As much as I like Interstellar, the movie could have spend more tiime to try to get some of the details about biology right, including trying to work out its blight so it worked a little better. The viewer is supposed to believe that whatever the blight is, it is reducing the oxygen in the air within several human generations. While early bacteria did cause a similar atmospheric change on the early Earth when they evolved to perform photosynthesis, it took place over millions of years and not a few generations. It's a darn good thing they did, too, because these early bacteria started releasing free oxygen into the atmosphere.
I just need a space I can retreat to that meets my needs. She has her space the way she likes it.I've already considered the idea of buying a shed, making some modifications to it, and putting it in the backyard. This shed modification idea is impractical for many reasons. I'm not sure the "she shed" idea involves environmentally-friendly electricity-generating modifications to run your computing equipment. (Screw the she shed idea. I'm going to call it the nerd's nook.)
I've also come to another conclusion. I care about keeping my house as clean as possible. (I am not a great housekeeper. Please do not get the idea that I am.) Doing what little cleaning I can will make me feel better.
Note to self: See if you can figure out why some of the dishes you wash always seem to be greasy afterwards. Thank goodness we have a diswhasher.
I think I've gotten back up to the second tier of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.
Now, it's time to take some time to calm down a little bit. Last night, I read that the FCC voted to overturn key parts of net neutrality. I also saw that the vote was mostly along party lines. Strangely, most people who are Republicans and understand net neutrality think it's a good idea. It keeps telecommunications companies from chargine more for higher data speeds. It also lets small time bloggeers become big if they work at it. (I'm not sure I can keep up with all the work required any more. I certainly cannot do it while attending college classes.)
Even though every single poll shows that the American peopple overwhelmingly favor net neutrality, the big business interests appointed to the head of the FCC and the Republican members of the committe voted with them. With right-wing talk radio hosts like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh continually spreading misinformation about what net neturality is. They actually believe getting rid of net neutrality would promote free speeh.
It is disturbing that a number of Republicans would believe such a lie, or vote against the will of the people simply to line their pockets. It is disturbing, but it is not surprising. Is American tech education so poor that they think letting Verizon, Google, and other large companies prioritize data traffic based on how much someon can afford is a good thing? The big companies are doing this so they can stay big! They don't want competition.
If I can easily spot such poor tehnical education, that does not bode well for how much our politicians know about science. The National Academy of Sciences has failed in its mission to keep politicians informed about issues. The United States's corporatism now means that actual facts are ignore, and a variety of "alternative facts" become accepted by many people.
I was livid last night when this news came across my radar. I hope I've remaind calm in this post.
I'm not sure how I should feel about being beat at a video game by someone who has been legally blind since birth. I'm happy for her of course.(I also have no idea how much she can actually see. I only know that this particular vision problem is something that runs in her family.)
I've set this to public so anyone who feels the need to call me out for this post can do so.
It's also been a difficult month or so to get through. I knew going back to school would be tough, but I also know if I can't handle a full time work load, returning to the work force is out, if that is my goal. The difficulties of this month caused me to engage in introspection and reflection. It also reaffirmed why I don't like the OSI networking model or computer networking much in general. At least computer networking is related to my career field.
First, I can be reasonably certain I do not have dyslexia. I did wonder about this, but the errors I make are errors common in many first drafts. This is why editing and revision are so important. It's also why I'm not big on freelancing for a penny a word any more. If someone wants me to waste my time and limited energy doing something that is not an unskilled task for low pay, they better have a reason beyond wanting to make a profit. As for dysgraphia, it remains a possibility given some of the mistakes I've made on the quantitative reasoning tests, it remains a possibility. Dyscalculia remains on the table despite my roommate's disbelief in it. (And to be fair, missing the first 7 homework assignments in quantitative reasoning did not help. This, at least, was purely my fault for not reading the syllabus. I had to work damn hard to get a C after that.) I consider these blog posts to be a free writing exercise. Free writing involves no revision or error correction. Even if I do have dyslexia, it would not prevent me from writing professionally again. It just means I'd have to work harder. (Piers Anthony is dyslexic.)
