, the most-recent in the chain of moderately alarmed sleep-adjacent professionals (the neurologist at Deer Creek) referred me to the Improve Your Sleep! class, which has been eating my Monday evenings over the last month.

The main feature of this class, in the eyes of the neurologist and my counselor, has been the CBT aspect of it. Apparently the number one thing that cures insomnia is CBT. So everyone was hopeful. (I had specified to the neurologist that I would in fact be running anything suggested in the CBT past my Supervisor and my therapist. Which was a good call to have made.)

It turns out that when Guide Dog Aunt loaned me a book on sleep a few years ago, the one that pointed out that there was not in fact any moral value to any specific sleep schedule, and that instead of saying stuff like "I'm lazy because I sleep until noon", one should look at it in terms of "My most productive hours are in the evening, and I schedule my life in a way that suits my sleep schedule" -- that general tool of re-framing the guilt and fear around sleep is in fact the very CBT that this class relies on. So, unfortunately, the CBT that I had hoped would be new information was not, in fact, new information at all. The book specifically addressed Negative Sleep Thoughts. The class then expanded the concepts of re-framing runaway negative thought chains in a better light, which is also a Fishmum trick that I've been teaching my little fishies and my partner...

The other main leg of this class is meditation and the relaxation response. I believe that I can trace my habit of meditative breathing in particular to the summer when I read ... some Heinlein book or other ... and thought that taking up meditation would be a grand idea. The latest that could have been was 1996. Then I formally took up meditation (and learned all of the techniques discussed in the meditation unit of this class) in 2001-ish, when I went to DeVry to get a degree in Holistic Massage join a coven. So depending how you slice it, I've been familiar with, and practicing, meditation for anywhere from fifteen to twenty years.

The main new information I got out of the class, in fact, was that sleep-maintenance insomnia was recently discovered to be associated with a sleep-time body temperature that has not dropped as it ought to for that part of the night. And I do, in fact, routinely overheat while attempting to sleep. Which means that if I'm in bed and even slightly think that I might not get to sleep soonish, I should immediately go and get the ice pack, and not try to be a hero.

Also, low doses of sedating antidepressants are also used as sleep medications. The instructor was down on this practice, because antidepressants are only good for people with depression. FUNNY THING, THAT.

Pretty much all the rest of the class was review, and (due to my internets research) I was often in possession of more detailed information than the instructor. I came to feel that I could probably have taught the class myself, given the curriculum.

The first class was pleasant enough. I think there were about ten of us. One woman came in late, and borrowed a pen from me. We had a pleasant chat while she was waiting for her husband to pick her up. She's sleep-deprived to the point that she can't safely drive, and caretaking for her autistic son has done a number on her sleep schedule and ability to stay asleep.

I reviewed the materials in the packets for the four weeks. The second week, the cognitive re-framing, was going to be hard, since the materials blithely suggested that "most people" could get away with abbreviated amounts of sleep with nothing more terrible than a loss of creativity and a bad mood. Pro tip: when your patient reports very bad effects ) tied to as little as one night of abbreviated sleep while under stressful circumstances (and the current Republican administration is nothing if not stressful circumstances) telling the patient that everything is probably going to be okay if they blow sunshine up their own ass is life-threateningly bad advice. So I realized that I had better sit next to the door in case I had to step out of the room.

During the second class, the instructor was trying to impress upon us the way that a poorly timed nap can fuck up your sleep schedule pretty badly. My friend said that this was going to be a problem for her: you put her in the car (as a passenger) and she passes out pretty much instantly.

"It should be easy to stay awake in the car!" said the instructor.

"It's hard."

"Well, life is hard."

At this juncture, I decided that the most constructive action I could take was going to be going and sitting in the hall for a bit (and angrily texting my partner). I came back in after about five minutes.

Later in the evening, the instructor planned to lead us through more meditation/relaxation, to include the rest of the class period. I abruptly realized that I did not actually feel that making myself vulnerable to and in front of this instructor was a good idea, and grabbed my stuff and left the building.

In the third class, I sat by the door. (My friend did not show up for this class, or the following week.) When the meditation/relaxation section arrived, I popped both headphones in and proceeded to listen to podcasts, and only emerged when that bit was done. At the end of class, I asked the instructor about the bits in the next one, saying without explanation that I would not be taking part in the relaxation exercise, and would likely leave the room. He said when the long one would be, and there would be another short one later.

In the fourth class (tonight), I sat by the door, and took a chair with me when I popped out for the duration of the exercise. The instructor came and fetched me when it was done. And I did other things for the short one.

I did ask, this time, what he recommended to keep you awake when the sleep pressure is high but it's a bad time for a nap. And if there were resources on being a millennial and not having a whole house to work with in terms of keeping stress out of your bedroom. (Do something loud. And, probably, somewhere.) I asked about next steps. He recommended the meditation class, or the anxiety class. "That really doesn't seem to be a recommendation geared for someone who has been practicing meditation for fifteen years," I said, smiling aggressively.

He recommended tai chi.

"That's really rather along the same lines," I said, still smiling.

There was a class evaluation form, which asked about how much we learned from the class, and how helpful it was. It was ... not.

So I'll be asking my GP, my counselor, and my psychiatrist about next steps, then. Now that I've taken this miserable class so they'll take me seriously.
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (blue star)
Having got the CPAP, I seem to have been sleeping more solidly. My watch tells me about a lot of nights of 8+ hours of sleep. Of course, I haven't decreased my amount of time in bed yet. My friends claim I may be making up for oceans of sleep dep...


I'm catching up on reading, still. I'm tidying. I'm contemplating. I'm keeping up with my exercise. I'm waiting to hear from various job prospects.


There are still health things I have to take care of, but I feel like the big ones are on their way towards resolution.


My partner has survived the winter break. Next step: talking to professionals about things. We had a nice long chat yesterday about stuff. Today's chat was much shorter, as they were working on other things.


Ev's winter break is not over yet. She got a library position, and has been assigned the tedious things. Thank fuck for normal problems. Tedious winter break job is a normal problem. [Various mother shenanigans] are not normal problems.


Yesterday was time to make me un-shaggy. I trimmed my bangs. Today was the re-blue-ing session.


I checked in with Purple about dinner. He has quite a bit of very good leftover pizza, so he was going to work on that rather than do dinner out tonight. An excellent reason to not go out! It's also windy and rainy. It's been enough of that to make it cold-ish inside, so I've had to wear socks from time to time. The horror!

My phone was supposed to arrive tomorrow (Wednesday). Unfortunately, it seems to be on track to arrive Thursday, instead...


Australia, and contemplations of arachnids in a different sense than the usual. )


I know that not all of the Dreamwidth documentation is up to date. At some point soonish, there may be a docs party. My friends who are perhaps wandering in may be positioned to help by virtue of their neophyte perspective: if there's something that the docs are inadequate in answering, this might be a good place for the docs crew to start working on filling in the gaps.
azurelunatic: Axial tilt is the reason for the season. (Festive red & green text; diagram of Earth's axial tilt.) (axial tilt)
09:10 PM Thursday, December 29, 2016
Plan for Friday: chill with Purple before dinner.

Could also get half-and-half.

Thursday, I tested the UI on the daylight lamp, and found that it had failed to turn on this morning due to it not being intuitively obvious when something was activated, and also the directions kind of suck, and the UI also sucks. Perhaps it'll wake me up Friday morning.

09:18 PM Saturday, December 31, 2016
Chilled with Purple before dinner. Half-and-half (and other groceries) waited until Saturday. The daylight lamp turned on both these past mornings, and was turned off with a moan. Apparently the part where it wakes me up is too effective, and I can't be having with that in the middle of a sleep cycle. Also Saturday: Ordered a new phone, since mine is fucking dying.

Friday: I slept longer than I planned to, and then wandered over to Purple's. He was watching some keyboard tutorial videos, which were actually fascinating. Partway through, a cat jumped into the lap of the guy doing the demo and began washing his hands. It's a small enough community that Purple knows the cat's name.

We then watched Mystery Men, since Purple had mentioned it to me but we'd not watched it. It was cute for what it was. He paused at the business card of the weapons guy, as I'd gone "... Chicken rentals?!?!" which made some later bits make a little more sense.

Purple called Ms. Antisocialest Butterfly to arrange dinner. He'd assumed that she'd be working, because she's her, and had thought of a few places on that end of town. However, she'd been working from home, so those were no longer convenient. We settled on a time and place. There was a little more time left, so we watched some Key and Peele.

After that was dinner. We got there early. Ms. Antisocialest Butterfly was late, on account of El Camino Real had suddenly developed a hilarious thing where none of the southbound traffic was moving. My meal came out substantially underdone. At a decent place, I'll chance a medium-rare steak on occasion. I do not prefer to chance a medium-rare hamburger, and could have sworn I'd asked for medium-well. (Purple could have sworn so also.) We wound up getting some extra dessert, as well as a do-over on the burger.

Purple and I watched some more Key and Peele, followed by what he swore was a Christmas episode of Black Mirror. It was "Nosedive", and while the word "Christmas" was uttered, it wasn't specifically Christmas-y. Uniquely for Black Mirror, we found ourselves giggling helplessly by the end, and in a lovely mood. I totally ship it.
azurelunatic: Teddybear that contains ethernet switch.  (teddyborg)
So yesterday's medical woe was all down to Kaiser (insurance company) shenanigans with Apria (CPAP provider). The name Kaiser transmitted is different from the name on my ID. Because I am heartily tired of being called *Miss* $WALLETNAME, I have asked Kaiser to stop calling me that, and start calling me Reverend. I didn't get ordained for nothing. Because Kaiser's computer system has no place for honorific, the way they treat it when it's causing the patient distress is to shove it in front of the first name. Therefore, I get prescriptions written to Rev $WALLETFIRSTNAME $WALLETLASTNAME. Clusterfuck.

Hopefully my new insurance card will be in the new name, for less confusion, when I hand it to people. My Top has grumbled about the insurance company making their Sub cry. My Top would like the insurance company to be better equipped to handle people with particular honorifics and atypical genders, please.

I would really like an iOS Dreamwidth client, one that was offline friendly, so I could compose while offline and waiting somewhere, and it would post automatically when I connected.

The morning started with some leisurely chatting with my partner, then progressed to Skype the instant it was helpful to do so. The connection was crappy, but sufficient, and I am coming to know my partner's face and body well enough that I can reconstruct the general visual from even a pixellated blur. (A misspent youth that didn't include enough anime to get *quite* that good...) Upon heading off for errands, we swapped over to phone as soon as I got out of the signal-eating garage. There we stayed, with a few intermissions, until their ex's arrival was imminent.

No two introverts can talk that long uninterrupted. Fortunately, that's not what we were doing. They were enjoying some well-earned video game time. I was doing various housework and re-arrangement of the bedside ecosystem to accommodate the new machinery and its power hookups. In addition to the CPAP I also now have a daylight lamp, one of the sorts that turns itself on at whatever hour you tell it to simulate dawn.

I am honestly not expecting the CPAP to rock my world and change my life. I know it must be doing some good, because after the first night I was even remotely willing to put the thing up my face again. The week I had the loaner did have some improvement in sleep, but it also had a steep drop in outdoor temperature. Post-surgery, I've been getting hot flashes; overheating was already a major cause of bad sleep, and hot flashes have not helped that. Previously I was able to make do with a fan pointed at me. Prior to the temperature drop, I've had to snuggle ice packs. There were a few other things that changed. I also have a very mild case (enough that the insurance does not cover the equipment, although I still got their rate in purchasing it). So I don't expect that this will change my life or rock my world.

I do expect that if I *still* have terrible sleep with great CPAP compliance data, they might take me seriously. Also, the lack of CPAP kept me from going home after surgery that could (technically) have been outpatient. The surgeon said that with a CPAP he'd have been okay with letting me go home once I was okay enough, but without that, he wanted to keep an eye on me and make sure I got enough oxygen and didn't stop breathing.

(My medication change last September did in fact change my life and rock my world; prior to that I was falling asleep in meetings and similar, regularly.)