The end of the semester is not the only stressor removed from my life. I also had Nelnet discharge my student loads because I am, according to their ruling, "totally and permanently disabled." It still seems weird to me to be celebrating getting that news, but it's something I knew a couple of years ago. It's silly that I have to have the government continually affirm what I already know. However, I'm more happy that the student loans were discharged than I am about the Department of Education agreeing I am disabled.
Also, I finally heard from the person who will be representing me at my hearing. I have slightly more confidence in the firm now, but I still keep hearing they have a reputation for screwing up what should be easily won cases. I have no idea if my case is easily won or not. I know that my comparatively young age works against me, but the lawyer was surprised that the social security doctors had limited me to sedentary work. I also hope he gets my point about the treatment being ongoing physical therapy taking time out of the work day frequently for my EDS. (Now, if he can get the paperwork that confirms the EDS diagnosis.) The only thing I worry about is the constant nagging from my lawyer's office may become a source of stress in the days leading up to my hearing.
On a final note, this Sunday is Mother's Day. My mother and I had a distant relationship at times. I had a completely different worldview and she was a very hands-off parent even during her lucid moments. The greeting card industry's insistence on celebrating this holiday will make the next few days a bit harder than they need to be. During the last year of her life, my mother spent the entire month of May in a psychiatric ward at Geisinger Hospital in Danville. She became even more distant after that, and was placed on partial hospitalization by court order. I didn't know what else to do other than try to force her to get help at that time. I'm not going to question the actions I took I'm not sure I would have acted differently now, although I might not have involved the police to deal with someone suffering from a mental illness. I realized that even though it seemed unfair at the time, it was a problem I had to deal with. My mother didn't know who was really on her side and who was not.
I suppose this is why I still occasionally wonder about schiozphernia or schizoaffective disorder, but so far, I don't show many of the symptoms. (Other than a history of raging asexuality, which as my readers should know, is more about pathologizing asexuality than it is about being a sign of a mental illness.)
It may not seem like it, but I am tired. After napping tonight, I only woke up more tired. There is something I am wondering about right now after worrying about something else. Clearly, my experiences with my mother's death traumatized me. I've never questioned this. One doesn't expect a loved one to lock themselves into their room for days. No one expects a police officer to come down the stairs after a welfare check and tell them that the same loved one is dead. Seeing behavior that reminds me of this in others causes a panicked reaction in me. Is it possible there's some form of PTSD at work here? (PTSD might not be the accurate term here.) In any case, this is something I need to talk over with a therapist at some point. Is it possible that anyone I perceive who might be in a similar situation is a trigger for me? (Note to those who complain about trigger warnings: This is, in fact, the context in which the term trigger warning arose. So kindly fuck off.)
Back to the original point. I have been pushing myself for the past week and a half or so to get all the work the professors try to squeeze in before the finals done. I am going to rest tomorrow and hope my body takes the time to calm down a little bit. I have no choice to keep going at a fairly frenzied pace until after finals. The increased number of muscle aches, cramps, and possibly even today's fatigue are a good example that my I am stressed. (Not that tonight's incident helped this any.)
In any case, it is my goal to be off of social media in all forms for the greater portion of the day tomorrow. My body has been letting me know it needs some time to recover for a while.
Further note to self: It might be a good idea to actually talk to a psychologist regarding your concerns/fears that you might have some milder form of schizophrenia or schizoafective disorder.
I've been lost on two many things recently.
(And well, exchanging purely information is something only my nephew and I seem to be okay with.)
As an indirect result of this class, and details I won't gloss over, I'm going to institute some new personal policies.
1.) Do not divide attention between topics when talking to someone. Human brains are not designed for multi-tasking.
2.) Do not try to communicate important concepts to people, Lara, when you know your brain is fried. (This includes when you wake up ten times during the night and did not sleep well.)