Ev went back to New York today, which gets her out of range of her terrible mother. Though not before her mother imposed home cooking on her, with the expectation that she would take it back with her and eat it. This is one of the perils of being the American child of immigrants: if your parent is a *terrible* cook of their original culture, it's at least doubly terrible on account of the part where that perhaps isn't even food in the American paradigm. Her mother is a terrible cook. I gave her permission to throw it out. (Also, it delights me that she's got to the point where she often knows the best course of action on her own, and merely needs my validation to go ahead and proceed with that action.)

I will remember her stay here for weeks, if only by the fact that her hair has gotten all over everything. I know it's hers because it's pink. Mine is blue.
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
Saturday: very quiet, stayed at home, a certain amount of chat with partner.

Sunday: went to my aunt's to gossip and watch GBBO and Frasier. This was put on pause when Infamous Cousin, his girlfriend, and two friends showed up to pick up Boat.

Boat is a dog. She's a German Shepherd (perhaps a mix?) with one constantly upward-pointed ear and one ear that mostly flops but sometimes flaps and points when she's doing radar-ears about something. She is 70 pounds of complete love, love that wants to hug you without your permission and share your peanut butter. She's also dog-reactive, got separation anxiety, and has recently learned how to climb 8 foot wooden fences. (Her rear legs were off the ground and front legs were over the top, according to my aunt.)

My aunt very much misses the poodle.

Monday: also quiet, wrestling with sleep schedule and preparing for Fishie's visit and chatter with partner (always). Plus some undignified laboratory homework.

TMI )

Today: whooooo boy. Aforementioned lab drop-off, then I picked up [personal profile] quartzpebble and we went all the way out to the back of beyond to talk with the sleep neurologist who wasn't Dr. Asshole.

Appointment went okay. This doctor wasn't at all sure what to do with a patient whose depression is rapidly and *extremely* worsened by sleep deprivation (she inquired with some urgent concern whether I was feeling like that now, as she'd have to report that; I was not; she recommended that I see my psych crew to get that taken care of, which MISSED THE POINT ENTIRELY, that if I follow her instructions I'd probably need to be taken inpatient, and if I don't try to fuck with my sleep schedule, I'm pretty much all right except pretty fucking disabled due to the level of difficulty I have maintaining a modern business type schedule), and whose AD(H)D interferes with any and all "sleep hygiene" things that amount to "just get fantastically bored and you'll go to sleep", and whose budget does not presently include a CPAP. (Also, the mouth appliance thing costs more than a CPAP, and stuff in my mouth when I sleep is a hard limit after the misadventures of 1996/1997.) And there's some advice (not all of which can be followed and keep me sane), and there's a CBT class (cognitive behaviour therapy, not the other one), the contents of which I will be running past my Top and perhaps also my morail, as they are among the safeguards against me putting stuff in my head which needs to not be in there.

I only cried a little.

Soooooooo... compared to the appointment with Dr. Asshole, this went astonishingly well.


F and I had a few misadventures in finding a place for food. We settled on a diner. Lumpy's was closed already, since it was a Tuesday. Digger's was astonishingly difficult to find. I refueled, then we finally located it. The sign is not night-friendly, and very stylized.

Food was good. One of the great things about a diner that plays oldies and classic rock -- very little chance of getting the Wham!


The drive back was pretty much uneventful. Except now [personal profile] quartzpebble smells enough like Purple that I kept getting the "Oh, there's Purple!" pings in my brain. THIS IS WEIRD.

My partner called when I was on the way home, and we talked about stuff. Logistics for some things are difficult.


I talk to my (prescribing) psych tomorrow, and I'll probably poke Purple for dinner. Whee!
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
Monday was a quiet day. I had dinner with Purple. It was unremarkable, other than the way I was a little sneezy.

A little sneezy turned into explosively sneezy and then my sinuses were an impassable wall of woe. I got approximately three hours sleep, out of 7+ horizontal.

Tuesday was not a great day. I realized that I should not be driving anywhere. I also had a care package to send, a package to pick up, and building plumbing problems. I made the best of it, and walked to the post office to grab a shipping box.

On the way there, the sleep department in Oakland called me to let me know that they saw that I had an appointment in SSF, did I want to take that appointment in Oakland too? I wasn't near the computer, so I had no idea; I wasn't expecting the call, and I had three hours of sleep. I had no idea, and very little vocabulary to put things together. I informed them to email me.

I sent a care package of old tech off to my Gentle Caller. The great thing about flat rate boxes is, it's the same price to send a small box with three bits of old electronics as it is to send that same box with three bits of old electronics, two plastic bracelets with a plastic recorder and a plastic maraca each, a baggie of glitter, and a handful of dark chocolate.

And that was only Tuesday. )
azurelunatic: A pajama-clad small child uses a rainbow-striped cruciform parachute. From illustration of "Go the Fuck to Sleep". (insomnia)
Thursday was kind of rough, because I didn't get enough sleep. Sweetie and I discussed the root cause, and I have standing instructions about the proper response to directives that fuck with my sleep. When safe and practical to do so, the proper response is: "Fuck off."

Friday, I had a doctor's appointment. The gyn appointment had two high blood pressure readings in a row, and that gets me sent to my GP for another blood pressure reading and maybe a lecture about salt. So I went in and got my blood pressure read by an assistant who (despite the helpful presence of an honorific in my name as displayed) managed to gender me. The first reading was high. The second reading was okay-ish. And that was it.

I had scheduled my day for a rough interaction with the medical establishment, so when I got home (early) I decided that I would call (eep, phone) the office with the sleep doctor, to request a re-match with a different doctor. (And I came home to a message from my friend phone, asking was I going to come down to the beer bash. I decided I would think about that after the sleep doctor interaction.)

I called and talked to the scheduling person, and explained that I had been referred to the sleep doctor, I had had an appointment, but I had had a bad experience in the appointment and ended it early. And I would like to talk to a different doctor.

The scheduling person apologized that I had had a bad experience, and asked me the nature of the bad experience.

I opened my mouth. No words came out.

One of the problems that I have with the phone, and one of the things that sort of drives Purple bats about talking on the phone with me, is that where a normal human might go "Uhhhh", I just go silent (unless my verbal output buffer glitches and I get the same word or syllable repeating). It's a problem because in the day of phones which helpfully silence background noise when they can, it sounds more or less equivalent to a dead line.