If I may go on to other ramblings, I've wondered about something. If someone tells me a problem, my first instinct is to offer a solution, whether it's asked for or not. I don't think this is entirely a socialized as male thing, although men tend to interact with each other this way. Some part of me feels this phrasing is sexist, but it is not my fault that our parents try to raise us in certain gender roles and society later reinforces them. I've also seen too many TERFs use this idea in a harmful way. I can sometimes realize people aren't looking for solutions. Sometimes I do not. is it the computer background that causes me to do this or is it just a misunderstanding on my part? (Likely the latter, and a lot of autism thrown in.)
Not that everything here is due to autism. Sometimes I just don't think I realize how I might be coming off. Laying guilt trips on people is something I don't want to do. (If I didn't like my mother or younger brother doing it to me, other people probably don't like me laying guilt trips on them. This is just simple logic.)
Also, I learned the phrase alexithymic.
However, I've wondered about something totally unrelated to this. I've been engaging in introspective and wonder if I've been white-knighting people. I'm still not entirely sure what this is, but I think I've done it with people I've encountered. I'm notoriously bad with it for people who have borderline personality disorder, I've noticed. I wonder if this is in part due to my own insecurities where for many years I really thought I *was* unlikeable. (Fortunately, I graduated from High school long ago and realized what an artificial environment high school actually is.) If I understand the context of this phrase, it has more to do with saving people, and most people I do not try to save. I think, for some people, merely being enough is there. If anyone has a more thorough explanation of this, please let me know. My name -- intentional or not -- reminds me I should speak for the voiceless. It doesn't say I should speak up for people who are incapable of speaking for themselves.
There's another thing that has crossed my mind regarding myself. I have often tried to emulate others or to wish I was more like others in my life. This often depends on what my needs are in my life at the time. In the past, I needed to be more confident, less anxious, less confrontational, et cetera. There is nothing wrong with focusing on areas where I need improvement, but it ignores something else. It ignores what I do well or what I'm good at. I can wish for the kindness of some silk-obsessed person who lives in Seattle, or for the compassion or the rat caretaker. I may even develop these traits more fully. However, it ignores one fundamental and obvious problem with emulating someone else. I am not those people. What is wrong with being the playful porpoise that my name suggests I can be? There's nothing wrong with taking a time out from seriousness. Even the Dao De Jing reminds us that wise souls are children. (Ursula K. LeGuin's translation. I think the uncle in Avatar: the Last Airbender is the best example of this. He frequently engages in playful childish antics, but his nephew relies on his wisdom.)
In any case, I'm doing okay. It could be better. Instead, I've been thinking about a Washington Post article that was posted two days ago. I first read about it on Media Matters. The Media Matters article accused it of bordering on poverty shaming. Later sites commenting on the article seem to have dropped the phrase bordering on. Naturally, I read it for myself.
It was a difficult read. The situation too closely mirrored mine. The man in the article was dropped from his employer as soon as he was injured and no longer useful to him. (Much like I was forced out of my job when my problems started.) He was reluctant to go on SSI, but he felt he had no other choice. I was not quite as reluctant. I've tried before. I didn't seriously apply because my mental health problems *were* getting better and I figured I no longer needed it. I was okay with this situation as long as I had a job. But well, physical disabilities can happen to anyone too, and they are more likely as a person gets older.
But I didn't see actual poverty shaming, I saw a good description of what is going on in mostly rural America. It was about someone who was too proud to accept help until he had no other choice. This is standard working class American values. The social justice warrior can argue all day about how there is no shame in accepting help, but the article also goes a long way to explaining why Trump won. The people in these areas don't see welfare as a solution. They see the return of higher paying jobs as a solution. Never mind that automation and outsourcing has forced many people out of such jobs, and technical companies have CEOs who mistakenly though outsourcing call center jobs to India was a good idea. (Many of these places have now moved back to the United States or Canada, but they are employing prisoners at a ridiculously low hourly rate. By the way, I'm not sure I agree with all of the IWW's politics, but I hope they organize more prisoner strikes in areas where they aren't being compensated for their labor. Texas should be ashamed of itself for this and many other reasons.)
But the reality is these jobs are gone and may not be coming back for a long time. Despite the job numbers, I have to wonder how many people are no longer on the unemployment roles, and how many people who are no longer counted in the labor force participation rate -- the number Dear Trumpenfuhrer was trying to quote during the campaign -- actually want to go back to work.
The only solution I see for the current problem is a minimum income that lets people pursue their own interests for a while. New businesses might even emerge during this process.
Although it is a chilly day today, it seems like warm temperatures will be here on a stable basis soon enough. I know this past winter might be a disturbing indication of continued climate change, which I can get conservatives who believe in evolution to admit *does* happen because ice ages have occurred. (Technically, we are at the end of one. I don't know if the Earth is in a warming trend currently or not. Natural climate changes occur. Scientists only debate about how *much* effect man has on the environment.) In any case, this is a debate for another time. Just like the senator who told me that he was going to continue working on repealing the ACA. (Let it go, Lara. You can address that later.)
I've even been losing some weight, although this is not an active goal. I've just been eating less and cutting out fructuose and sugar sodas. It's not that I'm unhappy about being fat, it's just that I want to make sure my A1C is below what my endocrinologist considers to be prediabetes range. It may help with some other areas as well. This should not mean that I was ashamed about being overweight. I wasn't. I'm not actively dieting or exercising too much. I'm just trying to do more to keep up with exercise. If some things happen as a consequence, I am cool with that.
I had an odd feeling the other night, as I walked into my Linux and Virtualization Technologies class. The approaching storm clouds gave me a chance to see my reflection. I saw me in the mirror in smiled. I thought I looked good in the navy blue dress I was wearing. The cane I was using at the time went well with it, and having my hair pulled back in a pony tail made the front look better. I don't recall ever thinking this before transition. While there are still things about my body I would change, I am far more comfortable in it now. I can't say I was before. Maybe I'll even get a chance to change the few remaining things that I can, but this does not seem possible with things the way they are in the United States right now, given my financial situation.
May my readers find what they are looking for.
Now, I've actually been in a really good mood. I'm not going to worry about why this is. I'm just going to appreciate it. I've got some great people in my life, including some of the people reading this. I'm slowly bringing up my quantitative reasoning grades after buying the pencils designed for pret t-schoolers. I'm managing to hide my extreme dislike for networking fundamentals, and I have a Raspberry Pi to play with. (Now, if someone would port one of the open source Amiga OS clones over to it. This former Commodore fan girl can use the operating system she feels she missed but should have used.)
I know it's not as exciting as it could be, but given the ups and downs I've been through for the past two years, I thought it would be a good idea to take some out and do some positive posts.
Speaking of positive things, I've seen posters around campus saying, "I'm not your inspiration. I'm your neighbor/co-worker/classmate." I thought it was odd to see something arguing against inspiration porn, a term I never thought I would have had any reason to learn, on the boards. I don't know if this applies to me, but I know plenty of people who would like to see more things like this, and not just on college campuses. One of my biggest complaints about many people who have valid societal criticisms is they keep doing Ivory Tower criticism. There is nothing wrong with this, but it does limit their audience.
In any case, I hope this good mood continues. It's nice to not have the wild mood swings that came with hypothyroidism. I'lll try to ignore that Trump is still president as much as I can.
I had a good pain day yesterday. I had my Enterprise computing and my Linux class and expected to enjoy the unusually mild temperatures on the ride home. After the class, I took my moped on the road behind the school as far as I could before having to turn onto a US highway for a short segment of the journey. I do not normally take this route, but there is road construction on the roads I normally use. (It is not illegal to take mopeds on US highways. It's just dangerous. I don't like doing it.) I get to a red light at a convenience store and stop to wait for the light to change. I pull out, and in the middle of the road, I skid on a piece of a car's floor board.