She started making the "Are you there" noises. I made "Yes I'm here" responses in response, and tried again to make words about my experience come out. "I, ... I, ... I, ... "

It went on like that for a while.

"No," I finally said.

It turns out that this doctor is the only doctor in the department. I had to say "And I don't want to see him ever again" fairly firmly, several times. This office could not refer me to a different location; I would have to go back to my GP for that one.

So I looked up and called the scheduling office of my GP. The person on *that* phone was nicely responsive to the "Reverend. I don't have a gender." which is becoming my standard response to any sort of gendered honorific. (Exception: Purple and the Gentle Caller are allowed.) He corrected himself and moved on. The desired situation was that my GP give me a referral to the sleep department in Oakland, and that any phone calls to discuss this should be scheduled via email. (We appear to be learning.) This guy was the most gender-aware of all the people there that I spoke to all day. Yay. (He was sorry that everyone else sucked.)

It turns out that attempting to explain out loud the sleep doctor related fuckery (especially because it's got such potential for gaslighting) threw me into a really vulnerable and unhappy state. I looked at phone's message and decided that no, really, I was not going to be up for beer bash, not with shenanigans after.

I fell over into bed a little, and my Gentle Caller offered empathy and snuggles via text. (Also various forms of Protective Anger, which from them is nicely reassuring.) [personal profile] quartzpebble has volunteered advocacy time for the next sleep appointment, because fuck so much of that noise. The Gentle Caller calmed me down enough to nap, and nap I did, and woke refreshed.

I then picked up [personal profile] tiferet, and we headed off to dinner (excellent fun) and thence to shopping.

It seems that if I am an Alpha, I have acquired a very *very* sensible Supervisor who reminds me that "Fuck off!" is a complete sentence non-compliance is a social skill. Also, [personal profile] sithjawa and [personal profile] inoru_no_hoshi were playing internet shopping games, where the object is to find the most ridiculous item in a given category. ...And this time, that category was dildoes.

Unfortunately, shopping was marred by technical fail, so we were out later than intended. Alas. But we did have fun, which was important. And the hypo-allergenic earring selection these days is much better than when I developed my metal allergies two decades ago.
Tags:
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
Got linked to http://www.misstreated.org/blog/2016/3/24/five-reasons-fatigue-isnt-like-normal-tiredness-proving-most-people-dont-get-it via some of the usual suspects.

There's a fatigue scale at the destination; since it's an image I'll transcribe it here.

FATIGUE SCALE
Read more... )

Reading that makes me think of some of my own struggles around sleep, which are not quite the same beastie. I have had problems with tiredness more than fatigue, specifically. The numbering system is a combination of severity and misery.


10. By all rights I should be asleep, but there is something chemically prohibiting me from reaching that state (caffeine poisoning, adrenaline spike). I am probably angry, miserable, nauseated, with a high likelihood of auditory and peripheral vision hallucinations. I am not functional.
9. I have been awakened in the middle of a sleep cycle. I am angry and possibly terrified. I may be hallucinating. If I am capable of speech, the words aren't likely to form coherent concepts even if they're intelligible. Memory writing is impaired; I am existing in a very bad dream state. I may or may not exhibit PTSD symptoms, and may or may not acquire new trauma. If I am functional, it is by accident. (Equivalent BAC 0.16-0.20)
8. There will be bad consequences if I cannot be awake for this thing, but I cannot safely drive. I can still sort of function if I take the bus or someone else drives me. Cognitive impairment, emotional fragility, nausea. I am unable to tell whether I actually experienced something, or whether I slipped into a dream state. I may not have the presence of mind to cancel my plans and go back to bed. (Equivalent BAC 0.08-0.20)
7. I have chosen to force myself awake/force myself to stay awake for this because there will be bad consequences if I do not. Cognitive impairment, emotional fragility, nausea. (Equivalent BAC 0.04-0.09)
6. I'm in bed. If I can sleep within the next 15 minutes, everything will be okay. Unfortunately, I know I won't be able to. Tomorrow's going to be a #7 or a #8, depending on how long it takes! Yay!!!
5. It is an appropriate time for sleep for NORMAL people and I am miserably exhausted, but if I go to sleep now I will get 3-5 hours of sleep and then I will be WIDE AWAKE and will have fucked up my sleep schedule for a week or more. I do not have to be functional, merely stay awake until an appropriate bedtime for my own sleep schedule.
4. Micronaps. (Not while driving. Micronaps while driving is a clear #8.)
3. I badly need to sleep and it is an appropriate time for my own sleep schedule, but the sequence of events to get myself actually into bed is not something that I have enough executive function to operate, even though I am sitting upright and reading/talking/typing/playing computer games. I may remain awake for another 0.5 to 4 hours attempting to get to bed to get to sleep. I may even produce useful work while in this state. Tomorrow will be a 2, a 7, or an 8, depending on when I have to be awake.
2. I guess I'm awake? (Equivalent BAC 0.02)
1. Awake, alert, and ready to function.


Before this past September, I rarely ever attained 1. I exist in 3, 5, and 6 regularly, even now.

All my jobs except for Virtual Hammer and the back-room stuff at Survey Hell had me in #7 pretty much every day (because I started later at those two, letting me sleep enough regularly). 2nd Thursday at Virtual Hammer was #7, pretty much always, although discovering the Quiet Room and taking a nap after the morning meeting let me reset to #2. Being within walking distance of Survey Hell as a phone goon let me go to work in a state of #8 pretty regularly, and I was still calling out sick enough to screw up my attendance record due to just not being able to function. 1996 was full of #9. I've only hit #10 a few times, but they were memorable.
azurelunatic: "enjoy Cock-Cola" (Cock-Cola)
My sleep schedule was unfortunate.

Left for work at 7am, rather than 6:30. This was not my best decision. I arrived at 8:30 rather than 7:15-8. Researcher Carmageddon said that traffic was ass for him too, so apparently it was more ass than usual.

Meeting happened, no notable disasters. Though we really do have to get internal people to label themselves better. (Ordinarily Researcher Carmageddon wouldn't have asked an internal person to introduce themselves, but it wasn't a familiar name.)