The moped wipes out and I am thrown to the ground. I landed face down on my stomach. My glasses fall off to the side, and the moped is on top of my left leg. I lie on the floor dazed for a few seconds while motorist come rushing towards me. I hear someone say she's dialing 911. I keep getting asked if I could move or get up. As I am trying to move my leg out from underneath the vehicle, a task which proved simple, I'm trying to figure out if I can do this or not. Eventually a woman claiming to be an EMT rushes out of her car along with several others. I am helped up, and eventually correct the woman who keeps calling me 'he.'Priorities there.
Eventually the police and an ambulance show up. My attempts to get hold of Cathy fail because she is also getting out of classes and refuses to carry a cell phone. I am encouraged to go to the hospital to get checked out, even though everyone present is sure it's just road rash. I get directed into an ambulance and then spend time riding to an ER of a local hospital, After being poked, prodded and scanned, I am informed that nothing is broken, I have no serious injuries, given a splint for my right wrist, treated for minor wounds, and released. The moped was taking to a local fire department and I have to pick it up in the immediate future.
So, take out the entire night portion and I had a pretty good day yesterday.
In any case, I engaged in a few busy nights of thinking about the current presidency and what it means. I basically have two methods for dealing with problems. The first is to confront them head on, and the latter is to avoid them. Neither one is desirable in most circumstances. Some people described me as having a warrior's spirit, but I always had problems with that one. The problem most people I've found with Teutoonic restronstructionist, outside of the obvious racism, is that people tend to take the myths to mean *literal* battles, rather than seeing the battle as a stand in for the struggles that come with life. Without getting too far off track on this matter, I think they mean that I will fight if I'm able to and I see something that's wrong.
I know this method normally causes friction, but I think I can see plenty of reason to continue it with the Trump administration in power. The president represents a real threat to me and people I care about. LGBTQ people may suffer because his followers don't pay attention to what he says, Jewish people may suffer because of his failures to combat anti-antisemitism, my former colleagues in the press are suffering because of his battle with reality, and of course, disabled people are likely to be the first to see the ax if expanded Medicaid is cut. (I do not even blame Trump for this one.)
The time for reasoned debate with Trump supporters is, I believe, over. It is not time to protest through violent means. The government processes are still working. President Cheetolini needs people to remind him every day, and people need to keep the phone lines busy. I wish I had more time and energy myself. As someone I've met in my online travels put it -- direct action is the only action that matters now.
Secondly, well, if anyone else reading this has EDS, except for the one person I *know* who does, can help with a problem, please do so. (I won't stop this person from providing advice, but last I heard from them, they were still running on a severe spoon deficit.) I've thought I'v'e suffered from dyscalcula for years, but now I'm wondering. After taking a quantitative reasoning course, I'm wondering if my problem isn't related to something else. I have the same terrible handwriting I've always had, and I think this causes many of my problems I've had with math over the years. I know from previous experience that larger diameter writing utensils work. (My third grade teacher tried this approach with many of her students with poor penmanship. This is the only time in elementary school I got VGs and Gs (As and Bs) in handwriting in elementary school. Too bad it would take three decades to figure out the reason for this.) So, can anyone help me out here?
My hand should be entirely free of the brace soon. I've been using this time to get some writing in, but much of my time needs to be devoted to my school work. I just wish that the ODAR office would schedule my hearing soon. It would also help if the new adapter for my Dell would get here soon, but Fedex shows it as being in California. There's another item I'm waiting for, and I'll be extremely upset if the folding cane I ordered from Amazon does show up on Friday. (Read on to find out why...)