Desk shenanigans followed. The Hipster Researcher had engaged in desk-moving shenanigans; the chatter about the sudden appearance of a corner desk in the team table area attracted the attention of the Stage Manager and then my manager. While I had been aware that it was at least an unspoken no-no, apparently removing the second desk from a two-person office is in fact an actual no-no upon which managers will Frown. Also, facilities is supposed to do the heavy lifting. I filed a ticket.

Today was yet another instance of helpdesk "fun". My feelings are that the helpdesk software should go away entirely, the helpdesk staff should be re-educated, and the responsible developers should perhaps find another line of work.

Read more... )

I got a good chunk of transcription in. And then there was the team meeting. Unfortunately, they seem to have turned down the a/c, either on account of the repairs or the season. The room was hot, although my sleep-deprived state possibly contributed more to my nearly dozing off while the Grandmanager went through some stuff.

Mr. Zune and I decided that the guy on his team who I nearly accidentally clobbered with my cane that time, the one who is organizationally his eccentric bachelor uncle, should be henceforth known as his Overlord, as the guy gets to boss him around in time-honored Overlord fashion. When passing through Mr. Zune's department, I saw to my delight that Mr. Zune had indeed ordered a Caution: Bees sign for his teammate the beekeeper on the occasion of his wedding. It is now proudly posted on the beekeeper's office door. (And now I can actually ask "And your wife? And your bees?" in the same tone of voice for both when we get coffee at the same time.)

lb was still out sick, and Purple and R were still at the hackathon; radius and phone were either working from home or working from Australia or maybe in a meeting, so it was just Mr. Zune and me who went on the trek for ice cream. We compared scar stories and I introduced him to both the game prime/not-prime (by way of introduction) and the game lube/not-lube. He mentioned a very bad and perhaps apocryphal piece of sex advice as found on Reddit: Read more... ) So that's a thing that has been said on the internet. We saw R going thattaway on our way back. We said hi. Purple was at the next table over from her, so she promised to relay our greetings.

I managed to knock over a glass of soda. Fortunately, it was carpet-cleaning night anyway.

Eventually I decided it was time to go home. I figured the hackathon was probably still going on. I pinged R and asked her if she wanted some chocolate-covered espresso beans. She did not, but told me to ask Purple. Purple being notoriously hard to get ahold of via text, and this not being a world-shaking emergency that warranted calling, I didn't bother to check. I came by with my vat of the confection, and grabbed a couple paper bowls on my way down. Purple seemed happy to see me (when he registered my presence), and "This is probably a bad idea, but what the hell" accepted a few. I put them on the table, and added a warning label (as it's not immediately obvious what they are if you don't know, and accidental caffeine poisoning often offends). I hung out at R's table for a bit, then bade Purple goodnight. (I did not get any more caffeine tonight. I will probably want it tomorrow. I had sufficient caffeine today already. I did not have sufficient sleep. I did not have even half sufficient sleep. Purple winced.) (My weekdays feel oddly incomplete without saying goodnight to Purple.) One does not hug goodnight at this hackathon, and we did not.

I called [personal profile] zarhooie on the way home, yay!

Once I got home, I basically stripped, brushed my teeth, and hopped into bed. I may have made sure that nothing blew up in IRC, and emailed Purple to advise him that I had arrived home safely, but that was about it. I chatted with [personal profile] sithjawa, who had pinged me just as I was getting home, for a few minutes while horizontal, but conked out with alacrity for four hours before waking up hungry (as I had not bothered with a meal). Soon I will sleep again.

Tomorrow's big plans: door sign party with the Dean! I can't wait! Plus more transcription.
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
Today did not start out as the best day in the history of ever.

I tried to get to sleep. I did not get there as soon as planned.
I woke up groggy. It took an hour to get out the door.
I had to get gas before work. The line was long. (Costco.)
I needed the thing for the potluck. That line: also long. (Costco again.)
By the time I actually arrived at work, the table in the appointed place was empty as I drove past in search of a parking place, and I saw the straggling end of the parade of teammates heading back.
On the way in the door, I dropped my veggie tray on the team table, because at least I had that, and people could snag things from it all afternoon if they wanted. I checked the timestamps of the lunch ping on the computer, and realized that Purple wouldn't have been there that long. So I reset the status on my cube to "Undefined" (because "Lunch" was more than I could handle declaring just then) and walked in to the cafeteria, located the table, saw with some relief that Purple was at the end of a bench with an adjacent seat free, and sat down next to him.

"Hey, I thought we wouldn't see you today!"
I kept my voice as dead-level as I knew how. "That's what I thought too."
"Slept through the team potluck?"
"Yeah."
"Well, good thing you're in a place where they've still got some food!"
"Yeah, I'll get some in a bit."

I sat there very quietly as Purple and Lennon Glasses Guy talked about the basic steps of troubleshooting some obscure thing involving network problems until I no longer felt like any sudden shock would be the final straw causing me to utterly lose control of the oncoming tearstorm. Then I got a burrito ("How are you today young lady?" "How about a burrito.") with, by some miracle, no bell pepper in the rice, and came back and ate my burrito and listened with interest and appreciation to Purple holding forth on what to do in the face of customers claiming impossible things about their networks (things which the logs don't bear out).

I am so deeply, incredibly tired of being, well, so deeply, incredibly tired. I know a few of the factors why I've been having worse sleep lately, but the plain fact of it is, I am not office-hours diurnal and that chafes. )

Purple waited until the rest of the table cleared out before saying a few quiet things to me, with a reassuring shoulder-bump. By that time, my voice had stopped threatening to wobble, but my eyes were re-lubricating faster than they could drain. When they spilled over, I shut them for a few seconds. The green wall at the end of the cafeteria -- the green stretched up above the partial drop ceiling, I noticed. Purple patted me on the back and said something funny as a distraction. (His style is somewhat like Darkside's, but distinct.)

We went our separate ways. My manager had one cupcake left. She dropped it on my desk, with some coconut bacon sprinkles on the side.

COCONUT BACON, PEOPLE.

This is basically the uncanny valley of bacon. It is coconut shreds which have been toasted, smoked, and spiced like bacon. It is not quite as unearthly salty, which is an uncanny valley point. It has that crispy/greasy crunch like bacon. It also has cell walls, which don't break apart in the same way that the muscle/fat matrix of pork bacon does, but it's so close.

The pocket projector arrived! It was about the same footprint as my phone, and only about half again as thick. My manager was impressed. The Polka-Dot Researcher was impressed.

My Overlady gave the vague impression that perhaps I had not missed all that much at the potluck, and since I'd got a cupcake, I'd be just fine. Also she had swag which could be used for the good of the team. So an eBay-branded multicharger was fitted with a label which conveniently covered up the eBay branding, and left where team members can snag it if they're having a bad battery day.

I noticed that Designer Sparkles was grabbing veggies every time she walked past the team table. Perhaps I can start bringing in less industrial-sized bits of vegetables to leave on the team table -- I'll probably eat them more reliably than if they just sit in my fridge, and this way they'll get finished before they go off. I mentioned the phenomenon to Purple (that the veggie tray was getting the same amount of attention that cookies do) and he was about to say something about pod people when he thought about it and realized that yeah, he might do the same thing -- and more so in the case of chocolate chip, as proper caramelization is key.

Purple was ready to go just a little later than I was. We put the remains of the veggie tray in the refrigerator. He grabbed the bowl of former ice. I carried the tray -- on my head as per usual, a little off-center due to the floppiness. "I'm going to laugh at you if that spills all over," Purple warned. There were no incidents.

Yesterday's lunch discussion of delicious desserts recalled itself to me -- I'd brought one of the chocolates to Purple, who responded by giving me a dessert recommendation; my response included my delight that Purple was not likely to recommend me stuff which involved walnuts (as we have the same mouth-blistering adverse reaction). His exception was baklava -- he will, every rare now and then, endure the pain for the sake of deliciousness. (With vanilla ice cream, which softens the effects.) I don't make exceptions for that, but I will put up with it for the sake of Ben & Jerry's New York Super Fudge Chunk, which has trace enough amounts to be very minor.

It is fall, and Purple is starting to feel chilly in the parking lot in just a t-shirt (and jeans, but the proposed modification is a button-down worn as a jacket).

Weekend plans: there is an open house at Moffet Field. My crew will be there late-ish. Purple mentioned that he'd been reading the fine print, and he was amused by some bits which were being alluded to without being specifically spelled out: it is a federal facility, so federal laws apply, the thing said. Subtext: THIS MEANS YOU, YOU WEED-SMOKING CALIFORNIANS. And from thence the discussion about a semi-recent news piece about how the computer security bits of the federal government have a hard time tracking down computer security experts who are willing to work For The Man who also haven't been potheads in the near-recent past... not to say present. Heh.
azurelunatic: Bust of Archimedes. "Eureka: (interj) the bath is too hot." (eureka)
Last night, I totally impulse-purchased a bed. (I mean, I just completed my first week at my new temp job, and yay paycheck, and it's seven fucking thirty in the morning, so I'm going to have to maintain a very strict diurnal schedule to keep it, and I've been *thinking* about upgrading...)

There I was headed for Trader Joe's, and I saw that the mattress store was still open, and I popped open, and the next thing I realize, I'm on my phone arranging for enough money to be in my checking account (god, I love living in the future, I didn't have to talk to a single human being to do that) and telling the guy to deliver the bed on Sunday.

"What kind of mattress have you been sleeping on?" he asks me, as I perch on the edge of the unimaginably luxurious cheapest mattress in the store, the one that's discounted $100 on account of the upcoming sale weekend.

"To call it a 'mattress' dignifies the thing a little too much," I say, and he beams at me indulgently; clearly he's heard this sort of hyperbole before. "It was a hand-me-up from my brothers," I elaborate. "One of those folding thingies, from IKEA." He looks sympathetic. "Foam mattress about yea thick," and I measure out about three inches with my fingers. "Then one of those little foam pads, about yea thick," (one inch), "but that's in at least three pieces at this point." Unmitigated horror crosses his countenance. "And then there's the cardboard..." He masters his expression by the time I conclude, "And of course a folded comforter or two, so there's a little bit more padding."

Yes, it was high time for a real, grown-up bed of my own.

It gets delivered Sunday. And they haul the old one away. I can't wait.

Cross-posted to [community profile] insomnia.
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azurelunatic: Pool noodle inscribed with "Frickin' Clue Bat" (frickin' clue bat)
Apparently my best friend is Kryptonite to any given depressive episode. )

Sleep. )

6:55 PM 4/12/2010
Today MissKat had to reassure [personal profile] stonebridge that he did not remind her of a whale penis. (Or, I assume, an orca penis.)

8:25 AM 4/13/2010
A friend had a bit of a rant on the topic of a woman changing her name upon marriage -- in some cases, her whole previous identity goes up *poof*. The naming of people is serious business, especially in the internet age, where your name is not just what people call you, but where you are, how people recognize you as yourself, and of course your clan identity. On Facebook, if you don't include previous names of yours, people who knew you then may not be able to find you. (Note that this isn't always a *bad* thing.) But continuity of identity is an important thing that one doesn't generally brush aside lightly, and if the name is a major component of your identifiable self...

And I looked at that rant and realized that actually I was not as averse to changing my name upon marriage as I had been in 2000. If I got married to someone and I liked their surname and family, I would happily change mine. That shocked me to no end. Why? What had changed?

In the comments, there were stories about women who had changed their names at the beginnings of their careers, and women who had declined to change their names while their careers were in full swing: women whose names were their brands, women who would not and could not and chose not to weather the problems of changing a name, changing a brand, when they'd already invested so much time and energy into being and promoting that name.

I haven't invested that much identity and worth into my surname in the last decade. Since moving onto the internet, I have been fully inhabiting this name instead.

I tried on the idea. If I was planning to get married, and my spouse-to-be tried to insist that I had to change my username after getting married? My response was immediate and furious. "...first they'd see my middle finger, then they'd see my naked ring finger, then they'd see the outside of my door. This is my name and it is not negotiable."

5:01 PM 4/14/2010
Enjoyed a dip in the hot tub for the first time in far too long. Sadly, it was more of a swimming temperature than a hot-tubbing temperature. Embarking on Yet Another Dan Simmons Adventure: this time it's Ilium.