For the past few weeks or so, I've been having difficulty accepting that I am about to turn 40. I don't mean that I'm flat-out denying it, it's just that I've been trying to stave off the psychological blows that usually come with it. Anyone who has or is about to reach this age knows what I'm talking about. Has my life so far made a difference? My life is half over, what have I done with it? Do I need to rush out and do more? Heck, I'm no longer young. TV is no longer catering to *me.* All of these things have run through my head at some point. Worse, is the thought that someday I might be gone and nothing I did will be remembered. This is the case for most people sooner or later, however, and I at least can redirect my thoughts when this happens.
There is one thing I am worried about, however, I told my roommate I wanted a Colt 1911 for my birthday. This was a ploy to get her to search and get a job. It worked. She's now teaching at the same community college I am attending. However, I don't really *want* a handgun. In part, this is a matter of personal responsibility. I don't think I'm the type of person who should own a handgun, and I really think my roommate needs a gun safe. I've asked her not to keep her loaded pistol by her bed, but I can't do much about that. At least I don't think she's planning on buying one. If she is planning on doing this, I'll have to lie in the bed I made. If she's concerned for my safety, a can of pepper spray would serve the same purpose. She also needs to get over the idea that increasing firearms rights are going to fix the fascism of the Trump administration. I can't get her to accept that firearms don't fix everything and that I'd rather not go out in one last blaze of glory. (She has some bizarre ideas that come from her siege mentality psychology. I want to get the hell out of here if the Trump administration's fascism becomes a problem.)
The year will end in a little over a day. Many people will be relieved to see the end of this year, and I am no exception. I will not be sorry to see it go. My reasons are different, however. I do not care about the dearth of celebrity deaths. I do not think this is unusual, I just think that Generation X is now old enough to be losing their beloved celebrities. I will be anxious to see this end of the year because of a recurring theme. That theme has been nearly getting ahead only to have it pulled at the last minute. There’s also the bit at the end of the year which I will get into shortly.
However, let’s pause for a second. I usually use these to reflect on the previous year and include lessons I’ve learned. Last year I had difficulty, but I think I’ve got some for this year. If there’s any upside to becoming chronically ill, it’s that it’s increased my empathy for other people who have been down or are going down the path I am now treading. I would not want anyone to go down this particular path just to gain this knowledge. Anyone who has been there know how much it sucks. If they developed it long after childhood, they know how they viewed people in chronic pain before. I assume like me, they regretted it.
Forgive me, I’m trying not to complain. I’m grateful for the increased empathy. It’s helped me better understand what other people are going through. I’m thankful for the opportunity I had to re-examine my beliefs and to be given an opportunity for personal growth. Personal growth is always painful. I just thought it would never be so painful physically.
I’ve also had an opportunity to meet some wonderful, compassionate people. (Although I wonder if I’m coming off as a hypochondriac sometimes. I find it hard to believe some of the stuff I’ve been through in the past two years.) I’ve even had to accept some of my relationships with family members were unhealthy and emotionally abusive. I’m not going to mention which ones.
Now, I’m ending this year slightly scared, and at this point people may stop reading. There’s medial stuff following.
Ok, stop reading….
If you’re still here at this point, I got a call yesterday from my endocrinologist. For the first time ever, I had my A1C tested. Now, I know there’s a family history. I know being overweight, and having Hashimoto’s Disease are risk factors for developing Type II diabetes. (The last one is also a risk factor for developing Type I diabetes.) I just thought she’d continue testing my glucose levels, which have always come back within the normal range.
Any way, they were elevated. I heard the phrase pre-diabetes. For the last day or so, I’ve had to wonder what this means. Does this mean I’ll need to inject things? Does it mean I need to test my blood sugar regularly? Does it mean I’ll have to make more dietary changes.
Today, after doing some reading I am calmer. It’s just most likely going to be controlled through diet and what little exercise I can do. It means that it will be mostly diet and calorie counting. Not wanting to develop diabetes is one of the many reasons I started exercising two years ago. (And it was this exercise program that probably set off my fibromyalgia and led me to discover I had Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.) Things aren’t that bad yet.
But they could be if I don’t take this seriously.