Cautiously thinking that diurnal may be back for a while.
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
One of the two components of santorum is in fact lube. (There was then a discussion about whether santorum could wind up as the result of a "surprise" incident, because of the lack of opportunity for proper lubrication presented by the surprise nature of it all.

I am willing to share sleeping quarters with almost any amount of regular noise, because I grew up in effectively a two-room Alaskan house with Dad, who snores like a buzz saw and now uses a CPAP. Just, anyone sharing bed-space with me had better be OK with encountering a rock.

OMG UTERINE LINING. It's good to see you. It's unnerving to see so much of you at once.

Must dig up poor Ethan. Attempted to explain Heinlein to someone who's only read the first half of Stranger in a Strange Land. The stereotypical Heinlein Heroine is:
  • Red-headed
  • tall (optional)
  • stacked (not optional)
  • smart
  • pretty
  • good with languages
  • handy, strong, and capable
  • a great 2nd in command
  • both fertile and maternal
  • horny
  • bisexual
  • polyamorous
  • submissive to The Right Man, but in a spunky/sassy/challenging fashion
(My kinks, let me show you them. Harshaw = Gary Stu?)

The cookie defeated the spoon. Spoon-bending! Insanely cool camera! The color red! (Me wearing the color red for my interview, causing a significant disruption at work when I merely walked through an aisle!) Causing depleted appetizers to be replenished will forever be known as "re-greening" now, even if the actual colors change. One cookie is never enough.
azurelunatic: Cartoon woman with messy blue hair in a bun, without her glasses, in a nightgown.  (Azzsleep)
I have a problem getting into bed at a time that's reasonable for the time that I wake up. Going to bed before 4am does not come naturally to me. (Unless it's going to bed at 6pm, which does come naturally to me, except that I wake up in a few hours and stay up until 4am.) In order to get out the door in the mornings, I have to be in bed at or before midnight.

So [livejournal.com profile] gameboyguy13 is also trying to get into bed at a similar hour.

We're going to try to remind each other to get into bed by that time, so that we can be functional during traditional daylight hours, for great justice.

Hooray bed buddies.
azurelunatic: Animated woman's gloved hand dripping with her own blood.  (bleeding)
I went to bed at nearly 6 in the morning, due to staying out late and related matters of Mountain Dew, and then just not going to bed. I got up correspondingly late, only slightly after noon.

Once I was dressed, I contacted the Blonder Half. He was cranky, due to staying up Too Late the night before also. (I was sort of expecting this, given that his dad said he was Out With Friends when I called Saturday night.) We talked for a little while, then Darkside sought Naptime. Darkside has dibs on my weekends, but once he's exercised his dibs, it's all fair game.

So when [livejournal.com profile] myrrhianna mentioned that she had stuff to take to Goodwill and no practical way to get it there, I bounced at the chance to get Out and Do Something with a friend, and eventually made my way over there. The drop-off was really simple and quick. And since it would be a shame to waste a good Day Out, and [livejournal.com profile] myrrhianna does not have skill points in grocery shopping, I dragged her to Trader Joe's with me. Fun was had. I wound up getting plants as well as assorted juice. [livejournal.com profile] hcolleen now has a potted heather plant sitting in her under-bed cave. I have miniature roses (again), and I'm going to bring one of them to work with me; maybe I'll have better luck there.

We went back to her place and I got to meet the cats. We gossiped cats, and then cattiness, and then I made the mistake of attempting to pick up Nibiki-chan. An antibacterial wipe and some blotting with tissue later, I admitted that perhaps when someone tells me that attempting to hold a half-feral cat with sharp claws, a cat who believes that anytime is a good time for good fun, is not a good idea, perhaps I should heed this warning. I think I'm too used to very mellow cats armed with butter knives. And is it not written, "Touch not the cat [without] a glove"?

I went in a homeward direction around that point, and was all set to make us some meatloaf, until I discovered that the meat I'd gotten for meatloaf had decided to have other plans. When you stick a sharp thing into the plastic-wrapped log of meat, and hear sounds more often associated with the opening of a carbonated beverage, that meat had better not be used for meatloaf. So I went and got more meat. And since I was mightily distracted throughout the whole performance, I returned with not only meat, but other random foods and objects.

I talked with [livejournal.com profile] amberfox. That was fun.

Meatloaf was accomplished at length, though it did take a rather long time in the baking. This version is somewhat experimental, given that I've never cooked with ketchup like this before.

Meatloaf. )

Other than the covering part and the ketchup-in-the-loaf part, this is the recipe I've been making for ... well, it is years at this point, now. The vegetables were an innovation that happened in the "I won't eat my vegetables!" phase of my virtual nephew, the Little Fayoumis. I figured that it didn't matter whether the vegetables were in or out of the meatloaf, since they were going to be cooked to death anyway, and he might as well get them on the sly so it would happen without a fight. (Then I discovered the wisdom of serving the salad course first, and letting him eat his raw carrots with ketchup as well as ranch, and we never had a fight about vegetables again.)
azurelunatic: Cartoon woman with messy blue hair in a bun, without her glasses, in a nightgown.  (Azzsleep)
(Thursday in brief: lots of fun, beads, chopsticks.) Friday morning not so good. First, a hazardous waste disposal plant caught fire within range of one of my [livejournal.com profile] note_to_catters, and gods know who else. Raleigh-area peoples, if I have any: y'all OK there?

I got myself horizontal, only to be awakened by the phone. My roommate's ride couldn't find her. (I must have been very tired -- it was less than ten minutes after my head hit the pillow, and I was asleep already.) When I am asleep, I am not coherent. That does not mix well with ESL/heavy accent. Upshot of this involved me driving the redhead to work.

Loonie had to check news to make sure that people were OK, because hearing a snippet of it tuning in late and fuzzy on NPR = very worried Lunatic.

Tomorrow work = going to be v. tired.

I resent the fact that I have to sleep. I like sleep; I like being asleep; I like waking up refreshed. I do not like having to sleep. I do not like going to bed when I don't wanna. I do not like having to get up when I am asleep. (These are generalized resentments about the whole sleep-state, rather than specific commentary. Specific commentary would involve the thing where 19th ave and 15th ave sound about the same when the would-be ride was saying them, and a lack of common ground on landmarks, and "and then there are apartments" interpreted to be "at MY [the ride's] apartments?!?!" No, there was not communication, and it was a sufficiently lousy first impression that I don't wanna have a second one. )
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azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
In un-fun/happy/cool news, my sleep schedule flaked out on me. When that goes, my agoraphobia spikes. The combination means that even if I'm awake, I don't leave the apartment until sunset or after. That meant that work on Saturday? Ha. By the time I was coherent and ready to venture out, there would have been no one left there.

Tonight is not looking like a good night either, given that I'm still up. Fortunately Sunday is an all-day shift, and while I had planned to come in early crack of dawn and that's my base schedule, since I am not being depended on for immediate time-sensitive stuff, I can come in somewhat later. Which means I can stay asleep until I'm actually OK to be woken up.

Was it the coffee I had at work on Friday? I don't know. I do know that if it's still happening from time to time, then it's not under control. And Bitchy Witchy Week is probably due any time in the next two to three weeks.

It's excuses all the way down until you hit the rock-bottom layer of crying hysterical "I don't wanna I don't wanna". And then there's stuff. There's plenty of stuff. It's ordinarily something that adult!self can deal with, can rationalize around, can soothe inner brat into accepting temporarily. But not when irrationality is so close to the surface, it doesn't work like that anymore...
azurelunatic: Cartoon woman with wild blue hair, glasses, black lipstick, and fanged grin.  (Azure: Lunatic)
Congratulations! You are enjoying the company of one Lunatic. Your model should be blue in color. Some fluctuations in energy level, giggliness, personality, handwriting, and sanity are normal, and are no cause for alarm. Individual variation is part of the charm of the Lunatic. However, like most things, the Lunatic has several error modes. For maximum uptime for a Lunatic, consider these troubleshooting solutions if your Lunatic begins to function in an erratic manner or ceases to function:

  • Water. Lunatics carry around a gallon sport-top bottle of water as a matter of course. If this is missing or empty, apply water to Lunatic. This bottle is refilled at least twice daily. If your Lunatic attempts to go somewhere with the bottle less than half-full, make sure the Lunatic fills the water bottle and takes the opportunity to drain.

  • Blood sugar. Lunatics are the daughter of someone with issues that border on hypoglycemia, and Lunatic does need to make sure that she eats right things regularly. If Lunatic's right arm are bandaged at elbow, Lunatic has probably given plasma recently, and should be seated and refueled. Do not attempt to refuel the Lunatic with milk products, bananas, or walnuts, as malfunction may result, but if the Lunatic chooses these items to refuel with, it is her Own Damn Fault, and interference is not necessary.

  • Temperature. Lunatics are nonfunctional at low or high temperatures. If Lunatics have been sitting without coverings in temperatures lower than 70°F or been sitting in temperatures higher than 75°F for more than an hour or two, malfunction results. Apply motion and heat if chilled; apply motion, fresh air, internal and external water, and a cooler environment if overheated. Temperatures are approximate and may be subject to change, but Lunatics are sub-arctic creatures and can tolerate low temperatures with covering far better than even moderately warm temperatures. Low temperature often results in moodiness, depression, sulking (or curl-up-under-blanket-and-go-to-sleep); high temperature often results in incoherence, sleeplessness, and panic.

  • Shock. Lunatics have a disturbing ability to go into a state of shock with sufficient emotional provocation. Standard treatment for shock applies. Additionally, apply bondmate or big brother.

  • Sleep. If Lunatics have been in an active state for more than 16 hours, giddiness and/or crankiness may occur. If Lunatics have been in an active state for 24 hours or more, they should be promptly made horizontal and calm. Note that sleep may not be possible if temperature is outside of operational ranges or water settings are low. Lunatics should have at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep in order to resume full operation. If Lunatics sleep before midnight, lo, they will be Up All Night.

  • Bonds. Lunatics are unstable without the constant invisible presence of their bondmate. To reset bonds to baseline, make sure that Lunatic's silver star is applied and Lunatic has been recently grounded/centered. Bond may require /renew from time to time, and may not /renew automatically in absence of silver star prompt. Bond is security-enabled and will not connect properly if both ends are not secured; check all firewalls and ground/center before attempting a reconnect. Bond uses address filtering and will not admit additional users who are not whitelisted.

  • Read more... )

azurelunatic: Cordless phone showing a heart.  (phone)
Darkside had an appointment with the UI of his bed. Despite his urgent need for a nap, we talked a bit. Glee. Best friend, yay.
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
I have a layered bed. There are two full size mattresses on a futon frame, and a futon cushion on top of that. The confection is piled with pillows and iced with blankets. I feel like a princess when all is in order.

Inevitably, the futon starts slipping off the bed stack, and all must be stripped and piled again.


I have a habit, started at age eleven, of holding a small object in my hand while I sleep. My 6th grade boyfriend Kermit gave me a little wooden heart for the appropriate holiday in 1992, and it was just the right size to hold and feel comforted by, as stuffed animals were no longer quite the companions they used to be. The heart was succeeded by a soapstone bear (from the same boyfriend) some months later. The soapstone bear endured far past the end of the relationship, until I was 15 and at CTY in summer of 1995, where it was supplemented by the Bearing Stone (a shiny bit of rose quartz, tumbled and polished) at intersession and supplanted by the Shoe at session-end. ([livejournal.com profile] pyrogenic, the Shoe is still in a memory box back in Fairbanks, tucked in next to my two favorite childhood stuffed toys and other random treasures.) When the Bearing Stone was lost, another polished rock came to take its place in hand (but not in heart). An item signifying my high school flame Shawn came to take the place of the Shoe in due time.

I got engaged, and these things disappeared from my bed. But once in Arizona, and out of the orbit of my erstwhile fiance, the lightsabre that Darkside gave me found its way into my hand while I slept, and it gave comfort. And a large chunk of rainbow fluorite found its way into my right hand.


As I un-piled pillows from the bed for the re-settling, I uncovered no less than four rocks, in various size, shape, and mineral. No wonder my bed's been feeling extra-snuggly!

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